Year Of Sustainable Communities

Allegheny College’s 2011-12 theme is “Year of Sustainable Communities.”

What makes a community sustainable in the richest sense of the word—that is, able to provide good quality of life to those who live and work there, and resilient in the face of challenges? Given this broad understanding of sustainability, the events of the year will explore many facets of quality of life: healthy and delicious food, the arts, economic resilience, and care for the environment. We hope that this year will contribute to some of the many ongoing creative collaborations between the college and the wider community.

About the ‘Year Of’ Program

Allegheny College students and faculty choose an annual theme that focuses on a timely, important idea, and they collaborate to promote awareness and understanding through curriculum, speakers, service and experiential learning.

For more information about the Year of Sustainable Communities theme or events, contact Dr. Elizabeth Ozorak at or at (814) 332-2394.

‘Year of’ Events:

Laurie McCants – Actor/playwright
April 26, 2012
7:30 p.m.
Gladys Black Theatre, Vukovich Communication Arts Building

In a shadowed attic, crammed with curio cabinets, work tables, chests and drawers (containers for mementos and unmentionables), a daughter searches for what it is that ties together her mother, herself, and an elusive poet. A story about the crafting of stories, INDUSTRIOUS ANGELS was conceived by actor/creator Laurie McCants on a visit to Emily Dickinson’s home, where the poet wrote, in secret, the almost 1800 poems that were found after her death. The story unfolds through puppetry, paper-cutting, music, movement, light and dark, and the weaving together of words. It is a dance of the hands honoring women’s handiwork: mending, preserving, ordering, adorning, writing, hiding.

Developed at the Ko Festival of Performance in Amherst, Massachusetts, and the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, INDUSTRIOUS ANGELSis hand-made by Laurie McCants, in collaboration with director/lighting designerSabrina Hamilton, scenic designer F. Elaine Williams, and composer Guy Klucevsek, who has created a haunting score with piano, violin, accordion, and toy piano.

An elite group of musicians, from as far afield as Vienna, have gathered to recordKlucevsek’s score for INDUSTRIOUS ANGELS. They include Todd Reynolds on violin, pianist and toy piano prodigy Isabel Ettenauer, and the composer on accordion.


Allegheny Faculty Lecture Series
Catharina Coenen

Secret Handshakes Between Kingdoms: Phosphate, Plant-Microbe Interactions, and World Peace
Monday, September 19, 2011
6:30 p.m.
Campus Center 301/302

Although the potential of shortages in natural resources to spark armed conflicts is widely recognized, the depletion of world phosphate deposits has received surprisingly little attention: US phosphate mines are expected to peak by 2034; 85% of accessible, clean phosphate rock deposits are located in Morocco. Phosphate is an essential constituent of all organisms, for which there is no alternative. Phosphate enters the human food supply through plants, which absorb this nutrient from soil. Unlike modern agricultural systems, which rely on large inputs of phosphate fertilizers to drive productivity, natural ecosystems maintain soil fertility through tight phosphate cycling, accomplished largely though symbioses between roots and microbes. An understanding of the chemical language in which plants negotiate symbiotic interactions with bacteria and fungi is required to re-establish efficiency of phosphate use in agriculture and to avert a threat to global food supply.


One World Tribe
Saturday, September 24, 2011 – Family Weekend
8:00 p.m.
Shafer Auditorium
Pre-Ordered Tickets – $7.50 for adults, $5.00 for students and children under 18
Tickets at the door – $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for students and children under 18

One World Tribe began performing in 1994, started by bandleader Kennedy Thompson with diversity, justice and great music in mind. Covering music by Bob Marley, Santana, Ruben Blades, The Meters, Stevie Wonder and Johnny Klegg, the group quickly developed a fan base in Erie, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.
Original music gradually replaced much of the cover material, as the Tribe’s fan base continued to expand. Rochester and Syracuse became regular stops, with frequent trips to Harrisburgh and State College. Songs like NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE, MONEY DON’T MAKE IT RIGHT, and Award-winning UNITY AND DIVERSITY, the title-track of their first album, made the band’s message clear, and entertained at the same time.
After some years of pounding the beat in clubs, festivals, colleges, schools, street fairs and community celebrations, One World Tribe released their second CD, The World Today, rhythmic club-tested grooves with a World Music focus. This “collection of seven stunning original tunes” brought more of the Tribe’s sound and message to a continually expanding audience.
In 2004, One World Tribe became a member of the Pennsylvania Performing Artists on Tour [PennPAT] roster, increasing the touring reach of the shows. Tours have included Lancaster, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, PA, and New Jersey, West Virginia, Baltimore, MD and Atlanta, GA.
More recently, the group has been included in the Pennsylvania Arts Council grant listing, supporting residencies in schools. This brings world-class musicianship to young people, and allows One World Tribe to teach them authentic World Music styles, and to demonstrate the acceptance for each other’s differences that the group exemplifies.
One World Tribe is hard at work, the result of these and many other projects. In addition to the expansion of the World Music frontier, the Tribe continues developing its Hiphop show representing the third CD, Armed and Dangerous with this focus.


