Spring 2004 Events
The essence of IMPACT is displayed in numerous activities and events throughout the year. Faculty and students plan these events to further develop and enhance critical thinking and moral reasoning skills. Below is a list of IMPACT activities and events that occurred over the past semester.
- Active Commitment to Education (ACE) Conference
In years past, the groups Students for Quality Education (SQE) facilitated an annual teaching and learning conference. However, that group has since disbanded, and in its absence several members of IMPACT created ACE. The annual ACE conference is an IMPACT service to the community, where members of IMPACT create an open dialogue between engaged students and professors about the quality of education and learning in the classroom at BGSU.
This year's conference, entitled “Finding Common Ground: Linking Ideas across Disciplines,” sought to improve interdisciplinary discourse in the classroom. Brief presentations and examples of such interdisciplinary discourse were given at the conference by both IMPACT students and faculty members. To demonstrate a classroom where interdisciplinary discourse is valued, IMPACT members performed a brief skit, highlighting various methods of adding insight into a discipline by invoking ideas from another discipline.
To help with the planning of the conference, IMPACT initiated contact with Mortar Board members interested in improving the quality of education at Bowling Green .
- IMPACT Provides Academic Opportunities for Graduate Students
Throughout the academic year, IMPACT reaches out to graduate students by inviting them to attend events that they would find developmental to their teaching and academic interests. IMPACT invited the University's graduate students to attend the ACE conference. It was our intention to have a conference where graduate students could freely ask questions concerning the improvement of teaching methods in the classroom. In addition, IMPACT invited Spanish graduate students to attend the Hispanic Culture Night, where we hoped graduate students might both enlarge our understanding of Spanish and Hispanic culture and literature, but also might encounter new perspectives on Hispanic thought.
- Sunday Mornings with The New York Times
On multiple Sunday mornings during the semester, students and faculty of IMPACT gathered to read and discuss The Sunday New York Times over bagels and pastries. These discussions encourage the development of life-long reading habits as well as attentive behavior to the world around us.
- Ann Arbor Initiation Retreat
The primary purpose of this retreat is to introduce new IMPACT members to the community and to create a welcoming environment. One method of introduction to both IMPACT and its members is a series of 2-3 person conversations where new members learn more about existing members through discussions of influential ideas in their lives and their intellectual growth. In addition, the retreat familiarizes the new members with community activities, listproc discussions, and the community organizational structure. Held early in the spring semester, this retreat allows for the inclusion of all new members who join after their initial semester at Bowling Green . This activity will be a regular part of our community activities in the future in response to a weakness in our approach that had been mentioned in our end-of-the-year assessment last year.
- Hispanic Culture Night with La Communidad and Residence Life
In conjunction with the Spanish learning community - La Communidad - and Residence Life, IMPACT organized a Hispanic Culture Night. IMPACT invited all Honors Students to take part in stimulating discussion stemming from ideas found in Great Books in the Hispanic tradition. To convey the wealth of Hispanic writing, IMPACT members collectively read over twenty books of Hispanic significance and presented their ideas to attendees. While sampling various Hispanic foods and deserts, attendees could learn about Hispanic dance and other cultural insights from La Communidad.
Hispanic books read:
Evita First Lady: A biography of Eva Peron, The Heart that Bleeds: Latin America Now , The Last Puritan , El Caudillo: a political biography of Franco , Three Exemplary Novels , War, Racism, & Economic Injustice , Selected Writings , Evita, the Real Life of Eva Peron , The Zapatista Reader , Noam Chomsky: Latin America ,Ascent of Mount Carmel , The Sheep Wall & Punishment without Revenge ,Salvador Allende Reader: Chile's Voice of Democracy , The Divine Narcissus ,Cesar Chavez: Autobiography of La Causa , The Aleph & Other Stories , The Political Thought of Bolivar , Hispanic/Latino Identity: A Philosophical Perspective
- Art Work in Celebration of Hispanic Culture Night
The north wall of the IMPACT floor now displays, in an Art-gallery fashion, framed posters of the Hispanic books IMPACT members read for the Hispanic Culture Night. Each poster displays the title of the book and the IMPACT student who presented the book's contents. This display on our residence hall floor provides an accounting of where we have been and as a symbol of the importance of reading to our community.
- Lounge Features Diego Rivera Painting, “Pan American Unity”
The IMPACT lounge on the tenth floor now displays a Diego Rivera painting, as a reminder of our Hispanic Culture Night and readings of several major works in Hispanic literature.
