Bemidji State University’s director of sustainability will explore the feelings of American society regarding intellectual workers and those associated with higher education as part of the university’s Honors Council Lecture Series.
Erika Bailey-Johnson will present “Working in the Ivory Tower: Breaking Down the Walls of Academia” Jan. 31 at 6:00 p.m. in Hagg-Sauer 107 on the BSU campus.
“Simply because of where we work or go to school, we may be at an advantage or disadvantage when it comes to engaging with our communities,” Bailey-Johnson said. “Are faculty seen as respected experts in their field or know-it-all liberals?”
Bailey-Johnson’s presentation will challenge the audience to think critically about their role in the community, particularly with individuals that are not like-minded.
For academics, she will raise the question, “What kinds of things might we do to tip the scale towards a more positive interpretation of what we do?”
Anna Carlson, assistant director of sustainability, and Jordan Lutz, environmental studies graduate student, along with Bailey-Johnson, will share their unique experiences, their understanding of privilege and how these experiences impact the lens through which people see and interact with the world.
They will also be using components of their Blandin Community Leadership program that will help define how to better connect and relate to the community beyond the campus walls.
The Honors Council Lecture Series provides a forum for BSU faculty to share their expertise and the results of their research with the Bemidji community. Honors Council lectures are open to everyone free of charge.
ABOUT ERIKA BAILEY-JOHNSON
Erika Bailey-Johnson is in her 10th year as the first sustainability director at Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College, and she directs the Ganawendakamigaawigamig (Office of Earth-Caretaking) or Sustainability Office. She began her career as a science teacher, teaching with her husband for two years in Mexico and three years in Kuwait before coming to Bemidji.
In addition to her role as sustainability coordinator, she helped found the Bemidji Sustainability Committee and teaches sustainability courses. She frequently speaks at regional and national conferences on topics including carbon footprint reduction and BSU’s unique sustainability model, which includes an emphasis on integrating traditional and indigenous voices. In 2014, Bailey-Johnson was named to Prairie Business Magazine’s 40-under-40 list of business professionals who exemplify a high level of talent in the upper Midwest region and are under 40 years of age.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Minnesota, Morris and a master’s degree in environmental studies from Bemidji State.
BSU HONORS COUNCIL
The Honors Council Lecture Series is hosted by the Bemidji State University Honors Council, the advisory group to BSU’s honors program composed of 12 faculty members representing each of the university’s colleges. Student representatives are also elected to the council by their cohorts for one-year terms.
Upcoming Honors COuncil Lectures
Jan. 31 — 6:00 p.m. — Bemidji State University Honors Council Lecture Series presents Erika Bailey Johnson, director of sustainability, “Working in the Ivory Tower: Breaking Down the Walls of Academia.” Hagg-Sauer Hall 107, BSU campus. Admission: free. Information: (218) 755-3984.
Feb. 27 — 6:00 p.m. — Bemidji State University Honors Council Lecture Series presents Katie Peterson, assistant professor of chemistry, “Putting Molecules to Work: Metal Complexes for the Catch-and-Release of Phosphates and Fluorescent Probes for the Detection of Hydrogen Sulfide.” Hagg-Sauer Hall 102, BSU campus. Admission: free. Information: (218) 755-3984.
March 19 — 6:00 p.m. — Bemidji State University Honors Council Lecture Series presents Kathryn Klement, assistant professor of psychology, “From Virginity to Violence: How Negative Attitudes About Women’s Sexuality Uphold Rape Culture.” Hagg-Sauer 107, BSU campus. Admission: free. Information: (218) 755-3984.
April 3 — 6:00 p.m. — Bemidji State University Honors Council Lecture Series presents Camille Brandt, assistant professor of professional education, “Art on Saturdays: An Inclusive Project for Children Impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Hagg-Sauer Hall 102, BSU campus. Admission: free. Information: (218) 755-3984.
April 16 — 6:00 p.m. — Bemidji State University Honors Council Lecture Series presents Jenna O’Dell, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, “Examining the Mathematical Dispositions of Elementary Students with an Unsolved Mathematics Problem.” Hagg-Sauer 107, BSU campus. Admission: free. Information: (218) 755-3984.
- Erika Bailey-Johnson, director of sustainability; (218) 755-2560, email@example.com
- Jennifer Baumann, BSU honors program; (218) 755-3984, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Season Ellison, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies and director, liberal education and honors program; (218) 755-3355, email@example.com
Bemidji State University, located amid the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,100 students, Bemidji State offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and eight graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. BSU is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. The university’s Shared Fundamental Values include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and international and multicultural understanding.