The Dean’s Lecture Series takes faculty expertise and knowledge from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences into the community in an ongoing effort to foster closer connections, share intriguing and timely information, and inspire conversation.

Our Pandemic Future: Human Behavior and the Environment

WESTERN HORIZONS: Our Pandemic Future: Human Behavior and the Environment

Dr. Paqui Paredes Méndez, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the WWU Alumni Association present Western Horizons, a public webinar series featuring Faculty and Alumni of the College. The inaugural event, held on June 3, 2020, featured Dr. Evelyn Ames, Professor Emeritus and founder of WWU’s Community Health Education program, and Dr. Steve Bennett, Professor of Health and Human Development and epidemiologist.

The webinar explores the following :

• Introduction to public health and its history at Western

• Impact of climate change on infectious disease

• Human behavior and our relationship to the environment

• How epidemiology informs public health policy

Western Horizons is brought to you in partnership with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Presented by Dr. Hud Hudson, Professor of Philosophy at Western Washington University

The fine-tuning argument for the existence of God has been generating a great deal of attention over recent years. In this talk, Dr. Hudson will sketch one of the more promising versions of that argument, explaining and motivating its various premises. He will then briefly note several potential critiques of that line of reasoning, and finally he will examine in some depth one underexplored criticism, which (in his judgment) is a powerful obstacle to the success of the argument.

Presented by Dr. Holly Folk, Associate Professor of Liberal Studies at Western Washington University

February 29th is the historic birthday of Mother Ann Lee, founder of the United Society of Believer’s in Christ’s Second Appearing. In the mid-19th century, more than 4000 people lived in 19 Shaker settlements. Today that number has fallen to three living members, who are sustained in worship by a community of supporters. Though commonly remembered for their contributions to American music, architecture, and furniture design, the Shakers proposed radical alternatives for how to be human. Developed over time, the Shaker “Order” became a system for regimenting the physical body, personal conduct, and social interaction. Come learn a bit about the Shakers and efforts to preserve their history, and that of other planned societies. The talk will discuss the inter-disciplinarity of communal studies, and the practical lessons communes offer for the humanities and general education.

Presented by Dr. Jay Teachman, Professor of Sociology at Western Washington University

Currently more than 21 million veterans live in the United States, which equates to about 10 percent of the population age 17 and older. These veterans have served during times of peace and during times of war, but they have all dedicated a portion of their lives to the service of their country. A growing body of literature has begun to outline the consequences of military service for the lives of veterans, yet our knowledge remains fragmented. In particular, it is difficult to understand the scope of effects of military service and how these effects may have changed over time.

Presented by Dr. Kevin Leonard, Professor of History at Western Washington University

In September 1925, a Bellingham judge removed 9-year-old Russell Tremain from the custody of his parents, who had refused to send their son to school. John W. Tremain and his wife, Ethel Tremain, insisted that the mandatory flag salute was incompatible with their religious beliefs. Even as local community leaders condemned John and Ethel Tremain, they struggled with the presence of the Ku Klux Klan in Whatcom County. In his presentation, Leonard will explore the tensions between religious freedom and patriotic nativism that were evident in Bellingham in the 1920s.

Presented by Dr. Jun San Juan, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, Physical Education, Health & Recreation Department

Running is becoming an increasingly popular activity with participation noted at all age levels. The increase in both participation and increased frequency of training can lead to significantly increased exposure to running-related injuries, most notably in the lower extremities. In his presentation, Jun San Juan will discuss multiple factors that can contribute to running-related injuries.


Presented by Dr. Michael Fraas, Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western Washington University

Concussion in sports has gained a great deal of attention in the media. Should athletes, parents, and educators be concerned about the safety of young athletes? This presentation will explain the impact of concussion, and highlight ways to effectively treat concussion symptoms and safely return athletes to competition and the classroom.

Presented by Sheila Webb, Associate Professor of Journalism at Western Washington University.

Presented by David Sattler, Professor of Psychology at Western Washington University.

Presented by Kathryn Trueblood, Associate Professor of English at WWU.