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WVU Honors College announces 2018 Faculty Fellows Lecture Series


Standing left to right: Elizabeth Cohen, Roger Carpenter, Sara Anderson, Derek Johnson, Jay Malarcher

Seated: Beth Toren, Earl Glock
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Imagine taking courses on some of the hottest topics today—energy, banking, child care and the dark side new media—from some of the best professors on campus.

This fall, the Honors College at  West Virginia University opens up its courses in a series of lectures to showcase the faculty’s expertise. Selected from a competitive pool of applicants, Honors Faculty Fellows are chosen to design new courses that fit within the general education framework. As part of their fellowship, each professor gives a public lecture, which allows students to learn more about each topic and the community a chance to experience an honors course for an evening.

“These seven professors are experts in their fields and this is an opportunity to experience great teaching,” said Damien Clement, assistant dean of the Honors College. “Their courses are innovative, topical and designed to enlighten and challenge us all.”

Humor: The Sixth Sense? - Comedy is more than entertainment. It invites us to see the world through a certain lens, one that looks for a correction to a social problem or inefficiency. Tragedy works on the emotions, but comedy works on reason. Cognition plays a huge part in “getting” the joke. Comedy forces us to make sense of cognitive dissonance and to re-order the world around us for the better, which is much more productive than a simple laugh. Jay Malarcher, associate professor in the College of Creative Arts, will speak Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. in Mountainlair Ballrooms.

The Dark Side of New Media – “Black Mirror” is a popular, critically acclaimed dystopian science fiction television show available on Netflix. The show has been hailed as a modern “Twilight Zone.” Each episode of the show explores unanticipated—sometimes frightening—consequences of new media and technology. This presentation will use the show’s dark, prophetic visions of a technology that permits people to record and replay everything that they do as a springboard to discuss current research how social media use affects our memories and our monitoring behaviors in close relationships. Elizabeth Cohen, associate professor in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences will speak Thursday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.    

How Banking Has Shaped American Politics and Vice Versa - The 2008 financial crisis inspired an intense debate in America about the relationship between banks and politics. The bailouts of big banks outraged millions of Americans, while the revolving door of bankers and politicians inspired calls for reform. Yet few today understand the long history behind this debate. This lecture shows that much of American politics—from the formation of political parties to the extension of the power of the government—has been about banking issues. It will also show that our modern financial system is the result of centuries of political manipulation. Earl “Judge” Glock, visiting assistant professor, in the College of Business and Economics will speak Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Gluck Theater, Mountainlair.

Perspectives on Caring - What does it mean to be caring? How is caring lived in the human experience? The premise of this lecture is that caring is a moral imperative, and essential for becoming professional scholar and global citizen. From classic and contemporary works, this is a concept to be explored through interpersonal, theoretical, ethical and socio-political lenses. The different lenses allows for looking at principles that guide action from different perspectives. Roger Carpenter, associate professor in the School of Nursing will speak Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Gluck Theater, Mountainlair.             

The Importance of Energy Literacy - Improving energy literacy is crucial in today’s science, technology, energy and math driven society. There are the big “Es” of energy – economics, efficiency, and emissions. What research and development will drive the future of the energy sector? This talk provides an overview on the topics covered in the class and will answer questions on common misconceptions related to energy use in power generation and transportation. Derek Johnson, research assistant professor in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, will speak Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms

What's Your Story? - This lecture will share inspiration to help attendees channel their own creativity and strengthen their voices and stories. They will learn about a class where students are following a syllabus based on the hero’s journey and channeling their inner Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games” or Loki from “Thor: Ragnarock.” Storytelling with archives amplifies student voices and shares visions of a West Virginia they imagine. Students work as an ensemble, collaborating as founders of their own communities in a fictional West Virginia county that will exist online. Beth Toren, Interdisciplinary, cultural, and film studies librarian with WVU Libraries, will take the audience on this journey Sept. 20 at 6 the Mountainlair Ballrooms    

Science and Public Policy: How Evidence Can Improve the Lives of Children and Families – If children are the future, why do American children still go hungry and live in substandard housing? This lecture will explore the tension between our values of nurturing for children as a society with the actual policies and programs that are delivered to our youngest citizens. Sara Anderson, assistant professor, in the College of Education and Human Services will discuss these perspectives from her research on social policies for families Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Gluck Theater, Mountainlair  



CONTACT: Damien Clement, Assistant Dean, Honors College; 304.293.2100

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