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About the Forum

The Forum provides opportunities for community members to offer public presentations on their scholarly and other interests. The Forum meets on Thursday afternoons during the academic year, from 4:15 - 5:15 p.m. Presentations are informal, generally lasting about 40 minutes, and are followed by a question and discussion period to end the hour.

All are welcome to attend - students are especially encouraged - and refreshments are provided.

Thursday Forum Presentations

September 8, 2016
Tyler Bruinsma
Little Theatre (Q346) - St. John's
Sustainable Global Medical Mission Work: The CSB/SJU Global Medical Brigade

International medical mission work, especially programs that include undergraduate students are under increasing fire as an unsustainable method for providing care to marginalized populations in developing countries. Medical mission work is often short-sighted and neglects to address the underlying causes of diseases. Annually, the CSB/SJU Global Health Affairs Club plans and executes a "Global Medical Brigade" to Honduras in conjunction with Global Brigades, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Global Brigades is different than most medical mission organizations in that it follows a holistic model to address health concerns. Through seven separate "brigades," Global Brigades address both immediate health concerns and there underlying causes.
Tyler Bruinsma '17 is a past President of the Global Health Affairs Club and was Program Director of the May 2016 Global Medical Brigade that involved 34 CSB/SJU students and 2 healthcare providers. Through the lens of the Global Brigades Holistic Model he will present on all aspects of global health incorporating experiences from the CSB/SJU Global Medical Brigades in 2014, 15, and 16.

September 15, 2016
Sarah McLarnan
Little Theatre - St. John's
Climate Change in Alaskan Native Communities: Lessons Learned in Adaptation and Resilience

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the average temperature in Alaska has risen by 3°F in the past 60 years, over double the rate of warming in the rest of the nation. Nowhere are the consequences more severe than in rural communities. Rising temperatures have resulted in numerous threatening conditions in Alaskan Native villages such as increased rates of erosion, melting permafrost, flooding, poor air quality, severe storms, and declining access to subsistence resources. These conditions affect not only the health and safety of the community, but also traditional culture and lifestyle.
This presentation will cover research performed at the EPA Alaska Operations Office and in Alaskan Native communities in the summer of 2016. It will address not only the impacts of climate change but also the intersection of culture, science, and policy, as communities work to respond in some of the most remote areas of the country. Accompanying research focuses on the role of agencies in adaptation and resilience, and the relationship between these two concepts. Finally, discussion will include the lessons learned from efforts in Alaska thus far and what the implications are for climate change adaptation nationwide.

September 22, 2016
Kaarin Johnston
Gorecki 120 - St. Ben's
Stretch Your Creative Powers

In this session, attendees will learn short activities which can build self-confidence as they tap into a person's ability to create.  Students will demonstrate some of the activities but attendees are encouraged to participate.  Many of these tried and true exercises are commonly used in theater and improvisation work and will work for anyone who is willing to try!  This forum may be especially useful for the shy or introverted person.

September 29, 2016
Bret Benesh
GDCC Pres. Conf. Room (Gorecki 201) - St. Ben's
A Practical Guide on how to Achieve a Better Work--Life Balance

I have been working on achieving a better work--life balance, and I have been successful in the last couple of years in approaching a 40-hour work week while increasing productivity and decreasing stress. I will describe some concrete actions I have taken to make this happen.

None of these actions are original, and there are no silver bullets. However, I have found that these actions have had a great positive impact on my life. 

October 6, 2016
Kingshuk Mukherjee
GDCC Pres. Conf. Room (Gorecki 201) - St. Ben's
Experiential Learning through a real and live case study model
Experiential learning is active learning process mainly through reflection and analysis.

Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) provides a holistic model of the learning process and is a multi-linear model of adult development, both of which are consistent with what we know about how we naturally learn, grow, and develop. The theory is called "Experiential Learning" to emphasize the central role that experience plays in the learning process.
The way I integrated experiential learning through "a real and a live case study model" as part of fulfillment for our Capstone Strategy class is as follows:
1. 6 weeks of "student consulting cell"
as a part of fulfilling the requirement
of their undergraduate capstone project
on advanced global strategy course
2. Reported to the corporation's middle
manager on project progress
on a weekly basis
3. Presented to the top management
in the form of a presentation and
 a detailed written report on the
strategic nature of the project at the
4. Integration of theories to the live
and real-time case model.

The conclusions and the goals achieved will be discussed during the presentation.

October 13, 2016
Edward Huff
Little Theatre - St. John's
Interfaith dialogue: Bridge Building

Present ways to engage in interfaith dialogue and building bridges between faith traditions, cultures, and non-Christian communities, using information, intentional listening, respectful questioning, and sensitivity before and during initial and follow up session, whether in a church setting, hospital, (as a Chaplain), or secular meetings. I am a nationally certified catholic chaplain, and have worked in interfaith settings for many years. I have been involved in Black Lives Matter in St. Louis and in Minneapolis/St. Paul the past two years.

