Hello BIC family,
I hope this end of semester time finds each of you well. I am in the midst of many exciting projects. Some involve my philosophy work on Socrates as a Public Philosopher. I am working on getting a book proposal together before I go to Colorado to visit my father at the end of May. I’m also deeply involved in my ongoing training in Iyengar Yoga. There’s still more excitement circling around our new Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, Dante. And some exciting projects involve the BIC itself.
As you may recall, I started teaching in Examined Life I: Introduction to College Life this semester. It was a great experience overall. I really enjoyed working with the students in a more process-oriented class. When we got to the Spiritual Dimension of the course at the end of the semester, my colleague Melanie Nogalski, showed a clip from the movie, Amazing Grace. It is an excellent movie about William Wilberforce. He spent his life fighting against the British involvement in the slave trade.
Early this semester, I went to a talk that my colleague Chuck McDaniel was sponsoring within the context of his philanthropy class. The presentation was about the work of a Christian organization called The Last Well. They have been at work bringing water to everyone in Liberia for the past several years and their goal is nearly accomplished. I was inspired by their passionate work toward this goal, but even more inspired by the passion that the founder and president, Todd Phillips, had for involving young people in an important cause. He even linked his work with the youth to wanting all of them to feel the deep calling of purpose that William Wilberforce felt. And I thought to myself, ‘that’s what’s great about the BIC. It teaches you to see connections everywhere.’ In fact, some of the people who sponsored this talk are David and Amy Hunt, parents of current BIC student, Hannah Hunt.
After the talk, I started thinking about how we might use the BIC in a grander vision about overcoming injustice in the world. For example, in Social World II, the students participate in a philanthropy project with local charitable organizations, and many BIC students are involved in the great work that Better Together is doing. Others participate in various service and mission opportunities that Baylor provides. But something was calling me to think about what the BIC can do for getting BIC students more involved globally with a focused project like The Last Well.
I mentioned the idea to Chuck the next day and then the day after that we had a BIC faculty meeting. I brought it up to the faculty and there was immediate enthusiasm. We started thinking about what causes could be integrated across a variety of BIC classes. Food scarcity came up, as did human trafficking and immigration. Davide Zori suggested that Forced Migration covers most of these topics and we decided to move in that direction. It really felt like we were caught up in some larger purpose and the momentum and desire to get involved was palpably present in the room.
I formed an enthusiastic subcommittee of Mark Long, Jason Whitlark, and Chuck McDaniel and they are hard at work with what we are calling the BIC Grand Challenge- Forced Migrations. Stay tuned for updates. It is really an exciting time to be involved with the BIC.
Have a wonderful summer everyone, and if you have any ideas for our new project, let us know.
Director, Baylor Interdisciplinary Core