Fall 2019

Thursday, September 5
GDCC Gorecki Pres. Dining Room at St. Ben's
Richard Wielkiewicz, Amanda Jantzer, and Stephen Stelzner
An Ecological Model for Building Multiculturalism and Social Justice in Institutions of Higher Education

How can we effectively create more diverse and inclusive colleges and universities? This is a pressing question facing institutions of higher education as they are challenged to comprehensively respond to rapidly changing demographics and urgent sociopolitical challenges in a way that will allow for all members of campus communities to thrive. In response to these common challenges and opportunities, the purpose of this presentation is to describe processes for moving an academic institution towards multiculturalism within a social justice context. We expand upon Wielkiewicz and Stelzner's (2005) theoretical framework for leadership and apply it to address multiculturalism and social justice in higher education. This leadership theory is based upon ecological principles that defines leadership as a process instead of the actions and decisions of a positional leader. The central element of the theory is this: "organizations are more adaptive when there is a diversity of genuine input into the decision-making processes" (Wielkiewicz & Stelzner, 2005, p. 326). In addition, this approach emphasizes the role of ecological principles of interdependence among organizational leaders and multiple stakeholders, open systems with an emphasis on feedback loops, and cycling of resources which involves broadly engaging talent across the organization. From our perspective, current models of how to infuse a multicultural perspective on college campuses do not adequately account for the systemic context in which such change must take place. We argue that an extension of this theoretical model to the domain of higher education will help practitioners move colleges and universities toward more diverse, inclusive, and just orientations. Finally, we will address potential applications of this theory to leading sustainable multicultural change on our campuses.

Thursday, September 12
Little Theatre (Q346) at St. John's
Kurt Hollender
Marvel Comics' Benedictine Superhero?: On the Unknowable X-Men

This talk draws on my research focus on German philosophical aesthetics and literature from around 1800—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Immanuel Kant, and the Romantics—to demonstrate that this tradition strongly informs even popular forms of art today. For the philosophers Jean-Luc Nancy and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, our cultural epoch still is the Romantic period. Reading the history of “X” from Descartes’s mathematical usage through its famous articulations by Kant, Goethe, and Hoffmann lays the foundation for understanding why “X” fascinates us. For example, in Kant’s epistemology, the transcendental object is referred to as the “unknowable X,” Goethe’s famous drama Faust contains the “X” in the crossroads at which Faust meets the demon Mephistopheles, and E.T.A Hoffmann, the Romantic writer of the original Nutcracker story, first wrote of a “Professor X” in his 1818 collection Die Serapionsbrüder.

Prepare for senses-shattering thrills, sensational heroics, and German philosophy!

Thursday, September 19
GDCC Gorecki Pres. Dining Room at St. Ben's
Quinlen F. Marshall (SJU Student)
Creating a Molecular Map of the Pediatric Lung

The newborn lung undergoes vast biochemical and physiological changes during adaptation from the intrauterine to the extrauterine environment. Lung morphogenesis continues from birth into early childhood, mediated by dynamic gene expression and a diversity of pulmonary cell types that exhibit remarkable heterogeneity. (Whitsett, JA. et al. Physiol. Rev, 2019). Surprisingly, few studies have solely focused on human lung development during this critical period, and many current studies of lung maturation rely on adult, murine, or diseased samples, limiting their insights and applicability to longitudinal pediatric lung development. Understanding the molecular and physiological nuances of pulmonary development has important clinical relevance, as incomplete lung maturation in premature infants can lead to bronchopulmonary dysplasia or other malignancies that impair lung function during infancy and beyond. Molecular profiles of heterogenous pulmonary cell populations, knowledge of three-dimensional cellular structures of airways and alveoli, and an open-access database to integrate multiplatform datasets are needed to provide the foundation for future research informing mechanisms and treatments of childhood lung diseases (Pryhuber, et. al. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell Mol. Physiol, 2017).

In this Thursday Forum, I will introduce the groundbreaking work conducted by the Molecular Atlas of Lung Development Program (LungMAP), a consortium of pediatric research centers aiming to create a molecular “map” of the pediatric lung. Additionally, I will explore the future of a systems biology approach to medical research, integrating my own experience during Summer 2019 at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York conducting genomics pediatric research.

