Faculty Colloquium: Andrew Schwartz

Please join us on Thursday, February 27th, at 4:10 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our sixth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Wm. Andrew Schwartz, Executive Director, Center for Process Studies
Assistant Professor of Process and Comparative Theology at the Claremont School of Theology Andrew Schwartz

Title: Putting Philosophy to Work: A Relational Worldview for the Common Good

Abstract: Change your thinking; change the world. Philosophy has gotten a bad rap. As an academic discipline, it is mocked as irrelevant to modern society. But bias against philosophy doesn’t mean we don’t have one. We all have a basic worldview. This is as true for whole civilizations as for individuals, a point driven home daily as the dire consequences of the Western worldview—the most urgent being climate change—are now inescapable. But if Western philosophy has brought us to this razor’s edge, would another one be any better?

In this faculty colloquium, professor Wm. Andrew Schwartz will introduce the fundamentals of process philosophy and explore some implications for rethinking science, theology, ecology, and education.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Note: There will also be a special TGIF reception following the lecture that will be open to faculty from all schools. This is the second TGIF event this semester with Colloquium speakers from across the University. These opportunities for cross-university gathering and conversation are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Mike Chasar

Please join us on Thursday, February 20th, at 4:10 p.m. in Ford Hall 204 for our fifth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Mike Chasar, Associate Professor of English Mike Chasar

Title: Don’t Stop Believin’: The Poetry of Pop Music

Abstract: When you listen to or sing along with your favorite pop songs—Guns ‘N Roses, Beyoncé, Journey, Ke$ha, Whitney Houston—do you ever imagine that all of their stylized Ohs and Oooohs are something other than emotive overflows or opportunities for singers to display their vocal prowess? Indeed, those very “nonsense” sounds—so frequently overlooked that they are often omitted from liner notes and song transcriptions—are in fact the key to recognizing not only the poetry of pop music but also how it connects to two thousand years’-worth of verse stretching back to ancient Greece. Part dance party, part informal discussion, and maybe part sing-along, today’s presentation will shed new light on how some of the music you love or love to hate makes you one of the largest poetry audiences in history.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there. Also, remember to note the move to Thursday afternoons this semester.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Kyle Stephenson

Please join us on Thursday, February 13th, at 4:10 p.m. in Ford Hall 102 for our fourth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Kyle Stephenson, Assistant Professor of Psychology Kyle Stephenson

Title: Better Sex Through Science: Building and Testing an Online Program to Treat Sexual Dysfunction

Abstract: Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) – distressing and long-lasting impairments in sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, or pain – affects 15-30% of women worldwide. FSD is associated with poorer relational satisfaction, mental health, and overall quality of life, making it essential to create, test, and disseminate effective treatments. Research has suggested that Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-Based Therapy (MBT) are effective in treating FSD when provided face-to-face by professional sex therapists. However, only a small portion of women who could benefit are receiving these treatments. Access is limited by many factors including embarrassment, cost, and lack of available expertise. Web-based interventions hold the promise of addressing many of these barriers, vastly expanding access to traditionally underserved populations. Over the past four years, our research team has constructed eSense: an online platform housing self-guided, evidence-based therapy for FSD. Three feasibility studies have suggested that eSense is a clear, usable, and potentially efficacious program to address FSD. This talk will include information on the nature and causes of FSD, a description of evidence-based sex therapies, an overview of eSense with example therapeutic activities, and a summary of results from feasibility studies.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there. Also, remember to note the move to Thursday afternoons this semester.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Haiyan Cheng

Please join us on Thursday, February 6th, at 4:10 p.m. in Ford Hall 102 for our third Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Haiyan Cheng, Associate Professor of Computer Science Haiyan Cheng

Title: Computational and Data Science for All

Abstract: Computational science uses computer’s superpower and mathematical algorithms to solve large-scale scientific problems. Data science explores information from large quantity heterogeneous datasets to gain insights and build forecast models with statistical methods. Would it be great to combine strength from both worlds?

In this talk, I will give a brief introduction of computational science and data science, then showcase some of the research projects I was involved in computational and data science applied to air quality modeling, presidential elections, predictive policing, and DNA binding hotspot forecasting. In all these projects, mathematics and computer science play important roles, together with problem-solving skills and subject knowledge from various disciplines. Inspired by those projects, I developed and taught data science classes for both CLA and AGSM data certificate programs. In both classes, student teams worked on various projects, which demonstrate that computational and data science projects are intrinsically collaborative, and are indeed relevant to all.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there. Also, remember to note the move to Thursday afternoons this semester.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Cecily McCaffrey

Please join us on Thursday, January 30th, at 4:10 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our second Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Cecily McCaffrey, Associate Professor of History

Title: “Reimagining the Old Forests of Central China: From History to Botany and Back Again.” Chinese Forest

Abstract: In the 18th century, Qing dynasty elites depicted the old forests (laolin 老林) of central China as troublesome places, a refuge of rebels and bandits. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, British and American “plant hunters” ventured into these same spaces searching for specimens of endemic species. Today the mountainous region hosts national forests and nature parks: the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre of biodiversity. This paper attempts to forge a composite image of the old forests by overlapping and layering observations from a variety of sources including local histories, travel writing, photographs, and reports of botanical expeditions. The objectives of this project are two-fold: first, to use latter-day sources to inform an understanding of place in historical terms; second, to consider the ways in which historical constructions of place intersect with contemporary formulations.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Note: There will also be a special TGIF reception following the lecture that will be open to faculty from all schools. This is the first TGIF event this semester with Colloquium speakers from across the University. These opportunities for cross-university gathering and conversation are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Peter Wogan

