Professor Samuel Bettwy's Top 10 Take-Aways from NetVUE

Professor Samuel Bettwy's Top 10 Take-Aways from NetVUE

Here are my top ten take-aways:

NetVUE = Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education:

  1. Interdisciplinary research. Valparaiso’s “Student Research Exchange”: Click here for last year’s program

“Students present a summary of a recent research topic then engage questions about their findings as part of a panel… The Student Research Exchange (SRX), allows undergraduate students to present on related or relevant research they've conducted for a previous or current class. An ideal SRX panel would include students from a variety of disciplines/majors, sharing how their scholarly perspective contributes to deeper thinking and strategic action when considering how to address this complex issue.”

  1. Sharing faculty vocational journeys: online videos of stories by faculty members of their vocational journeys. At Mount Mary University, volunteer faculty were trained by a local storytelling organization Ex Fabula and then students from the film school produced videos of the faculty members' story. It looks like Concordia University-Wisconsin may be doing something similar, but I can find nothing online.
  2. Vocational discernment of graduate students. I bought the only book I could find on the subject on display at the conference: William May, Beleaguered Rulers: The Public Obligation of the Professional. It’s a collection of essays concerning the public responsibility of professionals.
  3. Publishing opportunity. Website “The Conversation,”, is meant to be a forum for academics and journalists to publish essays on current issues: “To be published by The Conversation you must be currently employed as a researcher or academic with a university or research institution. Ph.D. candidates under supervision by an academic can write for us, but we don’t currently publish articles from Masters students.” Lilly Endowment, Inc., is one of many funding partners.
  4. “Undecided” majors. Azusa Pacific University has a dedicated “Exploring Program” for undecided students (“undecided” is replaced by “exploring” in their vocabulary), and the students are automatically assigned to the interdisciplinary studies department.
  5. Service-learning program. One of the participants described her school’s concentrated program, which is 45 hours over 5-7 days during an academic break.  
  6. Effect of trauma on vocational discernment. An interesting observation made by one participant about the impact of trauma, both personal (mental health, e.g.) and societal (9/11, e.g.), on vocational discernment. Worth exploring.
  7. Discovered DVD series For the Life of the World on interconnectedness, free on Amazon Prime (on my watch list): Click here.

“This seven-part film series will help you, your friends, church or organization investigate God's Economy of All Things. Explore how God's purposes are woven into every area of our lives: family, work, art, charity, education, government, recreation, and all creation! Rediscover the role of the church and how our lives lived on earth matter in God's plan for the world.”

  1. Concepts and terminology that were new to me:

                The Gutenberg Parenthesis: “the idea that the post-Gutenberg era — the period from, roughly, the 15th century to the 20th, an age defined by textuality — was essentially an interruption in the broader arc of human communication.”

                Hyper-individualism: one of the audience members stumped a panelist by using this term. We think the audience member’s odd word choice is referring to students who do not engage in student life.  

  1. Topics I would like to see addressed at future conferences re vocational discernment:

                Graduate students

                Comparative studies

                Contemplative pedagogy

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