Professor Dennis Bathory, Founding Director (2011-2014): It was 2011 as I planned the first Gardner Seminar. The Arab Spring blossomed in the desert and led me to a topic on Democracy and Democratic Revolution which quickly expanded to include the theory and practice of democracy elsewhere. Students from across SAS, from STEM departments as well as social science and humanities majors, gathered to talk about and better understand the headlines in newspapers around the world. The energy in the classroom was palpable, the excitement of our visits to the United Nations and Washington, D.C., and the growing camaraderie among the students made for the most challenging and rewarding teaching experience in my 50+ years on the Rutgers faculty.