Please join us on Thursday, January 23rd, at 4:10 p.m. in Ford 204 for our first Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Peter Wogan, Professor of Anthropology Coins in water

Title: Awe and Aesthetics: Coins in Water

Abstract: Why are so many people in the U.S. and elsewhere attracted to the sight of coins lying in shallow water, such as fountains, ponds, and other “wishing wells”? My answers are based on a blend of research traditions in cultural anthropology and social psychology. First, research on aesthetic preferences has repeatedly shown a preference for landscapes with an element of mystery, a sense that more information could be gained through exploration. I suggest that, similarly, coins lying in shallow bodies of clear water present visual mystery through their novel, complicated patterns. Second, reactions to such coins subtly fit the two prototypical qualities of awe: need for mental accommodation, and perceived vastness. I argue that these aesthetic and awe reactions are particularly connected with images of social groups, as well as possible resistance to class inequality and state control.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there. Also, remember to note the move to Thursday afternoons this semester.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Finals Week: Extended Study Hours

The Hatfield Library will be providing extended hours for final exams this fall. Branches on snow.

Also, don’t forget about the free cookies provided by Bon Appetit and coffee provided by the library…usually the cookies are made available after 10 p.m. Cookies will be available on Dec. 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th each night until they run out.

These are the hours for the end of the term:

Friday, Dec. 6 — 7:45 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Saturday, Dec. 7 — 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Sunday, Dec. 8 — 9 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Monday, Dec. 9 – Thursday, Dec. 12 — 7:45 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Friday, Dec. 13 — 7:45 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14 — 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 15 — CLOSED

Winter break begins on Monday, Dec. 16. During the break, the library will be open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on the weekends. Also, the library (and the rest of campus) will be closed from Dec. 23 through Jan. 5. Regular hours resume on Jan. 21.


Faculty Colloquium: Luke Ettinger

Please join us on Friday, November 22nd, at 3 p.m. in Ford 102 for our eighth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Luke Ettinger, Assistant Professor of Exercise and Health ScienceLuke Ettinger

Title: “Lost in Space; an Exploration into Sense of Self”

Abstract: Proprioception (proprio: own, perception: awareness) in the periphery describes our ability to locate limb position in space in the absence of visual feedback. This presentation will describe the biomechanical analysis performed on clinical populations who demonstrate movement disorders using language that is easily digestible to attendees of all backgrounds. Here, my goal is to convey the work my student collaborators and I have accomplished over the past 4 years at Willamette and to describe the trajectory of our future work.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


The Northwest Collection

Guest post by Carol Drost, Associate University Librarian for Technical Services.

The Northwest Collection was established in 1997 through a gift from Nancy B. Hunt and consisted of materials collected by her husband, Kenneth J. Hunt. Kenneth was a Willamette alum who graduated in 1942 with a degree in sociology. Throughout his life, he collected books, pamphlets, and periodicals that focused on Oregon or the Pacific Northwest as their subject matter.

Ladd & Bush QuarterlyThe majority of these titles are early and mid-20th century local historical accounts of Oregon towns and institutions, autobiographies, and fiction and poetry. Many of the books are signed by the author.

The Hatfield Library continues to add materials to this collection, building upon the rich foundation that Kenneth Hunt established. The library acquires not only recently published titles, such as Standing Tall: the Lifeway of Kathryn Jones Harrison, but also historical titles such as Ken Kesey’s Spit in the Ocean series, which was published in the 1970s. 

The materials found in the Northwest Collection can be located through the library’s online catalog, and are in a closed stack location. All library users are welcome to use the materials by appointment, from 9-4, Monday through Friday. Contact a reference librarian for further assistance.


Faculty Colloquium: Jim Friedrich

Please join us on Friday, November 15th, at 3 p.m. in Ford 102 for our seventh Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Jim Friedrich, Professor of Psychology Jim Friedrich

Title: “Removing Bias From Our Judgments: Did Ulysses Have It Right?”

Abstract: A great deal of behavioral science research has documented the various ways in which human judgment can be contaminated — influenced or distorted by factors that decision-makers prefer would not have an impact on their perceptions and choices. For example, people might agree that the physical appearance of a job applicant should not impact their hiring decision and might wish to avoid or correct any such influence. Unfortunately, this same body of research suggests that avoiding and correcting for bias can be extremely difficult and that simple awareness of one’s own vulnerability and good intentions are insufficient. Ulysses famously had his crew tie him to the mast of his ship so that he would not be seduced by the siren’s songs. Recent research conducted with and by Willamette University students suggests that we see such bias-preventing “binding strategies” as helpful for others but less necessary for oneself — a manifestation of what is sometimes referred to as the bias blind spot effect. In this talk, I will be discussing why self-correction of one’s biases is so difficult, why “binding strategies” that limit exposure to certain influences might be most effective, and why people nevertheless underestimate their vulnerability to bias and their need to engage in such protective strategies.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Kelm and Stephen Patterson
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators