Dr. Kia-Keating received both his doctorate in Human Development and Psychology and his Master’s degree in Developmental Research Methodology from Harvard University and earned a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. For his postdoctoral training, he focused on understanding genetic and environmental contributors to mental health at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego.
Prior to joining Antioch University Santa Barbara, Dr. Brett Kia-Keating taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara and National University.
Antioch University Santa Barbara (AUSB) has been awarded a Department of Education (ED) Title III grant in the amount of $1.6 million for the establishment of a five-year initiative supporting low-income and minority student retention and degree completion.
Title III grants are allocated to support educational institutions in the expansion of their capacity to serve low-income and minority students by providing funds to improve and strengthen academic quality and institutional management. As a Hispanic Serving Institution, AUSB was eligible to compete for Title III funds. The institution was among 35 higher education institutions nationally, and one of only four in California, to receive funds under the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Institutions Program.
The Federal funds, totaling $1.6 million over the next five years for AUSB’s College-to-Career initiative, represents 73% of the program’s $2.2 million cost; the remaining 27% will be paid with non-Federal funds.
AUSB’s successful grant application is consistent with President Obama’s priorities to increase the number of Baccalaureate degrees awarded to lower-income and Hispanic students and to prepare them with the job skills necessary for employment after graduation, and thus enabling the U.S. to compete more successfully in the global job market.
“This grant reflects AUSB’s dedication to increasing diversity and access to higher education,” said President Nancy Leffert. “I’m incredibly excited that AUSB will be able to strengthen the things we already do well and provide the additional supports that will assist our students in launching their careers after graduation.”
The innovative and multi-faceted College-to-Career program will offer additional student services support for those students who may be at-risk of not completing their degree as well as enhancing academic success and degree completion through proactive advising and accessible writing and math tutoring.
“The Title III grant award will also enable us to emphasize the development of job skills and the employability of our graduates through a cooperative work education program,” said College-to-Career program director Dr. Catherine Radecki.
To enhance the career readiness of AUSB’s graduates, the program will include the development of community worksites and internships that offer students relevant work experience, job skills, and career mentoring. In addition, it will feature career assessment and advising and training in employment skills, such as resume preparation, job interview practice, and networking with potential employers.
AUSB serves a diverse student body, the majority of who have transferred from Santa Barbara City College and other regional community colleges in order to complete their Bachelor’s degree. The program will utilize best practice strategies to increase degree completion among students of whom English may not be their first language.
“As a Trustee of AUSB’s Board of Trustees’ and chair of its Hispanic Outreach Committee, I am extremely proud that the U.S. Department of Education has recognized our efforts to serve underrepresented, low-income students,” said Patricia Chavez Nunez. “This grant will enable us to provide more services and promote even greater student success.”
AUSB will initiate the first phase of the College-to-Career program immediately. For more information about AUSB’s Bachelor of Arts Completion Programs, scholarships, and admissions, visit www.antiochsb.edu/admissions or call the Admissions Office at (805) 962-8179.
Excitement was in the air on Tuesday as almost 50 new students began their journey in the MA in Clinical Psychology program at Antioch University Santa Barbara.
When program chair Dr. Elizabeth Wolfson asked the students to introduce themselves along with one word to describe their feelings at the moment, “excited” was one of the most-used. “Eager,” “determined,” and “ready” were also common, while one student’s response of “weird” generated laughs throughout the room.
Dr. Dawn A. Murray explores women around the world who are leading movements in environmental protection in the latest installment of the Environment in Focus series at Antioch University Santa Barbara on Friday, Oct. 17 from 7-9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public at AUSB’s campus.
Actress Daryl Hannah narrates “Arise,” a powerful documentary that captures the portraits and stories of extraordinary women coming together to heal the injustices against the earth and honors them as protectors, nurturers and activists. Learn more about the film and watch the trailer here.
Presented by AUSB’s BA program and co-sponsored by The Fund for Santa Barbara, Environment in Focus events are part of Antioch in Conversation, an event series designed for public engagement and dialogue about environmental and social issues that affect us on a local, national, and global basis.
For more information, please contact Susan Gentile at 805-962-8179 ext. 5178.
