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Fall Symposium Day 2016


Symposium Day: Crossroads starts with student/advisor meetings (at 9 a.m.) followed by five sets of concurrently scheduled presentations, discussions and performances from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. One featured speaker is scheduled during each of the first four concurrent sessions; the last set of sessions is an opportunity for reflection, bringing people and ideas together, and looking ahead. Symposium Day is an opportunity to debate, discuss, learn, and where we can, to act.

Schedule overview

9-9:45 a.m.    
Advising sessions

10-11 a.m.    
Featured speaker I/Session I

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.    
Featured speaker II/Session II/ lunch on your own

12:30-1:30 p.m.    
Featured speaker III/Session III/lunch on your own

1:45-2:45 p.m.    
Featured speaker IV/Session IV

3-4 p.m.    
Session V: Discussions, Reflection and Looking Ahead

Extended Session 1:45-3:30 p.m.

Africans: At Home at Augustana
Dr. John Pfautz, music and former co-director of 4 Africa study-abroad terms; Dr. John Hildreth, music Brunner Theatre, Brunner Theatre Center

Some members of the Africana Studies faculty host a dialogue between African students and non-African students where cultural appreciations will strengthen inter-cultural understandings.  Numerous African cultures will be represented by our students with traditional dress, music and dance as we discover uniquenesses and similarities among us.  This casually interactive session provides a disarming atmosphere enabling new friendships to take root. (Snacks will be served in the lobby).

Evening performance 8 p.m.

Tikkun Trio and Music at the Crossroads
Wallenberg Hall (inside Denkmann Hall)
Dr. Deborah Dakin (viola), Dr. Janina Ehrlich (cello) and Dr. Robert Elfline (piano)

What does it sound like to set forth on a new path? Tikkun will present a concert that both showcases composers at points of personal and professional transition and represents a turning point for the ensemble itself through the discovery of new repertoire.

9-9:45 a.m. advising sessions

Students meet with their academic advisors in assigned rooms.

10-11 a.m. Session I

Featured speaker: Ayana Mathis, author and assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop
Against the Loveless World: To be Raced in America
Gerber Center, Gävle Room

Our collective American history has assigned race to some groups: Blacks, Latinos, people of color of various extractions, while assigning a kind of racial neutrality to whiteness. Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, and Mathis's own novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie will aid her in raising and answering questions about how notions of being raced and unraced manifest historically and contemporarily; and how they impact every aspect of our American experience, from the intimacy of our hearts and minds to the law that govern us.

How Augustana Alums Thrive at a Crossroads: Highlights from the Winding Path Study of Augustana Graduates
Dr. Mark Salisbury and Dr. Kimberly Dyer, Institutional Research and Assessment
Black Box Theatre, Brunner Theatre Center

As much as we might want to believe that an ideal life after graduation is a pretty straight line, the findings from the Winding Path Study suggests that in fact the opposite might be true.  This presentation will highlight some overall trends and tell some specific stories that demonstrate how Augustana graduates often thrive when faced with a crossroads. In addition, we will examine the ways that the liberal arts education these individuals gained while in college may of empowered them to succeed in these moments.

More Than Just Man's Best Friend
Sara Diemer, president, and Ali Kerr, vice president of Viking Pups
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Hall

You see the dogs' friendly faces on campus but what is their true purpose? For a lot of people looking at getting a service dog this is their last hope to gain some form of independence in their lives. In our session we will be discussing the important work our dogs do for the clients, the difficult decisions put into getting a dog, and the simple moments that can have lasting impacts.

Quantum Crossroads
Dr. Cecilia Vogel and Matthew Polit, physics
Hanson 102

The universe meets a crossroads each time a measurement is made on a quantum system. What was uncertain becomes certain as the wavefunction collapses. We will give examples and physical consequences.

