Our speakers are SUU faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
Bio: Kevin A. Stein (Associate Professor) is a former graduate of SUU, where he received his bachelor’s degree in communication (1999). He has since completed a master’s degree in communication from Idaho State University (2002) and a doctorate in communication from the University of Missouri (2005). Stein’s primary research areas focus on the rhetoric of attack (kategoria), defense (apologia), and persuasive responses to defense (antapologia). Stein has published books and peer-reviewed articles in these areas as well as on various political campaign messages including debates, advertisements, acceptance addresses, direct mail brochures, and television talk show appearances. He has presented his academic work at regional, national, and international conferences, including presentations at the University of Athens in Greece and the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Topic: Despite the embarrassment and ubiquity of public indiscretions, there is certainly no shortage of offenders armed with creative strategies for repairing damage that results from poor decisions. These “apologists” often include politicians, corporate CEOs, Hollywood celebrities, athletes, and even private citizens. Dr. Stein has analyzed a plethora of apologetic situations in order to examine the unique strategies used to express remorse for wrongdoing. Although individuals accused of harmful behavior often use a variety of strategies to repair their images (e.g. denial, shifting blame), Dr. Stein’s primary focus in this presentation is on the unique strategy of mortification (taking direct responsibility). His multi-media presentation will address the primary verbal and nonverbal strategies present in the accepting of responsibility and address the implications of this extension of apologia theory for academics, professionals, and individual citizens who also find themselves confronted with apologetic situations in their interpersonal relationships.
Bio: Originally from upstate New York, Dr. Helen Boswell received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University at Buffalo in the areas of evolution and animal behavior. She joined the faculty at Southern Utah University in 1999, where she continues to teach biology to a stellar group of undergraduate students. She has authored two books, the nonfiction work MY FISH ATE YOUR FISH: CAN EVOLUTION AND RELIGION PLAY NICELY? and her most recent YA urban fantasy novel MYTHOLOGY. She resides in Cedar City, Utah with her husband and two young sons.
Description: Being conscious of your audience takes on new meanings when you cross disciplines as a writer. Scientist and fiction author Helen Boswell will discuss her background as a biologist and her recent experience as a published YA fantasy author. Scientific knowledge is comprised of much more than a series of facts – it is a mindset or “way of knowing” that benefits the way we explore and critique different types of evidence. The power of science is in allowing the mind to elucidate the workings of the physical and natural world. But what of the elements of life over which science has no domain? Fantasy, as explored in literature and other media, offers possibilities and engages the receiver of the information in a very different way than does scientific literature. Elements of fantasy, however, are not exempt from requiring a set of guiding parameters – the reader/human mind craves it, and Boswell argues that it is the author’s responsibility to provide it.
Bio: Dr. Kyle William Bishop is a third-generation professor at Southern Utah University, where he teaches courses in American literature and culture, film studies, and fantasy/horror literature. He has presented and published a variety of articles on popular culture and cinematic adaptation, including Metropolis, Night of the Living Dead, Fight Club, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawn of the Dead, The Birds, Zombieland, E.A. Poe, and The Walking Dead. He received a PhD in English from the University of Arizona in 2009, and his first book, American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture, is available through McFarland & Co., Publishers.
Topic: "The Zombie Idea: The Infectious Nature of Creative Thought" Over the past decade, the figure of the zombie has become increasingly popular. The zombie is a plague creature. Most zombie plagues spread rapidly, and their permeation is all but impossible to prevent. As the fictional zombie uses infection to procreate and spread its kind, so too spreads the idea of the zombie throughout popular culture. Good ideas are like successful zombies. Good ideas spread—somewhat like the zombie plague, via the mouth—and as they do they change, evolve, and improve. Yet like a zombie plague, many resist becoming “infected.” How do ideas spread? How does this infection work? And why are people so frightened to embrace the change? My TEDx talk will explore the idea of infectious creative thought as a type of zombie plague, on that is both illustrated by the rise of zombie in popular culture and explained by the very nature of that idea.
Bio Michael Bahr has been the education director of the Utah Shakespeare Festival for fifteen years. He spent his early career as a theater teacher at public high schools in California and Utah, directed over 100 community and university productions, founded the Old Barn Theatre, and the Cedar City Theatre Company. He teaches at Southern Utah University in the Elementary Education Department and serves on the boards of Art Works for Kids, the SUU Center for Innovative Education, and the Center for Shakespeare Studies. He has garnered many awards including the Utah Theatre Association Outstanding Contribution to Theatre. He is a nationally recognized advocate for arts education. In 2009 he was called to testify before the United States Congress about the economic impact of the arts in rural areas. Michael holds a BA in Theatre Arts with an Acting/Directing emphasis from Southern Utah University, with teaching certificates in theatre and history.
Topic: "Thinking outside the Box requires a Box!" He will focus on how creativity requires limits, structures and boundaries to motivate creativity, and discuss the paradox that thinking outside the box requires strict limitations of a box. Pushing the envelope requires an envelope. As teachers we must provide structure that creativity must fight against. What is the most creative environment, appropriate educational culture and delivery system that will promote creativity? Creativity is sparked by limitations: To recognize a spark, it must be dark!
Bio: Melanie Skankey, known as Mrs. Mel by her students, originally entered SUU as a theatre performance major. After participating in an art out reach program she added a degree in education and graduated from SUU in 2010 with a degree in elementary education and theatre arts.
She was fortunate to get her dream job after graduation working as the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Art Specialist at North Elementary. She as loved working with the school as they transition to a STEAM school and working to show how the Arts can enhance students learning.
This year she as co-chaired as the district arts Coordinator, and has been able to mentor SUU students in the same art outreach program that converted her to education
Topic: Today students face some of the most exciting and different job opportunities. These experience require a vast set of skills and ability to think creatively. Many see an increase in the study of core subjects as the answer, I would like to use my own experiences with art integration as a way to solve the problems facing education. I will also touch on how everyone can step forward to help rather then sit on the sidelines complaining and devising solutions to the arts in education concerns.
Bio: Chase Harrison hails from Bountiful, Utah, and is a junior majoring in creative writing here at SUU. He writes mostly short fiction, but is currently working on a longer work with integrated media designed for e-readers. He is also a “hack musician” and has dabbled in minor film and radio projects.
Topic: Becoming the New Century Man
The talk is a combination of personal narrative and my broader perspective of masculinity in the modern world. He will tell the story of how he and his friends developed a manifesto at the end of high school called "The New Century Man", outlining what we felt manliness meant. It is a fairly whimsical but also emotionally-involved story. Wrapped in this will be his own perceptions of modern masculinity and how my attempts at becoming this figure we created have gone. It is not an attack on feminism or simply a recollection of adolescent grumblings: this will be a positive look at men and gender roles generally, as told through personal experience. He feels that there aren't really any authentic male role models anymore, for men or women, and I think that that is something we can do something about.