IT'S LUNCH WITH AN INTELLECTUAL PUNCH
If you haven't been attending the Faculty Luncheon Series, you've been missing out.
You might have learned how assistant professor of psychology Sarah Johnson explores forgetting as an important component of memory. If you'd attended the talk by assistant professor of physics Kelly Kreible, you would have heard how Moravian is a magnet for research into the Mossbauer Effect, and why plastic peas are better than glass beads. Kevin Hartshorn, professor of mathematics, would have shown you how the tiles in a Byzantine cathedral or on your bathroom floor can be described mathematically, and explained why some of his students are questioning the very definition of mathematics. If only you'd been there.
The luncheons are something of a different take on the faculty lectures held in previous semesters, says assistant professor of history Heikki Lempa, who organized the series. "What has been missing is not intellectual excitement, but a natural venue of getting to know each other beyond the mere intellectual curiosity," he says. "What are we actually doing when we are not teaching? Moreover, what are we teaching when all the mandatory classes have been covered? Faculty Luncheon is a way of getting to know each other as scholars, whose scholarship informs and inspires teaching."
Gordon Weil, Dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs at Moravian, considers the faculty luncheon series an important addition to scholarly life at the College. "It's an opportunity for members of the faculty to learn about areas in which their colleagues are working," says Dean Weil, who's attended each presentation to date. "It's also an opportunity for faculty members to sharpen their own presentations, practice fielding questions, and get new perspectives on their work." Dean Weil notes that he was pleased to be asked by professor Lempa to support the project. "Scholarship is important and should be made a visible as possible. I hope to institutionalize this series so that it becomes a part of our faculty culture," he says. And, adds professor Lempa, the informal setting is a good match for the inclinations of Moravian faculty. "As a senior colleague several years ago reminded me, it has not been a Moravian habit to discuss one’s own research. It has been considered bragging and, in fact, a bit arrogant. For such humble people as we are, a faculty luncheon provides an opportunity to invite colleagues and all those who are interested into one’s own intellectual world. And all this happens in a relaxed luncheon atmosphere in which it is very difficult to brag or be arrogant."
The Faculty Luncheon Series continues on November 13, with assistant professor of history Kym Morrison; her topic is "Reproducing Race: Negotiating Identity in Cuban Family History." This semester's series concludes on December 6, with a presentation by professor of music Larry Lipkis titled "The Genesis of Flute Concerto." Luncheons take place in the UBC room of the HUB from 11:45 to 12:45. No RSVP is necessary, just come. And bring your lunch.