On Friday, September 5, AUSB proudly welcomed its first cohort of 22 students to campus for the start of the new socially responsible Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) program, the only one in southern California to focus on social business, non-profit management, and strategic leadership. By applying traditional business principles to societal responsibility, AUSB aims to graduate leaders who will make a positive difference in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds of today and tomorrow.
The end of the first day of class was followed by an an evening leadership workshop featuring guest speaker Relly Nadler, PsyD. Nadler is a consultant, author, and speaker who wrote – among other books – Leading with Emotional Intelligence. The workshop was attended by our students, faculty, and members of the MBA Advisory Group.
“We are very excited to welcome the first MBA cohort to campus, “ said AUSB President Nancy Leffert, PhD. “The program fills an important need in our community and furthers Antioch’s commitment to providing adult students with an innovative yet practical education that has relevance in today’s world.”
The program includes guest speakers, classroom instruction, and networking opportunities. Virtual coursework will take place in between the on-site sessions. The MBA curriculum will be taught by adjunct faculty ranging from experienced academics to business executives, attorneys, and financial and economics experts. All are leaders in their respective fields and well-known for their community engagement. An integral part of the MBA curriculum is the Integrative Strategy Project (ISP), a “living case study” developed for an existing organization selected by each individual student.
According to MBA program director Judy Bruton, JD, MSW, “The program was developed with extensive input from business and community leaders to bridge the gap between private and public-sector management. It fits in with the growing trend among start-ups to meld non-profit missions and for-profit bottom lines.”
To learn more about the MBA Program in Social Business, Non-Profit Management, and Strategic Leadership, visit www.antiochsb.edu/mba.
Attention Antioch University Santa Barbara alumni! Dr. Nancy Leffert, President of AUSB, invites all alumni to a cocktail party on Wednesday, Oct. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m., located on the upper patio on campus at 602 Anacapa Street.
All AUSB alumni are invited for an evening of wine, cheese, and networking with your fellow AUSB grads from all programs.
Please RSVP using the form below by Saturday, Sept. 20. And make sure to keep updated on all AUSB happenings by liking our Facebook page and following us on Twitter. For more information on the AUSB alumni association, visit www.antiochsb.edu/alumni.
The BA concentration in Marketing equips students with innovative tools to help businesses succeed in a competitive marketplace, through the development and implementation of effective, customer-centric marketing strategies. The curriculum explores the core concepts of contemporary marketing management – from market segmentation and product positioning to distribution channel design and communications – and presents newer online technologies such as internet marketing, ecommerce and analytics, which are critical factors in modern marketing.
“Marketing-related job titles are projected to grow significantly over the next eight years and beyond by the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” said BA Program Chair Guy Smith. “By offering a concentration in Marketing, we are preparing future graduates with the skills and tools to thrive in this expanding field while contributing to the success of their organizations.”
Graduates of the BA Marketing concentration will have the capability to excel in a variety of careers, including: sales and sales management, retail, advertising, product development, brand management, promotion, distribution, supply chain management, marketing research, e-commerce, purchasing, planning, customer relations, and many other related fields.
“With the BA Program’s new Marketing concentration, Antioch continues its commitment to providing a practical education that has relevance in today’s world, yet is still grounded in the fundamentals of a strong Liberal Studies curriculum,” said AUSB President Dr. Nancy Leffert.
Current students at Santa Barbara City College or other accredited colleges may be eligible for AUSB’s innovative BA-to-MBA Pathway Program, which locks in advance admission to the BA Completion Program, followed by the MBA in Social Business, Non-Profit Management, and Strategic Leadership. Students on this academic track to grad school can also save on tuition with a Pathway Grant and high transfer credits.
Learn more by attending an upcoming BA Information Session on Sept. 17 or call our Admissions Office at (805) 962-8179. Classes for the fall quarter begin October 6 and applications are due by Sept. 15.
Antioch University Santa Barbara has named Mariela Marin as a Core Faculty member and Director of Clinical Training for the Master’s in Clinical Psychology Program. She also will oversee the Latino Mental Health Concentration.
Marin is well-acquainted with AUSB’s MACP program, having served as an Adjunct Faculty since 2006. Marin also earned her Masters in Clinical Psychology from AUSB in 2005.
