Berglund Seminar Series
The Berglund Seminar Series helps generate meaningful discussions and debates outside of the classroom on topical—and sometimes controversial—subjects.
Berglund Seminar Series
Each semester the Honors College invites faculty and community partners to participate in our Berglund Seminar and Diverse Conversations series. The purpose of the series is to generate meaningful discussions and debates outside of the classroom on topical—and sometimes controversial—subjects.
VCU faculty have presented on a range of subjects from e-cigarettes, to 3D printing museum artifacts, to representation and identity. We have also had community partners discuss topics like affordable housing, the GRTC Pulse and Richmond transit system and helping families of inmates.
Our Diverse Conversations are designed to bring a small group (10-15) of students together to engage in conversation around topics of diversity and inclusion specifically. In contrast, the Berglund Seminars can be on a variety of topics and are open to the public.
Honors students can earn five engagement points for attending a Bergldund Seminar.
Title: A Statistical Study of the Authorship of the Books of Oz
Speaker: D'Arcy Mays, Ph.D.
Date and Time: September 20 at 4 p.m.
Most people have heard of the The Wizard of Oz written by L. Frank Baum. This was the first book in a series of 33 books referred to as the Books of Oz. It is known that L. Frank Baum is the author of the first 14 books, and that Ruth Plumly Thompson is the author of books 16 through 33. But the authorship of book 15, The Royal Book of Oz, has been debated. We use statistical methodology referred to as stylometry to quantify the likely authorship of The Royal Book of Oz.
Title: Equity in Transit and Mobility
Speaker: Julie Timm (CEO -GRTC)
Date and Time: September 27 at 4 p.m.
Many Americans who live in poverty and in underinvested communities face barriers to affordable housing, health, and economic prosperity that could be overcome simply through more equitable and reliable access to mobility options. Transportation can mean the difference between stable housing and income versus living in chronic homelessness. GRTC is actively working to expand mobility services and infrastructure to underserved communities to break down barriers to jobs, education, food, health care, and access to the American Dream. The success of these efforts will pivot on the commitment of the entire region to challenge the status quo on how we develop and invest in our communities.
Title: Designing Your Life: Applying Design-Thinking to Planning What's Next for You
Speaker: Mary-Chris Escobar, M.Ed.
Date and Time: September 28 at 4 p.m.
Based on the life-design curriculum at Stanford University, this seminar will give a brief overview of the basic principles of design-thinking. Participants will then learn and practice techniques to apply the principles to exploring their own educational and career path. Great for students early in their academic career questioning their majors or students getting close to graduation and feeling curious about what's next in their career
Title: Forensic Analysis of Biological Terrorism Agents
Speaker: Christopher Ehrhardt, Ph.D.
Date and Time: October 5 at 4 p.m.
The use of pathogenic bacteria for criminal purposes is an ongoing threat for countries around the world. In this seminar, famous cases involving bioterrorism agents throughout modern history will be presented as well as current strategies for detecting bacterial threat agents and determining their source during a biocrime investigation.
Title: Green Building/Energy Efficiency/Building Science
Speaker: Matt Waring
Date and Time: October 7 at 4 p.m.
Matt Waring from Viridiant will come discuss how to make our homes and buildings more green and energy efficient.
Title: Electronic nicotine delivery systems and implications for cigarette smoking harm reduction
Speaker: Caroline Cobb, Ph.D.
Date and Time: October 12 at 4 p.m.
Electronic nicotine delivery systems or ENDS encompass a range of electronic devices that deliver a nicotine-containing aerosol to users. These products have been described as an epidemic among youth as well as a means for cigarette smokers to quit/reduce their exposure to harmful smoking-related chemicals. This presentation will describe findings from a large-scale clinical randomized control trial of ENDS differing in nicotine delivery on measures of cigarette smoking behavior and toxicant exposure. Clinical and policy implications will be discussed.
Title: What's Your Brand Worth
Speaker: Cheryl Black, J.D.
Date and Time: October 18 at 4 p.m.
Trademarks, a type of intellectual property, can be valuable intangible assets to a business. The goodwill associated with the trademark (or brand) helps to build brand loyalty and can account for millions and even billions in revenue stream. On the flip side, poor ethical decisions or illegal actions by business leaders can strip a company of its favorable image and adversely affect its consumer base and revenue stream.
This workshop will explore the value of trademarks and the importance of ethical decision to maintain its worth
Title: Hollywood Cemetery's Hidden Stories / or Richmond National Cemetery: Union Graves in the Heart of the Confederacy
Speaker: Ryan Smith, Ph.D.
Date and Time: October 28 at 4 p.m.
Depends on which of the proposed titles you think would be best. I can tweak the language after that. Either would explore a historic and nationally-significant cemetery close to VCU's campus. The talk would analyze the cemetery's design and the stories - often related to race, religion, or gender - that lie off the beaten path. Ultimately the talk will attempt to show why the cemetery is important to us today and what connections it has to Richmond's wider memorial landscape.
Title: Women's Lifespan Development Research Lab: A Review of Recent Findings
Speaker: Mary Hermann, J.D., Ph.D.
Date and Time: November 3 at 4 p.m.
In this seminar, the founder and director of the Women's Lifespan Development Research Lab will share findings from recent research lab projects. These projects include the experiences of working mothers in multiple fields, including experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, the experiences of African American women in the workforce, and the experiences of women at midlife. Social justice advocacy implications will be discussed. Information about the lab will be provided.
Title: Research and education in Rwanda: Common ground in the Land of 1,000 Hills
Speaker: Dr. Dennis Hopkinson
Date and Time: November 4 at 6 p.m.
I will cover our research in Rwanda over the last three years, in which we collaborated with local researchers on multiple projects. We will explore sepsis and acute coronary syndrome in Rwanda, discuss barriers to taking blood pressure medications, and describe our exciting vitamin C in sepsis clinical trial. I will also discuss the project we have just launched, in which we are working to understand delivery of critical care in order to improve critical care education in Rwanda. Our educational interventions in Rwanda will be discussed as well.
Title: Increasing educational equity via prevention of problematic behaviors in preschool and elementary school
Speaker: Drs. Kevin Sutherland, Ph.D., and Kristen Granger, Ph.D.
Date and Time: November 16 at 4 p.m.
Children and students with and at-risk for emotional/behavioral disorders receive fewer learning opportunities and positive interactions with their teachers early in school, and these interaction patterns continue into later school years. These negative school experiences contribute to poor outcomes later in life, including school dropout, mental health problems and involvement with the juvenile justice system. In this seminar we will describe how we developed and evaluated a prevention program, BEST in CLASS, that trains and supports teachers to improve their use of evidence-based practices to support young children and students in order to improve teacher-child relationships and interactions. We will briefly describe BEST in CLASS and discuss implications for future work in this area.
Title: Unlearning History, 30 Years of Excavating in The Near East: A RAM'S perspective
Speaker: Dr. Jon Waybright
Date and Time: November 19 at 4 p.m.
In this presentation I plan of discussing three main topics of VCU's Study Abroad program to the Middle East. Topic 1 - Unlearning History - How interpretations and understandings of evidence change in a single generation. Topic 2 - Rams Dig! VCU archaeology programs to Israel and their contributions to the History of the Ancient Near East. Topic 3 - An invitation to join the summer 2022 VCU team to Hazor Israel