Honors college talks to focus on 'Living With Uncertainty'

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Photo of the Lee Honors College.

The Lyceum Lecture Series is sponsored by the Lee Honors College.

KALAMAZOO—A lecture series featuring weekly talks about the uncertainty in life will begin Jan. 15 and continue through April 9 at Western Michigan University.

The 12 multidisciplinary talks are free and open to the public and will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesdays in the Lee Honors College building on WMU's main campus. Attendees are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch. No talk will be offered March 5 due to the spring recess.

Titled "Living With Uncertainty," the programs constitute the spring component of the Lee Honors College's 2013-14 Lyceum Lecture Series. They will be presented by a diverse group of WMU faculty members and one Michigan State University professor.

Topics to be discussed will encompass areas such as economics, politics, education and the arts as well as explore factors such as decision making and information availability and accuracy. These topics will be presented in groups of four talks. The first group will address what uncertainty is. The next two groups will examine the human perception of uncertainty and coping and thriving with uncertainty.

Spring 2014 lectures

  • Jan. 15—"Risk and Your Health" by Dr. Donald J. Meyer, chair and professor of economics
  • Jan. 22—"Dual and Elusive Information" by Dr. Manuel A. Bautista, associate professor of physics
  • Jan. 29—"Agent Orange: History, Science and the Politics of Uncertainty" by Dr. Edwin A. Martini, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and associate professor of history
  • Feb. 5—title to be announced, Dr. Brian Wilson, professor of comparative religion
  • Feb. 12—"Uncertainty in the Short Fiction of Jorge Luis Borges" by Dr. Patricia M. Montilla, associate professor of Spanish
  • Feb. 19—"Ambiguity and the Arts" by George H. Brown, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts
  • Feb. 26—"Uncertainty at the Bedside" by Dr. Helen M. Sharp, associate professor of speech pathology and audiology
  • March 12—"Transforming Uncertain Information Toward Reputable Knowledge" by Kathleen Langan, assistant professor of University Libraries
  • March 19—"Higher Education: 800 Years of Uncertainty and Still Going Strong" by Dr. Andrea L. Beach, associate professor of educational leadership, research and technology
  • March 26—"Uncertainty in the Technological World" by Dr. Larry A. Mallak, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering
  • April 2—"Reactions to Uncertainty: Economic Success or Catastrophic Pitfalls" by Dr. Gerry McNamara, professor of economics and management at Michigan State University
  • April 9—"Paralysis of Analysis" by Jennifer Lynn Emmerich, instructor of social work

Lyceum Lecture Series

This lecture series features weekly talks on a variety of timely topics throughout WMU's fall and spring semesters. Recently, it began offering programs centering around a specific theme.

The spring 2013 series focused on climate change and the fall 2013 series on race. Most of those lectures were videotaped and are posted online at wmich.edu/honors/lectures. Plans call for the upcoming round of talks to be videotaped, as well.

Guest parking for the Lee Honors College is located off of Wilbur Street between the Fetzer Center and the Wesley Foundation. For driving directions to WMU, as well as parking and other maps, visit parking.wmich.edu and click Parking Maps.

Lee Honors College

The Lee Honors College is among the oldest honors programs in the nation and has a student profile rivaling that of the most elite private colleges in the United States. Members come from all seven of WMU's degree-granting colleges and total about 1,600 undergraduate students, or about eight percent of the University's undergraduate student body.

The college enhances WMU's dynamic academic climate by providing a lively and rigorous experience for academically talented and highly motivated undergraduate students. Members have access to small seminar classes and special mentors and advisors, as well as added opportunities to travel, study independently or abroad, and conduct research alongside established faculty members.

For more information about the honors college or Lyceum lectures, call the college at (269) 387-3230 or contact its dean, Dr. Carla Koretsky, at carla.koretsky@wmich.edu.