The Great Professors Faculty Symposium was held on Monday, Sept. 11, in the Mikkelson Auditorium of the Froiland Science Complex. This event was free and open to the public and was livestreamed on Facebook Live. Moderators were Dr. Stephen Minister and Dr. Mark Larson.
The symposium featured the following 10-minute sessions that are popular First-Year Seminar (FYS, for our freshman students) or Augustana Research and Artists Fund (ARAF, for faculty).
Sanitary Imperialism: The Politics and Punishment of Deviant Defecation (ARAF)
by Dr. Danny Gerling, English
2.6 billion people worldwide have no access to a toilet; meanwhile, Americans flush more than 2 trillion gallons of drinking water down the toilet annually. Neither of these trends is sustainable and we are at a moment of significant change. This course critically analyzes the social and environmental consequences of the way our culture and others treat excrement. Using essays, field trips and interviews with engineers, authors and activists, we examine various cultures at key historical moments when the role of excrement shifted — for example, from a commodity to a waste — as well as the present and future of sanitation and toilet technologies.
Dying to Know: Dying as Personal Journey in a Social Context (FYS)
by Dr. Susan Schrader, sociology
"Death will come to thee, and to thee, and to thee, but not to me." Sentiments like this cloud our understanding of and preparedness for the dying process and the inevitable ... death. What constitutes a life "well lived" and how does the answer to that question shape the conversation about what constitutes a "good death"? Using readings, film, and field trips, this course will invite reflections on the personal, social, economic, ethical and familial implications of how, when and where dying occurs.
Hacking the Human Genome: Past, Present and Future of Designer Babies (FYS)
by Dr. Cecelia Miles, biology
Science is closer than ever to producing genetically modified human beings, GMO babies. Cutting-edge biotech discoveries have made this a real possibility. Should they do it? While the technological breakthroughs are brand new, ideas about manipulation of human genetics are not. We will examine the past, present and future of “designer babies” by reading, discussing, writing and constructing arguments to challenge each other on this controversial topic. What does the future hold for engineering the “perfect baby”?
Likes, Comments and Narcissism on Facebook (ARAF)
by Dr. Anne Zell, psychology
We'll learn how people's level of narcissism, as measured by the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, may shape their outlook vis-à-vis receiving responses on their Facebook status updates.
Baseball Heroes: Saints and Sinners, Saviors and Villains (FYS)
by Dr. Richard Bowman, religion
What are the characteristics of a baseball hero: on-field performance or off-field character? Who creates and promotes baseball heroes: journalists, team public relations departments or players themselves? What are the roles of media (print, broadcast, and social) in the creation of heroes? Discover and discuss heroes from baseball’s storied past. Follow on Twitter today’s players. Who and what makes a baseball player a hero? You decide!
Nursing Students’ Perspectives of Clients Experiencing Poverty (ARAF)
by Dr. Michelle Gierach, nursing
Can students’ attitudes toward people experiencing poverty be impacted by an educational intervention? The Community Action Poverty Simulation provides an opportunity for participants to encounter stereotypes they have toward poverty and opens their eyes to see the situation from a different perspective. The simulation is not intended to cover all aspects of living in poverty, but rather it is used as a spring board to a discussion of deeper subjects of inequality, economic hardships and the impact that sociocultural dynamics have on the daily life of American citizens experiencing poverty.