Lecture Previews

Title: The Humanities Center Lectures — Global Connections, Global Responsibilities

The Basics: Sponsored by the university’s Humanities Center and the Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics and Political Philosophy, this lecture series focuses on the diversity among affluent and economically challenged countries and their influence on one another.

James Ferguson, professor and chair of the department of anthropology at Stanford University, will talk about political and social issues in South Africa. South Africa has in recent decades gone through a wrenching transformation from a labor-scarce society to a labor-surplus one.

Labor scarcity through most of the 19th and 20th centuries led to forms of social solidarity and social identity that had significant continuities with the pre-colonial past. In recent decades, however, economic restructuring has radically reduced demand for low-skilled, manual labor, and mass unemployment has become a durable structural feature of South African society.

When: Today at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Gregg Hall (Porter Hall 100)

Title: University Lecture Series — The Global Environmental Impact of the United States, in Peacetime and Wartime

The Basics: Richard Tucker, adjunct professor of environmental history in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, will discuss the influences of the United States on the global environment throughout history.

In the 20th century, a major driving force for global environmental deterioration was the vast reach of the American economy in its worldwide search for natural resources. We are only beginning to recognize the global ecological consequences of corporate enterprise and consumer culture.

This lecture will allow the audience to understand the changes in our environment due to the United States’ decisions and how the present global environment came to be.

When: Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Gregg Hall (Porter Hall 100)

Title: Listening to Students: Using Survey Data to Improve the Student Experience

The Basics: This lecture will focus on how Carnegie Mellon utilizes student survey responses to understand students’ experiences. Speakers will include Janel Sutkus, the director of Institutional Research and Analysis; Indira Nair, vice provost for education; and Karen Boyd, dean of Student Affairs.

Sutkus is responsible for the analysis of both administrative and academic functions throughout Carnegie Mellon’s campus and especially within the colleges. Her Ph.D. is in education organizational behavior and management from the Center for the Study of Higher and Post-secondary Education at the University of Michigan.

In the first part of the lecture, Sutkus will discuss the standards used to analyze the students of Carnegie Mellon, such as self-assessment, time spent on academic versus non-academic activities, opinions of the promotion of the university’s values, and meaningful interaction with others, among several other topics.

When she concludes, Nair and Boyd will explain how these methods are used to create student opportunities, to make campus resources and programs more accessible, and to develop academic and “meta-curricular” programming.

When: Monday, Oct. 12 at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Gregg Hall (Porter Hall 100)