Faculty Colloquium: Robert Gottlieb

Robert Gottlieb from Occidental College is the scheduled speaker for this week’s Faculty Colloquium. Robert is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Urban Environmental Studies and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute and will deliver his talk on Friday, September 7th at 3:30 pm. in the Hatfield Room.

Robert is also the co-director of Occidental’s LIASE (Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment) program,and is therefore a very appropriate speaker to help Willamette launch its own LIASE program.  He is the author of over 11 books, and considered one of the major founders of modern environmental studies in the United States, with a specific interest in urban sustainability and related questions of social and environmental justice.

A reception will follow the talk across the Mill stream in the Smith Gallery.


Faculty Colloquium: Alison Fisher

Please join us on Friday, April 13th at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room for the weekly Faculty Colloquium. This week’s Colloquium will be presented by Alison Fisher, Assistant Professor of Chemistry. The title of the talk is: “How do plants determine when to flower? A molecular perspective”.

Abstract: Spring has finally sprung, and Salem is awash in a beautiful pallet of colorful spring blossoms. Of course, we all know that many plants and trees flower in the spring, but have you ever wondered how these plants actually “know” when to flower? In this talk I will discuss the myriad ways that environmental factors regulate the timing of plant flowering, focusing on our understanding of these processes at the molecular level. I will also share some of my lab’s research on the role of the plant hormone ethylene in promoting the floral transition in plants.

Faculty Colloquium: The Global Eradication of Smallpox: Really?

Please join us on Friday, March 16th at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room for the weekly Faculty Colloquium. This week’s Colloquium will be presented by Bob Reinhardt, Visiting Assistant Professor of History and / Environmental and Earth Sciences. The title of the talk is: “The Global Eradication of Smallpox: Really?”.

Abstract: My talk seeks to explain how–or whether?–the world achieved freedom from smallpox in 1980, when the World Health Organization certified the success of its global Smallpox Eradication Program–the first and only deliberate elimination of a disease. I invite all comers to learn more about this remarkable story, to witness environmental history’s interdisciplinary tools and approach in action, and, of course, to learn whether you are truly safe from one of history’s most gruesome scourges.

Faculty Colloquium: Risky Pedagogy

Please join us on Friday, March 9th at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room for the weekly Faculty Colloquium. This week’s Colloquium will be presented by Anna Cox, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Film Studies. The title of the talk is: “ Risky Pedagogy: Successes and Failures in Implementing Educational Technology”.

Abstract: Educational technology is all the rage, but effectively implementing it requires a great deal of planning and risk. I will present a couple of exemplary projects that I have used in my classes during my first year of teaching at Willamette. The first is a social network for day-to-day online interaction with students and the second, iMovie for the creation of movie trailers. I will explain why I chose to experiment with these technologies, showcase samples of student work created using them and how I evaluated this work, and draw conclusions about the successes and failures of their incorporation in my courses. By sharing my own risky pedagogy, I hope to contribute to an ongoing, campus-wide practice of sharing innovative approaches to teaching.

Faculty Colloquium: Finding Grants

Please join us on Friday, February 17th at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room for the weekly Faculty Colloquium. This week’s Colloquium will be presented by Willamette’s Office for Faculty Research and Resources (OFFRR) and the Dept. of Corporate and Foundation Relations. The title of the talk is “Funding for Research and Teaching: What Kind of Grant Makes Sense for You?”.

Abstract: In this one-hour interactive discussion we will share useful tips for getting your research and programs funded. We will cover the gamut of all things grant-related at Willamette, including the on-campus process for seeking funding, examples of successful projects, and upcoming opportunities for research and program grants. Feel free to come with questions and project ideas. Light refreshments will be provided.

Faculty Colloquium: Chris Smith

Please join us on Friday, February 3rd at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room for the weekly Faculty Colloquium. The Colloquium will be presented by Chris Smith, Assistant Professor of Biology. The title of the talk is “Darwin’s Abominable Mystery: Coevolution of flowers and pollinators”.

His abstract: February 12th marks the 203rd anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the beginning of a conceptual revolution in science that the eminently respectable and proper Mr. Darwin could never have envisioned. At the heart of the Darwinian revolution is the idea that order and ‘extreme perfection’ can arise through purely natural, undirected processes. One area in which Darwin saw this extreme perfection was also a favorite example for early advocates of Natural Theology: the adaptations of flowering plants to their pollinators. How reciprocal natural selection and adaptation – a process now termed ‘coevolution’ – has shaped the interaction between plants and their pollinators remains a major question in evolutionary biology. My talk will review the history of coevolution and describes the ongoing research of Willamette students that examines coevolution between Joshua trees and their pollinators.

Faculty Colloquium: Lou

Kris Lou, Director of International Education, will be the first presenter in this year’s Faculty Colloquium Series. Lou will present on, “Student Intercultural Learning Abroad: What They’re Learning, What They’re Not, and What We Can Do About It”, Friday, Nov. 4th at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room at the Library.

Abstract: Study abroad students – US and international – are not developing the intercultural competence abroad that we expect. Intervention for intercultural learning in study abroad is proving to be an effective solution to this deficit. In this colloquium I will present a learning model (the Intentional, Targeted Intervention ITI Model) that is grounded in theories of student learning and intercultural development, informed by recent research on learning outcomes of study abroad, and reverse engineered to allow the learning outcome of intercultural development to drive the model’s design.

