D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership

Lecture Series 2007-2008

What's a courage teacher? I'll tell you who mine were.

Sept. 10, 2007 – Andrei Codrescu, Poet, Novelist, and Essayist

Andrei Codrescu is the author of New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writing from the City (Algonquin Books), a collection in response to the catastrophe that devastated his adopted city in 2005. In 1989 he returned to his native Romania to cover the collapse of a catastrophic history, and wrote The Hole in the Flag: An Exile’s Tale of Return and Revolution. The proximity of history is explored playfully in a book-length interview called Miracle and Catastrophe: an interview with Andrei Codrescu by Robert Lazu, published in Romania by Hartmann Publishers in 2005.

Codrescu is MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., where he edits Exquisite Corpse: a Journal of Letters & Life (www.exquisitecorpse.org). He is also a regular commentator on National Public Radio and winner of the Peabody Award for the film “Road Scholar.”

Codrescu’s books include: Wakefield, a novel (Algonquin, 2004); It Was Today: New Poems (2003); Casanova in Bohemia (2002); Alien Candor: Selected Poems 1970–1997; The Blood Countess (1995); Messiah (1999); Ay, Cuba: a Socio-Erotic Journey (1997); Hail, Babylon: Looking at American Cities. (1998) (1992).

His work has been widely translated, and he is the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships for poetry, and editing, the Romanian Literature Prize, the ACLU Freedom of Speech Award, and the Ovidius Prize.

Co-sponsored by Friends of the La Crosse Public Library, Wisconsin Public Radio 88.9 WLSU/90.3 WHLA, and Murphy Library and College of Liberal Studies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Click here for a story on the event in the La Crosse Tribune.

Building Intolerance to Drunk Driving and Underage Drinking

Sept. 17, 2007 – Jennifer Berry, Former Miss America 2006

As Miss America 2006, Berry was a tremendous advocate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, serving as the National spokesperson for the organization in 2006. During this time, she traveled approximately 20,000 miles each month on a speaking tour, visiting local communities, high schools and other organizations, promoting intolerance to drunk driving and underage drinking. Additionally, she served as National Spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network, visiting hospitals across the country offering hope and inspiration to children and their families.

Berry has served as a motivational speaker and leadership consultant for various groups, including high schools, universities, military, local communities, athletic groups, religious organizations, nonprofit groups, corporations and professional associations. She has spoken to members of Congress and wounded soldiers at the nation’s most prestigious military hospitals.

Co-sponsored by the Sarah Mullenbach Memorial Foundation

Click here for a story on the event in the La Crosse Tribune.

Teaching Character Through Sport: A Presentation for Student Athletes, Parents, and Coaches

Oct. 17, 2007 – Bruce Brown, Coach and Spokesperson for NAIA

Bruce Brown is a man of many talents, a multidimensional man in an often single dimensional world. Brown has been a teacher, coach, and athletic administrator with 35 years experience working with youth from junior high thru the college level.

Brown travels the country doing a special presentation for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics entitled “Champions of Character." He believes that developing character in our youth can help change the culture of our nation. It is that belief that motivates this coach and educator to spend countless hours and thousands of miles on the road, speaking to athletes, parent groups, coaches and businesses. The "Champions of Character Five Core Values" Brown and the NAIA vigorously promote are: how the athlete shows respect, how the athlete shows responsibility, how the athlete shows integrity, how the athlete shows servant leadership, and how the athlete shows sportsmanship. Core values which would stand us in good stead in athletics or in life.

Sports, which can play a vital role in the development of our youth, is the foundation upon which Brown builds his presentation. As Brown puts it, “The culture of sport is out of perspective. Every night on SportsCenter, we see $8 million athletes who say, ‘I don’t have to practice.’ They have a sense of entitlement. The danger is in the trickle down of that attitude from the professional athlete to the 10-year-old kid. What they see affects how they react to a coach, teammate, or official.”

Co-sponsored by Viterbo University athletics and the La Crosse Area Sports Commission 

End of Life Decisions: The Catholic Tradition

Oct. 24, 2007 – Fr. Kevin O'Rourke, Professor Emeritus, Center for Health Care Ethics, Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center, Professor of Bioethics, Neiswanger Institute of Ethics and Public Policy, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University, Chicago

Father O'Rourke received his J.C.D. (Juris Canonici Doctor) from St. Thomas University in Rome, in 1958. He also has a Doctorate in Canon Law, and S.T.M. (Master of Sacred Theology)—a degree given in the Dominican Order after successful teaching and writing of many years.