A Season Without: My NFL Sabbatical
Brett Biebel, English
Hanson 304

The 2015-16 NFL season came on the heels of immense controversy for the league, with concussion stories appearing in media outlets almost daily and high-profile controversies surrounding sexual assault and domestic plaguing college and professional stars alike. Yet, according to television ratings, NFL games consistently rate as among the USA's most-watched entertainment options. Given this, the natural question is: Is it okay to watch football? Does fan support help to sustain a league with a problematic culture? To find out, I, previously a lifelong football fan and Green Bay Packers shareholder, spent a year boycotting all forms of football, whether on television or in person. I wrote one essay a week, trying to grapple with the ethical implications of being a sports fan. This talk is a summary of the project's major themes.

Presidential Mock Debate
Sarah Funke, Student Government Association (SGA) vice president; Samantha Deforest-Davis, SGA parliamentarian; Chris Saladin, SGA senator; Caitlin Slone, SGA secretary; Dr. Heidi Storl, philosophy; College Democrats
Olin Auditorium

The Augustana Student Government Association is hosting a Mock Debate and Open Panel discussion featuring different politically minded students from our very own campus. Political points from a wide spectrum of topics will be shared, debated, and understood. Doing so will create an environment where students and faculty from all political beliefs are free from judgement and welcomed by understanding.

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Session II (or lunch on your own)

Featured speaker: Julie Baner ’02, production supervisor, Walt Disney Animation Studios
From Augustana to Disney: A Magical Journey
Gerber Center, Gävle Room

Baner will talk through her journey from student at Augustana College (class of 2002) to Production Supervisor at the Walt Disney Animation Studios working on such projects as the blockbuster hit Frozen and Oscar winning short Feast.  She will discuss the highs and lows in her career along the way and include advice on the post-graduation transition from entry-level jobs to successful career.

Ongoing Sessions: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Putting Words into Action: A Community Service Opportunity on Campus
Keri Bass, CORE: community service
First floor, Olin Center

Take time out of your day on Symposium Day to come and serve. CORE is presenting the chance for students to help local non-profit organizations with different service projects that will be available. Students are welcomed to come in for a few minutes to a couple of hours to help out.

The Clothesline Project: Voice against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Dr. Umme Al-wazedi, English and women's and gender studies majors
CORE Commons, Olin Center

The Clothesline Project allows members of the Augustana community to share their perspectives and express support for the effort to end violence on campus and in the community by making a T-shirt to hang on the Clothesline in October. Take a few minutes — or an hour — to make a shirt. Information, shirts and art materials will be available on-site.

Solar Observing with the Augustana Astronomy Club
Dr. Lee Carkner and Dr. Bill Peterson, physics and astronomy; Scott Davis, Astronomy Club
Outside Hanson Hall of Science (weather permitting)

The Clothesline Project allows members of the Augustana community to share their perspectives and express support for the effort to end violence on campus and in the community by making a T-shirt to hang on the Clothesline in October. Take a few minutes — or an hour — to make a shirt. Information, shirts and art materials will be available on-site.

The Augie Race Card Project
Madison Rodgers, Ryan Jenkins, Marlen Gomez, Mikey Poletto, Augustana Observer; Dr. Carolyn Yaschur, multimedia journalism
Fourth floor, Gerber Center

Tell the Augustana community about your race. Share a 6 word essay that shows your race, debunk the absurd stereotype, show the truth, and start thought provoking conversation about what race means on our campus.

Campus Kitchens Informational Session
Matt Nuguid, Ninna Mendoza, Brisa Almanza, DaeNia LaRhode, Mary Therese Thomas, Margaret Horn
Fourth floor, Gerber Center

Are you interested in helping others on campus with food insecurity? Then you may be interested in the new and upcoming program coming to Augustana called Campus Kitchens. Leadership team members will be answering questions and discussing additional information about the program.

Languages at Crossroads
Dr. Lisa Seidlitz, German; Dr. Margaret France, CORE; Dr. Mischa Hooker, Classics; Dr. Joseph McDowell, English; Dr. Ann Perreau, CSD
Black Box Theatre, Brunner Theatre Center

Major decisions can take people down paths they had never imagined. Sometimes crossroads lead to learning new ways to communicate, with different people, in different countries, in different languages. This panel discussion investigates personal and historical crossroads that can leave individuals and languages changed forever.

