Dr. Adam Bush » Biography


Adam is the co-founder and 2nd President of College Unbound; a degree completion college working both inside and outside carceral spaces of Rhode Island to ensure all adult learners are valued as scholar-practitioners, and have access to a Bachelor's degree pathway. Adam has always loved to see how things work and take them apart. His work and practice has always revolved around improvisation, learning, collective action, and imagination. Adam directed Imagining America's Publicly Active Graduate Education fellowship program from 2010-2012, and sat on Imagining America’s National Advisory Board (2010-2019). Adam sat on the Strategic Planning Committee of the Ashe Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans and is on the Steering Committee of the Great Colleges for the New Majority Network. Adam received his PhD from USC’s Department of American Studies and Ethnicity for his dissertation “Passing Notes in Class” which examined the origins of early jazz programs and the student and teacher-activist musicians that led to that institutionalization. He is the 2011 recipient of the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award for Commitment to Academic and Civic Responsibility from the AAC&U, and the 2015 recipient of the John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement from the AASCU’s American Democracy Project. For more information about College Unbound please see the Chronicle of Higher Ed.