Lifelong Learning at Alumni Weekend

New for Alumni Weekend 2017!

Friday, September 15, 2017

One afternoon, and a lifetime's worth of ideas.

Hands-on physics with your smartphone. World War II student and alumni correspondence. Improving your job-negotiation skills. And what “yin-yang” really means.
Mule learning is a lifetime sport!

These and other fascinating explorations with superb faculty are yours to enjoy alongside old friends, even as you make new ones, this Alumni Weekend. In classes and discussions created just for you, enjoy the pleasures of being a student again (without the tests or homework!). Spend an hour or a whole day pondering intriguing questions about our world, our society and our place in it. Come create a weekend you won’t soon forget.

Lectures will vary. Read current course descriptions below.
Special Topics for Alumni

1 p.m.

The Immortal Lives of Muhlenberg Men: Letters from the Four Corners of the Earth
Dr. Kate Ranieri, Assistant Professor, Media and Communication & Susan Falciani, Special Collections and Archives Librarian

Exploring Trexler Library's archives of World War II correspondence between Muhlenberg College staff members and students and alumni serving in the armed forces reveals much about life in the service, common expressions, their love of nicknames, customs they held dear and much more. These letters and other valuable archival materials are used by Documentary Research students in their efforts to learn primary research methods and to create digital stories about the 1940s. In order to make this unique resource more widely available online, attendees will learn how to transcribe these letters using simple, free software.

Impariamo l’italiano! (Let’s Learn Italian!)
Daniela Viale, Lecturer, Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Here at Muhlenberg students speak Italian from the first day of class. Come experience a lesson for absolute beginners, or to refresh your knowledge of Italian, in this fun, interactive class that will have you leaving the classroom equipped with much more Italian than when you walked in 50 minutes earlier! The instructor will also be available to answer any questions you may have about the Italian Studies program at Muhlenberg. Ci vediamo! (See you!)

2 p.m

Choosing Words and Structures: Understanding Why We Say Things the Way We Do
Dr. Alexandra Frazer, Visiting Assistant Professor, Psychology

The field of psycholinguistics seeks to understand how we as humans produce and understand language. This talk will explore some of the research relevant to the former process - producing language. There are two main components that speakers need to select in order to produce intelligible speech: 1) words - units that have shared meaning between the speaker and listener, and 2) structure - a way to organize those units to convey a particular message. Research on higher-order thinking and categorization, bilingualism and language disorders will be incorporated into a summary of how humans accomplish this process.

Immigration 101: What You Need to Know About Immigration and Why It's Important that You Know It
Dr. Erika Sutherland, Associate Professor, Spanish

An introduction to the basics of immigration history and policy, including implications for higher education. We will also consider the dynamics of Hispanic immigration here in the Lehigh Valley.

3 p.m.

The Real Meaning of Yin and Yang 
Dr. Steve Coutinho, Associate Professor, Philosophy, Department Chair

We all recognize the Yinyang symbol, and we think we know what “yin and yang” means. Some people say it means ‘male’ and ‘female’, others say it is the balance between ‘good’ and ‘evil’. But what do the Chinese terms really mean in their full philosophical and cultural significance? The answer might surprise you!

21st Century Technology Using 19th Century Principles
Dr. Brett Fadem, Associate Professor, Physics, Department Chair

Even as new technology develops, many functions of our modern devices are based on principles that are centuries old.  For example, our smartphones play music using little speakers, but how do those speakers work?  In addition to constructing a speaker from a magnet and wire and producing music with it using your smartphone, we will discuss the physical principles that allow us to turn electrical signals into sound.  This will be a hands-on physics class.  Prepare to be amazed (we hope)! *maximum 16 participants

4 p.m.

Moving Up or Moving Out - Strategies for Career Success
The Muhlenberg Career Center

In an interactive session with The Career Center, learn more about developing strategies to advance in your career or successfully transition to a new field. We'll discuss everything from organizing a job search, developing a solid resume and cover letter, negotiating your salary, to networking your way to your next position. You're encouraged to bring your laptop, or we can print out resumes and cover letters for review.

Our Sun: Eclipsed and Visible
Dr. Judith Parker, Adjunct Instructor, Physics

This summer's solar eclipse generated interest across the country. But at Muhlenberg College, you'll have the opportunity to learn more about this energy generator at the center of our solar system. If the weather cooperates, solar scopes will be set up on campus so you can view the sun's surface with sunspots and the solar flares at the sun's edges. 

Drop In On a Current Class
Seating is limited.

8 - 8:50  a.m.        Modern Physics, Dr. Jane Flood, Associate Professor, Physics 

9:30 - 10:45 a.m.  Developmental Psychopathology, Dr. Mark Sciutto, Professor, Department Chair, Psychology

10 - 10:50 a.m.     Books Without Borders, Dr. Ioanna Chatzidimitriou, Assistant Professor, Languages, Literatures & Cultures

11 - 12:15  a.m.    Elementary Italian, Dr. Dan Leisawitz, Director of Italian Studies Program