Lecture Series

Spring 2021

Bridges Academy will be offered remotely and virtually, via the Zoom platform, in Spring 2021. Due to the continued impacts of COVID-19, it is not possible to gather in person. When you register for the lectures on the registration page, please provide a current email address. 48 hours before the lecture, you will receive a reminder email with a link and details regarding joining the lecture online. We look forward to a great series of lectures featuring engaging speakers from across campus, in a new format!

Angelus Europe Encounters Epiphany: The Story of Simeon in Art, Words, and Music

Wednesday, March 17, 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

In the New Testament, Luke portrays Simeon as a devout and righteous man who was longing expectantly for Scripture’s fulfillment during his own lifetime. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not see death until he first saw the Lord’s Christ, the Messiah (v 26). Now he sees a young couple from Nazareth dedicating their baby boy at the temple in Jerusalem and offering two birds as atonement, a detail Luke mentions probably to point out that they did not have the means to offer the customary lamb and one bird (v 24; see Lev 12:8). In what has become known as the Nunc Dimittis, Simeon recognizes the fulfillment of God’s promised salvation in this young child.

In the form of Gregorian chant, Simeon’s Canticle, the “Nunc dimittis,” became part of the medieval church’s Vesper service. During the Renaissance, Martin Luther translated it for the Protestant Vesper service. In the 18th century, Bach makes Simeon the subject of his Cantata 82, written for the last Sunday of the Epiphany Season. In February 2021, Angelus Europe recorded this work beneath the wooden altar piece at St. Michael’s Church in Luetjenburg that artfully shows this touching scene. 

Marianne Pfau, PhD, who directs Angelus Europe and plays baroque oboes in this recording, will return to Bridges Academy to illuminate some of the musical highlights of Bach’s Cantata. 

It's Your Camino: One Couple's 500-Mile Pilgrimage Across Spain

Tuesday, March 30, 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

In 2018 Ken Strange, a former FBI agent and overseas consultant, walked the 500-mile Camino to Santiago de Compostela in Spain in 31 days with his wife, Aurora, along the sacred pilgrimage route. This presentation will touch upon the social, cultural and historic significance of the Camino, notable pilgrims as well as its Golden Age and revitalization. Mr. Strange will also explain how a chance encounter with Martin Sheen, the actor of his own Camino movie, The Way, inspired him not only to embark upon this journey of a lifetime, but to write a book about it. Finally, Mr. Strange will discuss the distinct phases of the Camino, how to prepare for the pilgrimage and its spiritual impact on those who choose to follow its path.

Social Media and Young Adults' Mental Health

Wednesday, April 14, 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Along with smartphones, social media platforms have become ubiquitous in adolescents' and young adults' lives. Platforms such as Instagram, Tik Tok, and Facebook allow social media users to connect with each other through likes, comments, and shares. Join USD McNair Scholar Stephanie Misko to explore the current research that examines problematic social media use and the development of intervention methods to mitigate the adverse effects associated with it. Stephanie will share the results of two experimental studies that she conducted, which have investigated the efficacy of using brief interventions as a buffer towards idealized, appearance-focused Instagram content. The implications of adopting these novel interventions on social media platforms to improve adolescent and young adult mental health trajectories will be discussed.

What Are the Ingredients to a Successful Marriage?

Wednesday, April 21, 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Join Lee Williams, PhD, from the Counseling & Marital and Family Therapy Department, to learn the 9 C’s for building a successful marriage. Using the 9 C's (communication, conflict resolution, commitment, contract, caring, character, culture, children, and church) as a framework, you will discover new insights and skills to enhance your intimate relationship.

Protecting Black History, Protecting Black Lives

Tuesday, May 4, 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Join Channon S. Miller, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History, for a talk and conversation that will traverse the makings of Black History, and in particular Black American History. Under consideration will be the ascendance and formation of Black History as a field of study and seedbed of literature - and how grasping the sanctity of Black life in this country is inextricably linked to knowing, understanding, and valuing the realities that define the not so distant Black past.

Dr. Channon S. Miller, Ph.D. (pronouns she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of San Diego - and co-founder of the budding Africana Studies Program. She offers courses on Black life, history, culture - and Black women's herstories in America. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Boston University in May of 2017. She began her doctoral journey in the Fall of 2011, after graduating from Trinity College (CT). Miller is from Hartford, Connecticut - and her community is the foundation of her life and her work. Placing the city within the pages of Black history is at the fore of her writing and research. The lives and activism of the city's Black people since the years of the Great Migration and mass immigration from the Afro-Caribbean, as well as the travails of Hartford's Black mothers is the focus of her present pieces.