Diego Rivera on Pan American Unity
In the center of my mural there is a large figure--on one side it has the neck of Quetzalcoatl elements from the Mexican Goddess of Earth and the God of Water. On the other side the figure is made of machinery, the machine which makes fenders and parts for airplanes. On one side of this figure there is the northern culture, on the other the southern art, the art of the emotions. People are working on this figure, artists of the North and South, Mexican and North American. I have also Fulton and Morse, artists who, as well as being painters, invented the tools for the industrial revolution, the telegraph and the steamboat, the means of transporting ideas and materials. From the South comes the plumed serpent, from the North the conveyor belt. So that is my idea which I am trying to express in this mural.
- Discussion of John Ralston Saul's The Unconscious Civilization with faculty scholar Dr. Kevin Quinn.
What does it mean to be an individual in society? How has the concept of the individual changed over time to find its current and popular notion as the “single ambulatory center of selfishness.” The questions of what it means to be an individual in a society dominated by numerous ideologies was one of the areas of inquiry in IMPACT's discussion of The Unconscious Civilization . Economics professor Dr. Kevin Quinn led a discussion of the main ideas of the book and its implications on democracy and economics over a meal at Byblos Restaurant in Toledo .
- Rara Avis , IMPACT Publication
Each semester, IMPACT publishes a newsletter for the University community. A different issue of current importance is chosen to be the ‘theme' of each edition. Each newsletter discusses the theme through the use of articles, interviews, and commentaries. This month, Rara Avis will examine issues and concerns related to student evaluations.
- Yoga Practice
On a weekly basis, IMAPCT faculty and students practice yoga exercises in an hour long session. This voluntary activity is a good way for community members to interact and encourage a healthy balance of physical activity.
- Running Team goes to California
Taking full advantage of shared athletic interests, IMPACT has an informal running team. Teaming up according to distance and speed, many IMPACT members run together throughout the year, often entering the same races. The running year culminated for IMPACT when approximately ten IMPACT members and two faculty traveled to California 's Humboldt Redwoods State Park to compete in The Avenue of the Giants Marathon in late April.
- Meeting of the Minds
What if great minds from various points in history could meet and talk with one another? What would they say? IMPACT found out when it hosted a discussion between Karl Marx (played by Dr. Kevin Quinn) and John Stuart Mill (played by Dr. Daniel Jacobson). The two great minds , dressed in appropriate period garb, used their worldviews to evaluate the ideas of the other, creating a rich comparison and integration between some of the world's most influential ideas.
- The Association of Profession and Practical Ethics Conference in Cincinnati
IMPACT traveled to Cincinnati to attend the Professional and Practical Ethics Conference, where IMPACT member Dan Tagliarina presented his paper on a Rawlsian account of the death penalty to academics in the field of Practical Ethics. In addition to attending Dan's presentation, IMPACT members attended two days of academic presentations, which served for many members as an introduction into the academic world.
While in Cincinnati , IMPACT took advantage of the available theater offerings. IMPACT read and attended Mass Appeal , a play about the conflict between making religion appealing and maintaining the integrity of that religion and Of Mice and Men, the classic Steinbeck play.
- Learning Opportunities
Each semester students participate in a learning opportunity, or seminar, taught by an IMPACT faculty member. The seminars are small and provide students (and faculty) with the opportunity to learn without the incentive of being graded. Seminars often lead to meaningful discussion on topics of paramount importance. This semester Dr. Kubasek offered the Mock Trial learning opportunity and Dr. Browne offered a learning opportunity about Classical Liberalism.
• Classical Liberalism Learning Opportunity
Dr. Browne's learning opportunity focused on a reading of Richard Epstein's Skepticism and Freedom: A modern case for classical liberalism . Participants discussed the ideas and questions about the book on the listproc prior to our formal meeting near the end to the semester. After weeks of discussion, participants traveled to a Bed and Breakfast in Mansfield for the weekend to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the book's argument.
The weekend retreat created an intimate setting in which to focus on intellectual discussion on the merits of Epstein's argument. Individual members were asked to contribute to the discussion by preparing brief summaries and critiques of sections of the book. Using critical thinking skills, participants evaluated the assumptions and values preferences inherent in Epstein's classical liberalism.
- Participated in the Museum of Television University Satellite Seminar
Several IMPACT members took part in a seminar about notorious crimes committed by celebrities. The seminar sought to address the question of how does the status of celebrity in the United States affect one's ability to receive a fair trial. IMPACT members contributed to the discussion by asking critical questions of underlying assumptions and rival causes of the possible conclusions offered throughout the seminar.
- IMPACT Assists Honors Program in Recruitment Efforts
For the benefit of prospective Honors students, IMPACT members put on a teaching demonstration, lead by Dr. Neil Browne, reflecting the style of teaching a learning that might occur in an ideal Honors class. IMPACT members were then available to answer questions from the prospective students.
- Four Phi Beta Kappa Inductees
This year, four IMPACT members were invited to join Phi Beta Kappa : Bobbie Jo McCourt (Junior), Dan Tagliarina (Junior), Ben Lucus (Sophomore), and Lorna Springer (Senior) were inducted into the prestigious honorary organization.
