Symposium illustrates pathway to careers

For Immediate Release:  March 17, 2016

BLOOMSBURG— “People are defined by what they carry, both physically and intellectually,” said James Brown, dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Bloomsburg University. “The liberal arts is like a Swiss Army knife that contains all of the tools you need as you set out on your journey.”

BU’s College of Liberal Arts is sponsoring its first symposium Thursday and Friday, March 31 and April 1, to illustrate how the “tools” of a liberal arts education lead to personal and professional success. The symposium is designed to help students explore career pathways, understand diverse viewpoints and approaches to knowledge, and apply academic learning to the real world, Brown said.

The symposium will include two keynote presentations, both open to the public free of charge.

Matthew B. Crawford, author of “Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work” and “The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in the Age of Distraction,” will speak Thursday, March 31, at 4 p.m. in Centennial Hall, room 218. Crawford, who majored in physics as an undergraduate and earned a doctoral degree in political philosophy, holds a writing fellowship at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and operates a motorcycle repair shop in Richmond, Va. He will sign copies of his books following his lecture.

Shakti Butler, president and founder of World Trust Educational Services, will present a talk Friday, April 1, at 1 p.m. in McCormick Center, room 1303, as part of the symposium and the social work spring professional development expo, “Pathways to Change: Compassionate Conversations on Race and Diversity.” Butler is the producer and director of documentaries, including “The Way Home,” “Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible” and “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity” that provide the framework for conversations about racial justice and equity.

Keynote Panel Discussion

The symposium also will encompass a keynote panel discussion on poverty at the local level on Thursday, March 31, at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall, room 218. Presented as part of the Institute for Culture and Society series, “Bloomsburg Explores Poverty,” the panel moderated by Heather Feldhaus, professor of sociology and the director of BU’s Center for Community Research and Consulting, will feature Joy McGinnis, Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine; President Judge Thomas James; and Rich Kisner, Columbia County Housing Authority. The program is open to the public.

“Study of the liberal arts gives students the tools they need – critical thinking, communication and quantitative reasoning – to send them off on their life’s personal and professional journey,” Brown said. “The symposium is designed to demonstrate how the knowledge and skills gained through a liberal arts education translate into real-world careers.”

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.