Colin Beavan – Author: No Impact Man
Monday, October 3, 2011
8:00 p.m.
Shafer Auditorium

Colin Beavan’s writing, speaking, and activism has encouraged tens of thousands of people to examine their lives to discover what’s really important to them. The resulting lifestyle changes that people make allow them to live more lightly on the planet, while leading more fulfilling lives. It is Colin’s mission to engage citizens, on an individual and collective level, in choosing ways of life that are healthier and happier for individuals, for our society, and for our planet.
In 2006, author Colin Beavan, a newly self-proclaimed environmentalist, could no longer avoid pointing the finger at himself. He left behind his liberal complacency for a vow to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year. No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption…no problem. That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshiping wife Michelle and their two year-old daughter are dragged into the fray! What would it be like to try to live a no-impact lifestyle? Could it catch on? Is living this way more satisfying or less satisfying? These are the questions at the heart of his endeavor, through which Colin hopes to explain to the rest of us how we can realistically live a more “eco-effective” and, by turns, more content life.
Colin’s experiment became the subject of his provocative, award-wining blog (one of Time Magazine’s Top 15 environmental blogs), his book No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life Along the Way (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), and a Sundance-selected documentary by the same name. His story provided a narrative vehicle by which he could attract broad public attention to the range of pressing environmental crises including: food system sustainability, climate change, water scarcity, and materials and energy resource depletion.
Following the release of the book and the film, Colin founded the No Impact Project, an international environmental non-profit dedicated to empowering citizens to make choices which better their lives and lower their environmental impact through lifestyle change, community action, and participation in environmental politics.

Mollie Katzen – Author
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
7:30 p.m.
Schultz Banquet Hall

Mollie Katzen, with over 6 million books in print, is listed by the New York Times as one of the best-selling cookbook authors of all time. A 2007 inductee into the prestigious James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame, and largely credited with moving healthful vegetarian food from the “fringe” to the center of the American dinner plate, Ms. Katzen has been named by Health Magazine as one of “The Five Women Who Changed the Way We Eat.”

In addition she is a charter member of the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Roundtable and an inaugural honoree of the Natural Health Hall of Fame. An award-winning illustrator and designer as well as best-selling cookbook author and popular public speaker, Mollie Katzen is best known as the creator of the groundbreaking classics Moosewood Cookbook, and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Her other books include the award-winning children’s cookbook trilogy, Pretend Soup,Honest Pretzels, and Salad People; Vegetable Heaven (winner of the International Cookbook Reveu Best in Category award); Sunlight Café; Eat, Drink, & Weigh Less (with Walter Willett, MD of Harvard), and the best-selling The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without.

Søren Hermansen – Visiting Scholar
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
6:30 p.m.
Ford Chapel

Søren Hermansen will arrive on campus on Sunday, October 23. From Monday-Thursday, October 25-28, he will team teach a mini-course on Wind Energy and Sustainable Development with Allegheny professor Terrence Bensel. He will also visit a number of environmental science and other courses that week and will present a public lecture, Achieving Energy Independence: Denmark’s Wind Energy Island, discussing the fact that in only ten years the Danish island of Samsø went from an almost complete reliance on imported fuels and electricity to meeting much of their energy requirements locally through wind power, solar power, and biomass. In the process Samsø has become a showcase for community-based renewable energy development hosting thousands of visitors from around the world every year. Learn how Samsø was able to achieve this remarkable accomplishment, reduce their environmental impact, and strengthen their local economy.