His most significant publications are text books, published by Georgetown University Press, including, Health Care Ethics: A Theological Analysis, fourth ed., with B. Ashley, and, Medical Ethics: Sources of Catholic Teachings, third ed., with P. Boyle. Father O'Rourke has published over a hundred journal articles. His more recent articles examine the ethical issues of genetic testing, surrogate decision making, and physician assisted suicide. Father O'Rourke is currently involved in research on decision making in the Catholic tradition, and the use of hydration and nutrition for patients in a persistent vegetative state.

Selected Publications

  • O'Rourke, K.  "Ordinary and Extraordinary Means and the Schiavo Case".  Loyola University School of Law Journal, fall 2005.
  • Rourke, K. "Ordinary and Extraordinary Means: The Catholic Tradition."  National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly (NCBQ), fall 2005.
  • O'Rourke, K. "Stem Cell Research; Prospects and Problems." National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, summer 2004.
  • O'Rourke, K. "Medical Error: Some Ethics Concerns." Health Progress, November–December 2004.
  • O'Rourke, K.  "Mrs. B and the Vatican." National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, winter 2002.
  • O'Rourke, K. "Catholic Health Care and Sterilization." Health Progress, November–December 2002.
  • O'Rourke, K. "Illinois Bishops on Death and Dying." Health Progress, March–April 2002.
  • O'Rourke, K., Norris, P. "Care of Permanent Vegetative State Patients: Catholic Opinion in the United States." Linacre Quarterly, August 2001.

Co-sponsored by the Gundersen Lutheran Foundation.

Paradise Found and Lost: Christopher Columbus’s Rhetorics of Possession

Nov. 13, 2007 – Luis N. Rivera-Pagán, Henry Winters Luce Emeritus Professor of Ecumenics and Mission, Princeton Theological Seminary

Luis Rivera-Pagán’s lecture is a post-colonial and deconstructive analysis of a letter written in 1493 by Christopher Columbus, his initial report of the lands and peoples found during the first and most famous of his expeditions through the New World. Columbus’ letter is a significant literary milestone in the history of colonial and cultural studies and had fateful consequences for the history of the Americas.

Rivera-Pagán, Princeton Theological Seminary’s Henry Winters Luce Professor of Ecumenics and Mission, holds an S.T.M., an M.A., and a Ph.D., all from Yale University. An American Baptist and a native of Puerto Rico, he is editor of the official report of the Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches (Brazil, 2006). He teaches courses on Latin American theology, Third World liberation theologies, theological readings of world literature, and problems and issues in the 16th century Christianization of the Americas. He is interested in the history of Latin American Christianity, and theology and literature.

Rivera-Pagán is the author of several books, among them: A Violent Evangelism: The Political and Religious Conquest of the Americas (1992), Mito, exilio y demonios: literatura y teología en América Latina (1996), Diálogos y polifonías: perspectivas y reseñas (1999), and Essays from the Diaspora (2002).

Co-sponsored by the Department of World Languages and Cultures. 

Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories and Photos

Dec. 6, 2007 – Anna Baltzer

Anna Baltzer, 28-year-old Jewish American Columbia graduate, Fulbright scholar, and the grand-daughter of Holocaust refugees, will present photographs and stories from her work documenting human rights abuses and supporting nonviolent resistance in the West Bank with the International Women’s Peace Service. Baltzer’s talk covers checkpoints, the Wall, Israeli activism, censorship, nonviolent resistance, and other topics rarely covered in mainstream U.S. media. She is currently touring the U.S. with the updated and revised second edition of her book, Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories.

