Forums help expand students’ perspectives, support liberal arts core

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October 3, 2014
Column: Introverts
October 10, 2014

Forums help expand students’ perspectives, support liberal arts core

Master Deputy Jon Jackson speaks at a criminal justice forum. Photo: Holly Diller

Many of BJU’s academic departments hold special forums throughout the year in order to broaden students’ knowledge in their area of study beyond textbooks and lectures.

Dr. Mike Gray, head of the department of biology, said most of the speakers for the biology and premed forums come from outside the BJU family, addressing real-life medical experiences not covered in the classroom. This work-world emphasis allows students to hear about and consider job possibilities they may not have entertained before.

Although forums are directed toward students within specific departments, any student may attend any forum, regardless of his major.       Mr. Jay Bopp, chairman of the Division of Art and Design, invites anyone to attend the Art and Design forums. “If a student has any interest in the topic or the artist or designer, whatever, we welcome everybody to come,” Bopp said.

Not only are students welcome to attend forums, regardless of major, but they are also encouraged to do so.           Dr. Mike Wilkie, a faculty member in criminal justice, said, “It would just give a little positive reinforcement and a perspective if someone came and saw one of these [Criminal Justice] forums just to get a glimpse of what the police department is like and what they can expect.”

Dr. Heidi Campbell, who teaches in the journalism and mass communication department, also expressed the value of all students attending forums, regardless of major. “The media touches every aspect of our lives,” she said. “The Media Forums are designed to inform and inspire students to go beyond themselves and let God do great things with their lives. I believe that spans all majors!”

Attending a variety of forums supplements BJU’s strong liberal arts program and helps to expand students’ overall perspective of life. Gray said the key word to describe the forums offered at BJU is “enrichment.” “It’s almost like intellectual recreation,” Gray said.

Multiple departments are offering forums in the upcoming months.

The department of biology will host a forum Tuesday with Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, deputy director for life sciences at the Institution for Creation Research. Jeanson will give a seminar titled “Displacing Darwin: The Dawn of Modern Genetics and the Revolution in Young-Earth Creation.”

On Oct. 28, the department of journalism and mass communication will host a Media Forum with Tim Keesee, the director of Frontline Missions. Keesee will discuss how he touches lives around the globe through media.

For additional information on upcoming forums, contact the respective department heads listed in the box below.

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