Convocations and events 2011-12
Augustana College's convocations are held from 10:30-11:20 a.m. on selected Thursdays in Centennial Hall. They are free and open to the public as well as the campus community. For more information regarding convocations, contact Connie Ghinazzi.
February 9, 2012
Brian Ellis as Charles Darwin: 'My Revolutionary Idea'
Imagine an afternoon at London's Royal Geological Society, with the affable, young Charles Darwin, among friends, telling the tales of his amazing adventure sailing around the world on HMS Beagle. Darwin tells humorous stories of his training as a naturalist, his insights into South American geology, his discovery of strange creatures on the Galapagos Archipelago and most importantly, the scientific evidence that lead to his revolutionary theory.
Storyteller and science teacher, Brian "Fox" Ellis steps into Darwin's shoes to model the scientific process, engaging listeners in a discussion of the facts so they can draw their own conclusions. Equal parts dramatic storytelling, stand-up comedy and show and tell, the audience is immersed in the intellectual world of one of history's greatest scientific minds. He brings an array of fossils, insects, plants and study skins so the audience can experience the discoveries of Darwin with hands-on analysis.
Ellis is a museum consultant who has worked with the Field Museum and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, among others. He also serves as artistic director for Prairie Folklore Theatre, a unique theatre company that celebrates ecology and history through original musical theatre. He is the author of 14 books; his children's picture book, The Web at Dragonfly Pond, won a national award as Conservation Education Book of the Year in 2006.
March 15, 2012
Michael Eisenberg, co-director, Project Information Literacy
(• Lecture video)
Michael Eisenberg is dean emeritus and professor in the University of Washington's Information School. He is the co-developer of the Big6 Model, the most widely known and widely used approach to teaching information technology skills in the world.
Eisenberg conducts research, writes, consults, and lectures frequently on information literacy, information management in learning and teaching, and information and library education. He earned his MLS from SUNY at Albany and his Ph.D. in Information Transfer from the School of Information at Syracuse University.
Eisenberg’s convocation address is specifically designed for students working on improving their researching skills. On Wednesday afternoon, Eisenberg will be featured at a faculty workshop sponsored by Center for Teaching & Learning. Eisenberg and Allison Head, co-director of Project Information Literacy, have done extensive work on how students research. Their articles can be found at projectinfolit.org/publications.
March 22, 2012
Marc Morial, CEO, National Urban League
(• Lecture video)
In a career that has spanned 25 years, Marc Morial has been an entrepreneur, lawyer, professor, legislator, mayor of New Orleans, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation's largest civil rights organization.
Morial comes to Augustana as the keynote speaker for the third White Privilege Summit.
As president of the National Urban League since 2003 he has been a catalyst for an era of change — a transformation for the 100-year-old civil rights organization. His eleadership has expanded the league’s work around an empowerment agenda, which is redefining civil rights in the 21st century with a renewed emphasis on closing the economic gaps between whites and blacks as well as rich and poor Americans.
Morial, a history, arts, music and sports enthusiast, has an adult daughter and is married to broadcast journalist Michelle Miller. Together they have two young children.
March 29, 2012
Gene Robinson, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire
(• Lecture video)
V. Gene Robinson has served as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire since June 2003. A 1969 graduate of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., he has a B.A. in American Studies/History. In 1973, he completed the M.Div. degree at the General Theological Seminary in New York.
Co-author of three AIDS education curricula for youth and adults, Robinson has done AIDS work in the U.S. and Africa. He has been an advocate for anti-racism training in the diocese and wider church. He holds two honorary doctorates and has received numerous awards from national civil rights organizations. His story is featured in the 2007 feature-length documentary, For the Bible Tells Me So. In 2008 his book, In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God was released. He is the subject of a new documentary film, The Truth Will Set You Free due for a 2011 release. The bishop's next book, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage, will be published in 2012.
Bishop Robinson has been active particularly in the area of full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender people. Working at the state, national and international levels, he has spoken and lobbied for equal protection under the law and full civil marriage rights. He has been honored by many LGBT organizations for this work. Bishop Robinson was invited by Barack Obama to give the invocation at the opening inaugural ceremonies at the Lincoln Memorial in 2009.
He lives with his partner, Mark Andrew, and enjoys entertaining and cooking, gardening, music and theatre. He is the father of two grown daughters and the proud grandfather of two granddaughters.
April 12, 2012
Gwendolyn Oxenham, filmmaker and star of Pelada
(• Lecture video)
Away from professional stadiums, bright lights and manicured fields, there’s another side of soccer. Tucked away on alleys, side streets, and concrete courts, people play in improvised games. Every country has a different word for it. In the United States, we call it “pick-up soccer”. In Brazil, the word is “pelada,” which literally means "naked"—the game stripped down to its core. It’s the version of the game played by anyone, anywhere — and it’s a window into lives all around the world.
