Short academic courses offered to community through Minds on Millennium
Sept. 23, 2005
Lacey, Wash. – Minds on the Millennium will offer
three short courses in October as it launches the sixth year of a series
designed to offer thought-provoking lectures and courses for the public.
Sponsored by Saint Martin's University and Panorama
City, Minds on the Millennium was inaugurated by the neighboring
communities in 2000 to share knowledge, build a community of learning
and create life-long learning opportunities.
The series’ fall courses meet for an hour and a half
once a week for six weeks at Panorama City’s Quinault Auditorium, 1835
Circle Lane. While the courses do not carry academic credit, they are
taught by some of Saint Martin's most respected faculty members, says
series co-organizer David Suter, professor of religious studies at Saint
Enrollment has started for this year’s classes, and
is taking place at the Panorama Hall lobby, 1835 Circle Lane, Lacey. A
$35 fee is charged per course to cover expenses, and students may need
to purchase a textbook, depending on the course.
A series of free public lectures next spring will be
announced early next year. For more information about the series, please
This fall’s courses are:
taught by David W. Suter, Ph.D.
Professor, religious studies
3:30-5 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Oct. 13
Moral Choices uses several approaches to ethical
decision-making to examine case studies dealing with current ethical
dilemmas from euthanasia to the ethics of war and peace or the
environment. The ability to tolerate and deal with ethical ambiguity is
a sign of maturity. Ethical issues are seldom black and white, but come
in all shades of gray. Two deeply held values may pull the same person
in opposite directions – do we emphasize the sanctity of life or freedom
from pain in making end-of-life decisions? Or the same value may lead
persons of good will to opposite conclusions – does belief in the
sanctity of life suggest that we support or oppose the death penalty for
murderers? The class will be conducted as a seminar, with a goal of
fostering discussion and reflection among the participants.
Professor David Suter teaches religious studies at
Saint Martin’s. He has a doctorate from the University of Chicago
Divinity School and teaches in areas related to biblical studies,
comparative religion, ethics and moral choices.
“Trial by Jury”
taught by Robert Harvey, J.D.
Professor, criminal justice
Saint Martin’s University
1-2:30 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Oct. 13
Learn about the development of the jury during the
Middle Ages, its changing nature over time and its role in early
criminal trials. The course will look at the role of the jury during the
18th and 19th centuries and how and why that role changed during the
20th century. Studies that have explored jury decision-making, as well
as cases from the United States Supreme Court that focus on juries will
Professor Robert Harvie has a law degree from the
University of Oregon and a master’s degree from the University of
Illinois. He taught at the University of Illinois and Montana State
University before coming to Saint Martin’s, where he chairs the criminal
justice program. His research interests include legal history and
comparative constitutional law.
“African American Literature”
taught by Jeff Birkenstein, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, English
3:30-5 p.m. Fridays, beginning Oct. 14
Selected African American works will be read and
discussed in an attempt to better our collective understanding of the
African American experience in the United States. The course also will
include mini-lectures relating to the authors and events behind the
works, as well as a book list for further reading and inquiry. As a
class, we will read and discuss Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were
Watching God” and several short stories and poems. Please bring your own
copy of the book to class. The short stories and poems will be
distributed in class.
Asst. Prof. Jeff Birkenstein taught courses at the
University of Kentucky on the short story, survey of American
literature, African American literature, argumentative
writing/composition and business writing. His major interests are in
composition, post-1865 American literature, American and world short
story, the short story sequence and narrative theory. He has published
several papers in academic journals, as well as book reviews,
commentaries, essays and a short story.
David W. Suter, Minds on the Millennium
Saint Martin's professor of religious studies
(360) 438-4360; email@example.com
Veronica Kessler, Minds on the Millennium
Panorama City activities director
Media coordinator / senior editor