Schedule: 2014-2015

Challenges Facing American Public Education

Michelle Hughes, Assistant Professor of Education, Westmont

5:30 p.m., Thursday, October 9, 2014
University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St.

A panel of three Santa Barbara educators who are Westmont alumni will discuss the challenges facing public education and possible solutions for improving elementary and secondary education locally and nationwide, sharing their personal experiences and insights gained during their many years of service in public education. Panelists include: Amy Alzina, principal of Adams Elementary School; Gerardo Cornejo, principal of Carpinteria High School, and Dan Williams, director of the SBHS Multimedia Arts and Design Academy. Westmont education professor Michelle Hughes will moderate.

Shakespeare Around the World

John Blondell, Professor of Theater Arts, Westmont

5:30 p.m., Thursday, November 13, 2014
University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St.

John Blondell, Westmont professor of theater arts and director of Lit Moon Theatre Company, has directed Shakespeare plays in the United States, London (at the Globe Theatre), Albania and Macedonia and will present “Hamlet” in China in October. He has also organized and participated in international Shakespeare festivals. He’ll share his experiences staging classic works for contemporary cultures and audiences and discuss what makes Shakespeare still relevant and powerful for people worldwide. Blondell received national recognition earlier this year for his work directing an innovative production of “Pirates of Penzance,” which won three national awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

American Presidents and the Bully Pulpit

Mark Sargent, Provost, Westmont

5:30 p.m., Thursday, February 19, 2015
University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St.

In preparation for the President’s Breakfast March 6 with eminent historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, panel of two Westmont professors will discuss the nature of presidential leadership. How effectively have presidents used the bully pulpit? What is it about presidents that captivates and inspires us? Why are we so quick to praise them—and so quick to excoriate them? The professors will discuss Goodwin’s insights on presidential leadership and draw on their own research and experiences. Provost Mark Sargent will moderate the panel, which includes Tom Knecht, associate professor of political science, and Rachel Winslow, assistant professor of history.

Toward a Better Vaccine for Whooping Cough

Steve Julio, Associate Professor of Biology, Westmont

5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 9, 2015
University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St.

Only a few decades ago, whooping cough was a medical afterthought. However, a nationwide resurgence of the disease has called into question both the effectiveness of the current vaccine and vaccination habits. Biology professor Steve Julio, who studies the bacteria that causes whooping cough, will discuss the importance of basic research for understanding how the bacteria causes infection and explain how the specific research questions he asks have direct implications for improving the whooping cough vaccine, which health care professionals identify as a medical priority. Professor Julio will also discuss the importance of immunization as a means to prevent the spread of communicable disease.