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Friday, March 21, 2003

USI’s Braysmith presenting Cooper Lecture

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Dr. Hilary Braysmith, associate professor of art history, will deliver the H. Lee Cooper Core Curriculum Teaching Award Lecture at 3:30 p.m. April 2 in Carter Hall in the University Center on the University of Southern Indiana campus.

“Preserving Western Civilization, Finding the Meaning of Life, and Other Confessions of a Core Curriculum Teacher” will be the topic of her presentation.

The lecture will explore messages teachers may intentionally and unintentionally convey to students, struggles to appreciate the beauty of artworks that may embody values hostile to some members of society, and wrestling with the legacy of Western Civilization.

“I think scholars have to reveal the mistakes of the past. We have to face them. The difficulty is how do we teach the past to non-scholars? I think we need to give students the tools to examine the past critically and fearlessly but also relieve them of the burdens of the past. We need to help them find solutions so they can, we all can, move forward,” Braysmith said.

She is the second recipient of the Cooper Award, which focuses exclusively on teaching and honors a faculty member whose work in University Core courses has been especially creative and successful in furthering UCC goals. It is presented by USI’s University Core Council and Evansville philanthropist H. Lee Cooper.

“It’s an honor because this is a teaching institution,” Braysmith said. “University of Southern Indiana’s main criterion for hiring and keeping faculty is that they are really good teachers.”

As winner of the 2002 Cooper Award, Braysmith also received a commemorative plaque and a $1,500 stipend. She joined the USI faculty in 1989 and holds Ph.D. in the history of art from Ohio State University.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

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