Heywire: Introduction
Heywire members: Camilo Duarte, Uxmar Torres, Daniel Williams, Jessica Lechtenberg, Ethan Conley-Keck, Annie Mitchell, Keenan Odenkirk, Nick Romero, Jessica Holzknecht, Josh Pride, and Jacob Kilburg
Brunner Theatre, Brunner Theatre Center

We are the improv comedy troupe on campus and would like for you, yes you, to join us for a time of learning and fun, more focused on the fun. We will display our abilities and open your eyes to the importance of improvisation in every day life. Along with that we will perform and have a discussion panel afterwards to answer any questions students may have.

"Here is the clavicle-snapped wish, the aorta's opened valves"
Rebecca Wee, English/creative writing; Students: Emilie Antolik, Jessica Estes, Michele Hill, Laura McNair, Katelyn Miller, Micheli Oliver, Matthew O'Neill, Brii Petty, Sage Shemroske, Emma Stough, Nathan Wendt
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Hall

Please come read! Augustana creative writing students will open by reading their own works prompted by the concept of "crossroads." Audience members are then invited to share their poems or short stories.

Climate Change in the Solar System
Dr. William Peterson, physics and astronomy; Dr. Lee Carkner, physics and astronomy; James Wetzel, physics
Hanson 102

We are at a crossroads in Earth's climate history. Human activity has been steadily increasing global average temperatures for the past 100 years, and sea levels are predicted to rise by as much as 10 feet in the next 50 years. Mars once had oceans on its surface, and Venus' dense atmosphere could have once allowed it to have surface water and life as well. What can we understand about climate change by looking at the other planets in our solar system, and how can we use that to determine the best path to take in protecting our own world?

The Psychology of Choice: Living a Life Consistent with our Values
Dr. Austin Williamson and Dr. Lisa Szafran, psychology
Hanson 304

We often make decisions when we feel anxious or hopeless; when we are consumed with unhelpful thoughts, or beset by disturbing memories. In many cases, the decisions we make based on distressing emotions, thoughts, and memories turn out to unhelpful in the long run. Come learn how research in social, cognitive, and clinical psychology can help us make decisions that bring us toward our values rather than just away from our distress.

Identity and Assimilation
Vanessa Dominguez and Luis Jauregui, Multicultural Programming Board
Olin Auditorium

Students of the Multicultural Programming Board will give a presentation on assimilation, focusing specifically on how students of minority groups may struggle holding on to identity when exposed to new environments and ideas.  A safe space will be created to encourage open dialogue throughout this discussion.

Augie at a Crossroads: Exploring Seminal Moments in Black History at Augustana College
Samantha Crisp, Special Collections
Special Collections Reading Room, Tredway Library

The materials in Special Collections document a number of seminal moments in Augustana's history related to civil rights, social justice, and the lived experience of students of color. Participants at this session will have the opportunity to engage hands-on with unique primary sources related to topics such as the founding of the Black Student Union, the organization of a Black Power Symposium and a sit-in for racial equality, and the intersection of related social justice movements, such as Second Wave Feminism and the campaign for a Student Bill of Rights. This will be an interactive, discussion-driven session grounded in a focused analysis of primary source documents and images. Space is limited for this session.

12:30-1:30 p.m. Session III (or lunch on your own)

Featured speaker: Neil Dahlstrom, manager, corporate archives and history, Deere & Co. Archives
Preparing for the Unknown: The Value of Liberal Arts
Gerber Center, Gävle Room

The world is changing faster than ever. How can a liberal arts education prepare you to take on these challenges? Using examples from his own journey through a liberal arts education and after, Dahlstrom will share insights into what it means to be a critical thinker and a lifelong learner, and how you can put the liberal arts to work for you.

