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Fall Symposium Day 2019

What Is a Life Well Lived?
Wednesday, October 9, 2019


9:15-10:15 a.m.
Augie Reads Featured Presenter: Tochi Onyebuchi
Concurrent Sessions I

10:30-11:30 a.m.
Feature Presenter: Chris Stedman
Concurrent Sessions II

11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Featured Alumni Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth J. Stigler '10
Concurrent Sessions III

1-2 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions IV

2-3 p.m.
Time Reserved for Advising – Students, please look for communications from your advisor for more information.

Volunteer, service and other engagement activities are available throughout the day. See “Drop-in Events” at the end of this schedule.

Session I 9:15-10:15 a.m.

tochi onyebuchi
Tochi Onyebuchi

Featured Presentation

Imagined Fates
Tochi Onyebuchi bio
The Gerber Center for Student Life, Gävle Room

The corporal dangers facing black Americans in America often force them into exercises of imagination. For survival, we must imagine how a police stop might escalate into our murder. We must imagine the economic loss that might result from an argument in the office. A million permutations on worst-case scenarios pepper the minutes of our existence. We might also imagine more hopeful futures. What is the role of the writer who engages aspects of white supremacy and black survival in their work, and whose chief tool is their imagination? This is the question I'd like to examine and, hopefully, address in this talk.

Concurrent Sessions I 9:15-10:15 a.m.

Would $100 Make You Happy?
Zachary Larson ’01, Augustana trustee; founding partner and wealth advisor at IntentGen Financial Partners; Sam Schlouch ’10, Augustana major gifts officer
Hanson 102

Winston Churchill is credited as saying, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Recent research seems to concur, as findings have indicated a link between philanthropy and happiness and, at times, even a link between giving and better health. Join Zachary Larson ’01, founding partner and wealth advisor at IntentGen Financial Partners, and Sam Schlouch ’10, Augustana major gifts officer, as they discuss the purpose of money and the difference between living a happy life and a meaningful life.

Called to Places, Partners and Professions (panel discussion)
Dr. Jason Mahn, director, Presidential Center for Faith and Learning; moderator Ariel Rogers ’12, area coordinator for Transitional Living Areas; Michael Rogers ’12, director, Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity; Jack Cullen ’13, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce; Maria Ontiveros, Mercado on Fifth 
Olin Auditorium

Graduates of Augustana feel called not only to certain professions, but also to lifelong partners and to certain communities and places. This session will feature Augustana alumni who have felt called to live in the Quad Cities, to pursue particular professions and to do so beside a lifelong partner. They will speak about the joy they experience when these vocations line up, and how to negotiate them when they seem to pull in different directions.

EmBodyment 101: The Fullest Expression of You
Sarah Stevens, founder, The Beautifull Project 
Hanson 127

Join Sarah Stevens, founder of the Beautifull Project, as she explores the ways we allow ourselves to show up in the world and why embracing all bodies undeniably helps us become our best selves. This session will discuss how toxic cultural norms such as weight-stigma and thin-privilege keep everyone trapped in a cycle of “never-enough” and how letting go of this demeaning form of social currency can lead to a new culture of freedom through full emBodyment.

Gender-Inclusive Language in the Classroom and in Everyday Life
Dr. Kiki Kosnick, WLLC, assistant professor of French; Rebecca Garbe ’19, anthropology and French
Wilson Center

Feeling accepted and affirmed in one’s identities can be a meaningful part of a life well lived. Such acceptance and affirmation is often especially impactful—even deeply necessary—for individuals who experience marginalization. With this in mind, this session deals with strategies to promote gender inclusivity through language use with a focus on non-binary and transgender identities. Topics include: the importance of not making assumptions about gender identity and/or personal pronouns; the possibilities of gender-neutral language and pronoun avoidance; developing familiarity with non-binary pronouns; and cultivating ease in using all pronouns mindfully and intentionally to affirm individuals’ identities. Faculty and staff are especially encouraged to attend both to become stronger allies and to share successful strategies. 