Pelada is a documentary following Luke and Gwendolyn, two former college soccer stars who didn’t quite make it to the pros. Not ready for it to be over, they take off, chasing the game. From prisoners in Bolivia to moonshine brewers in Kenya, from freestylers in China to women who play in hijab in Iran, Pelada is the story of the people who play.
Oxenham received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame, where she won the Nicholas Sparks Prize, a post-graduate grant to finish her first book. A 2004 graduate of Duke University's programs in English and documentary studies, she made Essence Game and DWS, two short films centered on identity in sports.
At 16, Oxenham was the youngest Division I athlete in the history of the NCAA. A Duke captain, she made two All-ACC teams, led the Duke team in assists, and was named Most Inspirational Player. She played professionally for Santos FC in Brazil in 2005. Oxenham’s film, Pelada will be screened several times in the week before her visit. It is available for viewing from Tredway Library. While at Augustana, Oxenham will participate in a soccer match.
April 19, 2012
Ken Anderson, Augustana graduate and NFL quarterback
(• Lecture video)
Ken Anderson is an Augustana graduate in the Class of 1971, majoring in science and mathematics. He came to Augustana from Batavia, Ill., on a basketball scholarship. Having enjoyed playing sports year round in high school, he wrote wrote a letter to then-Augustana football coach Ralph Starenko. That letter, which has become legendary on the Augustana campus, asked Starenko if he (Anderson) "could try out for football." Starenko wisely said yes and the rest, as they say, is history.
Anderson enjoyed a stellar two-sport career at Augustana, excelling in both football and basketball. He was not only a 1,000 point scorer on the basketball team but also broke every record that had been set while playing quarterback for the Vikings. Upon graduation, Anderson was drafted into the NFL by the Bengals, 67th overall in the 1971 draft. He played for the Bengals for his entire 15 year football career. During those 15 years he was selected for four pro bowls, and also led the league in passing in 1974 and 1975, along with many other awards and honors.
Augustana retired Anderson’s jersey No. 14 on Sep, 14, 2011. After his playing days were over Anderson coached from 1993-2009 for the Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars (2003–2006) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2007-2009). In January, it was announced that thanks to Anderson and the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation, Augustana College is planning a major renovation and new construction project at the college's football field and physical education building. Tentative plans include stadium and locker room improvements, all-weather turf, and the addition of team meeting rooms.
Past 2011-2012 convoctions:
September 1, 2011
Marc Prensky and Mark Bauerlein debate: 'Are We Living Bradbury's vision?'
|Marc Prensky, left, and Mark Bauerlein|
This Augie Reads convocation, inspired by Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, explores the questions surrounding technology and its impact on social relationships and interactions today.
Authors Marc Prensky and Mark Bauerlein have very different views on technology and social relationships. The moderator will invite questions as we explore the issues raised by Bradbury almost 60 years ago.
Marc Prensky is a speaker, writer, consultant, game designer, and author in the field of education and learning. He holds degrees from Oberlin, Middlebury, Yale and Harvard, and has taught at all levels from elementary to college. He is the author of three books: Digital Game-Based Learning, Don’t Bother Me Mom – I’m Learning and Teaching Digital Natives: Partnering for Real Learning.
Mark Bauerlein earned his doctorate in English at UCLA in 1988. He has taught at Emory since 1989, with a break in 2003-05 to serve as the director of the Office of Research and Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. He has published many academic books and articles on American literature, history, and philosophy. His latest book, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future; Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30 was published in May 2008.
September 15, 2011
Dr. Wendy Smooth: 'Women in American Politics — Why So Few?'
Every election year it's the same question: Could this be the next “Year of the Woman” in American politics? Yet,the 2010 elections actually resulted in a decrease in the numbers of women elected to political office for the first time in several decades. Why are there so few women in politics? What will it take to increase women’s representation?
Wendy G. Smooth is assistant professor of public policy in the Department of Women’s Studies at Ohio State University and a faculty affiliate with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Currently, she is completing her first book, Power and Influence: The Impact of Race and Gender in American State Legislatures, which focuses on African-American women elected to state legislatures.
Her work appears in numerous outlets including the academic journals Politics & Gender and the Journal of Women, Politics and Policy as well as numerous edited volumes. Dr. Smooth is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically black Catholic university in the country. There she earned a B.S. in political science and went on to earn her graduate certificate in women’s studies, and both her masters' degree and doctorate in government and politics from the University of Maryland in College Park.
October 6, 2011
Shane Claiborne: 'What if Jesus Meant the Stuff He Said?'
What would the world look like if we took Jesus seriously? Shane Claiborne is a founding partner of The Simple Way, a faith community in inner city Philadelphia. The community is called an example of the New Monasticism movement. Claiborne is also an activist for nonviolence and service to the poor.
