UW-Green Bay 50th Anniversary presents ‘Last Lecture Series’

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has announced its lineup for a “Last Lecture Series” during the 2015-16 academic year in celebration of the University’s 50th anniversary.

Each month, a UW-Green Bay faculty member will give a public presentation on a topic of his or her choice. Presenters were asked to convey what lecture they would give, if it was to be their last. The monthly lectures will take place Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the University Union’s Christie Theatre, on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay. The lectures are free and open to the public.

UW-Green Bay Humanistic Studies Prof. Derek Jeffreys, who specializes in the study of philosophy, ethics and religion, will deliver the first lecture, “The Mystery of the Person: Teaching Philosophy and Religion in a Maximum-Security Prison,” on Sept. 23. A professor at UW-Green Bay for 15 years, Jeffreys is the author of books offering information and insight on religion, ethics and torture.

Jeffreys said he became interested in torture in American prisons, particularly the effects of shelter and confinement. To gain further understanding, he visited and spent time in prisons and now volunteers teaching philosophy and religion with the Green Bay Correctional Institution and the Brown County Jail.

“I am passionate about the subject of my Last Lecture because I find teaching prison inmates deeply rewarding,” Jeffreys says. “Inmates have few educational opportunities, and are hungry for knowledge. They are eager to engage in philosophical and religious discussions. I am enriched by these conversations, and in my lecture I will share with the University community what I’ve experienced in the Green Bay Correctional Institution. By teaching in this prison, I’ve gained insights into the nature of the person. Prison inmates live in a difficult and often brutal environment, yet they can make remarkable personal changes. Their example can lead us to reflect on the mystery of the person.”

The following is the list of Last Lecture participants and topics:
Sept. 23 — Derek Jeffreys, Professor, Humanistic Studies, “The Mystery of the Person: Teaching Philosophy and Religion in a Maximum-Security Prison”
Oct. 28 — Jeff Entwistle, Professor, Theatre and Dance, “We All Need Theatre in Our Lives and in Our Future”
Nov. 18 — Susan Gallagher-Lepak, Associate Professor, Nursing, “E-Learning: The Train has Left the Station”
Feb. 17 — Lucy Arendt, Associate Dean, College of Professional Studies, “Made to Serve: The Tragic Corruption of America’s Founding Values”
March 23 — Steve Meyer, Associate Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences, “Forget the Three T’s: Focus on the Six C’s”
April 13 — Phil Clampitt, Professor, Information and Computing Science, “The Magical Connection between Uncertainty, Innovation, and the Human Spirit.”

More information on 50th Anniversary activities can be found at 50.uwgb.edu.

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