Thursday, September 26
GDCC Gorecki Pres. Dining Room -at St. Ben's
Ana F. Conboy
The TalkAbroad Case: Addressing Intercultural Communicative Competency in FREN311

In fall 2017, the online interactive exchange platform, TalkAbroad, was integrated into the curriculum of Introduction to Contemporary French Culture (FREN311). Twelve students independently conducted three 30-minute conversations with native speakers from six different Francophone countries to discuss cultural dimensions, in conjunction with in-class activities. As a final assignment, students collaborated in pairs to analyze information gathered during the exchanges, and to create oral presentations about the country of their interlocutors. The project employs three modes of communication (Interpersonal, Interpretational and Presentational), as described by the American Council for Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). It creates meaning in the classroom, and provides an independent learning experience outside of the classroom, thus fulfilling the ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Language Learning (W-RSLL) (Philipps & Abbott, 2011). Both quantitative data analysis, and content analysis of student feedback, support the conclusion that the use of interactive exchanges with native interlocutors was effective in awakening cultural sensitivity, and developing greater awareness of the Francophone world. Students indicated having learned linguistic and cultural elements from their interlocutors. This supports the use of interactive exchanges as a way to enhance students’ intercultural communicative competency (ICC). The inclusion of exchanges, such as TalkAbroad, in language courses, complements and consolidates functions studied in the classroom, addresses institutional Intercultural Learning Goals and, furthermore, shows potential to fulfill the Global Engagement of the new Integrations Curriculum. This Thursday Forum follows a presentation given at the biennial conference Education et Diversité Linguistique et Culturelle (EDiLiC), in Lisbon, Portugal, in summer 2019.

Thursday, October 3
GDCC Gorecki 120 at St. Ben's 
Amelia Cheever, Betsy Johnson, Rachel Melis, and Susan Vollbrecht
Exploring Research in the Fine Arts

Academics perceive research in qualitative and quantitative terms, yet there are many broader experiences of scholarship in a liberal arts environment. Join us as four Fine Arts professors share what scholarship is as defined by their discipline and department, learn about the creative work that is happening in the Benedictine Arts Complex, and engage in discussion about the integral role the Fine Arts hold in our liberal arts education. Join professors Amelia Cheever (Costume Designer), Betsy Johnson (Poetry, Non-Fiction, Memoir, Interpersonal and Group Communication), Rachel Melis (Printmaking, Book Arts, and Design), and Susan Vollbrecht (Music Education & Women’s Choir Director) in this forum presentation.

Thursday, October 10
Founder's Room (Quad 170) at St. John's
Henry Jakubowksi
Climate for Change

The science is essentially settled. The actions we need to take are clear. Our climate is changing in ways that will impact all our lives. Human activity is causing this planetary crisis.   Why can’t we act if we know what we should do?   The barriers to change seem largely political and religious. This forum will be a prelude to a seminar (October 16) on climate change and religion by Dr. Daniel DiLeo, Director of Justice and Peace Studies, Creighton University. His talk is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning.

This talk, “Climate for Change”, will be interactive and focus on four topics: 

  • Climate Science (for lay people) - How did we get here and where we will end up if we stay the course?
  • Climate Action - Why is it so hard?
  • Tipping points - What might amplify our climate crisis?
  • Addressing Climate Change: What can we do to minimize our climate crisis?

Thursday, October 17
Little Theatre (Q346) at St. John's
Molly Kluever (CSB Student)
Thus seyden sadde folk”: Chaucer’s Oxford Clerk on Theological Controversy in the 14th Century

Of all of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Clerk’s Tale is perhaps the most disturbing. The alarmingly submissive Griselda and her husband-cum-tormenter Walter have horrified and frustrated scholars with their irrational behavior for centuries. Although considered a teller of one of Chaucer’s “religious tales,” the Clerk’s seeming ambivalence about his tale’s moral has rendered most, if not all, theological readings unsatisfying and inconclusive. For this reason, the Clerk’s Tale has primarily been studied for the glimpse it provides into medieval gender politics. My research, however, attempts to situate the tale within its theological context by paying more attention to its teller – an Oxford-trained cleric. The 14th century witnessed several theological controversies, and Oxford University was often the hotbed of these debates. For instance, the shift to nominalist voluntarism from the necessitarianism of 13th century Scholasticism introduced further ambiguity to the already-complicated problem of theodicy. And towards the end of the century, the rise of Wycliffism – and the eventual quagmire of lollardy – began with the work of John Wyclif and his early followers, all of whom were based at Oxford. Thus, the Oxford Clerk himself provides necessary context for the theological themes found within his tale. Using this context, my research suggests that the famously unsatisfying ambiguity of the story of Griselda may have been Chaucer’s intended theological reading, after all.