For more info about Baltzer and her work and tour schedule, visit www.AnnaInTheMiddleEast.com

Love at First Flight: One Woman's Experience as a WASP in World War II

March 18, 2008 – Elizabeth Wall Strohfus, World War II Pilot

Delightful Liz Strohfus shares her high-flying story of service as a WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilot) during World War II. Growing up in Faribault, Minn., during the Great Depression, Liz (then known as Betty Wall)  discovered her love of flying—and put her bicycle up as collateral on a loan to buy a membership in the local flying club. In 1942, Liz applied for the WASP program, an experimental, pioneering program in which women were taught to fly American military aircraft. Of some 25,000 applicants only 1,800 were accepted and of those Liz was one of only about 1,000 to earn their wings. In addition to flying military trainers such as the PT-19, BT-13 and AT-6 at legendary Avenger Field in Texas, Liz went on to fly the B-26 Marauder and B-17 Flying Fortress bombers and P-39 Airacobra fighter. Join us to learn about flying the planes of "the greatest generation"—and the many obstacles that Liz and her female comrades overcame to get into the pilot's seat. And, by the way, 60-plus years later Liz is still flying!

To read more about Liz Strohfus, click here.

Co-sponsored by La Crosse Chapter 307 of the Experimental Aircraft Association. 

Nancy Sherman

March 27, 2008 – Nancy Sherman, University Professor, Georgetown University, Former Distinguished Chair in Ethics, U.S. Naval Academy

Sherman’s interests in the military grew out of a three-year stint at the United States Naval Academy where she was the Inaugural Holder of the Distinguished Chair in Ethics. In that role, she lectured widely to military audiences, including ROTC units, military academies, bases, and war colleges. She taught at Yale for seven years, and has been at Georgetown since 1989 where she is a distinguished University Professor in Philosophy and adjunct Professor in Law. She has held visiting appointments at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland. Sherman has also done extensive research in psychoanalysis and is a Research Affiliate of the Washington Psychoanalytic Society. She is a devoted teacher and mentor to her students.

Sherman is the author of three books, and the editor of another. She has written dozens of scholarly articles, reviews, and book chapters. She has also written extensively for encyclopedias and the popular press, including articles in the U.S. Naval Academy’s Shipmate and The Philosopher’s Magazine. Sherman has appeared on PBS, MSNBC, FOX News, and was a repeated guest on Robert Abernathy’s Religion and News Weekly on PBS. She has been on radio nationwide. Her work on military ethics has been featured in the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, the San Diego Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Providence Journal, and Lingua Franca, among other places. She lectures widely at universities, institutes, and war colleges here and abroad.

This lecture is the keynote address of the 2008 Conference on the Cardinal Virtues.

Daniel P. Sulmasy

April 3, 2008 – Daniel P. Sulmasy, O.F.M., M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Bioethics Institute, New York Medical College

Dr. Sulmasy, a Franciscan Friar, holds the Sisters of Charity Chair in Ethics at St. Vincent's Hospital-Manhattan and serves as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Bioethics Institute of New York Medical College, Valhalla, N.Y. He received A.B. and M.D. degrees from Cornell University and completed his residency, chief residency, and post-doctoral fellowship in General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Georgetown University in 1995. He was appointed by Gov. Pataki to the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law in 2005. He serves as editor-in-chief of the journal, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, and is the author of four books: The Healer’s Calling (1997), Methods in Medical Ethics (2001), The Rebirth of the Clinic (2006) and A Balm for Gilead: Meditations on Spirituality and the Healing Arts (2006). His numerous articles have appeared in medical, philosophical, and theological journals and he has lectured widely both in the U.S. and abroad.

Co-sponsored by Franciscan Skemp Healthcare. 

Through the Eyes of a Child Survivor

April 21, 2008 – Inge Auerbacher, Author and Holocaust Survivor

Auerbacher was born in Germany and spent three years between ages 7–10 years in the Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, where out of 15,000 children, about one percent survived. She remembers when the now famous children’s opera Brundibar was first written and performed while she was in Terezin. She tells her life story in three books; I am a Star-Child of the Holocaust, Beyond the Yellow Star to America and Finding Dr. Schatz - The Discovery of Streptomycin and A Life It Saved. Auerbacher has also reached out to the African-American community by writing about her friends, Mary and Martha DeSaussure; pioneering track stars of Brooklyn in her fourth book, Running Against the Wind. As a Holocaust survivor her spirit and achievements are truly remarkable.

"Teaching the Holocaust" A Workshop for Middle and High School Teachers

April 21–22, 2008

This workshop is designed for middle and high school teachers who want to learn more about teaching the lessons of the Holocaust in their schools. Participants are eligible to receive one graduate credit upon completion of course requirements. Fee: $125 registration is required.

To learn more, click here.