Søren Hermansen is the Director of the Samsø Energy Academy and head of the Samsø renewable energy island project. His mission is to demonstrate that it is possible to create communities that meet 100% of their energy requirements through renewable sources. In 2008, Søren Hermansen was named one of the ‘Heroes of the Environment’ by Time Magazine, and in 2009 he was awarded the Gothenberg Award – the Nobel Prize of the environment. Other awards include Energy Globe 2008 and Eurosolar 2002. Hermansen is an Adjunct Professor at Aalborg University in Denmark.

History of the Samsø Energy Academy: In 1997, the Danish government offered a challenge to five populated islands to cut their carbon footprint and increase production of renewable energy. Samsø, an island of 4,100 people west of Copenhagen, won the contest. The effort was spearheaded by Søren Hermansen, a former high school environmental studies teacher, who attended community meetings to promote the benefits of clean energy. He set up investment plans for island residents to buy shares in large-scale wind turbines, solar panel systems, and straw-fired district heating plants. Today, Samsø exports wind-powered electricity to the Danish mainland and has cut its carbon footprint 140 percent. Most residents of the island still use gasoline for their cars which represents the last challenge to achieving energy independence. In the meantime, wind power exports more than offset the carbon from Samsø’s tailpipe emissions. The island’s energy revolution now draws thousands of visitors from around the world eager to learn how this was accomplished.

Samsø Island and the Samsø Energy Academy in the News:



David Lee Edwards, Artist, Allegheny College Class of 1984
Public Lecture
Thursday, October 27, 2011
12:15 p.m.
Doane Hall of Art, Room A104

“Public Art, Community Environments and Questions of Sustainability”

Sculptor David Edwards will address the potential of art as a catalyst for the generation of energy solutions in local communities that can redefine efficiency. He will also explore questions such as, what does the term sustainability really mean relative to environmental art? What happens when art and technology meet?

More information on David Lee Edwards:

“In the public arts I never forget that the composition is indeed for the public and that all themes represented must serve well the landscape in which they reside.” D. L. Edwards

Edwards graduated from Shady Side Academy and earned a BA from Allegheny College. Edwards is a professional stone sculptor, painter and metalworker with over 20 years of experience in architectural design. “I have always been influenced by the tradition of the renaissance masters who where sculptors, painters, designers and draftsmen all in one. I use techniques gained from experience in one particular discipline to solve problems and gain insights into another. This approach gives me a flexible and more holistic approach to the challenges of a wide spectrum of new media.”
Edwards recently received the Business of Creativity Award at the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s 2010 DATA Awards for his series of public artworks that use wind and solar energy generating technologies for the public good. In 2009 Edwards was awarded a Sprout Fund Seed Award for this design series known as Power Flowers.
In 2010 Edwards was awarded a Spark Grant by the Sprout Fund and the Grable Foundation for the creation of a series of workshops that uses innovative sculptural toys and play learning models to demonstrate fundamentals of mechanical motion, recycling and clean energy technologies in a child friendly context.
Edwards’s Curious Creatures workshops and Power Flower public artworks have been sponsored by and exhibited at Carnegie Children’s Museum, Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Science Center and CitiParks Frick Environmental Center.
With an extremely diverse collection of paintings and sculptures in notable corporate and private collection, Edwards is best known for his public works. These include nationally exhibited life size outdoor chess pieces, public murals and giant kinetic art installations. In 2006 Edwards’s three story tall inflatable Elephant “Pittsburgh’s Painted Pachyderm” was sponsored by PNC Bank and was subsequently purchased by the Carnegie Institute. In 2007 Edwards was commissioned by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and The Northside Leadership Conference to design and paint a 2,300 sq. ft. mural celebrating the national historic district of Deutschtown on Pittsburgh’s Northside. The artist’s award winning creations have been exhibited at such notable venues as The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, PPG Plaza, Point State Park and The Pittsburgh Zoo. His art has been featured on TV and radio and in numerous newspaper, magazine and art publications.
Edwards actively promotes art education participating in various Pennsylvania Art Educators Conferences providing examples of interactive art projects for students and educators. Edwards accepts public and private commissions and teaches painting and sculpture workshops throughout Allegheny County.


