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A Brighter U

Saturday, February 18, 2017
McNamara Alumni Center
200 Oak Street SE
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Jump-start your weekend with coffee and stimulating conversation about big ideas with CLA faculty. Join fellow College of Liberal Arts alumni for a sampler program of some of the most stimulating and relevant ideas currently being explored in our college. “A Brighter U” will feature faculty-guided, interactive, sessions in which guests will experience, once again, the thrill of learning at CLA and the stimulation of engaging with faculty and each other.
Admission includes lunch, 2 topic sessions, and one glass of wine or beer at the closing reception.
Space is limited, so RSVP today! Registration deadline: Feb 17, 2017
$30  General Public
$25  UMAA members

Schedule & Event Details


Registration:  Memorial Hall, 11:30 am - Noon 

Welcome and Presentation: Memorial Hall, Noon - 1:15pm
 David Walsh, Director of Opera Theatre at the University of Minnesota School of Music, will present "Puccini Operas in the Post-Romantic Age"and lead the audience on a journey through the story and music of the upcoming spring operas. Get an inside look into the production of Puccini's Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi and listen to student performers from the School of Music. Perfect for newcomers, opera aficionados or anyone in-between!
Topic Sessions: Hour 1: 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. (Select one from three options; descriptions below)
Option #1: Speech Production and Perception: Cornerstones for Language Acquisition
Option #2: Carceral Landscapes at Fort Snelling

Topic Sessions: Hour 2: 2:45 - 3:45 p.m. (Select one from three options; descriptions below)
Option #1: Bodystorming: Choreographing Cutting Edge Cancer Research
Option #2: The Trump Presidency and the 115th Congress
Option #3: Bridging the School-Community divide
Post-event social: University Hall, 4 - 5- p.m.
Info: Contact Megan Mehl at 612-624-6445 or mmehl@umn.edu

Note: Online registration has closed.

Description of Topic Sessions

Session 1 Options:
Option #1: Speech Production and Perception: Cornerstones for Language Acquisition
For children acquiring a spoken language, variation in the perception and production of speech early in life can profoundly affect other aspects of language like word learning and social communication later in life. Professor Ben Munson researches speech perception and production in the preschool years and how enriching children's speech knowledge might offset word-learning problems in children at risk for language-learning impairments. He has also examined how children learn to convey and perceive gender in speech. Munson will present some of this work and lead a discussion of how recent research in language acquisition might influence recommendations for how to best facilitate language in young children.
Option #2: Carceral Landscapes at Fort Snelling
Anthropology professor Katherine Hayes is exploring new ways of telling the story of Fort Snelling. Minnesota residents may be familiar with the fort's story of opening up new American possibilities. But Professor Hayes uses multiple perspectives (landscapes, buildings, archaeology and material culture, and archival remains) and new technologies (virtual and augmented reality) to think about how instead people were confined, pressed into new categories, such as, citizen, alien, property, racialized person, loyal or disloyal.

Session 2 Options:
Option #1: Bodystorming: Choreographing Cutting Edge Cancer Research
Dance and microbiology come together in bodystorming, a scientific modeling technique developed by dance professor and award-winning choreographer Carl Flink and U of M microbiology engineer David Odde. Join Flink and members of his professional dance company Black Label Movement to experience this innovative research tool and how unexpected collaborations can inspire and produce unique discoveries.
Option #2: The Trump Presidency and the 115th Congress
With unified party control of the White House and Congress, Republicans have an opportunity to pass major legislation. Nonetheless, intra-party divides within the GOP and disagreements with Democrats in a polarized Congress can make legislating difficult. What have Congress and President Trump accomplished so far, and what is the outlook for the rest of the 115th Congress? 
Option #3: Bridging the school-community divide
Getting secondary students into hands-on, culturally relevant work improves educational outcomes like GPA, attendance, and graduation rates. However, traditional curricula and school leadership are often estranged from communities of color, which impedes this work. One way to begin solving this problem is make real opportunities for community members to be part of the school day as trusted partners in students' education. Professor Catherine Squires will talk about U of M partnership with Gordon Parks High School in St. Paul that invites the community in.

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