Each fall and spring semester, USI faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts present individual, free public lectures featuring their current research. See our current lineup of speakers for this semester below.
Virtual LA Faculty Colloquium
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, the College of Liberal Arts will be hosting our colloquia series virtually through Zoom. These presentations will be live-streamed to the USI College of Liberal Arts Facebook and uploaded to the LA YouTube.
From Awareness to Activism: Enhancing Commitment to Social Justice Among Liberal Arts Students
Dr. Anne Statham
Professor Emerita of Sociology
Dr. Erin Gilles
Assistant Professor of Advertising, Communications Department
April 23 at 3 p.m. CST
Zoom Webinar ID: 918 6960 8775
Liberal arts students from a comprehensive midwestern university were sampled about their commitment to social justice along three dimensions: recognition that inequality exists, determination that something must be done, and a willingness or propensity to engage in actions aimed at reducing inequality. Differences in these dimensions of social justice were examined between students in freshmen and capstone courses in six disciplines: criminal justice, sociology, psychology, communications, social work and gender studies. Capstone students consistently showed increased commitment to social justice compared to freshmen students, with the greatest changes occurring in propensity to take action and the least change in recognition of inequality. Patterns differed significantly within the six disciplines, and consideration is given to the emphasis placed on social justice within the six disciplines, as partially explaining the differences. These disciplines also tend to attract students with differing levels of commitment to social justice in the first place. These results suggest some modification to the notion in the literature that a “principal-implementation” gap exist among adults in their commitment to social justice that tends to increase with maturation.