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Graduate students invited to consider 'Future University'

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

LAWRENCE — The Commons will introduce a series for graduate students in March and April that considers the complexities of a university and puts forward new ideas for the future of higher education.

Seven graduate students have been working in groups to create a three-part series of events called Talking Back, in which graduate students will be encouraged to share their insights on the university as it is and as it could be.

“Calling my peers into a discussion on what the Future University could look like means to me an opportunity to imagine and consider the deeper questions about what it should look like,” said Ramón Alvarado, a graduate student in philosophy and one of the series facilitators.

Each of the events will use a different format to inspire discussion, and each will focus on a critical topic within higher education:

  • The interactive roundtable will examine ideas related to Pedagogy & Learning at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 10
  • A collaborative workshop will consider Digital Identity & Community at 2 p.m. April 7.
  • An interactive panel and discussion on Political Spaces & Free Speech will take place at 3:30 p.m. April 26.

All events are in The Commons.

This series was conceived as an opportunity for graduate students to come together and, using their experiences, share ideas about the way forward for universities.                                                                                                                               

“Graduate students eat, sleep and breathe education and research,” said An Sasala, one of the series coordinators. “The conversation is the first step to enacting concrete, symbolic and institutional change as we move forward to build the Future University.”

The graduate students leading the events are Charlesia McKinney, rhetoric and composition; Kendyl Siebart, museum studies; An Sasala, women, gender & sexuality studies and film & media studies; Stefanie Torres, English – creative nonfiction; Ramón Alvarado, philosophy; Abigail Barefoot, women, gender & sexuality studies, and Alex Cloyd, American studies and women, gender & sexuality studies.