Sixty second lecture series begins for Hilltop Scholars
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
On Tuesday afternoon, the Hilltop Scholars Program hosted its first installment of the Sixty Second Lecture Series in the Perkins Dormitory classroom. This episode featured Dr. Jill DeTemple of the Religious Studies Department and Dr. Maribeth Kenzi of the Cox School of Business in a discussion on ethics.
The format of this lecture series posits each professor speaking on his or her topic for a minute or less, followed by a question-and-answer section, and then refreshments. The classroom was full of freshmen as both professors spoke.
Dr. DeTemple, a frequent Rotunda Outstanding Professor Award nominee and the 2011 recipient of the Golden Mustang Award, spoke first. She introduced her topic with two parables: the first, about a lawyer asking Jesus who counts as his neighbor; the second, about a young monk asking his Zen master whether or not a dog has Buddha nature.
Both stories “raise questions of proximity, shared imaginations of right action and religious justification, and the assumptions we make about our place in the world,” Dr. DeTemple said. Further, she rhetorically asked, “Is my ‘neighbor’ on the Internet?” She ended her minute speech saying, “Though the divine gets involved, even in the religious world, ethics is about our relationships with one another.”
Dr. Kenzi, a professor of Marketing at Cox, spoke next. She began her topic by saying, “We have all heard about scandals such as Enron and Bernie Madoff. Business ethics looks at the how and why of such occurrences, rather than from a philosophical approach.” She further said that “research suggests that we are not as ethical as we think we are,” that, in certain situations, people may think they are acting ethically, when in fact they are not. Thus, it is imperative that everyone recognize their “blind spots.”
Succinct as they were, both lectures served their intended purposes. Professor Diana Howard, head of the Hilltop Scholars Program, said the purpose of this series is “to bring in well-known, distinguished professors whom these first-year students wouldn’t otherwise see. The series is meant to inspire HSP students to take classes, think differently, and become academically excited.”
Following the lectures, a raffle for free books was held for the students; both featured professors were given new folios and vintage HSP t-shirts; and Cane’s chicken was served behind the Perkins Chapel.
Overall, the event was a great success.