Fuel your brain at "Minds on Millennium VII" lecture series
Jan. 27, 2006
Lacey, Wash. – British mathematician and philosopher
Alfred North Whitehead once said of Plato that the history of Western
philosophy was just a footnote to him.
Saint Martin’s University and Panorama City begin
the seventh year of their Minds on the Millennium public lecture series
Thursday, Feb. 9, with an exploration of this classic Greek philosopher.
Steven Dickerson, Ph.D., of the South Puget Sound Community College
humanities department, will give an overview of Plato’s ideas about
human beings and human knowledge, religion, morality and politics in his
talk, “Plato and His Impact on Western Thought.” He also will discuss
how Plato’s ideas influence contemporary views of life.
The lecture, as are all lectures in the series, will
be from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Panorama City’s Quinault Auditorium, 1835
Circle Lane, Lacey. There is no charge to attend.
Dickerson has a doctorate in philosophy, with a
specialty in ancient Greek philosophy, from Michigan State University.
He taught at Seattle University before joining the faculty of SPSCC,
where he teaches courses in philosophy and ethics.
The Minds on the Millennium lecture series was
jointly launched by Saint Martin’s and Panorama City in 2000 to promote
intellectual conversation and a lively exchange of ideas based on
historical, philosophical and literary topics. This year, the series
will draw from the talents and expertise of six area scholars. Here is
the remainder of this spring’s program:
“Washington State Geology: It’s More Than
Rocks” John Sladek, Saint Martin’s University faculty, civil engineering
Washington is one of the most geologically
interesting and active areas on earth. Saint Martin’s faculty member
John Sladek will present a brief overview of Washington State geologic
features and topics. The discussion will include basic models, geologic
time, an overview of continental drift and plate tectonics, formation of
the state and the state’s major geologic regions. Sladek also will
discuss Washington’s “recent” geological history: the last ice age and
the Glacial Lake Missoula floods.
Sladek, who also works as a consulting civil and
structural engineer, earned a master’s degree and completed doctoral
coursework in structural engineering at the University of Texas, Austin.
He graduated with high honors from Boston’s Northeastern University with
a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.
“Views from the Top: A Forest Ecologist
Explores Our Links to the Arboreal World” Nalini Nadkarni, Ph.D., The
Evergreen State College faculty, environmental studies
As a forest ecologist who studies life in the
treetops of forests around the world, TESC faculty member Nalini
Nadkarni, Ph.D., will describe the diverse life of rainforest roofs of
Costa Rica, New Guinea and Washington. Her explorations have led her to
investigate the complex interactions between humans and trees –
ecological, economic, aesthetic and spiritual. In particular, Nadkarni
will describe the value of ancient forests and the beauty, strength, and
character of old-growth trees in our region. She also will describe a
new project to bring people of all ages to the forest canopy on the TESC
campus. Nadkarni earned her doctorate in forest ecology from the
University of Washington, where her research focused on the ecology of
tropical and temperate forest canopies and the role of canopy-dwelling
plants at the ecosystem level. She carries out field research in
Washington and in Monteverde, Costa Rica, with the support of the
National Science Foundation and National
“Fair Trade for a Free World” Heather Grob,
Ph.D., Saint Martin’s University faculty, business and economics
How do we as consumers and citizens make sense of
free trade and fair trade debates? Do trade liberalization policies help
to improve economic conditions for trading nations? Economist and Saint
Martin’s faculty member Heather Grob, Ph.D., will discuss these issues
in the context of economic theory and policy at this presentation.
Grob, whose doctorate is from the University of
Notre Dame, teaches economics at Saint Martin’s. She is a noted labor
economist and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance
and the Labor and Employment Relations Association. She also plays cello
with the Olympia Symphony.
“Landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery at
Dryden Flight Research Center” Amanie Abdelmessih, Ph.D., Saint Martin’s
University faculty, mechanical engineering
During most of the year, Saint Martin’s faculty
member and thermal engineer Amanie Abdelmessih teaches students and
directs the university’s thermal engineering laboratories. Her summers,
however, are devoted to research in thermal engineering. In this Minds
presentation, Abdelmessih will share how she got connected with National
Aeronautics and Space Administration. She’ll give a brief overview of
her current work and share photos of the Space Shuttle Discovery landing
and other photos of tours she took at the Jet Propulsion Lab.
Abdelmessih, whose doctorate is from Oklahoma State
University, has researched at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center,
Marshall Space Flight Research Center, Argonne National Laboratory and
the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She is the recipient of
numerous professional and education awards, including the Puget Sound
Engineering Council’s 2005 Academic Engineer of the Year Award and the
2001 Monks of Saint Martin’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
"The Sight of Music: The Power of Image and
Sound in Milos Forman’s ‘Amadeus’” David Hlavsa, Saint Martin’s
University faculty, theatre arts
Film is considered a visual medium. We are often
unaware of the extent to which sound tells the story, describes the
characters and gives meaning to the experience of the viewer. In this
final Minds presentation of the season, Saint Martin’s faculty member
David Hlavsa will explore how the interplay of Forman’s imagery and
Mozart’s music serves not just to underscore but also to construct and
comment on the rivalry between Mozart and Italian composer Antonio
Hlavsa, who heads the university’s department of
theatre arts, teaches acting, directing, playwriting and film courses.
He is the author of a new book, “An Actor Rehearses,” which will be
published by Allworth Press in November. His latest play, “Pack of
Lies.” has been produced in Chicago, Seattle, Olympia and Bellingham.
Hlavsa’s program articles and study guides for the Seattle Repertory
Theatre have been reprinted by many theatres including the California
Shakespeare Festival. He earned his master’s degree in directing from
the University of Washington and his bachelor’s in English and theater
from Princeton University.
For more information on Minds on the Millennium VII,
please call the university at 360-491-4700.
For more information:
David Suter, Minds on the Millennium
Professor of religious studies
Veronica Kessler, Minds on the Millennium
Panorama City activities director
Media relations coordinator
Office of communication