A new lecture series, which features one-minute to four-minute lectures, encourages students to “chew on a thought” as they take a break from their day to eat lunch.
Adapting to students’ busy schedules, the University of South Dakota Honors Program has introduced the FLASH Lecture Series.
Honors Program Coordinator Leslie Pusey said the first semester of the lectures has contributed to the liberal arts status of USD.
“People can just sort of walk by on their way to lunch, chew on a thought, be introduced to a new, maybe controversial topic or new idea on an old topic or something creative,” Pusey said.
Faculty, students and staff are encouraged to join in on the intellectual thoughts and discussion that takes place in the Pit Lounge. FLASH lectures will continue throughout the semester every Monday at 12:05 p.m., as long as they grow and become popular, Pusey said.
Raising the profile of the Honors Program, a new take on a series at the University of Pennsylvania was adopted to benefit a variety of people here on campus.
On Oct. 6, History professor Clayton Lehmann built on the preceding lectures of Steve Miller, a religious studies professor, and Jake Kerby, associate professor of biology, to get a new point across to the audience.
Reflecting on the times of Plato, the Middle Ages and different aspects of religion, Lehmann urged those in attendance not to be afraid to ask the tough questions and simply dare to know.
“It’s hard to get an idea of what you want to say and say it adequately (with) enough argument to do it all in a few minutes,” Lehmann said. “Usually, I teach 75-minute classes.”
A new concept for Lehmann, he produced a formula for his lecture starting with 20 minutes, then condensed it down to 10 minutes and finally ended up with the few he had to utilize.
“You’re saying a few very specific things and giving good ideas to back them up in a short period of time,” Lehmann said.
Lecture topics, Pusey said, vary from week to week to cover all disciplines, from communication studies to philosophy to math.
First-year Alexa Kruse heard about the series through a weekly Honors Program email. She attended the lecture for a friend but said she would be open to stopping by if the topic or professor interested her.
“If you find the professor interesting, that might inspire some people to take a class from that person or if you find the subject matter interesting,” Kruse said. “I think most of the professors are talking about things that they teach about, so it’s a way to get exposed to new ideas.”
(Photo: Juniors Hayley Naasz, left, and Sarah Kuegle, right, listen to History professor Clayton Lehmann give a FLASH lecture on religion Monday morning in the Muenster University Center Pit Lounge. Malachi Petersen / The Volante)