Thayer Academy names Harvard teacher first scholar-in-residence

BRAINTREE — A Harvard University teacher has been named Thayer Academy’s first scholar-in-residence for leadership and communication.

Timothy Patrick McCarthy teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Kennedy School. He is also the Stanley Paterson Professor of American History and Academic Director Emeritus of the Clemente Course in the Humanities, a free college humanities course for low-income adults. He has taught at Clemente since its founding in 2001.

He has previously participated in a Thayer Academy Senior Leadership Retreat and was the guest speaker at two panel discussions this school year: one on media bias and the other on LGBTQ+ history. McCarthy is developing a leadership masterclass for faculty and students. He is also available to consult with faculty and staff.

Thayer School Principal Chris Fortunato said the partnership with McCarthy represents “an important step forward” in developing programs and training around the essential leadership skills students need.

“We are so fortunate that Tim McCarthy brings to Thayer his decades of experience as an award-winning faculty member, historian and thought leader at Harvard University on topics such as leadership, communication, rights rights and other public policy issues,” Fortunato said in a statement.

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Fortunato said he wanted to bring elements of McCarthy’s Harvard course “Real Talk: The Art and Practice of Brave Communication” to Thayer.

McCarthy said he was grateful for the invitation to join the school.

“I’m excited to start this new role and excited about the work we can do together,” McCarthy said.

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A graduate with honors in history and literature from Harvard College, McCarthy earned two master’s degrees and a doctorate in history from Columbia University. A historian of politics and social movements, he is the author of six books, including “Reckoning with History: Unfinished Stories of American History”.

McCarthy was twice named one of Harvard Crimson’s “Professor of the Year.” He is the founding director of Harvard’s Spring Break Alternative Church Reconstruction Program, where he spent 15 years organizing hundreds of students to help rebuild black churches destroyed in arson attacks across the United States.

A founding member of President Barack Obama’s National LGBT Leadership Council, McCarthy was a co-recipient of Obama’s 2015 National Humanities Medal.

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