Louise Silk – Quilter
Residency – November 3 – 5, 2011
Quilting workshop – Saturday, November 5, 2011 (Registration necessary)
Campus Center 301/302

Louise began her quest to acquire skills as a quilter after being inspired by an article in Ms. Magazine in 1971 about quilt making as a woman’s art form. Over the past thirty years, her work has been included in Quilt National Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Quilts as well as many private corporate collections such as Usairways, Paine Webber, and PNC Bank. In addition to commissions and exhibitions, she lectures and teaches. While working on a masters degree in Leadership and Liberal Arts, she discovered self-leadership, a form of leading where the leader encourages followers to become their own leaders and lead themselves. She is a certified Integrated Kabbalistic Healer. Louise is currently living and working from her loft in the South Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

William McKibben – Author
Thursday, February 16, 2012
7:30 p.m.
Shafer Auditorium

Bill McKibben is an American environmentalist and writer who frequently writes about global warming and alternative energy and advocates for more localized economies. In 2010 the Boston Globe called him “probably the nation’s leading environmentalist” and Time magazine described him as “the world’s best green journalist. In 2009 he led the organization of , which coordinated what Foreign Policy magazine called “the largest ever global coordinated rally of any kind,” with 5,200 simultaneous demonstrations in 181 countries. The magazine named him to its inaugural list of the 100 most important global thinkers, and MSN named him one of the dozen most influential men of 2009.
Bill grew up in suburban Lexington, Massachusetts. He was president of the Harvard Crimson newspaper in college. Immediately after college he joined the New Yorker magazine as a staff writer, and wrote much of the “Talk of the Town” column from 1982 to early 1987. He quit the magazine when its longtime editor William Shawn was forced out of his job, and soon moved to the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York.


Sustainable Communities are Inclusive ~ Workshops
March 5 – 10, 2012

Discover tools for building an inclusive and sustainable community through self exploration and exploration of others.

Monday, March 5

Movement as Metaphor-Building Community
4 to 5 p.m. in Montgomery Upper Studio

Participants will explore nonverbal games that develop collaboration and a feeling of community. No experience is needed to mirror, lead, or follow the simple movement activities. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing that you can move in and bring an open mind towards sharing and having fun.

Tuesday, March 6

Institutional Discrimination: Structures that lead to Exclusion
12:15 to 1:15 in CC 206 (Lunch will be provided!)

We are all part of larger social systems that have norms and rules. These systems can create and perpetuate discrimination and exclusion, but this discrimination is often hidden from view because it is a product of the regular operation of the institutions that we are a part of. This workshop will describe the process of institutional discrimination in our society and on our campus, and how this discrimination affects our peers and community everyday. Professor Stephanie Martin, Mike Fields, and Antonia Koch will discuss the various contexts for institutional discrimination, and help workshop participants to identify examples of this at work in their daily lives. Seeing behind the curtain of institutional discrimination is important for making change in our own lives in order to our community become more inclusive.

Poetry SLAM with Overkill
8 to 10 p.m. in Grounds for Change

Overkill invites all poets, writers, singers, ranters, etc. to our poetry SLAM. Our next issue is “OverISMs” which emphasizes the idea of identity and the “isms” we deal with on a daily basis. Read your poetry, hang out with Overkill, and then submit writing and art to the next issue by Friday, March 9.

Wednesday, March 7

“What Should White People Do? Become Apprentices!”
3 to 4:30 p.m. in CC 301/302

I develop a notion of apprenticeship as an activity of giving oneself over to transformative experiences. This apprenticeship can be found in Goethe’s method of delicate empiricism. Further, I argue, this form of apprenticeship is central to John Dewey’s notion of democracy as a way of life. I will use Dewey to locate it in a community context where it can be of vital importance for solidarity among citizens. Then, carrying forward Elizabeth Spelman’s use of the idea of apprenticeship in her discussion of relations between white and black feminists, I recommend an enlarged idea of apprenticeship as a strategy for antiracist white people to employ as part of their efforts for social justice. George Yancy’s notion of ambush plays a central role in this enlarged idea. I will speak of the role of ambush and apprenticeship as they have informed my teaching and my conception of a liberal education.

Thursday, March 8

“Creating Inclusive Communities”
12:15 to 1:15 in Quigley Auditorium (Lunch will be provided!)

This interactive workshop will illuminate how non-inclusivity can affect Allegheny College community members. Through intentional dialogue participants will learn how sexism & heterosexism can impact inclusion.