Romans at the Crossroads: Crossing the Rubicon and the Milvian Bridge.
Dr. Emil Kramer and Dr. Mischa Hooker, classics
Black Box Theatre, Brunner Theatre Center

Drs. Kramer and Hooker will address two of the most important junctures in the history of Rome, and indeed the western world. Dr. Kramer will address why Julius Caesar fatefully decided to cross the Rubicon river in 49 BCE, in effect declaring war on Rome and setting in motion the fall of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire. Dr. Hooker will place in context the equally fateful battle of the Milvian Bridge in 311 CE, at which Constantine the Great is reported to have received a vision that would lead him, and the Roman Empire, to convert to Christianity.

Living at the Crossroads: What does it mean to be bi-cultural or a global citizen?
Dr. Allen Bertsche, CORE (study away); Dr. Megan Havard, Spanish; Dr. John Tawiah-Boateng, English; Dr. Michael Egan, education; Dr. José Boquin, chemistry.
Brunner Theatre, Brunner Theatre Center

Dr. Bertsche will lead a panel discussion of faculty whose lives span two or more distinct cultures. We will tackle issues of culture shock, adaptation, living in the space between identities, and the challenges and joys of having a foot in two different cultures. We hope this is an engaging topic for any student whose own life spans different cultures, who has an interest in being a global citizen or who is just curious about cross-cultural and intercultural understanding.

Fossil Fuel Divestment: We Can Change the Course of History!
Logan Green, sociology and philosophy
Hanson 102

Anthropogenic climate change is not something that "will" happen; it is already taking place. Augustana College contributes to this "race to the bottom" by its investment into the fossil fuel industry, if not other areas, too. We, as students and providers of Augustana's livelihood, can have an enormous impact on the decisions made here at the college. Join me at this informative presentation if you have an interest in protecting the biosphere!

Living A Life of Purpose
Brendan Griffin, psychology
Hanson 304

A crossroad is an intersection or a point where one needs to make a difficult decision. Last school year I was forced to make the decision to give up my obsession with exercise in order to have a social life. In doing so I came to the realization that exercise and eating healthy had controlled my life and that for the two years I was at Augustana I had  developed an eating disorder. During my presentation I am going to talk about my struggles with mental illness and how they shaped me into the person I am today.

They Say, I Say: Am I Headed Down the Right Path?
Michael Rogers, Office of Multicultural Student Life
Olin Auditorium

Have you ever thought deeply about why you chose your major or desired career path? Often times, "they" can pressure us into pursuing a path that we may not really be passionate about. "They" can be societal pressures, cultural beliefs, or family--who may steer us in one direction and this ultimately places us in a box. Utilizing Baxter Magolda's Self-Authorship Theory, this session will help you get to the root of your decisions and lead you down the path designed by you.

1:45-2:45 p.m. Session IV

Featured speaker: Dr. Alice Dreger, historian of medicine and science, a sex researcher, a mainstream writer, and an (im)patient advocate
Galileo’s Middle Finger: Why Social Progress Depends on the Protection of Academic Freedom
Gerber Center, Gävle Room

This talk draws from the speaker’s new book, Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science, and explores the ways in which freedom of research is under assault from multiple fronts, including identity politics activism, the corporatization and branding of universities, and social media shaming campaigns. The speaker, who has twenty years’ experience both as an intersex patient rights activist and as an academic historian, will use case studies to talk about the dangers researchers face today. She will also speak to how researchers can work individually and collectively to try to protect themselves. She argues they must do so not for their own sake, but for the sake of social progress in our fragile democracy.

Confronting Problems Through Creation
Kathryn Gorzek, Rebecca Kelly, Rowen Schussheim-Anderson and Eric Mathis, Art
Abbey Art Studio 2

The Art Department invites students to participate in a session involving reflection and creation based on the theme "Crossroads." A brief presentation on struggles will be shown. Following this, students will be encouraged to reflect on a personal problem they have encountered and create a piece of art based on their experience.

