Fall 2003 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.
- Sunday Mornings with The New York Times
On four Sunday mornings during the past two months, 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.
- IMPACT Students Present Papers at the Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB) national conference, in Nashville .
IMPACT had two of the best eight papers in a national legal research competition in Nashville at the annual convention of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. The other winning competitors were from PENN, Michigan , Berkeley , Texas , and Indiana . Alex Frondorf and Steve Weigand both received Distinguished Undergraduate Research Awards from the Academy.
- IMPACT Students on Mock Trial Team
The BGSU National Mock Trial Team consists of eight members, seven from IMPACT. They are currently practicing in preparation for Mock Trial competitions later in the year throughout the country, representing BGSU. 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.
- Book Discussions: IMPACT discusses Robert Cialdini's Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Throughout the year IMPACT requires common reading. While some readings are small articles, others are full books. Common reading experiences allow for community wide conversation both in our book discussion, but also via the ListProcessor (our community email conversation forum). This past month IMPACT discussed the important book Influence , which suggests that people are not as autonomous in their decision making as we would like to believe. Three students were asked to facilitate this book discussion, which provided further opportunity for members to develop and display their leadership and critical thinking skills to the community.
- IMPACT travels to New York City
IMPACT began the semester by traveling to N. Y. City to partake in various theater and cultural offerings. Collectively, IMPACT watched and discussed two plays (“The Edge” and “The Exonerated”) and a film ( The Straight Story ). Each event was then discussed individually during three separate meetings (these discussions are further detailed below). In addition to the plays, IMPACT students toured a number of Universities and Colleges throughout the city, including Columbia and NYU. Most students attended the Double Helix exhibit at the Science Library of the New York City Public Library. Many students sought after unique book stores, art festivals, and varied dinning experiences.
- Discussion of the play “The Edge”
This play attempts to illuminate the various reasons behind Sylvia Plath's suicide. Was Ted Hughes to blame, or was Plath suffering from psychological disorders? How could such a bright and talented person be driven to suicide? If an artist or poet is psychologically disturbed, does that in any way lessen the worth of their work?
- Discussion of the film The Straight Story
This quiet and slow moving film is about two brothers nearing the end of their lives. Neither has spoken to nor seen each other in over a decade as a result of a heated dispute. Alvin Straight, hearing of his brother's stroke, decides to travel to see his brother several hundred miles away…via a riding lawn mower ( Alvin 's poor eye sight has prohibited him from retaining a drivers license and his financial condition excludes other methods of travel.) This film provoked questions of forgiveness and the meaning behind family relations. What is forgiveness and can it be ‘unconditional'? What are the benefits, psychological and otherwise, of forgiveness? Why is family so important to us, given that we did not choose our family in any manner resembling how we choose our friends?
- Discussion of the play “The Exonerated”
Eight wrongful convictions in capital punishment cases are given a human face, causing serious questioning of the legitimacy of the death penalty. Real stories, complete with moving emotions, are used to demonstrate the horrible, and irrevocable, consequences of a fallible justice system using the death penalty. What is the role of emotions in evaluating arguments for and against the death penalty? What about the victims' families? Why do we not hear their stories? What role should forgiveness play in a system or theory of justice?
- Great Books Trips: Hispanic Books discussion at Punderson State Park
One of the great benefits of participating in a learning community based on intellectual curiosity is the excitement with which ideas are shared. IMPACT members who choose to read a ‘classic' Hispanic book will travel in early November to Punderson State Park to discuss with one another the argument and effect of their respective books. IMPACT members also read critiques and background information on their chosen book so that they might better explain and evaluate the authors' ideas and arguments. Upon return to BGSU, those students who participated in the Great Book trip share their book's ideas with all of IMPACT during a Great Books Forum night, allowing students to gain access to a wide variety of books and their ideas in a short time. We will invite all Honors students to this latter event.
- Great Books Wall
The west wall of the IMPACT floor now displays, in an Art-gallery fashion, framed posters of the Great Books IMPACT we have read. 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 serves as an accounting of where we have been and as a symbol of the currency of greatest value to us.
- When Great Minds Meet…
What if great minds from various points in history could meet and talk with one another? What would they say? IMPACT wants to find out what a discussion between Karl Marx and J.S. Mill would sound like. The two great minds will hold a dialog in the Spring semester where each will use his worldview to evaluate the ideas of the other.
- IMPACT travels to Cincinnati
IMPACT is currently planning a trip to Cincinnati to attend the National Association of Practical and Applied Ethics Conference, where several IMPACT students have submitted papers. In addition to the conference, IMPACT will attend several plays and seminars at local universities while in Cincinnati .
