Spring 2009

January 23, 2009
Virginia Arthur, Jean Didier and Wendy Klepetar
Cultural Dimensions and Gender DiscriminationLaw in the U.S. Workplace: Hofstede's Theories of Individualism and Masculinity

It has been more than forty-five years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and forty-four years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, there has been a persistent disparity in employment outcomes for women and men. Women comprise more than half of the population and 47 percent of the workforce, but hold only 16 percent of the corporate offices in Fortune 500 companies and 5 percent of the senior management positions in mid- to large-sized firms. The median pay for women employed full time is 80 percent of that of men. There have been many explanations for these disparities from diverse fields such as sociology, economics and psychology, as well as legal studies. The work of cultural theorists in international management has not been considered as an explanation for the disappointing lack of progress towards gender equity in the workplace. In this first Friday Forum of 2009, Profs. Virginia Arthur (Management), Jean Didier (Management), and Wendy Klepetar (Manager) describe the work done by a leading scholar of international organizational behavior, Geert Hofstede, and use his theoretical framework of cultural dimensions to discuss both the form gender discrimination law has taken in the United States, and its impact (or lack thereof) on employment outcomes for women.

February 13, 2009
Julie Davis, Mike Borka, Sam Johnson, Jeff Kamakahi, and Cindy Malone
Māori Decolonization, Education, and Nation Identity in New Zealand

The Faculty Development Study Trip to Aotearoa (New Zealand) in June of 2008 focused upon the Māori people and their place in contemporary society. The trip explored the Māori decolonization movement particularly as pursued through education. It also investigated the incorporation of Māori people, history, and perspectives into the national identity and public culture of New Zealand. At today's (2/13) Friday Forum, members of the Faculty Development Trip to Aotearoa will share stories and insights inspired by their experiences on North Island.
Julie Davis, History
Mike Borka, Education
Sam Johnson, Art
Jeff Kamakahi, Sociology
Cindy Malone, English

February 20, 2009
Kristina Timmerman
Survival of the Andean Bear and the Role of Undergraduate Assistants in International Field Research

During the summer months of 2008, CSB/SJU students worked as field assistants to Prof. Kristina Timmerman (Biology) in Ecuador studying the mysterious Andean bear community. The spectacled (or Andean) bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is the only bear species found in South America. Habitat destruction and subsequent conversion of land to agricultural production is the largest threat to the survival of this charismatic species. Conservation of this endangered species requires reliable information about habitat and landscape use, food resource requirements and population dynamics. In her presentation, Prof. Timmerman discusses this research that she and her assistants carried out in Ecuador, including the study of the risk of bear-human interaction. In doing so, Prof. Timmerman discusses the benefit of this type of international scientific research and cultural experience for CSB/SJU students.

 March 13, 2009
Kristen Nairn
The Wonders of Tropical Geometry

Prof. Kristen Nairn (Mathematics) brings you into the strange and fascinating world of tropical geometry and explains how this 21st century mathematical system is being applied to our greater understanding of computational biology.

March 20, 2009
Jeffery Kaster
Will Our Children Have Faith?

The Catholic Church is in serious trouble. According to a recent PEW study, one out of three Catholics born and raised in the United States no longer affiliate with the Catholic Church. Why is catechesis/religious education not working? What does working mean? At this week’s Friday Forum (3/20), Jeff Kaster (Director, Youth in Theology/Ministry, School of Theology) will share results from his doctoral dissertation entitled “Assessing Christian Discipleship Formation in Catholic Youth Ministry.” Results from his survey of young adults who participated in the YTM program as high school youth provide some insight into what’s working and what’s not working in fostering faith-filled young adults.

March 27, 2009
Andrew Hatzenbihler
A Greener Future for CSB/SJU

This past summer, both the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University undertook the first step towards ensuring a more sustainable future by completing an extensive carbon audit of both campuses. This marked the first step on the road to improving our campuses in the coming years to make them ‘greener.’ With this information, the process of developing and implementing a comprehensive plan towards carbon neutrality is well underway on both campuses. At our Friday forum of March 27, Andrew Hatzenbihler and Michael Carr discuss the process of conducting a carbon audit and what the results were for both campuses. Based on these results, they then consider what the plans are for moving forward with making the campuses carbon free.

April 3, 2009
Gregory Schroeder
So, Does This Mean that Michael Chartschenko Will Be Remebered (Again)? OR Does a Memorial Dedicated at 11:00 AM on October 26,2002 Actually Have Its Origin in Events that Took Place at ca. 8:00 AM on May 4, 1945?

An Examination of the Long Path to the Salzburg Antifascism Memorial, Including a Consideration of the Struggle to Determine the Subjects and Purposes of Memorials in the Wake of National Socialism. Among Other Things.

April 17, 2009
Lisa Lindgren
Consumer Privacy: An Oxymoron?

BE VERY AFRAID! There are many businesses out there that are using a whole host of technologies to create massive databases containing information on what we buy, what we do on the web, and even what we say on our cell phones and blackberries. They do this to target their marketing to individuals who are more likely to be receptive to their message (e.g., video gamers may like to receive special promotions on the latest game). The reach of these companies are widespread and the costs to consumers great and growing. At this week’s Friday Forum (4/17), Prof. Lisa Lindgren (Management) will describe the most abusive of these technologies and marketing approaches; in doing so, she will expose the present and future threats to you as a consumer and private citizen of such awesome information power.

April 24, 2009
Steven Thomas
The Ethics of Single Mothers and Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter

The Octuplet mom, Barack Obama raised by his single mother, or the popular show Gilmore Girls? Today there are countless media representations of single mothers working hard to manage their lives in difficult—and sometimes even hostile—environments, and among them all, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is by far the most famous. But is Hawthorne’s novel relevant for a twenty-first century United States audience? In what ways does it still succeed in providing a usefully imaginative tool for critiquing the hypocrisies of society and for thinking through the ethical challenges of parenting? In what ways does it fail? At this week’s Friday Forum (4/24), Prof. Steven Thomas (English) will explore these questions by considering a wide range of cultural evidence: postmodern literary revisions of The Scarlet Letter, popular movies and television shows about single mothers, census and sociological data, and legislation on family benefits and welfare.

May 1, 2009
Michael Livingston and Noreen Herzfeld
Could Robots Have Souls?

What better way to conclude the current Friday Forum Season than with this lively and penetrating debate on one of the most fundamental issues of our time. Join Prof. Michael Livingston (Psychology) and Prof. Noreen Herzfeld (Computer Science and Theology) as they wrestle with the central questions of life, existence, and what it means to being human in the 21st century.