Coffee Conversations – Bridgette Froeschke

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On April 4th, Dr. Bridgette Froeschke, Assistant Professor of Biology, led a Coffee Conversation on the questions “Who does water belong to? Should water be privatized?” The conversation covered a lot of topics relating to water, from the quality of bottled water versus tap water to who should own water rights and how water consumption and regulation (or lack thereof) affect environmental quality.

Coffee Conversations – Dr. Cheri Etling-Paulsen

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Dr. Cheri Etling-Paulsen led a Coffee Conversation on March 20th in the McKay Hall common room exploring the question, “What is causing major swings in the stock market – and does it really matter?” The conversation explored what the stock market is, what factors influence stock prices, and explored how a variety of factors contribute to market volatility.

Honors Symposia – Santiago Echeverry

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UT Professor of Film, Animation, and New Media, Santiago Echeverry, presented his work The Cabaret to Honors students on March 21st. Professor Echeverry uses 3D capture technologies to explore a variety of spaces, including gay and drag nightclubs. The resulting video footage can then be used to create animated films and prints that display remarkable depth and novel perspectives. Examples of his work can be found on his professional website.

Honors Symposia – Dr. Vanessa Rukholm

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On Thursday, March 1st, Dr. Vanessa Rukholm, of UT’s Department of Languages and Linguists, presented, “I can’t get you out of my head: popular music and second language learning.” Dr. Rukholm discussed some of the history of music and noted that music has long been an important element of human culture. The presentation also explored language acquisition and then combined the two, culminating in a discussion of how language may help facilitate second language learning.

Honors Symposia – Caleb Smith

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On Friday, February 16th, 2018, Dr. Caleb Smith of Yale University, presented an English and Writing Symposium that was co-sponsored by the Honors Program on his recently published book, The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict: Austin Reed. Austin Reed was a black prison inmate in New York during the 1800s who wrote about what it was like to be in prison during that time period. In his presentation, Dr. Smith discussed the process of converting Austin Reed’s writing into a readable manuscript and the various findings that resulted, including finding that parts of the manuscript were plagiarized and other parts were fanciful imaginings that didn’t actually happen.

Honors Symposia – Mary Martinasek

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On Monday, February 26th, Dr. Mary Martinasek, from UT’s Public Health department, presented on Inhalational Marijuana. Dr. Martinasek discussed the history of the marijuana plant, its varied uses, the medical research into marijuana, then focused on her own research on the health consequences of smoking marijuana.

Honors Symposia – Dan Berger

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On Thursday, February 22nd, Dr. Dan Berger from the University of Washington presented to Honors students on his recent book, Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era. In his book, Dr. Berger illustrates that civil rights activists used the prison system both to help organize their activism and as a symbol of racial oppression.