“Joining Antioch is an exciting opportunity for me as I genuinely believe in the values of social justice, empowerment, and transformation that Antioch embodies,” Marin said. “Effecting growth and change in students and the community is inspiring work, and I am thrilled to be a part of that.”
While an adjunct, Marin has taught a variety of courses, including many in the Latino Mental Health concentration she now directs, and has been lauded consistently by her students.
She has worked as co-director at the Community Counseling and Education Center in Santa Barbara, which allowed her to work with the community as well as with talented trainees and interns from the MACP program.
“We are very fortunate to have Mariela join the MACP program in her new capacity as a Core Faculty, Director of Clinical Training and Latino Mental Health Mentor,” said Dr. Elizabeth Wolfson, chair of the MACP program. “Mariela has been a valued instructor since 2006, teaching a range of courses including those in the Latino Mental Health concentration. She is much beloved in the larger Santa Barbara community, and we are delighted to have her work with our students here in her new role.”
Marin has worked with other non-profit organizations in the Santa Barbara area serving abused and neglected children and the LGBTQ community. Marin has a strong passion in the area of multicultural competence and is dedicated to combating power, oppression, and privilege through the empowerment of her students.
“Presenting my research and areas of interest at national and international conferences offers opportunity not only for interchange with knowledgeable and respected colleagues of all backgrounds and psychological orientations, but also to showcase the work we are doing at Antioch University Santa Barbara,” she said.
Dr. Wolfson will present a talk called “Developmental Perspectives and Clinical Interventions at the Crossroads of Midlife” at the Los Angeles County Psychological Association’s 2014 annual convention on Saturday, October 18 in Culver City. Dr. Wolfson will discuss how the life experience gained by one’s midlife creates an opportunity for personal growth and creativity. You can pre-register online until October 13.
“I am delighted to share my research on midlife with this gathering as it represents a component of what is addressed through the Concentration in Healthy Aging within our Master’s in Clinical Psychology program,” she said.
In November, Dr. Wolfson will travel to San Francisco to present “Reading, Writing and Winnicott: Reconstructing the Story of ‘I’ in the ‘Good Enough’ Space” at the 25th annual Interdisciplinary Conference of the International Forum for Psychoanalytic Education. Her presentation will use the works of D.W. Winnicott to compare psychotherapy to reading a story.
“I am particularly excited to talk with attendees about the creative, relational aspects of psychotherapy, which is so much of our focus in the MACP Program here at Antioch University Santa Barbara,” Dr. Wolfson said. “The presentation will address the nature of the therapist and client relationship as a reconstructing of the client’s personal narrative. In this sense both therapist and client are readers and writers, reshaping the client’s personal narrative, world view, and life experience moving forward. Is this not the purpose of psychotherapy?”
To register for this conference, which will be held November 6-8, visit www.ifpe.org.
Accomplished writer, tireless volunteer, and experienced board member Susan Miles Gulbransen has joined the Board of Trustees at AUSB.
Gulbransen co-founded the restoration project for the Granada Theatre, which re-opened in 2008, and served as President of the Board for six years. She also co-founded the Santa Barbara Book & Author Festival, which ran for eight years. Most recently, she served as President of the KDB/FM radio board, part of the Santa Barbara Foundation, and participated in the sale of the station in part to KCRW.
“We are so delighted to welcome Susan as a Trustee of AUSB,” said Board Chair Vicki Riskin. “She has been a tireless supporter of the Santa Barbara community for many years and brings a great deal of valuable board expertise to our team at a very important time for the University.”
In recognition of her dedicated community service efforts, Gulbransen was named the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Woman of the Year in 2004 and received the Santa Barbara News-Press Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
“We are so delighted that Susan has joined our Board of Trustees at Antioch,” said AUSB President Dr. Nancy Leffert. “She has a stellar record of volunteerism and leadership in the Santa Barbara community, and her contributions will make a terrific addition to our already talented board.”
Gulbransen has served as an officer or member on numerous local boards, including CALM (Child Abuse Listening and Mediation); Santa Barbara Foundation; Montecito Educational Foundation; Santa Barbara Public Education Foundation; and the University of California, Santa Barbara History Associates Board, a notable board as Gulbransen earned her M.A. in History from UCSB.