I will first introduce some of the theory that informs us about the nature of intercultural learning and provides us with the reasoning behind intentionally intervening in student learning abroad. Then I will briefly review recent research that confirms the theoretical predictions regarding intercultural learning abroad. Finally, I’ll discuss the ITI model together with an empirical assessment of how our students fare under this guided facilitation. I will also include data on international student learning in the US since the ITI Model integrates international students on US campuses with US students abroad in asynchronous learning communities, which empower the learner to function both as learner and teacher.

Faculty Colloquium: Seth Cotlar

Please join us on Friday, April 15, from 12:40–1:40 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge for the Faculty Colloquium.  The Colloquium will be presented by Seth Cotlar, Professor of History, and it titled What Americans meant when they used the word ‘democracy,’ ca. 1787-1800.

His abstract:

I’ve been asked to write an essay for a book entitled “Democracy from book to life: language and practice in the North Atlantic, 1750-1850.”  The book will explore how and why “democracy” came to be a word that was used with a positive connotation during those years in the US, Britain, France, and Ireland.  My job is to cover the American piece of the story with specific reference to the era around the Constitution.  I have sketched out a preliminary outline of the essay, and that is what I will present on Friday.  I’m hoping that the audience can give me some good feedback on the argument (as it currently stands) and offer ideas as to how I might refine or redirect it.

We hope to see you there!

Faculty Colloquium: James Thompson

Please join us on Friday, April 8 from 12:40–1:40 pm in the Hatfield Room for the Faculty Colloquium.  The Colloquium will be presented by James B. Thompson, Professor of Art, and is titled Linear Metaphysics: Contemporary Mark-Making and Time-Based Art Works.

His abstract:

The stratification or layering of time is of particular interest to me as a professional artist and educator working in 21st century global and visual culture because the contemporary paintings and prints I create inherently reflect their origins as both, part of the time-honored ancient tradition and continuum of mark-making by human beings, and the original form of time-based media. My creative agenda includes the exploration of and research into the history and prehistory of the unique culture of the peoples of Ancient Scotland to somehow contextualize what I have seen first hand and experienced for use in my contemporary artwork.

In the true liberal arts tradition, I adopted a more interdisciplinary approach to my recent research to begin an investigation into the relationship of art and archaeology throughout the history and prehistory of Ancient Scotland as an extension of my explorations of the larger scholarly and creative themes regarding a sense of identity, place, time and purpose.  I often work in a cross-disciplinary manner to explore my own sense of the creative process as it relates to the larger artistic dialogue of the 21st century global culture so that an element of my work is the examination of historical or recurring themes that help contextualize our present relationship to the landscape and our place in it as human beings.  Formal study of our collective history allows me the freedom to distinguish the peoples and ideas of the present from those of the past as we exist and create in this continuum.  My recent research abroad to view, study and experience historical objects, images, structures, earthworks, stone and their relationship to the existing landscape will lead to creative scholarship and exhibition that speaks to the creative dialogue of our culture.

During the course of my research I discovered profound connections and parallels between how I view, respond to and interact with the landscape of my present and how the people of Ancient Scotland related to their surroundings.  I feel a visceral connection to the land itself and the stone structures, carved objects, dwellings and surfaced stones that were handled and physically manipulated by creative beings in prehistory.  Parallels exist between the surface and spatial relationships I create on painted canvases or intaglio prints and the surface treatment, marks, patterns and structural assembly I see on these ancient stones that have been worked by wind, weather, water and human hands.  I try to comprehend the relationship these ancient objects, structures and earthworks have with their immediate surroundings to better understand the people who revered and worked with them as a sophisticated testament to their cultural contributions just as I now work with the materials I have at hand as a practicing artist and educator whose experience, reverence, treatment of and relationship to the landscape has shaped and influenced the way in which I perceive my own surroundings here and as part of contemporary global visual culture.

The information I have gathered from books and texts as well as the extensive photographing of images, sites, landscape, archaeology, remnants of architecture and artifacts I undertook in Scotland serve as references to clarify my experiences on research sites or to jog my memory a bit as I work on completing preliminary drawings and then tackle the prints and paintings for this ambitious series of new works.  I created digital files of the photographs I had taken in Scotland and I am using batches of them in collage form as reference for everything from color, shape, texture, position, hue, and size of objects or stone to their existent weather conditions, relationships to or placement in the landscape, effects of time and the elements of weather on their present state, erosion or other features.  We will look at some of these images during my colloquium talk and discuss the process I will employ to create the stratification or layering of time as an element in my upcoming body of paintings and prints.

We hope to see you there!

Faculty Colloquium: Sarah Kirk

Please join us on Friday, April 1, from 12:40–1:40 pm in the Hatfield Room for this week’s Faculty Colloquium. The Colloquium will be presented by Sarah Kirk, Associate Professor of Chemistry.

The title of the talk is: Two Case Studies in Drug Design: Putting Together a Puzzle without a Picture

Her abstract:
Most medications are designed to either target a pathogen or correct a chemical imbalance.  My research focuses on designing drugs that target specific receptors in the body for distinct purposes, a process known as “rational drug design.” We work to understand relationships among the drug’s molecular structure, the interaction with the body’s receptors, and therapeutic result. This talk will focus on discovering the size and shape of the receptors, designing drugs to fit them, and how all the pieces must be put together like a puzzle.