Editor's Introduction 

David Hsiung, Editor-in-Chief

Be Present ... And Breathe

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Speaker: Jennifer Streb
Occasion: Opening Convocation
Date: 28 August 2014

In her Opening Convocation address, Jennifer Streb, Associate Professor of Art History at Juniata College, gives the Class of 2018 simple advice about how to face the many challenges to come: move forward with centered calmness and welcome change. If you slow down and breathe deeply, your clear head will be more open to Juniata’s marvelous opportunities.

Can Computers Be Racist?

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Speaker: Kelly Gates
Date: 11 September 2014


Kelly Gates, author of Our Biometric Future: Facial Recognition Technology and the Culture of Surveillance, challenges claims about the accuracy of facial recognition software, as well as the idea that technology can offer a perfectly accurate representation of the world around us. Such technology is not socially or culturally neutral, and can reproduce structural inequalities in both intentional and unintentional ways.

Two Poems "Trees at Night" and "Field Rzeszow"

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Speaker: Judith Vollmer
Date: 8 October 2014


Judith Vollmer, Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, presents two poems from her collection, The Water Books.

Evaluating the Effects of Cultural Event Attendance: A Qualitative Approach

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Speaker: James Tuten, Kathryn Westcott, David Drews, Bill White, and Nick Talisman
Occasion: Bookend Seminar
Date: 15 October 2014


What do college students get out of attending on-campus cultural events? In a pioneering study, over 200 students in the Juniata College Class of 2014 wrote nearly 800 short papers, reflecting on their attendance at multiple cultural events. The authors show that a significant number of students reported a positive impact on their attitudes and, to a lesser degree, on their knowledge. This research suggests that cultural events play, as early as one’s first semester, an important role in fostering student engagement and development.

Emotional IQ in the Workplace




Speaker: Robert McDowell
Occasion: Executive in Residence
Date: 18 October 2014


Robert McDowell, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Juniata College, draws on his extensive career in consulting to highlight the importance of emotional intelligence to successful leadership. He shows how fostering three aspects of emotionally intelligent leadership—self-awareness, self-management, and relationship management—can combat stress, enhance listening skills, and help make oneself into a leader.

Your Electronic Self: Surveillance and Social Sorting




Speaker: Christian Eichenmüller
Date: 20 October 2014


Christian Eichenmüller, a former Visiting Scholar and Research Assistant at Juniata College, looks closely at the prevalence and implications of modern surveillance in our society. He compares the information-collection systems of the Stasi in the former East Germany with that of the National Security Agency, explains the formation of a person’s data double through self-surveillance and external observation programs, and sets out the implications of “big data” and metadata for information users.

Epidemiology and Disease Outbreak




Speaker: Nicole Close
Date: 30 October 2014


Nicole Close, Juniata alumna and founder of her own clinical research organization, reflects on her career in epidemiology. Drawing upon her experiences with the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa and her work in other locations across the globe, Close explains what has made epidemiology her passion: learning the scientific method of investigation, solving problems, and being a disease detective.

Practice Makes Imperfect: Why Aren't We Better at Democracy?




Speaker: Del Dickson
Occasion: Opening Convocation
Date: 10 November 2014


Del Dickson, Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of San Diego, evaluates American democracy through its seven core elements: liberty, freedom, rights and duties, participation and representation, inclusion, equality, and power. He sees American democracy displaying considerable strengths but also significant limitations and weaknesses. He urges this generation of students to understand the nature of democracy, improve what can be made better, and fix what is broken.

"A Poem on Love"




Speaker: Katherine Bode-Lang
Date: 23 November 2014


Katherine Bode-Lang, author of The Reformation, presents a poem first published in Tupelo Quarterly.

Communalism and Liberalism in the Struggle for Human Rights in Africa




Speaker: Emil Nagengast
Occasion: Bookend Seminar
Date: 21 January 2015


Drawing from his research and teaching in Africa, Emil Nagengast, Professor of Politics at Juniata College, observes a shift from communalist to liberal values in African governance and offers it as an explanation for the growth of human rights there. He explains this by citing changes in the nature of African dictatorships, the role of partnerships between African nations in creating the African Renaissance, and the growth of democratic political culture.

The Genomics Leadership Initiative at Juniata College




Speaker: Vincent Buonaccorsi, Jill Keeney, Jim Roney and Kim Roth
Occasion: Bookend Seminar
Date: 18 February 2015


Juniata College professors from different departments discuss the college’s Genomics Leadership Initiative, which is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and its benefit for students and faculty working in and outside of the natural sciences. The authors explain how the program fosters faculty development activities, interdisciplinary education, student engagement, and faculty involvement.

Juniata, the Great Equalizer: A Financial Work in Progress

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Speaker: Julia McMurry
Occasion: Bailey Oratorical Contest
Date: 3 March 2015


Julia McMurry, Class of 2018, argues that Juniata College can maintain its distinctiveness as an institution by better meeting the financial needs of its students. McMurry urges Juniata’s planning committee to keep lower-income students in mind while drafting the next twenty-year plan.

Ways to Forgiveness and Reconciliation: A Perspective from the Amish

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Speaker: Jeff Bach
Date: 6 April 2015


Jeff Bach, Director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, examines the healing power of forgiveness though the responses of the Amish to the mass murder at the West Nickel Mines School in 2006 and of the Nigerian Brethren after the kidnapping of nearly 300 girls by the Boko Haram in 2014. In the process, Bach traces the Anabaptist traditions that serve as foundational elements not only for the Amish and the Nigerian Brethren, but also for Elizabethtown and Juniata Colleges.

Content With Nothing




Speaker: Dylan Miller
Date: 28 April 2015


Dylan Miller, Class of 2015, spent his senior year at Juniata College building and living in a shelter tucked away in a forest adjacent to campus. He recounts and reflects on his experience during his year of “life in the woods.” This intentional experiment in simple living enabled Miller to test his ability to be content with very little amid a world of consumption.

"Hi, I'm White"

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Speaker: James D. White
Occasion: Spring Awards Convocation
Date: 5 May 2015


In his Spring Awards Convocation speech, James White reflects on his experience with race and white privilege, and on how societal pressure today discourages white men from raising the topic of race. He urges students to resist this pressure and to take the risk of reflecting on, and then telling the stories about, their own sense of identity. Discussions about race are critically important in society right now, and we must all join the conversation.

Juniata College: Totally Unusual (For a German Student).

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Speaker: Christoph Schwemmlein
Occasion: 137th Juniata College Commencement
Date: 16 May 2015


In his Commencement speech to the Class of 2015, Christoph Schwemmlein, Class of 1984, recounted his own transition from Germany to Juniata College, his graduation, and the many ways in which his college experiences and education shaped his career.


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