“Destigmatizing Mental Illness”
7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Schultz East Alcove

Staff and consumers of Crawford County Mental Health Awareness Program (CHAPS) will be giving a presentation on the stigmas attached to mental illness. The interactive presentation will touch on stigmas associated with mental illness, where they originate, how they effect individuals living with mental illness, and how to fight them.

Friday, March 9

“In the Sisterhood: the Women’s Movement in Pittsburgh” Closing Reception
5 to 8 p.m. in the Art Gallery

This multimedia exhibit highlights the work of local feminists to gain equal rights for women and girls in our region and beyond. It includes a portrait gallery of sixteen influential leaders of the women’s movement during the latter part of the 20th century, a 15-minute video based on excerpts from their oral histories, period photos and memorabilia from private collections. Featured activists include Ann Begler, Jeanne Clark, Alma Speed Fox, Barbara Hafer, Eleanor Smeal, and a dozen other leading feminists in western Pennsylvania.

Saturday, March 10

IncluSaturday (Service Day)
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (meet at Reis)

Meet at Reis Hall at 9 a.m. to serve for community partners in Meadville around issues of diversity, identity, and sustainability. There will be a short luncheon afterwards to talk with community partners and celebrate the service done locally!

Ending Celebration
4 to 6 p.m. at Schultz Banquet Hall

There will be a short performance of the “Movement as Metaphor” workshop participants and a drum circle for anyone who wants to join! Those who participated in the poetry SLAM are invited to perform as well! Snacks will be provided while we celebrate the closing of the week.


Year of Sustainable Communities Conference
Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dr. Irene J. Klaver
Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University of North Texas

Dr. Irene J. Klaver is Director of the Philosophy of Water Project and Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University of North Texas. With an M.A. in Political Theory (Cum Laude) from the University of Amsterdam she was Fulbright scholar in Philosophy (SUNY Stony Brook) and Vera Liszt Fellow at the New School of Social Research in New York City. Her research and teaching focus on social-political and cultural dimensions of water. She has published and lectured widely on the topic, is co-editor of the UNESCO book Water, Cultural Diversity & Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends, Sustainable Futures (Springer, 2011), and editor of Water and Culture, a volume in The History of Water and Civilization Project UNESCO book series of the International History of Water Association. A firm believer in the importance of visual culture, Klaver has worked on various water documentary films. She was research consultant on “The Global Rivers Project” which premiered in Beijing, China (2008), and “River Planet” (2011). She was co-director/producer with Melinda Levin of the Rio Grande and Mekong sections of the films. Other imaging projects include a photo essay on local water infrastructure with information scientist and filmmaker Brian O’Connor, selected for the Smithsonian Photography Initiative. Klaver is UNESCO Water and Cultural Diversity Advisor and Co-Director of the International Association for Environmental Philosophy.

Devon G. Peña
Professor of Anthropology and Chicano Studies, University of Washington
Research Interests:
Agroecology; ethnoecology; anthropology of place and place-making; environmental justice and sustainability; workplace politics; international migration; social movement theory; environmental history and ecological politics in the intermountain West (Mexico, Southwest USA, Taiwan, China)
“I was just elected Secretary of the Sangre de Cristo Acequia Association in Colorado. In that capacity I am currently involved in a major participatory action research (PAR) project to establish and convene the “First Congress of Colorado Acequias” that will implement and amplify the 2009 “Colorado Acequia Recognition Law.” This new law restores some important “first principles” of acequia customary law and allows for our formal organization as acequia ditch corporations. The new law allows acequia farmers to manage community irrigation ditches and their water resources as a “commons” instead of requiring strict adherence to the Doctrine of Prior Appropriation. The recognition law restores the role of “one farmer, one vote,” requirements for mutual aid and cooperative labor, and the principle of “shared scarcity.” I am also launching a project to convene a conference on “Payments for Ecosystem and Economic Base Services of Acequia Agroecological Landscape Mosaics.”
I am participating in another new collaborative PAR project focused on developing a resilient and equitable co-management and restoration ecology plan for the restored 80,000-acre “La Sierra Commons” in south central Colorado. This applied environmental anthropology project seeks to apply Ostrum’s model of the principles for enduring CPRs to the organization and work of the Herederos Livestock Grazing Association and the Rio Culebra Agricultural Cooperative. I continue my research on the ethnobotany and agroecology of urban agriculture along the entire length of the Pacific Coast with a focus on people from the “post-NAFTA Mesoamerica diaspora.” This is part of a collaborative project with Tezozomoc and Rufina Juarez of the South Central Farmers in California.
Finally, I continue to do my own work as a farmer, seed-saver, plant-breeder, and philanthropist. I do this through my family’s non-profit educational and research foundation, The Acequia Institute. The Institute is located on a 200-acre acequia farm in the San Acacio bottom lands and on the historic San Luis Peoples Ditch in southern Colorado. We live and work at the farm during the irrigation to harvest cycle every year and continue with applied projects in restoration ecology, permaculture, shifting mosaics of annual-perennial polycultures, and plant-breeding and seed-saving programs for the conservation of the genomic diversity and integrity of local land race heirloom varieties of the “Three Sisters” – corn, beans, and squash in the Upper Rio Grande headwaters bioregion.”