Life and Intelligence at the Crossroads: What can the Liberal Arts teach us about Artificial Intelligence, Biopolitics and the Future of Organic Life? A Roundtable Discussion
Dr. Charles Rice-Davis, French; Dr. Deke Gould, philosophy; Dr. Forrest Stonedahl, computer science
Hanson 102

In the last few years, remarkable advances in machine learning and syntactical analysis have made the possibility of true artificial intelligence seem increasingly possible. At the same time, increased capacity and demand for biometric information-gathering have enabled mass data collection, tracking and even predictive study of individuals and populations. These new technologies pose both exhilarating promise and serious concerns about the nature of free will, economic equality and the role of individuals in their own decision-making. To begin to answer these epochal questions, we turn to ethics, literature, logic and religion in the hope that the conceptual tools that have always served us in past dilemmas will be effective in addressing these future ones.

Finding the Courage to Change (Careers)
Jennifer Palar, business administration
Olin Auditorium

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself” – Leo Tolstoy.  Since our careers shape not only our identity but the world around us, career choices represent a catalyst for change.  The way we work has changed dramatically over the past twenty years.  Instead of staying in one profession working at the same organization employees today migrate through a series of positions at multiple organizations, crafting their jobs at an ever-increasing rate.  This session will share perspectives on career entry, career exit, and career change by exploring the decisions, challenges, and consequences of career crossroads.

Lessons from Pinocchio: Learning About Honesty and Ethics From the Perspective of Children
Jackie McCall '98 (education director at the Old Creamery Theatre in Amana, Iowa), Emma Brutman (theatre), Jake Phillips (theatre), Rowan Crow (secondary education, history)
Potter Theatre (Bergendoff 104)

Join the director, designers and cast members from the Augustana Theatre Arts Department's production of Pinocchio Commedia by Johnny Simons as they share their perspectives on the joys and challenges of creating a commedia dell'arte performance that will entertain and educate children of all ages.

3-4 p.m. Session V

Safe Spaces, Trigger Warnings, Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression: How can these co-exist?
Dr. Alice Dreger and Dr. Jane Simonsen, history, WGST; Dr. Jessica Schultz, psychology; Dr. Mark Salisbury, institutional research
Gerber Center, Gävle Room

SafeZone Training
Dr. Margaret France, English/CORE; Mikey Poletto, multimedia journalism
Hanson 102

On a day about intersecting paths and identity, learn how you create and maintain a campus environment that supports gender and sexual diversity!

Folding the Physical into the Musical
Dr. Michael Zemek (music), Jenny Lind Vocal Ensemble.
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Hall

The Blessing of Cranes by Abbie Betinis is a musical composition inspired by the story of a young girl who survived the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima only to face leukemia caused by the radiation from the blast. A Japanese legend promises a wish granted to those who fold a thousand origami cranes, so the girl made over 1300 cranes hoping to be made well. What if a choir could “fold” a paper crane musically, just by singing? Come fold cranes with the Jenny Lind Vocal Ensemble as we perform this new work created from the perspective of geometry and art transformed into sound.

WAUG live broadcast schedule
WAUG will broadcast Symposium Day’s featured presenters and conduct live interviews of featured speakers and other guests between sessions — 9:45 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.

9:45-10a.m. — WAUG kicks off Symposium Day
10-11 a.m. — Ayana Mathis live broadcast
11-11:15 a.m. — Recorded interview by Tawanda Mberikwazvo with Ayana Mathis 
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. — Julie Baner live broadcast
12:15-12:30 p.m. — Gage Myers interviews Julie Baner 
12:30-1:30 p.m. — Neil Dahlstrom live broadcast
1:30-1:45 p.m. — Andrew Morgan & Lily Ford interview Neil Dahlstrom 
1:45-2:45 p.m .— Alice Dreger live broadcast
2:45-3 p.m. — Ethan Conley & Jarek Andrzejewski interview Alice Dreger in Gavle
3-4 p.m. — WAUG Sym Day programming from The Brew