“AUSB offers astounding, rich resources for students and our community. Antioch is changing, growing, and making its visions for the future come true,” Gulbransen said. “When asked to join the board, it felt right and exciting. I find myself sharing the enthusiasm and passion for Antioch with other board members and supporters.”
Following 21 years of writing book reviews and a weekly literary column for the News-Press, when it was owned by The New York Times Company, Gulbransen currently freelances and teaches nonfiction writing at the annual Santa Barbara Writers Conference. She pens the Beyond Books column for the electronic newspaper Noozhawk, continues to publish poems and short stories in small literary publications, and is currently working on a novel.
Antioch University Santa Barbara is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Ronald Pilato as the new Chair of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) program.
With over 15 years of teaching, clinical, and research experience in higher education, Dr. Pilato most recently served as Interim Chair and Director of Clinical Training at Sofia University in Palo Alto, California. A licensed psychologist who practiced privately in San Francisco, his expertise includes spiritual competencies for clinical psychologists, prevention of clinician burn-out, the integration of cultural diversity in clinical training, and mindfulness-based approaches.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Pilato join our faculty and lead our doctoral program in Clinical Psychology,” said AUSB President Dr. Nancy Leffert. “His professional background makes him the ideal person to ensure that we are able to build on our program’s excellence and develop new areas of study that will meet the needs of our community.”
Dr. Pilato has taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the University of California, San Francisco Family Medicine Center at Lakeshore. In 2005, he developed Pronto Seminars to provide continuing education on self-care for healthcare professionals.
Dr. Pilato earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Wright Institute’s highly regarded program in 2002. His dissertation explored potential links between genetics and alcoholism as part of a larger study at the UCSF Department of Neurology. He completed his post-doctoral work at at the UCSF Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute providing treatment and coordination in behavioral health clinical trials funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Antioch University’s PsyD program integrates a sound theoretical basis with clinical practice. Students have the opportunity to integrate cutting-edge psychological training, theory, practice, and research, while sharpening and applying the skills of a true clinician – observation, analysis, intervention, and evaluation – for the benefit of their clients. AUSB PsyD graduates are prepared to become licensed psychologists providing essential services to today’s diverse population.
Antioch University’s university-wide PhD in Leadership and Change program (PhDLC), a nationally recognized doctoral program, now offers two distinct pathways toward the degree — a continuation of the highly successful interdisciplinary curriculum in leadership and change and a new pathway specifically designed for those leading change in the healthcare field.
The program will begin enrolling students for the PhD in Leadership and Change program for Healthcare, with its first cohort starting in July 2015. With the same unique low-residency model, students can still live and work anywhere, coming together for three face-to-face residencies a year.
The new concentration offers an opportunity for those in leadership roles in a variety of healthcare organizations and a range of healthcare professions to engage in meaningful study and applied research that impacts and improves their practice. Aligned with Antioch University’s mission to further social, economic, and environmental justice, and consistent with the program’s decade-long success in educating scholar-practitioners, students in the healthcare concentration will address topics such as relationship-centered care, community access, education and advocacy, socially responsible and ethical decision making, and leadership for navigating ongoing changes in healthcare environments.
“Healthcare systems in the U.S. and globally are in the midst of cataclysmic changes. Current approaches to financing, delivery, service, and organization are facing innumerable challenges,” said Dr. Laurien Alexandre, director of the PhDLC. “Many healthcare professionals are daunted by the tasks ahead while millions face the stark reality of lack of access and/or insufficient care. Based on these challenges, the PhDLC recognizes the importance of bringing our socially engaged mission, distinctive pedagogy, and unique delivery to those that are leading change within the rapidly evolving healthcare field.”
Healthcare leaders will be able to choose which of the program’s two pathways better suits both their style as a learner and their interest as a practitioner.
“Students in the healthcare concentration will immerse themselves in the program’s interdisciplinary focus on the research and practice of leading change and apply it to the healthcare field within the context of a cohort learning community of other healthcare leaders,” Alexandre said.
The PhDLC for Healthcare will:
• Highlight the theory, research, and practice of leading change rather than the management of human and financial resources that is prevalent within traditional doctorates in healthcare administration.
