Dawn Pace

Dr. Barlas,

It’s been over 20 years since I graduated from Ithaca. The fact that I still stop to send you a note every few years says a lot about the place you will always have in my heart.

I wasn’t a politics major, and yet I found my way into your classroom. That forever changed the way I think about things. Your strength and willingness to speak your mind inspired me.

Along the way, I learned to seek out different perspectives, even if it meant catching a bus in the cold to get to Cornell’s alternatives library. I learned to think more critically — a skill that still benefits me today.

When I left Ithaca, my copy of the “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” traveled with me through a move to California and back.

Today, I likely drive colleagues nuts when I ask them to consider things like the role access to education, healthy food, reliable transportation, child care and safe housing play in one’s socioeconomic status.

I’m sure there are many other things you could have done in your career, so I am grateful that you chose to spend so much time helping students see the broader world.

Wishing you all the best,

Dawn Pace