In honor of its 125th anniversary, Central Michigan University is reaching out to a new audience of learners: its Mount Pleasant neighbors. Launching Jan. 22, the new Central Talks series will bring CMU faculty expertise into the community.
"We wanted to express the anniversary ideas of 'honoring the past, leading today and igniting the future,' while engaging our community in all that CMU does," said Marcie Otteman, executive director of alumni relations and development strategies.
Based on the popular online series Ted Talks, Central Talks will engage the community in conversations about issues pressing to the Mount Pleasant area. The 125th anniversary steering committee selected the topics and chose venues that would complement the conversations. A discussion on education will take place at the Mount Pleasant Discovery Museum, while Camille's on the River will host a lecture on the role of the Chippewa River in the local ecosystem.
"The relaxed atmosphere will allow more interaction between the presenters and the audience, hopefully encouraging more questions and providing a deeper understanding of the topic," Otteman said.
Michelle Sponseller, downtown development director for the city of Mount Pleasant, is a community partner for the series.
"The partnership between the city and CMU goes back more than 125 years to when both the community and the university were newly formed. Our connections are deep," she said. "This is an opportunity for community members who have never been to campus to access new information. So many faculty are subject matter experts in unique areas that community members wouldn't otherwise have the chance to learn about."
The series is a great way to showcase how the university can serve the community, said Jeff Hoyle, faculty member in marketing and professional sales. His presentation, the first in the series, will highlight the way students and faculty partner with local businesses to address challenges.
"There is huge talent at CMU for businesses to tap into," he said.
Central Talks events are free and open to the public. Each will begin with refreshments at 5 p.m. The talks start at 5:30 p.m. and are followed by a brief question-and-answer session. All events conclude at 6:30 p.m. Here's a schedule:
"Delfield-CMU Collaboration," CMU Research Corp., 2625 Denison Drive — Hoyle and Marcy Mathews, director of product management at refrigeration equipment manufacturer Delfield, discuss how local businesses and organizations can partner with the university to address challenges and concerns.
"A Look Back: Higher Education and the Impact on Local Communities," Mount Pleasant Discovery Museum, 5093 E. Remus Road — A conversation with teacher education faculty member Jennifer Weible.
"The Chippewa River: Connecting the Community and CMU," Camille's on the River, 506 W. Broadway St. — Tracy Galarowicz, professor and chair of biology, explores the role the Chippewa River plays in our community and in the Great Lakes ecosystem.
"Connecting Our Community Youth with Health Careers in Central Michigan," Camille's on the River — Lisa Hadden, executive director of the Mid Central Area Health Education Center will discuss the successful impact of facilitating the Health Career Pipeline Program, a partnership between AHEC and CMU medical students. Hadden will be joined by April Osburn, program coordinator, and two second-year CMU medical students, Chioma Obejesi and Adam Kloha.
"Healthy Aging and Aging in Place: A CMU Perspective," Camille's on the River — Dr. Jyotsna Pandey, a professor of pathology in the CMU College of Medicine, shares information on the benefits of "aging in place" for older Americans and spotlights a new healthy aging initiative launched by CMU and the Isabella County Commission on Aging.
"To Think in World Terms: The Moral Vision of E.C. Warriner," Mount Pleasant City Hall Commission Chambers, 320 W. Broadway St. — Philosophy faculty member Hope Elizabeth May leads a conversation about the involvement of E.C. Warriner (university president, 1918-39) in the peace education movement and how CMU continues that work today. May also serves as director of the Center for International Ethics.
"Love Songs," Art Reach of Mid Michigan, 111 E. Broadway St. — CMU School of Music faculty Latoya Lain and Lindabeth Binkley present a collaboration of songs based on translations of Native American words and stories set to music inspired by tunes of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian tribe.