• Offer an integrated curriculum in which learners move seamlessly between face-to-face and virtual activities and between peer team-based learning and individualized self-paced progress.
• Emphasize research approaches that are both traditionally accepted and those that are challenging to the field as “evidence-based” is grounded in both quantitative and qualitative ways of knowing.
• Focus on the expertise of students and integrate their professional experiences into the ongoing curriculum.
• Hold an international residency to examine and learn from healthcare delivery systems in other countries.
• Engage learners with an experienced team of senior-level full-time leadership and change professors coupled with field-based affiliate faculty from the healthcare sector.
• Bring healthcare ‘change agents’ together three times a year for three-day residencies, primarily held at the Ohio-based location of Antioch University.
More information regarding the program as it becomes available will be announced on the PHDLC website at www.antioch.edu/phd. For inquiries, contact the program at 937-769-1341 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AUSB community reacted with great sadness at the news that Renee Cavalier Fox, an alumni of the AUSB BA and Master’s in Clinical Psychology programs, passed away on July 15 after a long fight against Lupus.
Renee graduated from AUSB in 2006 and since has worked as a teacher’s assistant at Carpinteria Family School. AUSB faculty who worked with Renee remembered her as upbeat and a vital presence in the classroom.
“I remember Renee well as a student in one of my courses as she stood out for her exceptional enthusiasm and good spirit,” said Dr. Elizabeth Wolfson, the current Chair of the MACP Program. “She was diligent in her work and actively participated in our discussions, always respectful of peers, asking good questions and inspiring meaningful dialogue. We are deeply saddened by the loss of a valuable alumna and wonderful person, and I am certain Renee’s contributions to our community will be very much missed.”
Donna Mathes, the MACP Student Advisor and Student Services Coordinator for AUSB, said Renee was “a loving and caring person from a very loving family.”
“Determined and courageous, Renee persevered in spite of her health disability and obtained a Master’s Degree, a longtime dream of hers,” Mathes said. “She was always first to volunteer or simply just initiate all of the fundraising and other events for the support of family, friends, and those in need. Many depended on her and will miss her love and strength in their lives. I know I will.”
In Renee’s obituary in the Santa Barbara Independent, her family requests donations in lieu of flowers to go towards an education fund for Renee’s children, Brenna and Sean, at any Chase Bank branch.
Antioch University extends its condolences to Renee’s children, her husband Michael Fox, and her entire family.
A group of Antioch University Santa Barbara students recently attended a reception in their honor on campus as recipients of the President’s Access Grant in 2014.
AUSB President Dr. Nancy Leffert was on hand to chat with the students and several offered their stories on how Antioch has helped them grow both in and out of the classroom.
“My experience has been great so far. It’s been life-changing,” said Kim Li-Palmgren, a BA student with a concentration of Business & Entrepreneurship. “I’ve been able to interact with such a diverse variety of people, and that has really brought the best out of me.”
Tresor Bayibsa, who is a BA student with a concentration of Communication & Media, had high praise for the faculty. “The faculty are really engaged with their students,” he said. “I feel you can reach out to them, you can talk to them, and they really try their best to understand me as a student.”
The President’s Access Grants are merit-based grants of $2,500 available to domestic and international students who are starting an academic degree program. Visit antiochsb.edu for more information on applying for the President’s Access Grant.
The grant helped Karla Hernandez free her time to focus on her studies and family. “Thanks to the President’s Access Grant, I’m able to not work during the time that I’m coming to school so I can really focus on my education,” she said. “And when I go home, I get to take care of my children. I get to volunteer at their school and be a part of their day.” Karla is a BA student with a concentration in Applied Psychology.
The 57 recipients of President’s Access Grants in 2013-14 are:
Bachelor of Arts: Austin Bartoo, Tresor Bayibsa, Mariela Bravo, Albert Breton, Michael Brown, Cindy Calderon, Hannah Cooper, Di Elman, Christopher Faenge, Melanie Gordon, Ashley Grant, Araceli Hernandez, Karla Hernandez, Channing Hogue, Johni Hull, Anthony Jackson II, Rebecca Ketner, Kim Li-Palmgren, Liliana Mariscal, Robert Marquez, Crystal Martinez, Cameron Morreale, Devin Nigh, Claudia Orona, Susana Ortega, Amy Patten, Kevin Rowlands, Isabel Ruiz, Cody Sabo, Bridget Salisbury, Nicholas Salsbury, Judith Soleto, Travis Spencer, Shannon Stark, Suzannah Taylor, Arielle Valenzuela, Rachel Walsh, David Warrick-Kilmer.