Planetarium Show to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of the John Deere Planetarium
Dr. Lee Carkner, director, John Deere Planetarium
John Deere Planetarium

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the John Deere Planetarium. See a new full-dome planetarium show in the recently upgraded planetarium with high-resolution full-dome video, animation and surround sound.

Session II 10:30-11:30 a.m.

chris stedman
Chris Stedman

Featured Presentation

Faitheist: How an Atheist Found His Vocation Studying Religion at a Lutheran College 
Chris Stedman bio
Community organizer, interfaith activist, writer
The Gerber Center for Student Life, Gävle Room

In a world where religious conflict is front-page news and the number of people who identify as religious is declining, is the chasm of understanding between people of different faiths and atheists and agnostics growing wider? Can people of diverse religious affiliations identify shared values and build partnerships for the common good, or are our disagreements too vast? In this talk, Chris Stedman (author of Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious) will share his story—including how studying religion at a Lutheran college helped him understand his identity as a queer atheist, find community and discover a passion for bringing people of different religious and nonreligious perspectives together for dialogue and cooperation. Through his story, he will explore what theists and non-theists can gain from being in dialogue, how we can come to better understand one another, and how we can work together to improve the world we all share.

Concurrent Sessions II

Yoga Calm
Ashely Ehrecke, Quad Cities Yoga Foundation
Circle on the Quad (rain location: Wallenberg Hall)

Enjoy outdoor yoga surrounded by the natural beauty of campus. This class combines breath and flowing movements to cleanse and recharge the body, mind and spirit. All levels are welcome.

LGBT Supreme Court Cases 2019
Cole Tiedje ’20, history; Dr. Laura Greene, English 
Hanson 127

This session talks about three LGBT Supreme Court cases coming in October about legality of discrimination in the workplace and its relation to openness at Augustana. 

Concierge Marketing: The Pursuit of True Customer Understanding
Dr. Hyeong-Gyu Choi, business administration
Olin Auditorium

Our daily lives are becoming increasingly hectic with information overload, continuous exposure to advertisement and the pressure to be digitally engaged with others via social media, which are all partial reflections of what we endure daily. As a result, a leisurely walk, blankly staring into nature’s beauty with a cup of coffee in hand, and a short moment to stare in awe at the daily wonders encountered in life are all becoming things of the past. We are increasingly forced to strategically distribute our mental energy. Modern-day customers truly need moments to focus on themselves and fully live their lives, so marketers who are armed with intimate customer data and who have a thoughtful understanding of busy lives can help customers focus on what they enjoy and live in true pursuit of happiness and lifelong improvement. 

Measuring the ‘Meaning of Life’
Dr. Ann Perreau, communication sciences and disorders
Hanson 337

Quality of life scales have been developed and implemented in research and clinical practice to measure individuals’ feelings about their own health and well-being. We developed a preliminary questionnaire designed to measure ‘The Meaning of Life’ from  a broader perspective that includes items assessing communication. In this presentation, we will discuss what exactly is meant by ‘quality of life,’ and how it can be measured or assessed. We will share the results of our work in developing a questionnaire assessing quality of life, including responses from patients with tinnitus and cochlear implants.

Heywire, Augustana Improv Group
Anderson Pavilion (rain location: Larson Hall in Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts)

Heywire is Augustana's improv comedy group. See a mini pop-up show, where between games the benefits of improv, comedy and teamwork that can be enjoyed in everyday life will be discussed.

Session III 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

dr. elizabeth j stigler '10
Dr. Elizabeth J. Stigler '10

Featured Presentation

Failing Big, Living Well
Dr. Elizabeth J. Stigler ’10 bio
Visiting assistant professor, Miami University
The Gerber Center for Student Life, Gävle Room

In a success-oriented culture that emphasizes the 'no days off' mentality, it would seem that there is little room for failure. Indeed, we are surrounded by systems of valuation that situate 'winning' and 'losing' as opposite ends of a very strict metric. My talk aims to trouble this arbitrary distinction and suggests that failure is an essential component of a well-lived life. Drawing on my own experiences, including my time at Augustana, I will invite each of us to reconsider our individual orientation towards failure.

