Allegheny’s 2020-21 Karl W. Weiss ’87 Faculty Lecture Series Goes Online

The Karl W. Weiss ’87 Faculty Lecture series, featuring six talks beginning on Wednesday, October 7, will be hosted virtually this academic year, according to Allegheny College’s Academic Support Committee.

Dr. Alexis Hart opens the Karl W. Weiss '87 Faculty Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on October 7.
Dr. Alexis Hart opens the Karl W. Weiss ’87 Faculty Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on October 7.

The Faculty Lecture Series will be presented on a live Zoom webinar with moderated question-and-answer sessions. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend, and invitations have been extended to Allegheny alumni to join in this year. All the lecture dates, speaker information and the Zoom webinar link for each lecture during the 2020-21 academic year can be found here.

“The Karl W. Weiss ’87 Faculty Lecture Series has been a longstanding platform for faculty to share their scholarly and pedagogical work with the College community and Meadville community members,” said Monali Chowdhury, associate professor of psychology and chair of the Academic Support Committee. “Though a departure from the traditional in-person format, the digital format, in fact, allows the event to have a broader reach. The Academic Support Committee is collaborating with Alumni Affairs to welcome alumni and friends of the College to the webinars this year. The webinars also remain open to Meadville community members.”

“This year’s faculty lecture series features a great lineup of speakers from diverse areas of humanities, natural, and social sciences including work on interdisciplinary areas and scholarship of teaching and learning. We look forward to the lecture series this year in its new digital avatar and facilitating greater engagement with the extended Allegheny community, including our alumni,” said Chowdhury.

The first talk is on Wednesday, October 7, at 7 p.m. by Dr. Alexis Hart, associate professor of English and director of writing, who will discuss “Military Veterans and Higher Education.” In 2015, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported that more than one million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were enrolled in institutions of higher education. That constitutes nearly 4 percent of college and university students nationwide. In her talk, Professor Hart will discuss how higher education has had to account for this dramatic demographic shift at institutions and within classrooms. In particular, she will focus on writing courses, which, due to relatively small enrollments and the prevalence of one-to-one student-faculty interactions, are on the proverbial “front line” of the influx of veterans to campuses.

The other lectures in this academic year include:

Irem Kurtsal of the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department, who will talk about “Putting the Art before the Horse” at 7 p.m. November 4, 2020.

Dan Willey of the Physics Department, who will address “Nothing Is Without Music: A Brief History of World Harmony” at 7 p.m. December 2, 2020.

Doug Luman of the Computer Science Department will discuss “The Idea Becomes a Machine That Makes the Art: Digital Humanities and Potential Literatures” at 7 p.m. February 3, 2021.

Gaia Rancati of the Economics Department will deliver her address, “Humans or Robots in the Retail Store: A Neuroscientific Approach,” at 7 p.m. on March 3, 2021.

Lauren Paulson of the Psychology Department will talk about “Building Bridges: Bringing Rural Mental Health to the Classroom through Community-Engaged Learning” at 7 p.m. April 7, 2021.

Any questions about the lecture series can be sent to Monali Chowdhury at