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Sex Offenders: Realities, Research & Reasoned Responses

8 February 2005
Riki Scheela

Recent tragic events have catapulted sex offenders to the forefront of attention, concern and controversy. Dr. Scheela has worked with and studied sex offenders since 1987. She has discovered that this complex problem will never be resolved with simplistic solutions, rash reactions or uninformed legislation. In this lecture, Dr. Scheela discussed the present realities of this problem, shared latest research and explored responses that will enhance safety and healing.

Exploring an Early Modern Account of the Funeral of Queen Elizabeth I

22 February 2005
Deanna Evans

According to the manuscript, "Famous Funeral," discovered by Dr. Evans at Yale, Queen Elizabeth I is described as belonging to the "most renouned and famous kings of all Christendome." There she is also praised for possessing "heroicall and Princely virtues." These descriptions, Dr. Evans argued, provide evidence that the "Virgin Queen" had succeeded in the masculine political realm. This lecture explored the significance of Elizabeth's funeral account and how it adds to our knowledge of her public image.

Welfare Reform: A Return to Social Darwinism?

8 March 2005
Cheryl Byers

Enacted in 1997, welfare reform was the cornerstone of a philosophical return to Darwinism and the belief that the individual, not society and the government, is responsible for their own survival. Research has begun to document the impact of welfare reform on the poor and on nonprofit organizations. This lecture provided an overview of social welfare policy development, welfare reform and Darwinism.

Worldview Constraints on Environmental Literacy

21 March 2005
Dann Siems

Students come to liberal education with a variety of worldviews. These deep convictions can function as obstacles to learning, especially if course content does not fit comfortably into the context of an existing worldview. This lecture presented preliminary findings from research conducted in our "People & the Environment" course and offered some broader conjectures based on these results.

Sex Offenders and Community Reaction: A Comparative Perspective

11 April 2005
Tom Beech & Lloyd Klein

There is much public focus on crime and concern for community safety among neighborhood residents. This lecture focused on examining the often neglected comparative perspective wherein we can assess the legalistic response triggered by community reaction to the presence of sex offenders. Perspectives from Canada, Europe and America were examined in formulating a global analysis of community crime and the perception of at-risk situations.

Learning From the Land IV: Student Fieldwork in East Africa, Summer 2005

28 September 2005
Mark Lawrence

This past May, June & July, three BSU students prepared and implemented their own service-learning projects in Kibwezi, Kenya under the supervision of Dr. Lawrence. In this lecture, Anna Becker, Gregg Cramer and Jessica Lemieux shared their experiences.

Alcohol-Related Incident Guardianship and Undergraduate College Parties

10 October 2005
Troy Gilbertson

Dr. Gilbertson's research examined an outcome-based approach to BSU undergraduate students' norms about drinking behavior among their fellow students by identifying variations in alcohol-related attitudes about binge drinking differentiated by sex, athletic status, and location of the event. Knowledge about the effects of these characteristics is important to understanding the ecology of student binge drinking because there seems to be a disjunction between actual and perceived behaviors within this group.

Culture, Gender & Identity: The Present Times

29 November 2005
Mark Christensen & Dada Maglajlic

This lecture continued a series regarding the interactions of gender, culture and education on the BSU campus. The speakers reported the results of their exploration into current faculty perceptions of gender issues as they affect the culture of Bemidji State University. Both unifying and divisive factors were discussed.

Intelligent Design: Teaching the Controversy?

7 December 2005
Dann Siems

There has been a renewed public dialogue concerning apparent "intelligent design" in nature. Advocates assert that certain aspects of biological organization are sufficiently complex that no natural explanation is possible. Some are calling for public schools to teach "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolutionary theory. President Bush suggests that students be exposed to "both sides" of the controversy. This talk explored the scientific status of "intelligent design" with thoughts as to when, how & why one might want to "teach the controversy."

The Ethical Implications of the Messenger's Haircut: Steganography in the Digital Age

19 January 2006
Marty Wolf

Information hiding has been of interest since the time of the Greeks. Steganography is one technique used to hide information. This talk reviewed the historical uses of steganography and the impact that advances in information and communication technology have had on steganographic techniques. In particular, computing has made steganography accessible and convenient for just about everyone with access to the Internet.

