Bridges Academy

Drop Shadow

Lecture Series

Spring 2016

To register for lectures over the phone, please call (619) 260-4815.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantatas 146, 68, and 96: A musical journey from Sorrow to Joy

Wednesday, February 10, 10-11:30 am

“We must enter the Kingdom of Heaven through much sorrow.” Thus, the librettist of Cantata 146 takes the listener into deep reflection on the dark side of the human condition. Yet Bach, in his musical setting, opens the Cantata with what must be one of the most glorious orchestral “Concertos” he ever composed. Such is the juxtaposition between words and music. Unlike the words which must toil hard, his sound can get there directly, from the first opening chord. In Bach’s hands, Music becomes the path by which glory is foreshadowed or even attained in the form of art.  Join Dr. Marianne Pfau for this lecture which provides an eye-opening preview of the music from the ‘Angelus Series,’ to be held Saturday, February 20, 2016, in Founders Chapel at USD at 7pm.

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South Africa’s Democracy: Decline or Consolidation?

Wednesday, February 17, 10-11:30 am

Since 1994, there have been many significant achievements with respect to South Africa’s democracy.  While South Africa is stable relative to other states in sub-Saharan Africa, and has established strong institutional structures and processes to promote democratic decision-making, citizens face significant challenges on a daily basis. A lack of jobs, growing corruption, unequal education, and less vibrant civil society associations have resulted in many South Africans growing dissatisfied with the current democratic regime.  How is this dissatisfaction expressed in today’s South Africa?  What are citizens doing to hold government accountable?  How is the government responding?  And most importantly, will these challenges lead to an ultimate decline in South Africa’s democracy? Dr. Mike Williams, Director of the Changemaker Hub and Associate Professor in Political Science and International Relations, to discuss the current socio-political and economic situation in South Africa.

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What is Wrong with Democracy?

Tuesday, March 1, 10-11:30 am

Find out why Plato hated democracy, and why even political theorists who were sympathetic to popular government, including Machiavelli, Hobbes, Madison, Adams, and Homer Simpson, had serious doubts about whether democracy could ever be made to work properly. Join Political Science and International Relations professor Del Dickson for a freewheeling discussion of his most recent book, “The People’s Government: An Introduction to Democracy.”  

Keeping Safe Online

Wednesday, March 9, 10-11:30 am

Our lives are increasingly online: we depend more and more on our home computers, tablets, and phones to do banking, shopping, social media, and many other activities. But it seems like every week we hear about another serious data breach at a large company or a government agency. If these large organizations can’t protect their data, how can we? Join Professor Mark Heckman for an interesting discussion about tools and techniques for reducing your online risk.

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McNair Research: “Agency, Intentionality, and Creativity” and “On The Ground: Facing Fukushima”

Thursday, April 7, 10-11:30 am

Join students from the McNair Scholars program as they share their research. Theodore Davis will explore the conditions surrounding the definition of creativity, an often mysterious and mythical entity, with the goal of motivating future creative environment. Kayleigh Ward will share how media coverage and isolation after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan have led many Tokyo residents to have an incomplete understanding of the disaster and its effects upon the residents in this region. As the capital, Tokyo residents may have a great influence on potential outcomes for the Fukushima prefecture, and the information and perspectives surrounding the disaster aftermath highlight larger issues that can pose a risk to Japanese society.

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Monitoring and Mitigating Human Impacts on Coral Reefs

Wednesday, April 13, 10-11:30 am

Coral reefs are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems, providing economic and environmental services to millions of people ($375 billion/year), but are declining worldwide.  One of the most significant threats to coral reefs is land-based runoff and pollutant discharges that may contain sediments, nutrients, chemicals and other pollutants.  In the US Virgin Islands, development such as the building of unpaved roads in steep watersheds has increased the volume of land-based sedimentation on coral reefs.  Since 2007, USD faculty and students have worked with local communities in the US Virgin Islands to monitor and mitigate the effects of pollution on coral reefs.  Join Dr. Sarah Gray to learn more about this work, which has served as a model for other Caribbean communities about effective ways to protect and preserve coral reefs.

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Who will be the Largest Heir of your Retirement Plan?

Wednesday, April 20, 10-11:30 am

Will it be those you love and care about? Or will it be the IRS, due to poor planning? If you have a 403B, IRA or 401K plan and want to protect it for your loved ones, this lecture will help you identify opportunities while avoiding the pitfalls and common beneficiary and tax planning mistakes that people make. Join Jeanne Bradford-Odorico to explore different beneficiary options and strategies as well as tax planning techniques that can help you design a better outcome for your heirs.

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For more information about the Bridges Academy Lecture Series, please call (619) 260-4815.