Concurrent Sessions III 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Ancient Wisdom on a Life Well Lived
Dr. Eric Stewart, religion; Dr. Mischa Hooker and Dr. Emil Kramer, Classics
Hanson 127

This session addresses sometimes competing ideas among early Greeks, Romans and Christians concerning a life well lived.

Now We're Cooking 
Mikaylo Kelly ’20; Kegan North ’20, business administration
Erickson Basement Kitchenette

This is a hands-on cooking class where a delicious, quick and affordable meal will be made. Everyone will be able to try the food and/or take some home (accommodating all diets and allergy restrictions). Come hang out and skill up with Campus Kitchen!

Living with Mental Health Stigma Free (panel discussion)
Μark Sharp ’20, Augie NAMI, biochemistry, physics, chemistry; Courtney Baker ’20, CSD and Spanish for Professional Use; Emmy Sharaan ’22, neuroscience and business administration
Olin Auditorium

A panel consisting of students, faculty and members of the community will discuss topics surrounding mental health that are usually stigmatized. Because of the stigma many people do not know the answers to common questions. Prepared questions will include: what it's like to be hospitalized, what it’s like to take incompletes, what it’s like to go to a psychology/psychiatry session. There will be time for the audience to ask questions, too.

Is Less Sometimes More?
Dr. Daniel Lee, Marian Taft Cannon Professor in the Humanities; Taylor Ashby ’20, psychology and religion; Ranzy Collins ’20, biochemistry
Hanson 102

We live in a culture that equates affluence with quality of life, a culture in which mass advertising tells us that we need to have all the latest products, a culture which encourages being involved in all sorts of clubs and activities, leaving precious little time to recharge one’s batteries. A culture in which overloading one’s schedule can lead to serious health problems. Might it not be the case that less is sometimes more? That getting more involved in activities one finds meaningful is preferable to trying to be involved in many different activities? That maintaining a healthy lifestyle contributes more to quality of life than acquiring material possessions? That moderation in consumption will result in greater quality of life?

‘My Anime Girlfriend’: An Academic Examination of the Waifu Movement
Gavin Wink ’21, English education 
Hanson 334

Love. Romance. They’re difficult to quantify, but most would say that a loving relationship must include, at a bare minimum, two real people. Yet this overlooks the ever-growing Waifuist Movement, a group whose members are engaged in committed romantic relationships with people who don’t exist. These individuals who pledge their affections to fictional characters from anime, video games, novels, etc. prove that there may be more to the notion of “True Love” than you would have considered. This session will share the stories of these Waifuists, and attempt to illuminate just how and why someone may find themselves falling for a person who will never exist.

Concurrent Sessions IV 1-2 p.m.

Stumbling Along the Path of Meditation
Dr. Jake Romaniello, ELL specialist, Reading/Writing Center 
Wilson Center

More than 2,500 years ago, the Buddha showed a way out of suffering, and so today many in the West are familiar with the Buddha’s teachings of mindfulness for stress management. Lesser known is the Buddha’s teaching on cultivating ethical conduct, which establishes the condition for peace of mind. This workshop will provide space and time to consider one’s own ethical stance toward a future livelihood. How might the combination of both mental and ethical development lead to a life well lived?

Campus Health Promotion Focus Groups
Dr. Lena Hann, public health; PUBH 350 students
Hanson 102

Screen reader support enabled.
Student teams from PUBH 350: Health Behavior and Promotion will lead focus groups about a variety of health issues currently impacting the Augustana community. Join one of the focus groups to provide your perspective on health promotion ideas! Topics include: nutrition, smoking/vaping, disability/accessibility, marijuana, prescription drug use/misuse, sexual education, mental health, and access to primary health care. Students, faculty, staff and other Augustana community members are invited to participate. Feedback will be used to guide health promotion program proposals that will be presented to Augustana community stakeholders. Focus groups are IRB-approved and participation is voluntary.