MA in Clinical Psychology: Laura Cardenas, Guadalupe Clark, Carrie Faulkner, Harrison Heyl, Tracey Hill, Jenn Kennedy, Linda McGee, Laurel O’Connor, Keely Paola, Christopher Pike, Janessa Radford, Kaylie Reynolds, Calais Yee.
MA in Education: Alejandra Martinez.
MEd Credentialing: Meghan Cannon, Magda Flores, Marlen Limon, Cary Young.
PsyD in Clinical Psychology: Richie Garcia.
Learn more about the President’s Access Grant and other grants and scholarships available to AUSB students. For more information, contact the AUSB Admissions Department.
William Johnson crossed the graduation stage at AUSB’s commencement on June 20, 2014, to receive his Masters in Education degree, just steps behind his wife Bernadette, whom also received the same degree. At Antioch, William focused on issues of social justice – chiefly issues of poverty, political policy, and imprisonment – and leaves here passionate about integrating his learning and love for teaching into his life and work in order to educate others.
“The biggest contribution Antioch makes is the inspiration and insight it gives its students,” said William. “A lot of that has to do with not just the philosophy of Antioch but the approach of the professors.”
William has been involved inside the education system for many years, serving as a substitute teacher for a breadth of ages ranging from preschool to community college levels. But he said that the insight and example of AUSB faculty shaped his concept of self and perspectives on teaching and the influence he can have.
“As a teacher, I enjoy generating ideas – seeing the kids minds open up to new ideas as they get a hunger and thirst for knowledge,” said William. “I always tell them, it’s not about teaching as much as learning.”
The Johnson’s raised their family – they have five kids and 13 grandkids – in Santa Barbara for 20 years, but since have relocated to Lompoc, where William pastors an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church.
William and Bernadette’s family was present to watch them receive their diplomas, and although their achievements are a significant accomplishment, what is more is they embody – for their family and for others – what it means to pursue a life of learning for the purpose of personal and social change.
“It’s been a true inspiration for our kids and grandkids, as we hope they will continue on in life’s pursuit of knowledge,” said William.
“My experience at Antioch was greatly enriched by my contact with warm and concerned staff and a strong cohort of study partners. I am greatly indebted to my wife, Bernadette, for introducing me to Antioch University, for inspiring and motivating me through the depression of a physical injury… I am indebted to our children and grandchildren who believed in me and encouraged me. This degree is a tribute to them.”
– William Johnson
No seat was left unoccupied in the New Vic Theatre Friday, June 27, for AUSB’s hosting of Laurence Tribe, one of the country’s leading constitutional lawyers, as he shared his fascinating perspective on today’s Supreme Court as part of our Antioch in Conversation series. Tribe was introduced by Victoria Riskin – chair of AUSB’s Board of Trustees – and fielded questions from interlocutor Morgan Chu – President of the Harvard Board of Overseers and attorney at Irell & Manella, LLP – and at the end of the conversation the audience engaged with him in a lively question-answer period.
In case you missed Laurence Tribe, or were present and would like to share the conversation with a friend, we have provided full video coverage from this Antioch in Conversation event. You can watch the video here.
Tribe’s discussion elucidates the ways in which today’s Supreme Court has the power to redefine the future of our nation, including the following areas: privacy , free speech , voting rights, marriage equality , presidential power , and political contributions.
Afterwards, the audience got to meet Tribe as he signed copies of his new book that he co-authored with Joshua Matz called Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution.
We are grateful to our co-sponsors of this event, the Santa Barbara County Bar Association and the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County.
We look forward to seeing you at our next Antioch in Conversation event!
Antioch in Conversation is a new AUSB community event series designed for public engagement and dialogue about the social issues that affect us all on a local, national, and global basis.