The Puzzles of Consciousness and Free Will

1 February 2006
David Lund

Nothing seems more evident to us than the fact that we are conscious. There are genuine alternative courses of action open to us, which we can choose, thereby exercising a freedom of will. The currently dominant conceptual framework in our science-based understanding of ourselves is materialistic & deterministic. In this view, the natural world, including ourselves, is constituted entirely of matter, and all events occurring in that world are causally determined to occur just as they do, i.e., alternative occurrences are causally impossible.

Sex Offender Treatment Strategies & Outcomes

15 February 2006
Riki Scheela

Sex offenders are considered by many to be remorseless, untreatable monsters who, given the chance, will continue to re-offend. The Bemidji area has a research and evidence-based treatment program, and in this presentation, Dr. Scheela and a panel of therapists and probation officers who work in the program discussed: treatment tasks the sex offenders must complete, the use of the polygraph test as a treatment strategy, the research studies conducted in this program, the community collaboration involved in policy and procedure decisions, and the treatment outcomes.

Wal-Mart: Good, Bad or the Ugly Truth About a Globalized World Economy?

22 March 2006
Louise Mengelkoch & Carol Nielsen

This lecture contemplated the values of Wal-Mart through two lenses: the law and the news media. Wal-Mart came to Bemidji after being snubbed 10 years earlier because it was determined its values conflicted with those of the community. Did Bemidji's values change? Did Wal-Mart's values change? These and other questions were tackled, along with considerations for citizen-consumers who would like our retailers to reflect the values we believe to be most important for our cultures and public life.

The Science of Little Round Things: Using Fossil Pollen and Sports to Understand the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction Event

30 March 2006
Tim Kroeger

Paleontologists have long probed into the causes of mass extinctions & how the survivors rebound after a mass extinction event. The extinction at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, in the northern Great Plains, is 1 of 5 mass extinctions that have occurred during the last 540 million years. Research indicates that a major ecosystem collapse occurred during the extinction event, including major extinctions within the Plant Kingdom.

"God's Little Acre" The Anatomy & Language of Rural Cemeteries

19 March 2006
Mike Garrett

Small rural cemeteries convey messages not only about those whose remains rest beneath grassy carpets and mossy turfs. They speak much of the past and present societies and how the living views the future. Messages are indeed there - whispered amongst the woodsy sentinels and carved upon rocky reminders. This presentation provided glimpses into small, rural cemeteries through graphics and slides gathered from the upper Midwest and the local country side.

Who are the Online Students at BSU and What is Important to Them?

5 October 2006
Mike Herbert

With the interest and demand for online courses, online educators are faced with many new challenges. By knowing the demographics of online students and the unique issues they face, educators can plan and develop online courses that will address those needs and facilitate a positive and successful learning experience. By using analyzed data from research conducted on BSU students during the fall semester 2005, this lecture showed who the typical online students are, what variables are of importance to them and how satisfied they were with their actual online experience.

Tolkien's Unfinished "Lay of Luthian" and the Orpheus Legend

24 October 2006
Deanna Evans

In his famous essay, "On Fairy Stories," J.R.R. Tolkien provides his extended definition of the fairy-tale. He comments on the difficulty of explaining "the nature of Faerie: the perilous realm itself." A task more difficult than describing that "perilous realm" is trying to explain influences on Tolkien's creation of Fairy-land in his own "secondary world." In this lecture, it was argued that Tolkien found inspiration for "inventing" his own secondary realm of Faerie in the Orpheus legend.

Compassion Fatigue: From Hurricane Katrina to the Classroom

14 November 2006
Russell Lee

Compassion fatigue is a problematic response of helpers who work with individuals who are victims of crisis. Although not directly exposed to the crisis, traumatization can be experienced. In this lecture, Dr. Lee took lessons learned from his sabbatical experience working with rescue workers from the hurricane damaged areas of Louisiana, and applied these lessons to thos who work with students in crisis.

With God(s) in Mind: The Integrative Science of Neurotheology

6 December 2006
Dann Siems

Part 1 of this presentation looked at the application of neuroscience and molecular genetics to understanding religious experience. Part 2 explored two contrasting paradigms explaining these recent findings. Part 3 raised questions concerning broader socio-cultural implications of neurotheological research.