Talks Given on Nov. 6, 2013
Beavers, Bogs, and Badlands: The Site
and Situation of the Moraine Valley Area
The wetland area infested with leeches and mosquitoes
surrounding Moraine Valley once made explorers shudder. Formed
by glaciers, this swampy and infertile land was not welcoming to
Indians or European explorer. But, Jason king will share stories
and lessons about why this area, now called Palos, was vital to
the settlement of Chicago.
Preservation: Reclaiming and Maintaining My Identity as
an Arab-American Woman
Souzan Naser is an Arab-American who was born in Palestine and
raised in the United States. Modeling after her parents who were
activists in the Arab-American community Souzan examines what it
means to both Arab and American. She shares the complexity and
negotiation process of weaving in and out of her two identities
and how she strikes a balance between staying true to her Arab
ethnicity while also integrating mainstream American values.
Four Stories of Data: The Hidden Power of Numbers
The average American is a fountain of information, and companies
like Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook have openly used information
about us and our activity to improve our experience and increase
their revenue. Jerimi Ann Walker uses four stories of data to
illustrate what companies know about us and how the numbers may
reveal things that even we didn't know. Data can be used to
understand, influence, and predict our behaviors.
Talks given on Feb. 20, 2013
Giving Life New Hope: Life Beyond Tragic Times
All of us will face tragedies in our lives. Beverly
McLaughlin tells her story of overcoming the death of her
daughter. She and her husband chose to raise her daughter's two
children and start an organization to help orphans in Kenya.
Longevity: the Ageless Quest
Modern humans have greatly extended life spans with the advent
of agriculture, industry, and medicine. Scott Murdoch invites us
to go further. Combining wise lessons from ancient elders with
data from modern research, he discusses ways we can add yet more
happy years to our life.
Preserving My Memory in a Digital Drop Box
Commonly when a loved one dies we receive a few items in a small
box that is meant to serve as a lasting remembrance of the
departed individual. Traditionally those boxes are filled with
photos, papers, and maybe a few other physical keepsakes.
However, the traditional remembrance box often does not
effectively preserve an individual’s voice, their mannerisms, or
their personalities. In this presentation, John Neff discusses
some ways that he utilizes cloud storage and social media to
create a digital drop box that is designed to preserve a more
encompassing memorial of his life.
From History to Mystory: My Journey to the 2009
What happens when historic events suddenly become your living
events? Charmaine Sevier takes us on the journey of how history
became a part of her personal story as she planned for and
attended the 2009 presidential inauguration.
Finding My Voice in a Quiet World
Growing up painfully shy and introverted, Maura Vizza’s hidden
singing abilities were a mystery to the world. Through some life
experiences and a chat with Eddie Vedder, she found some
strength and her voice.
Talks given Nov. 7, 2012
Naming My Ghosts and Taming My Myths: A Narrative of
Adoption, Discovery, and Reunion
After spending several years of her adult life searching for
answers surrounding her closed adoption, Sandra Beauchamp shares
the struggle to locate her birth parents and simultaneously
honor the authentic parents who lovingly raised her. This brief
narrative is an introduction to her ongoing journey and the role
storytelling plays in her quest for answers.
There and Back Again: My Journey from Teacher to Nursing
Student and Back
As students, we may wonder if the professor understands how what
they do affects us. Sam Chen, who taught anatomy and physiology
to prospective nursing students, explores his journey following
his decision to become a become a nursing student. Sam discusses
his new perspective on what a student feels, expects, and hopes
for in a course.
A Hedgehog Guide to the Universe: Finding a Sense of
Place within My Personal Geography
We all search for a place to call home and a group of people to
form our tribe. Dawn Wrobel discusses how an unlikely love
affair with hedgehogs helped to reconcile her personal geography
and unique identity.
Why Integration Still Matters: Forced Bussing and Its
Impact on My Life
Drawing on an narrative essay in her collection of essays about
growing up in a Southern California, Tamara Coleman-Hill focuses
on her own experiences and how court-ordered, bussing helped
shape her life.
Walking the Walk: My Enduring Sustainability Journey
Childhood places, experiences with inspirational people, and
life choices push us in new directions in life. Stephenie
Presseller takes us on her ongoing journey that has led her to
become the first sustainability manager at Moraine Valley. This
is an amazingly beautiful, challenging, and winding road that
invites us all to come along and walk the walk toward
Behind and Through the Lens: My Life as a College
What is it like to witness history and, even more importantly, to be
charged with recording it? Moraine Valley's college
photographer, Glenn Carpenter, tells us about the 22
years he has spent recording the visual history of the college
and capturing the special moments that change lives.
Talks given Feb. 16, 2012
"Perseverance and Hope: The
Words of My Life"
Our experiences help to define who we are. LaWanda Burrell
discusses how using perseverance and hope helped define her
purpose in the eye of a life-altering storm.
"The Heart of My Writing:
Younger Sons, Bastards, and Devils"
Dr. Thomas Dow
All good writing is personal. Tom Dow discusses how his own
research into Victorian literature led back to himself.
"Why Joni Can't (Won't) Do
Math or Science—And What You Can Do About It"
American students struggle in math and science. Larry
Langellier discusses how the Lego project engages students in
scientific thinking and problem solving.
“Communicating by Cutting Up
Fabric and Sewing It Back Together”
Life is a process of taking apart and sewing back together
again. Martha Mazeika discusses her obsession with quilting and
how she combines history and emotion in her art.
“What Bigfoot Can Teach Us
Dr. Troy Swanson
Knowledge and belief are intertwined in surprising ways.
Troy Swanson discusses how the mythic creature Bigfoot can teach
us about knowledge and belief.