November 3, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Liberal Arts 101 is a no-cost, 7-week lecture series that gives university access to those who may not have thought it was an option. Students come from diverse backgrounds, including recent immigrants. Each meeting begins with a social dinner, followed by a lecture, small group discussions, and final thoughts among the class.  

The program ran for seven consecutive Thursdays in fall 2017. A different topic is presented each week by faculty members from various departments. The final session on Thursday, October 26, 2017 also included a ceremony where graduates were presented with their completion certificate.

This program is organized by Student Services and The Academic Dean’s Office.

When a call for faculty lecturers was put out this summer, the response was overwhelming. Each lecture spot was filled within weeks and had a waiting list. “The material was delivered in whole, just in a very approachable way and I really enjoyed that,” says Teaching Assistant, Heidi Steves.

The schedule for this year’s program included the following seven lectures:

  • Managing change by Prof. John Siambanopoulos from the department of Economic, Business and Math
  • Finding Your Way Through Change, Loss, and Transition taught by Dr. Darcy Harris, Associate Professor of Thanatology
  • A discussion on The Precarious Future by Philosophy Professor, Dr. Antonio Calcagno
  • The "FUN"dementals of good interviewing skills by Dr. Laura Lewis from King’s School of Social Work
  • A look at Korea in the Mongol Empire by Associate Professor of History, Dr. Adam Bohnet
  • Associate Professor of Sociology, Dr. Joe Michalski explored why people seem to be concerned more about terrorism as compared with other more prominent threats.
  • The final lecture, given by Dr. Susan Small, Associate Professor of French was entitled “The Medieval Werewolf.”

“I’m fairly poor, so having transportation and food included is awesome. I liked the variety of the subjects and the people running it have been pretty interesting. I’d love it if they came up with a follow-up, like a second version,” says Anthony Verberckmoes.

"I got the information [about this program] from my niece. When she told me I just jumped in. I really enjoyed it. Personally, I’m thinking of taking some subjects at King’s. This is an excellent entry point, you need an entry point where you can really say, ‘yes, there are possibilities’. The presentations were super; all of them were excellent. Also the networking was above and beyond. Now I can say I know Alison, I know Del and I know others. That connection helps so much in life,” says Hasebenebi. He adds that he is interested in taking courses in Social Justice at King’s because he has spent more than 20 years working for international organizations in Sudan, Amsterdam and England and has recently moved to Canada. “I would like to contribute to London and Canada. I am interested in taking courses in Social Justice, international relations, and human rights,” he says.  

At age 70, Margaret Robertson is happy to be able to experience university for the first time. As a youth, she was in a car crash on her way to university and did not get a chance to pursue her degree. “I tell my grandchildren, even Nana learns something new every day. It’s good to still be learning things.”

Edna Hamilton says, “I enjoyed experiencing the atmosphere of the university.”

“Every presentation was well laid out and I enjoyed the food. I actually start at King’s in January. I’m excited. I’ve been working at the hospital as a peer support worker and I realized that it’s rewarding to feel that you’ve helped someone. I would like to take Social Work at King’s. I hope I get in,” says Luke McDonald.

Liberal Arts 101 began in 2008. This year, there were 29 graduates.

Registration for the 2018 session will begin in summer 2018.

Learn more about Liberal Arts 101.