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Juniata Voices,' Online Anthology of Speeches, Talks, Reveals New Edition

(Posted February 27, 2012)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- "Juniata Voices," an anthology of lectures, articles and presentations given by Juniata faculty and visiting speakers, has posted its 2010-2011 edition online.

The new "Juniata Voices" features lectures on the American chestnut tree by a Juniata environmental scientist, on Hollywood careers by a cinematographer, and on how a small country can affect the inner workings of the United Nations. Other lectures include talks on the financial health of colleges, on teaching science, and the danger of making snap assumptions.

"This is our most representative volume to date, but it's just a small sampling of the large number of speakers we see every year. To get a sense of the rich intellectual life here at Juniata, I suppose it's best to come to campus and listen for yourself."
David Hsiung, professor of history and editor of "Voices"

The journal, which can be accessed online at http://www.juniata.edu/services/jcpress/voices/, has released a collection of notable lectures on campus every year since 2002. This edition is the 11th to be released by the college (one edition was released in 1993).

"This is our most representative volume to date, but it's just a small sampling of the large number of speakers we see every year," says editor David Hsiung, Knox Professor of History and editor of the journal. "To get a sense of the rich intellectual life here at Juniata, I suppose it's best to come to campus and listen for yourself."

Readers with connections to Juniata students will be pleased to see the presence in the current edition of several recent Juniata graduates who returned to the college to speak. For example, Jeremy Weber, a research economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a 2005 Juniata graduate, spoke on his perception as an undergraduate student that economics was irrelevant to the "real world" and how his hands-on experience at Juniata and other places inspired him to become an economist. Lindsay Briggs, a 2002 Juniata graduate and an assistant professor of health education at California State University, Chico, spoke authoritatively, informatively and humorously on "The Politics of Sex" and made the case that all citizens of the world should be interested in sex education throughout their lives.

Another alumnus, Mike Trim, a 1976 graduate and a director of photography for the Showtime program "Weeds," NBC's "30 Rock" and other shows, told his audience of a life spent reading books and seeing films in darkened movie theatres and how Juniata inspired him to pursue a winding path into the film business.

A current student, Jewel Daniels, a junior from Bloomfield, N.J., is featured for her winning speech in the 2011 Bailey Oratorical Contest, "Idea of the Year." Jewel proposed that the idea of global communication should be awarded Time's Person of the Year award.

Other lectures reflecting on careers beyond Juniata include a talk by Sinan Antoon, assistant professor of Arabo-Islamic culture and literature, that analyzed the Iraqi poem "Rain Song." Antoon is also featured interviewing artist Muhammed Al Shammarey about Shammarey's artworks that were inspired by "Rain Song." In addition, Jim McLay, New Zealand ambassador to the United Nations, spoke on how small states can play critical roles in global politics and at the United Nations. Politics also is the focus of two talks: "The Reagan Legacy in the Age of Obama," by Steven Hayward, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and "The Challenges of Tradition in Democratic South Africa," by University of San Diego political scientist J. Michael Williams.

Robert Saldin, assistant professor of political science at the University of Montana and a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar at Harvard University, contributed "Wonder Drug or Bad Medicine? A Short History of Healthcare Reform and a Prognosis for its Future." Anna Theiss, assistant curator at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Poland, spoke on "Unveiling the Heaviness: Contemporary Polish Art Confronting the Iron Curtain." Shara McCallum, director of the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University, contributed "Two Poems." Her poems were "Grammar for War" and "Penelope."

Many Juniata faculty contributed to the journal. Jay Hosler, associate professor of biology, talked of "Modern Merchants of Light," a meditation of sorts on the best method to teach science. Kathleen Biddle, associate professor of education, contributed "The Least Dangerous Assumption," in which Biddle explains how quick assumptions of others can be major mistakes and how new college students should assume that the entire world is open to them and act accordingly.

Dominick Peruso, professor of accounting business and economics, outlined the financial health of colleges in "Fat, Fit or Failing? The Financial Health of Private Education." Uma Ramakrishnan, associate professor of environmental science, spoke on "The American Chestnut as a Service Learning Project at Juniata College." Michael Boyle, von Liebig Chair in Biomedical Science, spoke on "Puzzles," which reminded Juniatians how many puzzles they have already solved and offered a key to puzzles possibly that students might face in the future.

Finally, Maryanne Wolf, John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University, offers her commencement address from last year's Juniata commencement. Her "Letters to Young Scholars" notes how three individual students were changed through their education.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.