By Gwyneth Navey, Collegian Contributor
(photo courtesy of Gwyneth Navey)
Greensboro College’s Prof Talks have spanned all areas of education, from politics to the science. Four Prof Talks are hosted per semester by Greensboro College professors of all disciplines. At these talks hosted in the Lea Center, students are provided with lunch and the opportunity to dive into two different areas of study during the professors’ presentations.
For example, Professor Malotky, religion professor and Dean of Humanities, presented his discussion titled “Reality and Relativism” on February 23. In his self-proclaimed rant, Malotky discussed the Trump administration and its relation to truth or lack thereof.
Malotky explained the concept of relativism or the idea that there is no “Truth” but that everything is relative to our environment. This can be a helpful and deeply sensitive way of thinking, but the idea that all we are is our environment is fundamentally flawed. To say that there is no truth is to claim a truth, therefore the argument is invalid.
Malotky pointed out that Trump acknowledges that people often agree with him simply because he says something, not because it is true. Trump is constantly “pointing at the moon and calling it the sun,” as Malotky said. His claim of “fake news” is an attack on the truth itself, not just the press. We now live in a world where beliefs are true simply because someone believes them.
Malotky also discussed the conservative argument against the prominence of liberal higher education professionals and professors calling it indoctrination, to which Malotky’s argument was, “Shouldn’t it be embarrassing that professors are liberal?”
Malotky ended by encouraging students, saying, “Dive into this pursuit of truth with us. Don’t be afraid… People might tell us we’re wrong, but if we continue to practice, we’ll be less vulnerable to those who play upon our ignorance, uncertainty and fear.”
Dr. Gunther, Professor of Psychology, followed Dr. Malotky and discussed human factor psychology and how it relates to the design of everyday things. Human factors include the limits and capabilities of human performance as they are applied to an engineered system. Human factors are considered when designing products that services that match those limits and capabilities. For example, a “pull” sign above a door handle that appears push-able or a dial gear shift which looks very similar to the volume dial next to it are examples of poor product design which did not carefully consider human factors.
Dr. Gunther described projects for devices and products she has personally worked on, and ended with some advice for young people: learn skills that will transfer to many different careers. You never know when you will use a discipline like psychology in a career like engineering.
The Prof Talks on April 13 by Coach Lojko and Olivia Miller discussed The Valentine Project, a Christian mission project which serves orphans in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and critical librarianship. Prof Talks span every discipline imaginable. Attend the next Prof Talks coming in the fall semester of next year and you are guaranteed to learn something new. You may discover a passion of yours that you have never explored before. Look out for the upcoming Prof Talks schedule; the possibilities are endless!