Dr. Sylvia Hood Washington
Research Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago

An award winning project engineer, grant writer and environmental health scientist who has been successful in integrating industry, the government and academic professionals with community groups. Over 15 years of on the ground involvement with community and environmental justice grassroots activists concerned with environmental and health inequalities tied to industrial operations.

An experienced environmental epidemiologist who is skilled in the research of environmental health outcomes from pollution exposures for litigation matters, health care safety, infection control, risk communication for environmental matters, safety and training program development, OSHA compliance assistance.

An experienced Project Manager responsible for the development and management of an environmental health disparities and environmental health literacy grant for Chicago’s Black Catholics funded by the USCCB and Illinois Humanities Council (2002-2006)

Principle Investigator for the NSF funded “Engineering and Environmental Justice ” grant which developed and utilized GIS models to examine environmental health disparities tied to sewage infrastructures in the Great Lakes (2006-2009).

An award winning NASA Sr. Project Engineer responsible for modeling environmental health risks associated with nuclear propulsion systems for future Mars missions.

An accomplished Sr. Environmental Chemist/Engineer for Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company responsible for the oversight, implementation and enforcement of solid waste, hazardous waste, water and air pollution regulations at coal fired power plants in Cleveland, OH.

Specialties: RCRA, TSCA, CERCLA OSHA compliance, research on exposures for litigation matters, risk communication for environmental matters, health care safety and infection control, safety and training program development, and mathematical modeling and computer simulation of environmental health risks.
Environmental Risk Assessment for Communities ; Environmental Engineering Designs and Modifications;
Environmental Epidemiology Research Studies;
Environmental Health Disparities Longitudinal Studies;
Mathematical and GIS Modeling of Environmental Justice Communities; SAS Model Development and Evaluation of Environmental Health Disparities; Long term and Long Range Environmental Health Disparities Studies; Training and Development of Environmental Health Workers.

Paul B. Thompson
W. K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics, Michigan State University

Paul Thompson came to Michigan State in 2003 to assume a position in the Philosophy Department, with partial appointments in the Agricultural Economics and Resource Development Departments. Previously he held positions as Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Director, Center for Food Animal Productivity and Well-Being, at Purdue University, and prior to that positions as Professor of Philosophy and Agricultural Economics and Director, Center for Science and Technology Policy and Ethics, at Texas A&M University.
Professional Interests
• American pragmatist approaches in practical ethics
• Environmental ethics
• Risks and ethics of agricultural and food biotechnology
• Science policy
• Philosophy of technology
• Philosophy of economics

Selected Publications
Thompson, Paul B. (Ed.). 2008. The Ethics of Intensification: Agricultural Development and Cultural Change. Dordrecht: Springer.
Thompson, Paul B., Callicott, J, Frodeman, R, Davion, Victoria, Norton, Bryan, Palmer, Claire (Eds.). 2008. Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale-Cengage Learning.
David, Kenneth, Thompson, Paul B. (Eds.). 2008. What Can Nanotechnology Learn from Biotechnology? Social and Ethical Lessons for Nanoscience from the Debate over Agrifood Biotechnology and GMOs. Burlington, MA: Academic Press.
Thompson, Paul B. 2008. Agrarian Philosophy and Ecological Ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics 14 pg. 527-544.
*Thompson, Paul B. 2008. Animal Biotechnology: How Not to Presume. The American Journal of Bioethics 8 (6): pg. 49-50.
*Thompson, Paul B. 2008. Borgmann on Commodification: A Comment on Real American Ethics. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 21 pg. 75-84.
*Thompson, Paul B. 2008. Current Ethical Issues in Animal Biotechnology. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 20 pg. 67-73.
*Thompson, Paul B., Hannah, W. 2008. Nanotechnology, Risk and the Environment: A Review. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 10 pg. 291-300.
*Thompson, Paul B. 2008. The Agricultural Ethics of Biofuels: A First Look. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 21 pg. 183-198.
*Thompson, Paul B. 2008. The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken Problem. NanoEthics 2 pg. 305-316.