- Teaching/Learning Conference
Members of IMPACT are currently planning a Teaching and Learning Conference for the spring semester. Such a conference will serve as an open dialogue between engaged students and professors about increasing the quality of education and learning in the classroom.
- IMPACT students assist faculty in BGX classes
Over a third of IMPACT students currently serve the University by assisting faculty in teaching the values component for BGX (Bowling Green Experience) classes. Such assistance entails aiding both faculty and students in discovering values within their particular class. IMPACT students also help their fellow students in the paper writing process and in understanding the often difficult and abstract concepts involved in values discourse.
- IMPACT students attend Semantics Conference
Five IMPACT students are preparing to attend the International General Semantics Conference in Las Vegas . Readings and discussions are preparing these students to be fully engaged when they attend the conference later this month.
- IMPACT students write research papers for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Indianapolis in April
Every year IMPACT faculty encourages students who to complete a research project and submit a paper to NCUR. This year ten IMPACT members are currently preparing to attend the conference in Indianapolis . The conference is also an opportunity for IMPACT members to meet other students with similar interest and ambitions from around the country.
- IMPACT students compete in a paper competition for the Practical Ethics Conference in Cincinnati
Several IMPACT students are submitting ethics papers to the Practical Ethics Conference to be held in February.
- IMPACT Faculty in Residence
The IMPACT faculty members now live in the same residence hall as the students themselves. Combined with the faculty offices on the same floor as the learning community, IMPACT members have unprecedented access and support from faculty members. Such availability does not go unused, as members actively seek out the faculty's time and thoughts.
- IMPACT Faculty Scholar: Dr. Rao
IMPACT recognizes not only the need for help in satisfying members' desire to learn, but also that certain faculty on campus are especially impressive as sources of understanding and stimulation. Therefore, IMPACT created the Faculty Scholars Program to take advantage of the skills and attitudes of such faculty. IMPACT invites the selected Faculty Scholar to join IMPACT in a discussion about his or her area of expertise. Each Scholar meets with IMPACT on three evenings over a two-month period during which time a thoughtful and provocative dialogue between IMPACT and Scholar ensues. This month, Dr. Madhu Rao continued providing us with the statistical tools to become better critical thinkers by providing seminars and sample problems related to probability and confidence intervals. Prior to each meeting, students read a number of chapters selected from the statistics book, Seeing Through Statistics that every IMPACT member was provided.
- Rara Avis, IMPACT Publication
Each semester, IMPACT publishes a newspaper for the University community. A different issue or question of current importance is chosen to be the ‘theme' of each edition. This month, Rara Avis will examine issues and concerns related to student evaluations.
- Scary Ideas
Each Halloween, IMPACT meets to share scary ideas, such as democracy, classical economics, and religion. IMPACT members each bring his or her own scary idea to present and discuss with the group. A scary idea tends to mean a traditionally good and accepted idea with often overlooked frightening consequences. At the end of the evening members leave having discussed the scary side of many ideas previously not considered. This Halloween, Dr. Keeley will frighten us with three scary ideas from psychology.
- IMPACT, La Comunidad, and Offenhauer Residence Hall present Hispanic Culture Night
IMPACT is organizing a Hispanic Culture event for late January, in conjunction with the La Comunidad Learning Community and Offenhauer residence hall staff. IMPACT will provide stimulating discussion stemming from ideas found in Great Books in the Hispanic tradition. Offenhauer staff will provide a sampling of authentic Hispanic foods.
- IMPACT Initiation Retreat
IMPACT is now planning a retreat for new members early next semester. In that the majority of new IMPACT students arrive in the second semester of an academic year, this retreat is aimed at familiarizing the new members with the IMPACT community and its history. Equally important will be the community building aspect of the retreat, designed to make the new members feel welcome into our learning community. This event is scheduled for mid-January in Ann Arbor . This activity is our reaction to the one area where we seem to be the weakest, i.e., in integrating new members into IMPACT.
- IMPACT Discussion with Artist, Pamela Joyce
IMPACT has invited performance artist Pamela Joyce to present her latest work to us on November 12 as a stimulus to a discussion of the Middle Eastern crisis and the role of the U.S. in its creation and solution.
- IMPACT and the Regional Learning Communities Convention
IMPACT students and faculty participated in the Regional Learning Communities Convention in mid-October, hosting visitors from other campuses in our facilities. IMPACT students discussed concerns relevant to all learning communities, including a discussion with the director of a learning community from the University of Michigan .
- IMPACT and Dr. Moore's Director's Forum
Dr. Moore's Director's Forum consists entirely of IMPACT students. The Forum assists the Honors Director in creating and facilitating panel discussions for the Honors Program. Most recently, IMPACT students assisted Dr. Moore in preparing for the Forum on the allocation of University funds.