Washington and Lee's Office of University Advancement is expanding its lifelong-learning offerings to include a four-part Virtual Learning Series on Contemporary Issues in Society. Airing in April and May to coincide with W&L's four-week Spring Term, the series will be hosted by Associate Provost Marc Conner and will focus on four topics in the headlines, each of which is being explored in depth by W&L faculty and students in a Spring Term course.
The Virtual Learning Series is the latest in an ongoing lifelong-learning initiative at the University, which includes W&L's popular Alumni College and travel programs and live streaming of lectures and events on campus.
"We are delighted to be able to bring our alumni, parents and friends a taste of the innovative learning experience that is the W&L Spring Term," said Dennis Cross, vice president of University advancement. "Our professors are true experts in their subject areas, and we think that viewers will enjoy hearing their take on these important issues, as well as more about their approach to the study of these topics in the classroom."
The series begins on Thursday, April 24. Segments will be posted online at noon Eastern time on Thursdays, and remain available to watch throughout the term.
- April 24: "The Resurgence of Russia" with Richard Bidlack, Professor of History
Bidlack will discuss the rise of today's Russia from the decline of the Soviet Union, its fragmentation into 15 republics and the devolution of authority within the Russian republic under Yeltsin to the remarkable reassertion of state power under Putin.
- May 1: "Healthcare Information Systems" with Renee Pratt, Assistant Professor of Business Administration
Pratt will take viewers on the journey towards the electronic sharing of healthcare information and the successes and pitfalls along the way, exploring quality of care, patient safety and cost-reduction methods from the perspectives of business, technology and medicine.
- May 8: "Genetic Engineering" with Nadia Ayoub, Assistant Professor of Biology
Humans have manipulated genes for thousands of years to make better crops and domesticate animals. But in the last century, the ability to transfer genes from one organism to another–genetic engineering–has dramatically changed our understanding of biology and our lives. Ayoub will explain the nuts and bolts of genetic engineering, give a small sampling of its applications, and note the ethical considerations that they raise.
- May 15: "Digital Media and Society" with Claudette Artwick, Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications
Facebook, YouTube and iPhones are popular, if not essential, elements of college students' busy lives. Born in the digital age, students have grown up with profound and rapidly changing media and communication technologies, apparently taking them for granted. Artwick will look at digital media and the relationship between technology and social change.
More information about the Virtual Learning Series and other lifelong learning initiatives is available online at http://www.wlu.edu/lifelong-learning.