Randy Wilson, Folk Artist and Activist
Friday, March 30, 2012
7:30 pm
Ford Memorial Chapel

Randy Wilson brings to light the impact of mountaintop removal mining on families and communities, singing songs of struggle in Appalachian Coal Country on the guitar and banjo. He will also share a visual presentation on issues about mountaintop removal, energy, and alternatives for the energy future in Appalachia.
Randy Wilson is the director of the folk arts program of the Hindman Settlement School in Kentucky, where he does music, stories, dance, and theater in the schools and the community. As a twenty year member of the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, he has lobbied for justice in the coalfields at local, state, and national levels. He represented the coalfields at the United Nations Conference on Energy and Sustainable Development advocating an end to mountaintop removal and a transition to renewable energies in our region. As folk artist he represented Appalachia at the Smithsonian Folk Festival on the National Mall, where he performed along with artists from West Africa and Scotland tying the cultural threads that bind these cultures together in the Appalachian experience.
For the past ten years he has been putting together banjos and presentations on the history of the instrument from West Africa to colonial days to the present. This project grew out of numerous cultural exchanges across the nation, including Latino culture in San Antonio, Native culture in Alaska, and Puerto Rican culture in the Bronx. Lately he has done a cultural exchange with kids from the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC.
A collaboration with Kentucky poet James Still culminated in performances for the University of Rome in Italy, and at colleges across the region from the University of Kentucky to Virginia Tech. Mr. Wilson also produces a weekly kid’s radio program for the Appalshop’s WMMT station, which streams live at
Randy Wilson also been speaks on college campuses about coal, mountaintop removal, climate change, and our need for economic transition. As of late he has been doing an oral history from coal miners in the region chronicling neglect of the land, its workers, and its people, believing that “what you do to the land, you do to the people.”


Helen Welch and The Misery Bay Big Band
Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31, 2012
7:30 p.m.
Shafer Auditorium

Helen Welch is a critically-acclaimed vocalist whose live stage performances explore a diverse range of musical compositions, starting with the 1930s up through present-day. Whether she’s singing Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Sarah Vaughn, or Elton John, Sting and Randy Newman, Helen’s sophisticated vocals and humor leave audiences breezily enchanted.

The Misery Bay Big Band represents the best in big band entertainment. With 16 – 20 of the area’s finest musicians, the band boasts a huge repertoire from big band to standards, jazz to latin, dance to concert, or just pleasant easy listening. They can swing and scream, or they can melt their audience with controlled finesse.
Saxes: Dr. Allen Zurcher, Dr. Scott Meier, Doug Dinberg, John Cross, John Marszalek
Trombones: Doug Dressler, Kent Tucker, Chris Dempsey, Dr. Ron Stitt, Mark Dressler
Trumpets: Jeff Gibbens, Keith Lenz, Ron May, Brian Hannah, Joe Miller
Rhythm: Brad Amidon – Drums, John Huegel – Bass, Marilyn Marszalek – Piano

Friday, March 30
Master Class – 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. in Arnold Hall of Music, Room 202

Please contact Ron Stitt at to register for the Master Class.

The free master class will feature sessions with the following musicians from the Big Band.

Dr Allen Zurcher-lead alto with the Misery Bay Big Band Allen Zurcher has a wide and varied musical experience in his more than thirty years as a professional musician, composer, arranger and educator; including holding teaching positions in saxophone and jazz studies at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA, where he was the program director for the Bill Evans jazz festival. Dr. Zurcher has been a saxophonist with the Erie Philharmonic and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra as well as Music Dir. and bandleader for Premier and Princess Cruise Lines. He has performed with notable musicians and entertainers such as The Manhattan Transfer, Bryan Lynch, Conrad Herwig, Clark Terry, Don Menza, Vic DDeMon, and Diane Carroll. Allen can be heard on recordings Waiting in the Alley (2001) with Andy Nevala, For the Last Time (2001) with the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Lab I, and Armed and Dangerous (2008) with One World Tribe. Dr. Zurcher currently teaches music appreciation at Gannon University and jazz studies at Mercyhurst College; in addition to maintaining an active career as a performer and clinician in the Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York tri-state area.