- Model U.N. Student
IMPACT member, Bobbie Jo McCourt, was selected as a model United Nations student. Bobbie Jo traveled to New York to participate in a mock U.N. meeting where she represented the country Guinea Bissau. As a way of better understanding the workings of the U.N., students write proposals, debate, and lobby for their country at the conference. Bobbie Jo joined students from around the country in learning to address issues of international importance.
- Steinbeck Festival
Fifteen IMPACT students read different Steinbeck novels and short stories, thus creating a means by which IMPACT could discuss the various themes that run throughout Steinbeck's works. Those who read Steinbeck works were placed in horseshoe formation in the front of a large classroom where they integrated Steinbeck's prolific body of work. Members of the “audience” were free to enter into the discussion by asking questions or adding insight. Honors students were invited to this event.
The Red Pony , To A God Unknown , In Dubious Battle , East of Eden , Travels with Charley , Grapes of Wrath , Tortilla Flat , Winter of Our Discontent , Sweet Thursday, Cannery Road , Pastures of Heaven , The Wayward Bus , America and Americans
- Bertol Brecht Festival
Continuing the success of the Steinbeck Festival, IMPACT hosted a Bertol Brecht Festival in which sixteen IMPACT students read the majority of his plays and novels. Using the format of the earlier Steinbeck festival, IMPACT members engaged in dialogue that built upon the various reading experiences of the other members. Consequently, the major themes and moral principle of Brecht's works were found and discussed with the other IMPACT members in the audience. These festivals are an excellent way for students to encounter the major works of an author in a single night. Moreover, those major works are integrated together, creating a more robust picture of the particular author.
Galileo , The Good Woman of Setzuan , The Caucasian Chalk Circle , Jungle of Cities , Drums in the Night , Mother Courage , The Seven Deadly Sins of the Petty Bourgeoisie , Saint Joan of the Stockyards , Threepenny Opera , Schweyk and the Second World War
Exceeding all expectations, the Bowling Green Mock Trial team, comprised entirely (except for on person) of IMPACT members, did exceedingly well and placed at the National Competition.
The BGSU National Mock Trial Team consists of eight members, seven from IMPACT. Team members must prepare both a defense and prosecution of the defendant in a criminal trial. Such preparation requires the use of critical thinking skills in both building an argument and finding flaws in the opposition's argument.
Lawyers, as well as witness, have integral roles to play in arguing on either side of the case. The Bowling Green team competed with dozens of other schools, and each time improved the presentation of their argument. Below are some of the specific accomplishments of the Mock Trial Team.
- Won first place at the Dayton Invitational
- Competed in the University of Cincinnati Invitational
- The BGSU Mock Trial Team hosted its own Mock Trail Invitational
- The Regional Competition in Hamilton , OH , where the BGSU team qualified for the National Tournament in Richmond , KY.
- Mock Trial National competition in Richmond , KY , at Eastern Kentucky University . The BGSU team was the only team to have 3 individual mockers who were designated All- Americans.
- Kevin Minnick, All American Mocker;
- Meredith Fisher, outstanding witness;
- Judd Morrow, outstanding witness.
- Influential Ideas in the Lives of IMAPCT Seniors
Through their time in IMPACT, seniors have encountered many different authors, plays, ideas, and four years of classes. Some of those ideas and authors have had a larger impact than others on the lives of the seniors. During the last month of the semester IMPACT invites its seniors to share with the community those influential works and ideas that have shaped their thinking. This sharing makes younger members aware of authors or works that they might enjoy or find beneficial in their own intellectual development.
- IMPACT Faculty Scholar Teaches Statistics
Dr. Rao, IMPACT Faculty Scholar, added to IMPACT's critical thinking skills by teaching members essential statistical skills. Dr. Rao made IMPACT members more aware of the importance of evaluating statistics in arguments. This semester, IMPACT learned the importance of confidence intervals, and how to evaluate them.
- New Bulletin Board to Feature IMPACT Publications
A number of IMPACT students have published articles in academic journals. To feature this amazing accomplishment, a new bulletin board on the IMPACT floor now proudly displays four journal publications.
- Viewing of Confucianism Film
IMPACT students watched a film relating the central values and ideas of Confucianism to American values and ideas. This film served as a preparation for discussions IMPACT will be hosting next year on Confucianism.
- Bowling Green State University's Undergraduate Economics Conference Winners
The papers of IMPACT members Kevin Minnick and Steve Weigand were both awarded 3 rd place in their respective divisions of the regional conference.
- The School of Communications Undergraduate Paper Competition
This year, three IMPACT members swept the competition by winning the top three awards. Steve Weigand, Kevin Minnick, and Dan Tagliarina , respectively won the first through third places prizes offered in the competition. Below are the abstracts of their award winning papers.