I had the privilege of attending an excellent speaking engagement put on by VT on Wednesday in Squires. It was supported by the Veritas Forum and was primarily concerned with addressing the task of handling difficult conversations (social, political, religious) with grace and understanding. Is it possible to encourage an environment of mutual respect and shared understanding even in the academic arena?
The two main speakers were Dr. Christian Lundberg (UNC) and Dr. Christian Matheis (VT). Both gentlemen were fantastic and cautiously approached the subject matter in the beginning, but, as time went on you could sense an ease of interconnectivity happen and an almost symbiotic relationship take place. Dr. Matheis graced the stage with his presence and mastery of his knowledge in the theory base. The audience members all seemed to really enjoy the conversations and even the questions at the end were fairly vague and non threatening.
Overall, I would encourage this type of speaking engagement again because it put issues at the forefront which might not be addressed or spoken about if otherwise not done in such an organized and structured fashion.