He graduated from Eastern University, St. Davids, Pa., and did graduate work at Princeton Seminary. He writes and travels extensively speaking about peacemaking, social justice and Jesus.
October 20, 2011
Tim Lomperis: 'The Making and Unmaking
of a Cold Warrior in Vietnam: A Spiritual Odyssey'
Tim Lomperis arrived in Vietnam just as America was leaving. Lomperis knows the Vietnam War, both as a soldier and as a scholar. In the latter role he has published extensively, including The War Everyone Lost--and Won, hailed as one of the best books ever written on that conflict. Even though he served two tours "in country" during the war's most frustrating period — from the infamous Easter Invasion through the Paris Peace negotiations — this is the first time he has written about the war from such a personal perspective.
Lomperis is a 1969 Augustana graduate. After serving two tours of duty in Vietnam, he earned an MA in international affairs from Johns Hopkins and an MA and PhD in political science from Duke University. He is a professor of political science at St. Louis University and his fifth book, The Vietnam War from the Rear Echelon: An Intelligence Officer’s Memoir, will be published in September 2011.
November 17, 2011
How Does Exploring the Past Deepen our Understanding of the Human Condition?
One way to answer such a big question is to take a quick, enlightening tour through the history of civilization. For this convocation, the tour guides will be Augustana faculty who will help frame the question by presenting ideas, issues, music and artistic images from the ancient, medieval, Renaissance and modern periods.
Augustana's first-year students follow the same path in their core sequence of liberal studies.
December 1, 2011
Acts of Faith: Interfaith Leadership in a Time of Global Religious Crisis
|Dr. Eboo Patel|
Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's Best Leaders of 2009, Dr. Eboo Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based organization whose mission is to build the global interfaith youth movement.
Author of the award-winning book Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, Dr. Patel is a regular contributor to The Washington Post, USA Today and CNN.
He served on President Barack Obama's inaugural Advisory Council for the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
His doctorate in the sociology of religion is from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.
December 8, 2011
Can the Environmental and Cultural Treasure of El Chocó Be Saved for the Residents and for Us?
Steve Cagan, documentarian and activist, will take listeners on a journey to unknown but fascinating and important environments and cultures. El Chocó is a rainforest area of the Pacific coast of Colombia with a very high level of biodiversity and special Afro-Colombian and Indigenous cultures. He will look at some of the flora and fauna, rivers and forest, and aspects of the daily life of the human cultures.
But this area is threatened by civil conflict, plans to destroy the forest for industrial agricultural and infrastructure projects and lumbering and gold mining. Cagan will look at the threats and how people are resisting them in daily life.
Cagan has been an activist for more than 35 years. He has received two Fulbright fellowships; a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship; and several Ohio Arts Council and New Jersey Arts Council fellowships. He has taught at colleges in the United States, El Salvador and Colombia. This Promised Land, El Salvador, co-authored with his wife Beth, was the 1991 Book of the Year, Association for Humanist Sociology.
December 15, 2011
Augustana Christmas Convocation
The campus community is invited to come together to celebrate around music and poetry before Christmas recess. Holiday attire is encouraged.
January 12, 2012
How Do Naked Newborns Become Boys or Girls?
At birth, there are only the tiniest of differences between the sexes. How do these translate into distinctions between the behaviors and preferences of little boys and little girls?
Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling is a leading expert in biology and gender development and has achieved recognition for works that challenge entrenched scientific beliefs.
Using a groundbreaking new approach to understanding gender differences, she is shifting old assumptions about how humans develop particular traits. Dynamic systems theory permits one to understand how cultural difference becomes bodily difference. By applying a dynamic systems approach to the study of human development, Dr. Fausto-Sterling's work exposes the flawed premise of the nature versus nurture debate.
January 26, 2012
(DVDs of the Jan. 26 convocation are available at the Thomas Tredway Library)
Callie Crossley is host of "The Callie Crossley Show" on Boston's WGBH-FM, 89.7. ‘Intelligent talk' is the hallmark of the one-hour daily show, which covers current events, local happenings, arts and culture, and water cooler buzz. The talk show is the latest chapter in the career of Crossley, who has been an award-winning broadcast journalist, a documentary filmmaker, and a television and radio commentator.
She visits Augustana as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow and will be available to visit classes. She enjoys talking with students about the collision of old and new media, media and politics, media literacy and the intersection of race, gender and media.
Crossley produced the Oscar®-nominated hour of the acclaimed documentary series, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965. Bridge to Freedom focused on the Selma, Alabama, voting rights campaign.
Crossley has won major film and television awards, including a national Emmy, Peabody, Christopher, Edward R. Murrow award and the top Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia award (Gold Baton), considered the Pulitzer Prize of broadcast journalism. She is the recipient of two Harvard fellowships, a Nieman Fellowship, and a fellowship from the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.