2017 Schedule

All presentations will be in the Commons at Spooner Hall.

Monday, June 5
8:30 a.m. — Doors open at the Commons in Spooner Hall

9 – 10:15 a.m.Keynote:  Lessons from my First Year as Dean and the Path Forward for the College, by Carl Lejuez, Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  His presentation will include the importance of liberal arts and sciences to the world, what success looks like for the College going forward, “keeping my own identity as a faculty member and researcher,” and the role of alumni.

Dr. Lejuez has been dean of the College since 2016. Prior to that, he spent 15 years at the University of Maryland. Lejuez’s own teaching and research activities are focused on understanding and treating alcohol and drug addiction, including cases complicated by other psychological challenges such as anxiety, depression and anger control. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2002.

10:35 – 11:50 a.m. — Donald Trump and the Rejection of the Norms of American Politics and Rhetoric, by Dr. Robert C. Rowland, Ph.D.  “Donald Trump ran a campaign that violated norms defining American politics and rhetoric.  Consequently, his campaign was declared dead on many occasions, but he eventually won the presidency.  In this talk, I explain this confusing situation.  I begin by briefly reviewing the many incidents in the campaign that commentators believed would doom his campaign.  I also discuss Trump’s catastrophically bad debate performance.  Yet, it is now clear that the way Trump talked actually helped him with many members of the coalition that elected him president.”

Dr. Rowland is a Department of Communication Studies professor and director of graduate studies. His major teaching and research interests include rhetorical criticism, argumentation, political communication, critical thinking and the public sphere.  He is a former director of forensics at KU and Baylor University. As a KU student in 1976, Dr. Rowland and his debate colleague won the National Debate Tournament.

Noon – 1:25 p.m. — Lunch on your own

1:30 – 2:45 p.m. — The U.S. Constitution: New Insights Into the Nation’s Founding Document, by Prof. Paul Kelton, associate dean for the humanities and a History Department faculty member specializing in American history.  “I will give an overview of how historians have viewed the origins of the U.S. Constitution, with a particular focus on the intended and unintended consequences of the creation of the Electoral College.”

Prof. Kelton received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Tulsa and his MA and Ph.D. in history from the University of Oklahoma. He held an appointment at Southern Connecticut State University before joining the KU History Department in 2001 as an assistant professor. At KU, he became a full professor and served as department chair (2008-2013) and associate dean for the humanities (2015-2017). He is a leading scholar of indigenous North American and Colonial American history. His published works have made important revisions to our understanding of the biological processes involved in the European takeover of the Americas. He has won grants and fellowships awarded by the American Philosophical Societies, the Hall Center for the Humanities, and the William Clements Library. Prof. Kelton continues his research on indigenous experiences with European-introduced diseases and has ongoing projects detailing native death and survival during the Seven Years War in North America, the American Revolution and Indian removal.

3:05 – 4:20 p.m. — Tour of  the  Natural History Museum

6 p.m.  —  Reception hosted by Dean Lejuez

Tuesday, June 6
8:30 a.m. — Doors open at the Commons in Spooner Hall

9 – 10:15 a.m.Demystifying Islam, by Jessica Beeson

10:30 – 11:50 a.m.– The Great American Eclipse of 2017:  What We Can Learn from Eclipses and How to Enjoy This One Safely, by Dr. Barbara J. Anthony-Twarog, professor of astronomy and astrophysics.

Dr. Anthony-Twarog holds master’s and doctorate degrees from Yale University and was the first woman to graduate from Notre Dame in physics, with a bachelor’s degree in 1975. Following a brief appointment at the University of Texas in Austin, she and her husband Bruce Twarog have been teaching and collaborating on research projects at the University of Kansas since 1982, making her the first woman faculty member in the Physics Department. An asteroid is named after her, and some of the technology she helped develop is now in use in the Hubble Space Telescope. She is a member of the KU Women’s Hall of Fame.

Noon – 1:25 p.m. — Lunch and a group discussion about future Mini College reunions.  (We suggest that you bring a brown bag lunch or something from the Student Union so you’ll have time to participate in the discussion.)

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.Watching DNA Repair at the Molecular Level, by Prof. Bret D. Freudenthal, Ph.D.

Prof. Freudenthal is an assistant professor in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at the KU Medical Center. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health from 2010 to 2015 and a research scientist at Colorado State University in 2004-2005. Last year he was the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society’s Young Scientists Award winner. He has received numerous other grants and awards and has been a guest speaker at several prestigious gatherings in his field.

3:05 – 4:20 p.m. — Tour of  the  Spencer Art Museum

6 p.m.  — Reception at the Adams Alumni Center, sponsored by the Alumni Association

We encourage attendees to bring their old name tags, lanyards, buttons, bags, etc., from past Mini Colleges.  No food or beverages will be provided in the Commons at Spooner, so feel free to bring coffee and pastries in the morning before the talks, and snacks during the day if desired. Jessica Beeson has also suggested that you may want to bring a small pillow to sit on as the chairs may get a little hard after prolonged sitting. We will have the Commons space until 5 p.m. each day if you want to  sit and relax.