Forum speakers provide an intellectual dimension



    The University Forum speakers who are scheduled for this school year offer a variety of subject matter, ranging from the Nobel Peace Prize to issues of poverty, race and ethnicity.

    Cheryl Brown, associate academic vice president of International, Distance and Continuing Education, said each year, the Forum committee schedules six speakers that are not faculty at BYU. During Spring and Summer Term, two faculty members are scheduled as Forum speakers.

    Brown said she receives several letters from people “who do not realize Devotionals and Forums are separate.”

    According to the undergraduate catalog, Forums feature speakers “are noted authorities in the arts, sciences, humanities, media and government and are chosen for their contributions in their field.”

    “Devotionals are a time of sharing gospel insights and developing testimony,” said R.J. Snow, academic vice president.

    “Devotionals are spiritual strengthening and Forums (are) intellectually enlarging,” Brown said.

    Brown said that faculty and staff on campus can nominate names of professors or professionals whom they think would be notable speakers for Forums.

    She said that a question and answer period is always held immediately after the Forum in the Cougar Room of the Marriott Center. Students may attend and pose questions to the speakers.

    Forum speakers are sent a copy of the Honor Code, Brown said.

    “We’ve never had any trouble getting speakers because of (BYU’s reputation),” she said.

    Kim Hagan, a freshman from Marietta, Ga., majoring in communications, attended her first Forum last week.

    She said she “felt like it (the Forum) was more educational, but the Devotionals are spiritual.” She said she liked the contrast.

    Kimberly Hicken, a sophomore from St. George majoring in English, said if Forums “are good, they’re good. If not, they’re hard to get through.”

    A Forum’s appeal depends on the speaker and subject, she said.

    In October, Francis Sejersted, the chair of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, will speak at the Forum on the history of the prize.

    Maria Tienda, professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, will speak in November. Brown said Tienda will speak about her experience of rising out of poverty and the factors that allow people to do so.

    In February, a speech pathologist is scheduled to discuss the voices of people and machines. In March, a professor of education at Harvard Graduate School of Education will discuss the concept of multiple intelligences that refutes I.Q. testing.

    For more information regarding nominating future Forum speakers, students may go to A-387 ASB or call 378-4916.

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