Dr. Alisha Menzies, assistant professor in Communication, championed a fascinating discussion on the burden of moral culpability faced by the famous few. She asked: “Should we hold what celebrities and public figures say to a higher moral standard? Are their communication mistakes worth more?” The conversation spanned a great distance, first attempting to define which celebrities had a greater obligation than others. One student wondered whether professional athletes should have opinions of the same weight as political figureheads; another scholar questioned the impact of words versus actions (i.e. the Colin Kaepernick protest). Dr. Menzies funneled the discussion through various relevant scandals, from the Valium-induced tweets of Roseanne Barr to Megyn Kelly’s blackface scandal. Unfortunately, time was called before we could shift focus to unpacking rapper Kanye West! Overall, it was an intriguing look into the standards we hold celebrities to and, in turn, the standards we hold ourselves to.
On Monday, February 5th, Philosophy professor Dr. Laura Kane led a Coffee Conversation in the McKay Hall common room. The topic of the conversation was, “How does social media use affect the way our relationships are formed or maintained?” Twenty Honors students discussed this topic with Dr. Kane for about an hour, exploring the dynamics of relationships in the social media age.
On September 22nd, 2016, Dr. Enilda Romero-Hall presented to an audience of Honors Program students. Her presentation was titled, “Be part of the revolution: Graduate Students as Learners in Social Media Outlets.” The symposium focused on the varied ways that students – both undergraduate and graduate students – can utilize social media to network, communicate with experts in their fields, and learn formally and informally.