Volume Eighteen 18

Editor's Introduction

Personal and Collective Choice as Choose Your Own Adventure® Narrative. 

Amy Frazier-Yoder
Opening Convocation, 24 August 2017

In her 2017 Convocation Address to incoming students, Dr. Amy Frazier-Yoder engages students in a speech styled on the Choose Your Own Adventure® books, asking her audience to help craft the speech by making some serious and entertaining choices throughout. Frazier-Yoder, associate professor of Spanish and recipient of the Gibbel Award for Teaching Excellence in 2017, encourages students to choose their own adventures in life and to contemplate the effects such choices might have on themselves and others.

From Demonstration to Riot-ization: Social Control in the Era of Trump

Michael Loadenthal
International Day of Peace, 21 September 2017

Dr. Michael Loadenthal examines public mass demonstrations in the United States over the past several decades (e.g., Black Lives Matter and the protest against the inauguration of Donald Trump) and shows how governments have sought to extend social control over their citizens.  By analyzing the use of counterterrorism rhetoric around the word “riot,” he highlights the ways by which governments “discipline” people publicly and chill dissent and speech.

Teaching Computers to Read About Mars

Kiri Wagstaff
Calvert N. Ellis Memorial Lectureship, 26 September 2017

Dr. Kiri Wagstaff describes the work her team at the Jet Propulsion Lab at the California Institute of Technology carried out to create a searchable database for all of the information compiled over the years by the Curiosity rover on Mars. They taught AI systems to read through thousands of scholarly papers to sort data about the various Mars target sites in an efficient and effective manner.

Two Poems

Marjorie Maddox
11 October 2017

For the Pennsylvania Poets Series, Marjorie Maddox, Director of Lock Haven University’s creative writing program, shared two poems from her book True, False, None of the Above: “Radical” and “Belief and Blackboards.”

Successes and Failures as an Agent of Change: Martin Luther as Theologian and as Reformer

Jay Goodale
500th Anniversary of the Reformation German Campus Week. 2 November 2017

Dr. Jay Goodale, Associate Professor of History at Bucknell University, focuses on Martin Luther’s role as an ‘agent of change’ and argues that the traits that made Luther so successful as a theologian and academic were often unsuited to his roles as parish reformer and neighbor.

Justice, Turning Points, and Bridging Research and Practice: Daniel Druckman Reflects on a Career in Peace and Conflict Research

Daniel Druckman
20 October 2016

Dr. Daniel Druckman, noted scholar of negotiation, conflict and conflict resolution, and justice, describes the many ways in which he research has advanced the cause of peace.  He explains the importance of social conduct in negotiation processes, the differences between settlements and resolutions, how turning points can change the direction of negotiations, and the ways in which contact between different parties can foster cooperation.  He urges researchers and practitioners to collaborate more closely in these and other areas.

The Neural Mechanisms of Risky Decisions

Rebecca Weldon
Bookend Seminar, 31 January 2018

Dr. Rebecca Weldon, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Juniata College, researches human decision-making in the context of health behaviors.  Weldon asks, “Can we change preference for an immediate versus a delayed reward?” She discusses the results of behavioral and neuroscience studies carried out at Cornell University and Juniata College that focus on understanding more about risk taking and delay of gratification. 

Making It Right: Hawaiian Approaches to Conflict Resolution

Douglas Herman
Baker Institute, 1 February 2018

Dr. Douglas Herman, Senior Geographer at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian, provides a wide-ranging examination of how Hawaiian and Polynesian stories, beliefs, and perspectives may help us resolve conflicts in new and more-effective ways.  If we all could think of ourselves as being “on the canoe,” as if we were traveling from one Pacific island to another, we might learn techniques that would help us work and live together.

The Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan: Citizen Scientists, the Media, and Science Anarchists

Marc A. Edwards
Will Judy Lecture, 6 February 2018

Dr. Marc Edwards, Distinguished University Professor at Virginia Tech, speaks about his work on the contamination of the water in Flint, Michigan. Edwards connects his earlier work on lead contamination in Washington, D.C., to the Flint crisis. He highlights the role of citizen scientists and heroic actions Flint citizens took in the face of government indifference. Edwards also explains how the media and science anarchists exacerbated the problem, spread fear, and fostered mistrust.

From I and Me to Us and We

Alex Jones
Bailey Oratorical Competition, 27 February 2018

The winner of Juniata College’s 2018 Bailey Oratorical, Alex Jones shares his vision for the future and discusses how compassionate leadership, compassionate business, and compassionate citizenship are the way to reach our fullest potential. Jones challenges us to be dreamers and work together to create a better tomorrow built not on selfish ideas but compassion.

Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): A Personal Perspective

Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan
5 March 2018

Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, Professor of Environmental Science and Studies at Juniata College, talks about her experiences as a woman in male-dominated STEM fields. Starting with her childhood and education in India and going through her life experiences working with giant squirrels, elephants, and deer, Dr. Ramakrishnan talks about the struggles (and misconceptions) of being a woman and, later on in her career, a mother in the field of Environmental Sciences.

Barbarians Inside the Gate: Has Donald Trump Launched a Hostile Takeover of the Republican Party?

Henry Olsen
G. Graybill Diehm Lecture, 13 March 2018

While Trump may have campaigned as an atypical Republican, Henry Olsen argues that he has governed traditionally by focusing on tax cuts, deregulation, and increased military spending.  Trump’s hostility to international trade may be out of sync with Republican orthodoxy, but it is in sync with Republican voters. Support for Trump’s immigration policy is essentially where it was under Romney, suggesting that Trump hasn’t “moved the needle” on his signature issue. Trump’s electoral success is due to his observation that the Republican leadership had veered from the Republican electorate, a gap that he was able to exploit. 

Reflections on a Year in the Pennsylvania Senate and the Importance of a Juniata Degree

Senator Wayne Langerholc
10 April 2018

Wayne Langerholc, Class of 1997, reflects on how his Juniata classes and extracurricular experiences prepared him for a career that has included a township board of supervisors, criminal defense work, serving as the lead prosecutor for the Cambria County (PA) Drug Task Force, and his current position as the senator for Pennsylvania’s 35th District. He describes legislation he has introduced on a wide range of issues, including natural gas vehicles, gun laws, and the opioid epidemic.

Arab Constitutionalism

Antonio-Martín Porras-Gómez
23 April 2018

Antonio-Martín Porras-Gómez, a researcher at the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales at the Spanish Ministry of the Presidency, talks about the Arab world post 2011 and the surge of democracy in the region post Arab Spring. Highlighting his talk with examples from Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, Porras-Gómez breaks down constitutionalism and examines to what extent the reconfiguration of constitutional systems has moved these countries’ political systems closer to the ideals of constitutionalism.  

What Do You Want to Be?

William Thomas and Gerald Kruse
Spring Awards Convocation, 8 May 2018

Bill Thomas, Professor of Information Technology, and Jerry Kruse, Professor of Information Technology, Computer Science, and Mathematics, offer words of wisdom to the Class of 2018 at the Spring Awards Convocation.  They encourage students to think about “who you want to be,” discuss the value of doing something you love, and emphasize the importance of small acts of kindness.

Chasing Our Best Selves: Finding Blind Spots and Doing Great Small Things

Maurice C. Taylor '72
140th Juniata College Commencement, 19 May2018

In the 2018 Commencement Speech, Alumnus and Trustee Emeritus Maurice Taylor looks to blind spots exemplified in Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movements as examples of long standing blind spots we have had. The Juniata DNA that connects his generation to the graduates’ compels us to look beyond those blind spots and do the great small things that will lead to our best selves.