Spring 2019 University Scholars Seminars
"#blacklivesmatter and the Struggle for the Recognition of One’s Humanity" taught by Shawn Alexander
Course Description: The struggle for the recognition of black humanity is not new, but through the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin in Sanford Florida, the killing of Micheal Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the death of Sandra Bland in Waller, Texas, the choke-hold death of Eric Garner, and so many more, #blacklivesmatter has emerged as a social movement to resist, and expose the current and historic violence done against black and brown bodies in the United States. This course will look at the history of the struggle for the recognition of black humanity and how the more recent movements, such as #blacklivesmatter and the Movement for Black Lives have grown out of a historical black freedom movement as well as altered the approaches, tactics and strategies of the centuries long fight.
This course will familiarize students with some of the most important developments and issues in the Black Freedom Movement. The material will focus on the struggle for the recognition of one’s humanity, the fight for freedom rights, white rage, the lack of acceptance of black rage, violent vs. nonviolent direct action, the historical role of black women in the fight for civil rights, the centrality of black feminist and LGBTQ actions and theories to the #blacklivesmatter movement, and ultimately, with a return to Martin Luther King Jr’s 1967 question, ask “Where do we go from here?”
The course will be offered Thursdays, 9:30 am - 12:00 pm.
"Nuclear Chemistry in Modern Society: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" taught by Misha Barybin
Do you think these images reflect, at least to some extent, stereotypical public perception of the word “chemical” and the word “nuclear”? Have these terms entered the “dirty-word” lexicon of our society? Does combining the two “evils” (i. e., NUCLEAR CHEMICALS) magnify the fear? This University Scholars Seminar will begin by examining the historic origins of chemo- and nuclear phobias with the initial goal of uncovering what fuels bad press and sensational headlines. Then, while objectively acknowledging (but not dwelling on!) The Bad and The Ugly, we will try to reclaim The Good meaning of both words in the eyes of those who perceive the above images emblematic. We will do so by considering the science of Nuclear Chemistry in the contexts of fundamental chemical principles and modern beneficial applications at the level accessible to a STEM sophomore. A teaser: How can the Tc-99m/Tl-201 dual isotope stress test assess efficiency of the blood flow to the heart and non-invasively detect coronary artery blockage with incredible precision? The students will debate geopolitical, socioeconomic, environmental, human health, and other implications of Nuclear Chemistry. The only non-negotiable qualification for taking this seminar is an open mind. The course will be taught by Prof. Misha Barybin of the KU Department of Chemistry.
The course will be offered Tuesdays, 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm.
About Professor Misha Barybin:
Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, Dr. Barybin moved to the United States in 1994, after pursuing his undergraduate studies at Higher College of Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 1999. Following a two-year postdoctoral stint at MIT, Dr. Barybin joined the faculty of KU’s Department of Chemistry in 2001. Professor Barybin’s research interests are at the interface of synthetic organometallic, physical inorganic, and materials branches of Chemistry. In particular, his research group is involved in developing new molecular and supramolecular platforms for charge delocalization and transport at the nanoscale that are relevant to molecular electronics. Dr. Barybin’s scientific accomplishments have been recognized by the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and DuPont Young Professor Award. During his career at KU, Professor Barybin has taught 15 different courses, including Fundamentals of Chemistry I & II, Honors (CHEM 190/195) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance: Fundamentals and Applications, Honors (CHEM 390). He is a recipient of the 2016 Grant K. Goodman Undergraduate Mentor Award (KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), the 2015 Outstanding Honors Advisor Award (University Honors Program), the 2014 J. Michael Young Academic Advisor Award (KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), the 2011 Outstanding Educator Award (KU Mortar Board Honor Society), and the 2010 Byron Alexander Graduate Mentor Award (KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences). Dr. Barybin has been a Faculty Fellow at the University Honors Program since 2013.