Family Weekend

Mini-University Sessions: 2013

Below is a list of the Mini-University sessions for 2013. Check back for information regarding the 2014 schedule.

Contact the Family Weekend Coordinators for more information.

2013 Mini-University Sessions |Saturday, October 12th 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

9 a.m. | Mini-University Session I

Presented By: Ivan Fernandez, Professor of Exercise Science, Instructor of Yoga

Location: Montag Den

Yoga is a system of exercise, breath awareness and concentration used to promote individual growth. This course focuses on physical postures and breathing exercises to develop strength, flexibility and balance.  Class will begin with focusing and warm-up followed by gentle to intense activity and ending in 10 minutes of deep relaxation. Please bring a yoga mat or towel to this session and try not to come to class with a full stomach.

“American Foxtrot and Swing Dance Class”
Presented By: Footloose, Student Organization

Location: Cat Cavern, Putnam University Center, 2nd Floor

Footloose, Willamette's social dance club, will offer a lesson on basic American (Social) Foxtrot and Swing. Both Foxtrot and Swing are classic American dances and remain extremely popular on the social dance scene. These are both great dances to know for weddings, formal parties, etc. You don't need to have a partner or previous dance experience to participate. Instructors for the lesson will be club co-presidents Kelly Rose Oster ‘15 and Natalie Lyman ‘15. Check out our Facebook page under "Willamette Club Footloose" to learn more about us!

“Chemistry Behind the Scenes”
Presented By: Chemistry Club, Student Organization

Location: Collins 205

Students from Willamette University Chemistry Club will be joined by Chemistry Professor Karen Holman to discuss the various opportunities that Willamette chemistry students have on campus as well as the mission of outreach that chemistry club strives to undertake. Additionally, we will be performing several of our science demonstrations and explaining the chemical concepts behind them.

10 a.m. | Mini University Session II

Karl Marx, “For a Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing.”
Presented By: William Smaldone, Associate Professor of History, Chair of Latin American Studies

Location:Ford 102

When did Karl Marx become a communist?  This class examines Marx's thinking as a young man concerned about his world and what it would take to change it.

“The Bendable Brain: How Parenting Influences Early Brain Development”
Presented By: Courtney Stevens, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Location:Smullin 129

During the first years of life, a child’s brain changes rapidly as it begins to process language, regulate emotions, and respond to stress. With the advent of neuroimaging techniques, we have observed these changes in a child’s brain and examined the effects of different kinds of experience on brain development. In this session, we will examine research showing how early experiences – including aspects of parenting – can influence brain development. Our discussion will cut across several fields of study, including classical research in psychology and modern epigenetic research.

“Cicero, Catiline's Nemesis: How a Roman Upstart Lawyer Managed to Destroy a Patrician's Career.”
Presented By: Ortwin Knorr, Associate Professor of Classics, Chair of Comparative Literature and History

Location: Eaton 211

The bitter enmity between Cicero and the Roman patrician Lucius Sergius Catilina forms the background for one of the most dramatic episodes of the end phase of the Roman Republic, Catiline's attempt in late 63 B.C.E. to overthrow the government and assassinate Cicero, then one of the two reigning consuls. Usually, it is assumed that Catiline hated Cicero because of the embarrassing defeat that he, the proud scion of one of the oldest patrician families of Rome, had suffered in the consular elections of 64 against the "new man" Cicero. For in contrast to Catilina, who could consider the consulship his birthright, Cicero was no more than an upstart lawyer from a small town in the Sabine mountains. In fact, Catiline liked to malign him during the campaign as a "recent immigrant to the city of Rome" (inquilinus civis urbis Romae, Sallust, BC 31.7; Appian, BC 2.2). In this presentation, I will show that Catilina's reasons to detest Cicero go back even further, to a hitherto overlooked episode a few years earlier. In 66 B.C.E., Cicero was a Roman praetor in charge of the law court that investigated official corruption, and he apparently made a decision that ruined the rest of Catiline's life and career.

