Lyceum Series

The free weekly Lyceum Series is serves as a platform for ongoing curricular and co-curricular learning opportunities that relate directly to current issues.

Weekly Lyceum lectures are presented 1-1:50 p.m. Wednesdays in Washington Hall room 103. All presentations are free and open to the public.

Lyceum may be taken as a one-credit Humanities course.

Winter 2020 Schedule

Coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystem and rival tropical rainforests in species diversity. While only a tiny percent of Earth’s surface, coral reefs feed millions of people and provide goods and services whose value exceeds $375 billion each year. Coral reefs are under tremendous pressure from anthropogenic threats. Locally, these include water pollution, overharvesting, disease, and introduced species. But the greatest threats to coral reefs globally are: a) rising ocean temperatures, which trigger coral bleaching and b) ocean acidification, which weakens the coral skeletons. Both threats are the product of rising carbon dioxide levels. Let’s visit coral reefs in Belize, Hawaii, and Australia to examine these threats in the field, understand the underlying biology, and identify potential solutions.

As immigration becomes more hotly debated in the United States, the arguments have become cartoonish, with one side often painted as naïve and another as xenophobic. What has become lost is the human story of immigration to America, with all its complexity, heartache, and hope.

Professor Carlos Gil sought to understand immigration by tracing his family’s history from the 1920s to the 1970s. In the process, he discovered the excitement, culture shock, inter-family conflict, and questions of identity that many immigrants face when seeking a better life in another country. Based on his book, “We Became Mexican-American: How Our Immigrant Family Survived to Pursue the American Dream,” this talk explores Mexican immigration by spotlighting his own family’s experience in southern California, including parallels with Washington State. Carlos Gil is an emeritus professor of history at the University of Washington, where he taught the history of Latin America for more than 30 years.

This presentation is part of Humanities Washington.

Have you ever wondered if you were creative? Come and explore your thinking skills by learning how the Osborn & Parnes Creative Problem-Solving process can shift your thinking and increase your creative skills. We will examine how Alex Osborn was deliberate when developing the universal practice of “brainstorming” as well as how divergent and convergent thinking work together when developing creative outcomes. Regina Corrigan King is an adjunct instructor at Centralia College. She has just completed a Master’s Certificate in Creativity and Change Leadership and loves sharing with others the magic of tapping into their creative energy.

Casey Lytle, a faculty member at Centralia College, taught Psychology of Murder at Eastern Washington University for six years. In this presentation, he narrows the focus to school shooters. Why they are so easy to explain, but so hard to predict? In what ways has the profile of a school shooter changed over the last 25 years, and what has caused those changes? Is school shooting a new phenomenon, or does media simply make us more aware of them when they happen? The presentation will cover school shooting statistics as well as shooter profiles and preventive measures.

The Right to Dream is told either from the point of view of a young woman (Ruby) or a young man (Raymond). Ruby/Raymond Hollis is a young African American growing up in a small town in Mississippi on the brink of the American Civil Rights movement, the child of a World War II African American soldier and a domestic worker who is respected in their small Mississippi town.

Early on, Raymond/Ruby feels and sees the daily impact of racism. As a child, her/his best friend is a young white neighbor to the house where her/his mother works—until they are separated and forbidden to see each other. Ruby/Raymond is then introduced to leaders like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., showing him/her that something different may be possible for blacks in America.

Dedicated to joining these leaders, Raymond/Ruby receives a scholarship to attend Tougaloo College. Raymond/Ruby begins his/her involvement in the movement when s/he leads a sit-in at a local lunch counter. When friends are hurt, and civil rights workers are killed, Ruby's/Raymond's dedication to creating an equal society is tested. But s/he becomes a part of SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) and is a participant in the voter registration drive, the March on Washington, Freedom Summer and the March from Selma to Montgomery.

Ruby/Raymond and the civil rights workers are rewarded with the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act—but Ruby/Raymond is dedicated to continuing the fight against racism and raising America above intolerance. This is a Living Voices presentation.

Fungi and plants have been allies for millions of years! Learn about the fascinating relationship between these organisms, and how to harness this ancient symbiosis to enrich green landscapes at any scale. We will discuss the use of mycorrhizal fungi, gardening with edible mushrooms, and how fungal sugars may benefit bees. Taylor Fairbrother specializes in mycorrhizae and beneficial fungi for the offices of Fungi Perfecti. Her educational focus in college was Environmental Sciences. Taylor's love of the natural world and passion for fungi has led her down the path of mycology. Taylor lives on Harstine Island and spends her free-time hiking, photographing fungi in the old growth forests, gardening, and kayaking.

This presentation will focus on the ideas of the historical ramifications that segregation and desegregation had and continues to have on the academic process, the current state of the “opportunity gap” in the inner city/urban neighborhoods, the need for academia to be shared in communities that suffer from socio-economic disparities, the joy of learning and how academic achievement can boost the lives of everyone, especially people of color and the continual need for all of us to develop partnerships that eliminate the academic barriers people of color face.  Ty Somerville, a veteran, previously served as the associate director of multicultural recruitment and the interim assistant director of the masters of public administration while working at The Evergreen State College. Ty is currently the director of the Learning Resource and Career Center at Renton Technical College. He got his associates degree from Green River College, his bachelor’s and master’s in public administration from The Evergreen State College. He holds an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from St. Thomas Christian University. 

Students, have you ever thought about where your tuition money is going? In this presentation, you will learn about the breakdown of your tuition dollars, what it funds, and how you can be part of letting us know how it is spent

Retired Centralia College faculty member Pat Pringle will review what happened, what we have learned from the eruptions, and how it continues to change science, excite and inspire people, and even our vocabulary.