Academic Celebration to focus on Mercyhurst’s past, future

“Education begins a gentleman, conversation completes him.”

– 18th century English proverb

A dedication to lifelong learning has been part of the Mercyhurst College mission since the Sisters of Mercy launched the college more than 75 years ago. Each spring, the college’s Honors program meets the challenge of hosting an Academic Celebration – four days of lectures, presentations, movies, artwork and more, all focusing on a single theme and organized by students. The events are all free and open to the public, and, in fact, geared toward drawing the community into the open forum that defines an institution of higher learning.

When Mercyhurst launches this year’s Academic Celebration on Sunday, April 6, the theme of “Embracing Our Past … Celebrating Our Future” will be clearly reflected by the offerings of the four-day event.

“We always want to make sure our offerings appeal to all of the Mercyhurst community – not just the students and those on campus, but also those at the Motherhouse and Mercyhurst Prep,” explained Dr. Karen Christensen Williams, assistant professor of Spanish and faculty adviser for the event. “After considering the topic of where we have been, and where we are going, the students developed this year’s theme of ‘Embracing Our Past … Celebrating Our Future.’”

Featuring more than 30 presentations, this year’s celebration, will run from Sunday, April 6, through Wednesday, April 9. Co-chairing the event are Andrea Arbuckle and Caitlyn Miller, with support from Shannon Miles and Tiffany Mathews.

The inaugural event for the 2003 celebration will be a lecture by Sister Maria Elena Gonzalez, RSM, at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 6, in the Mercy Heritage Room. Gonzalez is the president of the Mexican American Cultural Center, and is well known throughout the United States and abroad for her presentations on culture and its impact on power and communication.

Other featured speakers include Mercyhurst President Dr. William P. Garvey who will present “The History of Mercyhurst College and its Future” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9, in the Walker Recital Hall in the Hirt Academic Center.

Also on Wednesday evening, the Rev. Roy Bourgeois will speak in the Mercy Heritage Room about his efforts – including hunger strikes, peaceful vigils, demonstrations on the steps of the United States Capitol – to educate the public and Congress about the rippling implications of U.S. military policy in Latin America.

At 7:30 p.m., Father Roy will share the tale of his life, which has included earning a Purple Heart in Vietnam, the priesthood, and his ongoing battle to close the School of the Americas, an alleged training ground for terrorists on the grounds of Fort Benning in Georgia.

Other Academic Celebration events include a liturgical dance presentation, a discussion on AIDS and young adults, a presentation on forensic science, a panel discussion about study abroad, and two separate presentations by students about Mother Theresa and life on the border between the United States and Mexico.

Other presentations will reflect the ongoing tensions in the world when a student with ties to Iran and a visiting teaching assistant from Turkey discuss their cultures and countries.

The goal of the annual celebration is simple – create a dialogue among students, faculty and other members of the community.

“We want to provide a forum for idea sharing, not just within the Mercyhurst community, but rather with the greater Erie community,” said Williams.

Academic Celebration 2003
“Embracing Our Past … Celebrating Our Future”

Sunday April 6, 2003

3 p.m. Mercy Heritage Hall Weaver: Past, Present and Future

4 p.m. Zurn 214 Innocence Abroad

4 p.m. Walker Recital Hall Dancing Through Time

5 p.m. Hirt 103 Visual Voice of the Rebel: Vernacular Type in Design History

5 p.m. Mercy Heritage Hall Habitat for Humanity

6 p.m. Walker Recital Hall Labyrinths: Performance and Reminiscence

7 p.m. Old Main Computer Lab Using Simulations to Implement Problem-Based Learning

8 p.m. Hirt 212 The Environment and Mercyhurst College


Monday April 7, 2003

1:30 p.m. MAC Lab Celebrating Computers for Teachers

2:45 p.m. MAC Lab Electronic Portfolios for Teachers

3:45 p.m. MAC Lab Exploring Webquests

4 p.m. Hirt 314 Student Group Web Pages and Video Clips

5 p.m. Hirt 306 Enhancing Your Curriculum Through Technology

6 p.m. Zurn 214 AIDS: Young Adults and an Epidemic

6 p.m. Mercy Heritage Hall Model Mercyworld: Conflict in Iraq

8:15 p.m. Zurn 114 Truth, Wisdom, and Philosophy: We Seek a Better Way


Tuesday April 8, 2003

2:30 p.m. Main 206 Celebrating Diversity: Iranian Dance Performance

and Lecture

3 p.m. Hirt 214 Creating Effective Power Point Presentations

4 p.m. L300 Grover Cleveland Elementary School: Student and

Teacher Projects

4:30 p.m. Zurn 214 Living Mother Theresa's Vision: East and West

5 p.m. Hirt 305 Links to the Future: Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology

6 p.m. Hirt 200 A Study of Terrorism Through Non-Linear Dynamics

6 p.m. Zurn 214 Colonel Strong Vincent Lecture

6 p.m. Mercy Heritage Hall The Future of Mercyhurst - E-Commerce Perspective

7 p.m. Hirt 202 Handheld Applications for Teachers

7:30 p.m. Mercy Heritage Hall Writing Out loud: A Reading of Creative Works by Mercyhurst Faculty

8:15 p.m. Hirt 200 Linking Words and Definitions


Wednesday April 9, 2003

11:30 p.m. Honors Space Partnership in Education

12:30 p.m. Hirt 313 Turkey: Cradle of Civilization

4:30 p.m. Walker Recital Hall Ethical Issues Impacting Teacher Today

4:30 p.m. Great Room of the Student Union Beyond Our Borders: Life in Honduras and at the

US/Mexico Border

5 p.m. Hirt 200 AIDS: Part II

5:15 p.m. Great Room Urban Challenge: Operation Camden, NJ

6 p.m. Zurn 214 Pax Christi

7 p.m. Walker Recital Hall The History of Mercyhurst College and Future

7:30 p.m. Mercy Heritage Hall Father Roy Bourgeois

8 p.m. Hirt 200 CSI Meets Tyrannosaurus: What Anthropology Can Do for Forensic Science

April 7-9, 2003

6 to 9 p.m. Lobby of the PAC Night tours of Mercyhurst Campus

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