Spring 2013

Spring 2013 Forum Presentations

January 24, 2013
Jon Armajani
GDCC Pres. Conf. Room at CSB
Title = Iran, Hizbullah, Shiite Seminary Education, and Interreligious Dialogue:  Reflections on Some Contemporary Religious and Political Currents in Beirut, Lebanon
During a portion of the summer of 2012, I conducted field research on a book that I am writing, which will examine the influence of Iran and Shiite Islam on various countries and regions in the Middle East, including Lebanon.  (There are approximately 160 million Shiite Muslims in the world, with approximately 90% of Iran's population and 40% of Lebanon's population being Shiite.)  The Iranian-sponsored Lebanese Shiite group Hizbullah is one of the largest and most influential religious, political, social service, educational, and militant organizations in Lebanon.  My Thursday Forum presentation will analyze the work and curriculum of Hawza al-Rasul ("Seminary of the Messenger"), which is one of ten Iranian-sponsored Shiite seminaries (hawzas) in Beirut.  The presentation analyzes some of the courses, readings, and orientations of the seminary, while examining the ways in which the content of the seminary's education relates to Shiite seminaries historically and in other parts of the world today.  The paper will also discuss the work of an Iranian-sponsored scholarly institute near Beirut which has been a major center of Shiite scholarly work in Lebanon and has sponsored several sessions on Muslim-Christian dialogue.  The paper will consider the perspectives of Lebanese Muslims and Christians on these forms of dialogue, and on Iran's and Hizbullah's involvement in Lebanon more generally, while examining the Iranian government's active and expansive engagement in interreligious dialogue, including its cosponsorship of a conference on Muslim-Christian dialogue in June 2012 in Rome, Italy with members of the theology faculty from the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota.


January 31, 2013
Chase Becker
Quad 264 at SJU
Title = Designing a Cathedral in a Time of Transition

February 7, 2013
Terri Barreiro
Little Theatre (Q346) at SJU
Title = Teaching the Entrepreneur in Your Classroom
First year student survey results show that over 60% of CSB first year students and over 75% of SJU first year students report that "being successful in my own business" is very important or essential - this is much higher than the national average. Understanding the entrepreneurial mindset and offering entrepreneurial options within your courses can tap into this energy and engage students in the classroom in new ways.

This session will cover how to spot and engage entrepreneurial students, how to incorporate social and marketplace entrepreneurship in course assignments including examples from a broad spectrum of disciplines and provide an overview of the resources of the McNeely Center available to faculty and students.

February 14, 2013
Jeff Kamakahi
GDCC Pres. Conf. Room at CSB
Title = The Native Hawaiian Songs in "The Descendents": A Critique

February 28, 2013
Jean Keller
Little Theatre (Q346) at SJU
Title = In Quest of the Common Good
Philosophers often debate whether there is a common good and in what it might consist.  My concern is somewhat different.  My premise is that there are multiple plausible candidates for goods that benefit humanity as a whole, including but not limited to maintaining an environment conducive to human (and other) forms of life and caring for the next generation. The challenge we face is not so much one of theorizing the common good but rather that the insights theorists provide seem so distant from political and social reality that they have little or no practical effect on public discourse and public policies.  Identifying and addressing the obstacles that prevent us, as citizens and political actors, from identifying and pursuing the common good are ethically significant in themselves, as we need to think carefully about how to create the kind of society that promotes and sustains interest in and commitment to the common good. In this talk, I'll address some of the individual and societal challenges that prevent the common good from becoming a significant factor in our public discourse, along with some initial suggestions for ameliorating them.

March 14, 2013
Bob Kachelski
Quad 264 at SJU
Title = Students' Beliefs about Learning and Knowledge
College students, and people in general, differ in their beliefs about learning and knowledge.  Some believe that knowledge is made up of largely isolated bits of unchanging facts that can be learned fairly quickly from authorities such as professors and textbooks.  Others believe that knowledge consists of networks of connected, continually evolving concepts that are learned gradually through experience, critical thinking and active construction of links among related ideas. 

In this Thursday Forum, I will present the results of my research on this topic over the last several years, in which I have used surveys and interviews to examine over 500 college students' beliefs about the nature of knowledge and learning (epistemological beliefs) and how these beliefs are related to their academic performance, their study strategies, the teaching methods and classroom activities they perceive as effective, and other measures.

April 18, 2013
Kristina Timmerman, Hannah Von Arb, Stephanie Noyes
GDCC Pres. Conf. Room at CSB
Title = Science Education in the Field: Flying Squirrel Population Sampling
Two biology students received competitive summer fellowship research grants for the summer 2012 (Hannah Von Arb and Stephanie Noyes). The goal of the fellowship grants is to provide real-time science exploration outside of a classroom. 
Our project goals were to compare flying squirrel density between deciduous forest age stands and to quantify preferred habitat types. Using traditional scientific lab practices and field-based data collection techniques, we live-trapped more than 40 squirrels in three age stands. Animals were processed at the trap site. Information collected included weight, age, reproductive status, limb length, body length, and ear tag number. All squirrels were released at the site of capture. We also collected habitat data to test if there was a correlation between trap tree species and tree diameter.
Students were able to utilize knowledge gained in previous biology classes in addition to learning new techniques. A synthesis of previously and newly gained knowledge was accomplished via professional presentation (this forum, NCUR meetings in March 2013, LaCrosse Wisconsin, Scholarship and Creativity Day, Summer Fellowship Poster Session, August 2012).
This will be a two-tiered presentation: I as the instructor/mentor will review the pros and cons of working with students during the summer and Hannah and/or Stephanie will present the student position.  The culmination of this presentation will be a review of the benefits of this type of student/professor interaction (outside of a traditional classroom).

April 25, 2013
Benjamin Faber
Little Theatre at SJU
Title = Integrating Your Inner Reptile

May 2, 2013
Peggy Roske, Liz Knuth, Meg Flannery, and Megan Girgen
Title:  Telling CSB's Story: Preparing for the Centennial Year 
CSB is 100, and the year-long "birthday party" starts this spring!  Preparations for the celebratory year include research and work on the part of the CSB Archives' staff and its students.  Join us for a multimedia presentation on CSB's history and the story of the collaborative effort involved in its creation by two Archives student interns, Meghan Flannery '15 and Megan Girgen '13, along with Archivist Peggy Roske '77 and Archives Associate Liz Knuth, who are creating displays, working with oral histories, poring over decades of photos and publications, and figuring out ways to most effectively tell the story of the College.