Chris Dempsey-trombone soloist with the Misery Bay Big Band began playing jazz at the age of nineteen and has been hailed by jazz luminary, Phil Wilson, as “one of the best jazz trombonists you will probably ever hear.” His performance experience extends from coast to coast and abroad, having performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Chris has worked with over 50 world-renowned musicians and groups and has won numerous awards including the National Jazz Trombone Soloist Competition, the National Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition, and the International Trombone Association’s Kai Winding Competition. Chris has also appeared in such notable publications as Jazziz Magazine, Downbeat Magazine, and the International Trombone Association Journal.

The “core Group” will include the following members of the Misery Bay Big Band:

Alto Sax-Allen Zurcher
Trumpet-Jeff Gibbens
Trombone-Chris Dempsey
Guitar-Jim Froman (Allegheny, adjunct faculty)
Drums-Sonny Froman

Saturday, March 31
A concert will be held in Shafer Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
$5.00 Donation at the door.


Allegheny College Managerial Economics Program: 2012 Annual Executive Roundtable
Monday, April 2, 2012
Ford Chapel

Pennsylvania’s Shale Gas: Economic Boon or Environmental Disaster?

along with prospective development of other deep natural gas shales, has generated rancorous debate. While some perceive the Marcellus and similar formations as solutions for the region’s energy and economic challenges, others express concern about the long-term effects on aquifers, ecosystems, and community life. Due to the pervasive public interest generated by the discovery of the shales, and the often
emotional tone of the ensuing debates, The 2012 Executive Roundtable at Allegheny College will provide a balanced platform by which experts, regulators, policy makers, and the general public can exchange ideas and information on this issue.

Panelists will include:

• Abrahm Lustgarten – Journalist, ProPublica
• Arthur Stewart ’80 – Managing Member, D&I Silica, LLC
• John Walliser – VP for Legal and Governmental Affairs, Pennsylvania Environmental Council
• Roger Willis ’80 – President, Universal Well Services, Inc.
• Moderator – Dr. Rachel O’Brien, Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Geology

The Roundtable will focus on the implications of the Marcellus and similar shales for the
region’s economy and environment. It will highlight some of the following issues:

• What is the magnitude of the Marcellus Shale as a source of energy?
• What are some of the basic scientific and technical issues associated with
exploration and processing of natural gas from the shale?
• What are the potential economic benefits and risks?
• What are the implications for the environment and local communities?
• To what extent might regulation reconcile the economic benefits and environmental costs, and what sort of regulatory framework would be needed?

The event will conclude with a Q&A session.

Panelists will include:
• Abrahm Lustgarten – Journalist, ProPublica
• Arthur Stewart ’80 – Managing Member, D&I Silica, LLC
• John Walliser – VP for Legal and Governmental Affairs, Pennsylvania
Environmental Council
• Roger Willis ’80 – President, Universal Well Services, Inc.
• Moderator – Dr. Rachel O’Brien, Associate Professor & Chair,
Department of Geology

The Roundtable will focus on the implications of the Marcellus and similar shales for the
region’s economy and environment. It will highlight some of the following issues:
• What is the magnitude of the Marcellus Shale as a source of energy?
• What are some of the basic scientific and technical issues associated with
exploration and processing of natural gas from the shale?
• What are the potential economic benefits and risks?
• What are the implications for the environment and local communities?
• To what extent might regulation reconcile the economic benefits and
environmental costs, and what sort of regulatory framework would be needed?

The event will conclude with a Q&A session.

For additional information, please contact Tracy Stevenson at or 814-332-2385.


Tom Borrup – Consultant and Community Activist
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
7:30 p.m.
Schultz Banquet Hall

Tom Borrup is a consultant to arts organizations and to foundations and cities around the U.S. He has been a community activist and nonprofit arts administrator for over 25 years, including thirteen years with Minneapolis-based Intermedia Arts. Tom has written extensively on culture and community. His newest book is The Creative Community Builder’s Handbook.