Thursday, October 24
GDCC Gorecki 120 at St. Ben's
Matt Heintzelman, Emily Kuffner, and Yvette Piggush
Is There a Book Exhibit in this Class?: Experiential Learning at the Library

How can students, professors, curators, and librarians work together to collaborate in research and create exhibits? How does designing an exhibit enhance student learning and foster student engagement? The Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) and the CSB/SJU Libraries have a wide range of materials and display spaces that can provide experiential learning opportunities for a variety of classes. Matt Heintzelman (HMML), Emily Kuffner (Hispanic Studies), and Yvette Piggush (English) will share their experiences of the process of designing book exhibits with two very different classes: one focusing on eighteenth and nineteenth-century representations of Africa and the Black diaspora and the other on the early modern Spanish empire. We seek to provide librarians and faculty with ideas and practical plans for creating book exhibits as a form of experiential learning. We will discuss what students learned from exhibit design as well as the challenges and limitations we encountered. We will share strategies and advice for using exhibit design as a pedagogical tool and bring sample materials that illustrate our tactics. We will also discuss more broadly what students learn from engaging with the materiality of texts, a way of thinking that is often unfamiliar to them.

Thursday, October 31
GDCC Pres. Dining Room at St. Ben's
Emily Esch, Bill Lamberts, and Beth Wengler
The new CSB/SJU Honors Program

The new CSB/SJU Honors Program is a four-year, five course interdisciplinary general education program aimed intentionally at academically high-achieving students who have wide-ranging intellectual interests and a desire to put their theoretical learning into practice.  In this academically challenging program, students develop interdisciplinary agility, research skills, and leadership abilities.  It is a selective program, admitting only 60 students per cohort through a competitive application process. Students will move through the  Honors curriculum with their class cohort and earn credit toward general education requirements. 

We will provide information about the redesigned Honors Program including an explanation of the rationale for the changes, an overview of the vision and academic courses, and an explanation of how to get involved and teach courses for it. 

Thursday, November 7
GDCC Pres. Dining Room at St. Ben's
Allison Spenader and Joy Ruis
Understanding Intercultural Learning in CSB/SJU Study Abroad Programs: 2010 to today
Nearly a decade of research on CSB/SJU Study Abroad programs has yielded significant findings related to intercultural development and other desired learning outcomes. Join members of our research team to learn more about the work we have completed on semester faculty-led programs. Learn how to engage on-site with students and how different models of study abroad work at CSB/SJU, and implications for new short-term embedded programs.

Thursday, November 14
GDCC Pres. Dining Room at St. Ben's
Emily Heying, Alexa Evenson, Alec Janning, Anna Widmer, and Joleen Barnett
Carbonation and Sweetness in Beverages Impact Perceived Satiety and Biomarkers in Healthy Weight Adults

Sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption is decreasing, partially due to the rise in popularity of low-calorie carbonated beverages. The objective of this study was to determine how carbonation (taste irritation), flavor, sweetness, or a combination of those factors impacted hunger and thirst responses. Healthy weight adults consumed six different beverages varying in carbonation, sweetness, and flavor. Blood samples were collected at baseline, and again at 10 and 45 minutes post beverage consumption. Blood was analyzed for ghrelin and glucose at each time point. Perceived satiety was measured at each time point. Participants also completed a sensory of analysis of each beverage during consumption. Data is currently being analyzed and will be presented at the forum.

Thursday, November 21
GDCC Gorecki 204A at St. Ben's
Kaarin S. Johnson
Original Voices of CSB Women; creating their own production

We open this production November 14th. (Thursday-Sun Matinee) It also runs Nov. 21-23. An ensemble of CSB students and their director will share how they developed their original production using their own stories, poems, songs, puppets and pantomimes. Those involved in truly collaborative project are eager to share their observations regarding their experiences at CSB and to answer questions from all who attend. This is certainly a "gendered" learning experience for all.

Thursday, December 5
HAB 117 at St. Ben's
Vincent Smiles
The Philosophy of Michael Polanyi: From the Discoveries of Science toThe Contemplation of God

This presentation focuses on the epistemology (“tacit knowing”) of the scientist-philosopher Michael Polanyi. The uniqueness of human beings lies in their knowing. As opposed to the animals, whose consciousness stretches no further than knowing the facts necessary for survival and reproduction, human knowing stretches for eternity and absolute truth. The philosophy of Michael Polanyi enables an understanding of the vast spectrum of human knowing, and this lecture will attempt to show that that spectrum runs from the discoveries of science, through the arts and humanities and even to the contemplation of God.