University Convocation

Spring Semester, 2015

Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Cone Chapel, Waller Hall (unless otherwise noted)

The University Convocation series is planned by the students of IDS 202 ("Convo: Campus/Community/Cosmos") so the schedule is under constant development throughout the semester. These are the programs scheduled to date.

January 29
Half the Story Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism
Historian Edward Baptist (Cornell University) will be speaking at Willamette in the first week of February.  In preparation for his talk, we will convene in small groups to discuss the opening chapter of Baptist’s book which explores the nineteenth century forced migration of enslaved African-Americans from the Upper South to the expanding Cotton South.  A PDF copy of the reading is available at
February 5
Commercial Replay: The Super Bowl as Big Business
Come and join the Convo class as we discuss the commercial impact of the Super Bowl and review this year's commercials.
February 12
Yik Yak

What is Yik Yak?

How is this social media app being used by the Willamette community and others? Concerns have been raised about cyber-bullying (resulting in Yik Yak being banned by some schools) and freedom of speech issues.

Join the Convo class for a lively discussion of these topics and others.

February 19
Fifty Shades of Grey: Pathology and/or Pleasure?

Please join us for a discussion on BDSM… consent… romance… women’s desire and fulfillment… kink… fantasy… $$... media depictions… spanking… virginity…

Jade Aguilar from the Sociology Department will frame the discussion for us.

February 26
Mindfulness -- What is That!?

Source of well-being... Stress-reduction technique... Workout enhancer... Study aid... Can the practice of being truly present in the moment really provide all theses benefits? Popular and commercial culture has adopted mindfulness as the answer to what ails us. But what is it?

This Convocation will offer an introduction to mindfulness practice and feature student and staff practitioners. Come to Convo and breathe!

March 5
Service Dogs
Joy St. Peter, Executive Director of Joys of Living Assistance Dogs, will provide information about the various types of service dogs and how they are trained. She will also bring a dog to demonstrate some of what they can do.
March 12
Professors Profess

Emma Coddington, Biology
Emily Drew, Sociology
Bill Duvall, History

Willamette faculty talk about how and why they responded to the call of academia. Did they always plan to teach or did they have another career path in mind? If they were headed on another path, what made them change direction?

March 19
Show Me the Money!

Monica Rimai
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration

How does WU's budget work? Where do tuition dollars, endowment revenue, and gifts fit in? How are decisions about allocations made? Come to Convo and learn the answers to these questions and get an overview of the budget.

March 26
No Convocation - Spring Break
April 2
What's Up with Zena?

Joe Abraham, Director, Sustainability Institute and Zena Forest and Farm
Kyle Batisky, Zena Farm Club
Wendy Petersen Boring, Sustainability Institute Advisory Board

Come and learn about the history of Zena and its current situation and engage in conversation about the possibilities for the future.

April 9
#Paradise: Exploring the Misconceptions of Hawai‘i

Dr. Stephanie Lani Teves
Ethnic Studies Department
University of Oregon

What do you think of when you picture Hawai‘i? Beach, bikinis, hula, lazy life... what influences your ideas of Hawai‘i? Dr. Teves will discuss the history of Hawai‘i and how colonization has led to the exotification of Hawaiian culture.

April 16
Let's Go to Mars! - A Discussion of the Mars One Project
What is the Mars One Project? Is it feasible? ethical? Would you take a one-way trip to Mars?
April 23
Sugar Daddies: Is This Any Way to Fund an Education (or a vacation)?
Websites offering "mutually beneficial relationships" between younger women and wealthy men are getting lots of attention and lots of members. Is this ethical? Advisable? Come to Convo and discuss. Professor Jade Aguilar of Sociology will frame our discussion.
April 30
A Capella Palooza
Come enjoy great music from Headband, Tandem, and Up Top and refreshments from Bistro Willamette at the last Convo of the year! Join us on the west side of Waller Hall (or Cone Chapel if the weather doesn't cooperate).

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