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.

Pandemic on the Horizon? Climate Change and Infectious Disease

Dr. Steve Bennett, Lecturer, Community Health Program, Health & Human Development Department

Spring 2018

An analysis of the impact of climate change on the emergence and spread of infectious disease. From vector borne disease to water borne disease, the climate can be a major driver of disease ecology. Will there be another new pandemic simply because of the impacts of climate change? Has the epidemiology and ecology of infectious diseases already changed?

Dr. Steve Bennett’s expertise is in the epidemiology and ecology of infectious disease. His interest in infectious disease began as a Peace Corps volunteer working on public health programs in Kenya. Dr. Bennett received his Master’s in Tropical Medicine and Parasitology from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Afterward, Dr. Bennett worked in South Sudan on President Carter’s Guinea Worm Eradication Program and then returned to the States to complete his PhD in Environmental Infectious Disease at the University of Minnesota. He has taught courses in Public and Environmental Health, Global Health, Disease Ecology and Environmental Sustainability. His previous research has focused on the spread of tick borne disease in Minnesota. Currently, he is a lecturer in the Community Health Program in the Department of Health & Human Development at Western Washington University.

Concussion in the Young Athlete: Considerations for Safe Return-to-Play and Return-to-Learn

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.

WWU Professor Ira Hyman discusses his research into the relationship between cell phone use and "Inattentional Blindness."

Michael Karlberg discusses the Bahá’í community in Iran, which has suffered from waves of violent oppression for over 150 years.

April 26, 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear disaster. Edward Vajda worked as a translator and news analyst in the Moscow office of CBS News during the crisis. He describes what it was like helping to cover the story and also assesses the political and environmental effects a quarter century later.

In 1995, Todd Koetje joined a team extracting artifacts from Weasel Cave in the Caucasus Mountains of North Ossetia-Alania in Southern Russia to piece together what is left from the Neanderthals who lived between 250,000 and 300,000 years ago. Koetje presents and discusses his research findings from 11 trips to the caves.

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