On Saturday, the second annual “Consider!” talks, part of the Consideration Initiative, took place in the St. Robert Bellarmine Parish Mainelli Center.
These talks, hosted by the Creighton College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, began with four 15 minute presentations by current and former Creighton honors students regarding topics of their respective research.
The speeches were also livestreamed on Facebook. After the speeches, the attendees broke off into smaller discussion with their tables about the topics presented.
This year’s speeches were titled: “Who Owns Your DNA?” by sophomores Taylor Burke and Shannon Myers, “Maternal Mortality: Mothers, Medicine, and the Man-Midwife” by senior Mary Kate Wolken, “They Know. They Infer. Who Are They?: Reconsidering Data Privacy” by alumna Jordan Freitas, and “The Dearest Freshness Deep Down Things: How Material Objects Shape Digital Scholarship” by Erin Kathleen Assistant, alumna and Professor of Applied and Professional Writing at Kennesaw State University.
The Consideration Initiative is meant to promote justice by bringing important issues to public discussion. The idea for the initiative came from many different sources.
In regards to the development of the program, Jeffrey Hause, director of the Creighton Honors Program, said, “Creighton does an excellent job at fostering both undergraduate research and a culture of service. I wanted to find a way of combining these two distinctively Creightonian activities into one event. Our goal is to give back to the larger community by offering public intellectual talks that, in the spirit of St. Ignatius, inspire conversation.”
While Creighton has been repeatedly recognized by US World and News Report for its leadership in undergraduate research, the Consideration Initiative takes this research and makes it more accessible to people outside of the field of study.
“It is also important that non-specialists come to understand what is important and relevant for their own lives in the scholarship that we do,” Hause said.
Grace Hilbert, freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, originally attended the event to receive extra credit for her philosophy class.
However, she said, “I ended up really enjoying it. I liked the talk about data security. I didn’t know much about that topic beforehand and it really sparked my interest.”
“I think events like this are good because they bring to light certain topics that people don’t often talk about but that are important to everyday life.”
Wolken, who presented second, said, “For me, it seemed critical to be able to demonstrate why this research matters in how it affects us. Obviously, it’s always important to explain why something matters, but making 18th century medicine feel relevant and connected to today was much more difficult than I imagined. I find it fascinating, and it was a cool challenge to try and convince a room full of people that they should see its importance as well.”
“If [research] is not generating a conversation, what higher purpose can it really serve in the long run?”
Hause said that over time their goal is to amass a large number of talks on the YouTube channel so that anyone with internet access can benefit from the initiative.
The website to view the videos and learn more is considerationinitiative.com.