Listen! There's Music in a Well-Lived Life
Dr. Sarah Burns, music education
Larson Hall in Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts

This session will outline a pathway for pursuing a life well lived by examining the social and cultural impact of music and how it strengthens our understanding of theory of mind, empathy and cultural cohesion. This musical pathway leads us to recognize that although other people's thoughts and beliefs may differ from our own, they are all appreciated and positively valued in a sense of community. Music, therefore, serves as a bond that draws members of society closer together. In this interactive session, we will listen to several pieces of music that represent this unique aspect of music. Participants will be invited to share their own music selections and experiences. 

Conversation with Chris Stedman
Chris Stedman, director, Humanist Center of Minnesota; Dr. Jason Mahn, director, Presidential Center for Faith and Learning
Evald Great Hall

This is an open session for students to engage in informal conversation with featured speaker Chris Stedman about lives of meaning and purpose, interfaith relations (especially among nones/atheists), sexuality and religion, and more.

Civil Discourse Panel and Practice 
Yen Dao, director, Learning Commons; Omidullah Barikzay ’21, computer science and accounting; Chris Beyer, director, Residential Life; Wendy Dykstra ’21, philosophy, creative writing and English; Dr. Deke Gould, philosophy; Claire Koszewski ’20, philosophy and English; Mary Windeknecht, first-year advising
The Gerber Center for Student Life, Gävle Room

*Please note this extended session will end at 2:30 p.m.

A panel of faculty, staff and students will share their expertise on how to have a civil conversation with others who do not share the same viewpoints. The audience will get to vote for their favorite debate topic out of these three: Is a moral life a good life? How much privacy are we willing to give up for safety? Is Greek life helpful or harmful to the college community? The panel will demonstrate civility by debating one of these topics and invite the audience to practice civil discourse in a small-group setting.

Janani's Juliet – A Documentary 
Pankaj Rishi Kumar, film director 
Olin Auditorium 

*Please note this extended session will end at 2:15 p.m.

Watch Janani's Juliet, followed by a discussion with the director. This film was inspired by one of the exceptionally talented Tamil French Pondicherian, who has straddled the disparate worlds of French and Tamil theatre. Kausalya lost her husband (Shankar), when they were attacked by her own family. They had married against their families’ wishes. Deeply disturbed by a spate of honor killings in India, Indianostrum, a Pondicherry-based theatre group sets out to introspect the implications of caste, class and gender. They adapt Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. What emerges in the process is a critical reflection and commentary of the contemporary world where love struggles to survive. 

Drop-In Events 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Tie Blanket Service Project
Katherine Hogan, president, Circle K International
Potter Hall in Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts

Make tie blankets that will be donated to a homeless shelter.

Free and Confidential HIV/STD Testing 
+IMPACT and the Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee
Black Box Theatre in Brunner Theatre Center

With the help of The Project of the Quad Cities, +IMPACT and the Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee will provide students with free and confidential STD/HIV testing. 

The Clothesline Project: T-shirt Making
Sexual Health and Violence Prevention Committee
Olin 201

The Clothesline Project allows members of the Augustana community to express support for the effort to end violence on campus and in the community by making a T-shirt to hang on the clothesline on campus in October. 

The Gray Matters Collective
Haley DeGreve ’20; Kayla Dillon ’21; Sage Sanders ’21; Farrah Roberts, director, Student Well-Being and Resiliency
Quad near the library (rain location: The Brew)

The Gray Matters is a mental health collective seeking to end the stigma surrounding mental disorders of all forms, as well as build an alliance to provide support for those struggling with one or more mental disorders. 

Symposium Day is coordinated by the Symposium Committee (Dr. Kelsey Arkle, Dr. Hyeong-Gyu Choi, Dr. Deke Gould, Dr. Rupa Gordon, Dr. Sangeetha Rayapati, Dr. Jeff Renaud, Keri Rursch, Dr. Jessica Schultz) and supported by the Institute for Leadership and Service.