“Gender 101: How Gender Shapes Our Lives”
Presented By: Jade Aguilar, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Location: Ford 201

Gender organizes every aspect of our lives; from the moment we are born it shapes our life path, our interests, our opportunities, and the ways we move in the world. This class will explore how social factors such as race, class, government policies, educational systems, and ideas about families, intersect with gender, and shaped our own experiences as men and women.

“Service Project To Go”
Hosted By: The Office of Community Service Learning

Location: Alunni Lounge, Putnam University Center, 2nd Floor

The Service-Learning Program at Willamette University was initiated in 1993 through the combined effort of faculty members wishing to integrate service into their academic course curriculum.  At this session, families will have the opportunity to help participate in a service-to-go project. This project will benefit the Salem Interfaith Hospitality Network. This is a great opportunity to volunteer and help the Salem community.

11:00 a.m. | Mini-University Session III

"Peculiar Intimacies"
Presented By: Lynn Makau, Assistant Professor of English

Location: Eaton 211

"Peculiar Intimacies" draws on the concept of the peculiar institution to investigate the complex relations between people living in the antebellum period of American slavery as well as our relationship in the present to this history. We will address, among other issues, what investments we have in keeping certain memories alive while suppressing others, and ask what contemporary attempts to revisit this period in literature, film, and other visual art reveal about current views of race, power, and privilege. Using Arlene Keizer's concept of African American postmemory, we will consider how these creative returns to the past serve or incite affective responses to shameful history. As in the semester-length Topics in American Literature course on this topic, this mini-University session will address a range of disturbing subjects and images that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

"Experiential Learning and Community Service:The Willamette-Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program"
Presented By: Rebecca Dobkins, Professor of Anthropology

Location: Eaton 209

While many educators and parents believe that engaging in community service is important for college students, what, really, is the long-term impact of such programs?  Through the lens of the Willamette-Chemawa Indian School Partnership Program, we will explore this question through the voices of some of the nearly 200 Willamette students who have participated in the Partnership since its founding in 2005.  Chemawa is a federal Indian boarding high school in Salem with Native American youth from 20 states and dozens of tribes; Willamette students tutor and mentor there in nightly study halls. We’ll learn about how the Chemawa Partnership has shaped and given focus to the lives of Willamette students and alumni.  

“Evaluating Mao Zedong through the Lens of History”
Presented By: Cecily McCaffrey, Associate Professor of History, Department Chair

Location: Ford 102

Mao Zedong is an iconic figure. His portrait watches over Tiananmen Square in Beijing and his image has been reproduced in Warhol prints, not to mention t-shirts, coffee mugs and cigarette lighters. In the class “Mao’s China,” Willamette students grapple with the historical figure of Mao Zedong. How does one evaluate a man who is alternately described as a tyrant and a saint? This talk discusses the competing representations of Mao from both Chinese and Western perspectives and reveals the ways that Willamette students come to terms with the historical legacy of Chairman Mao.

“Spanish 101 and Studying abroad in Spanish-speaking Countries”
Presented By: John Uggen, Associate Professor of Spanish

Location: Smullin 129

Professor Uggen will teach a basic beginner’s Spanish course as well as discuss the various programs Willamette offers to study in abroad in Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, and Spain.  Professor Uggen has been a part of the Spanish department for many years, and has been an integral part in creating study abroad opportunities for Willamette students in Spanish-speaking countries.

Taiko Club Performance

Location: Montag Den

Willamette Taiko Club is a student-run organization that aims to foster relationships between American Studies Program (ASP) and Willamette University students through learning how to play the traditional Japanese taiko drum.  Founded on November 8, 1999 by Mr. Masa Goto, a current faculty member and taiko coach at Tokyo International University (TIU) and Willamette Alum, Willamette Taiko brings together any and all students who are interested and willing to learn the rich history and skill required to play the taiko drum.  We will be discussing a brief history behind taiko drumming in the United States, explaining the kinds of instruments we play, how taiko is taught, and will be performing a selection of a few pieces.