October 20, 2016
Benjamin Durheim
Quad 264 - St. John's
Why 1517 Matters: On the Relevance of the Commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

This Fall begins a year-long commemoration of the Reformation's 500th anniversary. Based as this number is on the 1517 date of Martin Luther's 95 theses, one might expect the commemoration to center on Luther's contributions, or carry significant tones of Lutheran triumphalism. However, much of the official planning and documents have formed the commemoration into a present- and future-looking exercise. This presentation traces some of those avenues of discussion, and argues that the relevance of 1517's legacy has at least as much to do with popular ecclesial self-understanding as it does with official ecumenical or theological advances.

The discussion begins by briefly summarizing the slow turn toward ecumenism by the Lutheran and Catholic churches, leading to numerous official documents on theological convergence and divergence, including the 2016 document "Declaration on the Way." The discussion then turns to the interplay between official theological discussions and the ecclesial life they inspire (or inhibit) in popular religiosity. Specifically, the presentation argues that relegating ecumenism to official exercises and documents easily turns into a clerical cuius regio, eius religio ("whose realm, his religion"), wherein clergy and other church leaders tend to define rather than discern ecclesial relationships. The discussion finishes by arguing that the 1517 commemoration points more to developments in popular church life-especially liturgy and work for social justice-than official church leadership.

October 27, 2016
Karen McClain Kiefer
Little Theatre (Q346) - St. John's
Women in a Church of Mercy

Fifty years since the Second Vatican Council issued groundbreaking documents on the church in the modern world the way the church engages women has remained vague and uncertain, and leaves many feeling like strangers in their own home.  Pope Francis acknowledges the need to "ensure women feel they are not guests, but full participants in the various spheres of the life of society and the church" and has named a commission to explore women's diaconate in the Roman Catholic Church. How might this impact women in a Church of Mercy?

Through the lens of love, mercy and power, this presentation deliberately engages the voice of women in the gospels and tradition and exhorts the magisterium to recognize and invite women in conversation to guide the church in these times and the centuries to come.

November 3, 2016
Aubrey Immelman
GDCC Pres. Conf. Room (Gorecki 201) - St. Ben's
Personality and Leadership Profiles of 2016 Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Aubrey Immelman and his summer research assistants (Marcus Langley, Anna Faerber, and Rylee Pool) will present the psychological profiles of the Democratic and Republican nominees in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The presentation will outline the leadership implications of the profiles and compare the nominees' scores on the locally developed Personal Electability Index, which has accurately predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1996.

November 10, 2016
Larry Schug
GDCC Pres. Conf. Room (Gorecki 201) - St. Ben's
New Poems

I would like to share poems from my eighth book of poems to be tentatively released in late 2016 or early 2017.

November 17, 2016
Jean Keller & Kyhl Lyndgaard
Little Theatre (Q346) - St. John's
What are "Inclusive Pedagogies"?  What must faculty do differently to teach inclusively?

At the 2016 All Campus Forum Pres. Hinton called for us to create an "ecosystem of inclusion" at CSB/SJU. Faculty members' work with students is central to creating such an ecosystem, but what, after all, do we mean by "inclusion?" In this presentation, FYS and Humanities Mellon cohort members will provide an overview of our evolving understanding of "inclusive pedagogy," the research that supports it, as well as examples of such pedagogies that we are implementing in our fall 2016 courses.​

December 1, 2016
J. Andrew Edwards
Little Theatre (Q346) - St. John's
Conscience and Command: Ethical Voluntarism in John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, and Karl Barth

"Voluntarism" has become a dirty word in theological circles, with some arguing that it is responsible for everything that is wrong in modernity-from the consumerist excesses of the shopping mall to the political ambitions of Donald Trump. Yet voluntarism is multivalent, and its conflation into an expression of theological opprobrium precludes the possibilities that it offers for moral theology today. By comparing and contrasting three examples of ethical voluntarism-two from the late medieval period and one from the late modern-this presentation enables us to listen to such possibilities once again. Focusing on what these three theologians have to say about the faculty of conscience, we will ask (and consider answers to) the question: To whom does the conscience belong? Or, put another way: Whose voice is it?

December 8, 2016
Kathy Parker
Alucin Library - St. John's
Libraries in the Age of Google

What is the role of the Library at a time when information is ubiquitous? From places to deposit published knowledge, academic libraries have evolved to places that advance the development of communities to create and gain knowledge. Libraries house both the products and the processes of scholarship, with collections, services, spaces and tools that directly support teaching, learning, reflection and inquiry. We will walk through the renovation in progress at Alcuin Library to consider new ways the library sustains the mission and values of our institutions.


Find Out More

About the Forum

The Forum provides opportunities for community members to offer public presentations on their scholarly and other interests. The Forum meets on Thursday afternoons during the academic year, from 4:15 - 5:15 p.m. Presentations are informal, generally lasting about 40 minutes, and are followed by a question and discussion period to end the hour.

All are welcome to attend - students are especially encouraged - and refreshments are provided.