A Message from the Dean

Welcome to the start of the Spring semester with the January edition of This Month in CAS (TMIC). We continue providing you with information on the great faculty, students, and programs in the College of Arts and Sciences

We start with our students. This Saturday, January 27th, Lyceum, the student led philosophy group, and the Department of Philosophy will host the 4th annual Regional Ethics Bowl. High schools from around the area are invited to campus to address complex ethical questions and are judged by the depth of their answers. (Perhaps we could send some of the winners to Washington D.C.?)

Our faculty continue to connect their scholarship with our communities. The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a two-year $100,000 Humanities Access Grant for the creation of an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on digital storytelling. “Conversation Toward a Brighter Future,” is an expansion of an earlier program founded by Dr. Ed Hightower at the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities Foundation (MJCHF), and will be delivered through a partnership of the IRIS Center, the MJCHF and the Madison County Regional Office of Education 41.

Sarah VanSlette, Associate Professor in Applied Communications Studies, has authored a chapter in the new book, “Communication in the Classroom: A Collection of G.I.F.T.S.” (Macmillan Learning, 2018). Dr. VanSlette’s chapter discusses an activity where students identify each step of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence in a clip of the TV show Shark Tank.

The TMIC new faculty spotlight falls on Sasikumar Balasundaram, PhD, assistant professor of applied cultural anthropology in the the SIUE Department of Anthropology. Balasundaram studies sustainable food systems that challenge the profit motive that undermines the close human and nature relationship.

In program news, SIUE and CAS will offer a new online master’s in criminal justice policy beginning fall 2018. The fully online program will provide advanced study in the core areas of criminal justice operations for practicing professionals and those planning a career in criminal justice.

Finally, come help us celebrate Darwin Day. This year’s lecture is a joint venture between the Departments of Biological Sciences and Anthropology, with support from the Wildlife & Conservation Biology Club, and will take place at 4 p.m. on Feb. 12 in Dunham Hall Theater.  Read more about our speaker Dr. Sheela Athreya, an associate professor of anthropology at Texas A&M University in the accompanying article.

Best wishes for a great spring semester,

 Greg Budzban

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