Thursday Forum

The Thursday Forum is the #1 venue for cross-campus, collegial conversations and social, scholarly symposia. Faculty and staff are invited share their projects, papers, and/or presentations (whether in-progress or finished) with the CSB and SJU community.

Submit Thursday Forum Proposal Here

Proposals will be due for spring Thursday Forum events later in fall 2023.

Students are welcome to attend and can present with faculty or staff, but Thursday Forum presentations are reserved for faculty and staff scholarship, creative work, and projects.

Thursday Forum takes place the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the academic year from 3:00-4:00p

2023-2024 Schedule

September 14 (SJU, Learning Commons 378)

Essential Work: Doula Care and Maternal Health Inequalities in the U.S.

Ellen Block (Sociology)

Doulas provide physical, informational and emotional support to families before, during and after birth. Their presence improves birth outcomes, reduces infant mortality, and offers critical emotional care that supports reproductive health. Doulas have been suggested as a way to reduce these inequities. Based on interviews with 60 doulas across the United States, this research demonstrates how doulas see their role in promoting health equity, the impact doulas can make on maternal health outcomes, and the limits to what doula care can do. 

September 28 (CSB, Gorecki, President's Dining Room)

Working Across Institutions to Collectively Improve Inclusive Teaching and Learning

Amanda Macht Jantzer (Psychology), Kyhl Lyndgaard (Environmental Studies & The Writing Center), Deborah Pembleton (Global Business Leadership), Annette Raigoza (Chemistry), Jen Schaefer (Biology) & Laura Taylor (Theology & Center for Teaching & Learning) 

By collaborating across institutions of higher education, we can make more progress in alleviating the pressing diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and access (DEIJA) issues facing colleges and universities in the United States than any one institution may be able to accomplish alone. This is the central premise of the Inclusive Excellence 3 Initiative, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Together with over 100 other institutions, CSB+SJU is part of a learning community cluster, working closely with 15 other colleges and universities to address broad challenges in inclusive teaching and assessment. The work centers around three projects: 1) Evaluation of DEIJA Teaching and Learning, 2) Data-Informed Improvements of DEIJA Outcomes, and 3) Professional Development Programs for DEIJA Teaching and Learning. We will share our experience engaging with this broad network at a time when such efforts are under increasing attack nationally and faculty are reporting low morale. We will discuss how we can build upon past inclusion efforts and envision future opportunities for CSB+SJU faculty as we commence with this 6-year $505,000 grant initiative. 

October 12 (SJU, Learning Commons 378)

The Self Remake in Japanese Cinema  

Jeff DuBois 

Why would a director remake their own film? Prominent directors of Japanese cinema from Yasujiro Ozu to Hiroshi Inagaki to Nobuhiko Obayashi have done this very thing. This presentation explores what limitations, opportunities, or even the need for pure reinvention drove decisions to revisit a film or its source text and recreate it, often decades later. In some cases, such as Ozu's Floating Weeds (Ukigusa--1934, 1959), radical changes to the medium allowed what was first a silent black and white film to be remade with sound and color. In other cases, such as Kon Ichikawa's The Burmese Harp (1956, 1985), a pacifist war film had different resonance a decade out from Japan's defeat in 1945 or four decades out, and following the end of the Vietnam War by a decade. This presentation covers critical examples of self-remakes in Japanese film while situating them in the context of global cinema. 

October 26 (CSB, Gorecki, President's Dining Room)

Protein Engineering: Taking Advantage of Unique Properties of the 20 Naturally Occurring Amino Acids 

Lisa Gentile 

An important concept in drug design relies on detection of protein binding to other proteins or small molecules as a way to understand how proteins are turned on, turned off, or otherwise regulated. A common way to do this is with the conformational change proteins undergo upon binding. This conformational change is often detected using fluorescent properties of the naturally occurring amino acid tryptophan. Malate dehydrogenase (MDH) is a protein enzyme that is involved in a number of biological processes, including the Citric Acid Cycle. To be able to understand how MDH is regulated and how it hands off its product (oxaloacetate) to the next enzyme in the Citric Acid Cycle (citrate synthase), it would be ideal to use fluorescence spectroscopy. Interestingly, the human mitochondrial version of MDH does not have any tryptophan amino acids in its monomer sequence of 321 amino acids. I will present research on the work my CSBSJU undergraduate (and high school) students and I have done to engineer a version of MDH with a tryptophan in its sequence. This research involved creating a set of design criteria about which amino acids could be replaced with a tryptophan, doing the mutagenesis reactions to make the mutants, growing and purifying the resultant mutant proteins, and measuring their activity and fluorescence and their change in fluorescence upon ligand binding. We are excited about the possibilities that exist with one of the mutants we have designed. 

November 9 (SJU, Learning Commons 378)

Student Food Security at CSB+SJU: What We Know So Far 

Emily Heying 

This presentation will discuss the analysis of a variety of data collected over the past 5 years regarding student food access at CSB+SJU. 

November 30 (SJU, Learning Commons 378)

Margaret Bonds' Ballad of the Brown King: A new critical edition and introduction to her work 

Adam Kluck 

The Ballad of the Brown King is one of the treasures of our American musical heritage, but many problems exist with the current edition, including missing parts and the absence of an engraved score - only Bonds' original manuscript is available, and only to rent. Additionally, the piece is out of print, and so receives much less attention and performance than a piece of its quality should. I am finishing a new critical edition of the piece for Alfred Music, and will discuss how Bonds uses her expertise to weave several uniquely American musical styles into this libretto by Langston Hughes. 

Spring 2024 Dates

  • January 25 (SJU, Learning Commons 378)
  • February 8 (CSB, Gorecki, President's Dining Room)
  • Febrauary 22 (SJU, Learning Commons 378)
  • March 14 (CSB, Gorecki, President's Dining Room)
  • March 28 (SJU, Learning Commons 378)
  • April 11 (CSB, Gorecki, President's Dining Room)

Want to check out Thursday Forum presentations of the past? Visit the CSB+SJU Digital Commons to learn more.