The McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation Programs and Initiatives Internship Grants Program “Hi-Caliber Internships: Enriching Education and Launching Remarkable Careers” From its inception, a central focus of the McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation has been integrating, promoting, and supporting a full spectrum of experiential learning and the kinds of co-curricular programs that dramatically enhance student engagement and learning. Read more... I. Overview From its inception, a central focus of the McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation has been integrating, promoting, and supporting a full spectrum of experiential learning and the kinds of co-curricular programs that dramatically enhance student engagement and learning. Hi-caliber internships are among the most important of these co-curricular programs. They provide students with significant work experience (involving real responsibility and initiative) that is related to their academic program of study and tied to their professional goals. As such, these internships enrich education and help launch remarkable careers. However, many high quality internships—and, indeed, many of the most highly prized—are unpaid. Too often, then, students of modest means face a painful choice: either decline a valuable summer internship in order to earn money or accept the internship and add to a heavy burden of student debt. In recognition of the critical value of quality, unpaid internships for our students, their departments, and Le Moyne College as a whole, the McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation is launching a major new initiative to begin in 2012-2013: The McDevitt Internship Grant Program. This program will enhance Le Moyne’s support for student internships, especially in the liberal arts, by providing grants of $3,000 each to twenty students/year who are majoring in Computer Science, Management/Information Systems, Philosophy/Religious Studies, and Physics and who secure high-quality, unpaid internships. II. Eligibility and Program Outline In keeping with the terms of the McDevitt will, the program is open to students in Computer Science, Management/Information Systems, Philosophy/Religious Studies, and Physics. Each of these McDevitt disciplinary areas will be eligible for five grants of $3,000/year: 5/year in Computer Science; 5/year in Management/Information Systems; 5/year in Philosophy/Religious Studies; 5/year in Physics. No disciplinary area will be awarded more than 5 grants per year. The Office of Career Advising and Development will develop an application process and facilitate the review of applications. In general, preference will be given to upper-division students who have secured high-quality internships and who have not previously been awarded a McDevitt grant. However, the academic departments or programs will be an integral part of the review process and will be invited to recommend student applicants based on criteria they individually develop. In keeping with its ultimate responsibility for the expenditure of McDevitt funds, a committee formed by the McDevitt Center will review and provide final approval for any grant award. III. Program Duration and Goals The McDevitt Internship Grant Program is intended as a demonstration or pilot program, which will be funded through the McDevitt Center for an initial period of 3-4 years. Its primary goals include: i. Supporting the departments and programs associated with the McDevitt gift by enabling some of their most deserving students to accept hi-quality, unpaid internships that will enrich their education and help launch their remarkable careers; ii. Enhancing Le Moyne’s support for student internships especially among students in the liberal arts who often face difficulty in securing high-quality, paid internships. iii. Leveraging the McDevitt gift and helping to ensure its campus-wide impact by using this demonstration program to build a robust portfolio of student internship “success stories” that will help various campus offices and constituencies to raise independent, non-McDevitt funds to create a broader and even more robust internship grant program open to students across the college. Science and Religion in Modern America If science bears witness to the timeless human desire to understand the universe and our place within it, the enduring power of religion testifies to the insufficiency of science alone to fully satisfy this longing. While this situation calls for thoughtful consideration of the respective roles of both science and religion in the human search for meaning and understanding, it has too often produced the kinds of uncomprehending antagonism between the two that mark the intellectual, social, and political landscape of the contemporary United States. Read more... Against this background, the McDevitt Chair in Religious Philosophy and the McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation at Le Moyne College are pleased to announce a major, two-year initiative devoted to “Science and Religion in Modern America.” This initiative will bring eminent scholars from the sciences and the humanities to the Le Moyne College campus in order to share their reflections on relationships between science and religion with the campus community, members of other regional academic and religious institutions, and the public. By embodying Le Moyne’s Catholic and Jesuit belief in the unity of all knowledge, we hope that “Science and Religion in Modern America” will provide a compelling example of, and model for, informed and respectful conversation about these vital issues. I. Intellectual Rationale Modern cosmology—like ancient cosmologies, cosmogonies and mythologies—bears witness to the immense power which drives humans in our continuous search for a deeper understanding of the universe and our place in it. And, like their ancient predecessors, our modern scientific efforts also bear witness to the insufficiency of our search for understanding and hence to the need for something or someone “out there,” beyond ourselves. From time immemorial we have sought this further understanding in a person with whom we could converse, someone who shared our capacity to love and be loved and also our desire to understand and to accomplish. Against the general background of this human search for meaning, “Science and Religion in Modern America” will engage the following questions: To what extent can our scientific knowledge influence our most basic human quest for understanding and love within the context of religious belief? and To what extent can our religious beliefs influence our search for scientific knowledge? Our questions challenge several prevailing trends in contemporary academia and society. For the most part, scientific, religious, and other approaches to the search for the meaning of life are pursued in isolation from one another. Furthermore, when these different approaches do meet, they too often meet as uncomprehending antagonists or, when the encounter is more amicable, it takes place at an unhelpfully general level. Recently, however, there has been an increasing appreciation of the need for civil and informed dialogue among science and religion in the quest for life’s meaning. “Science and Religion in Modern America” will bring many of the leading voices in this dialogue to Le Moyne College in order to share their most recent reflections on these vital issues with our students, faculty, and the wider community. By involving both humanists and scientists, this initiative will enrich teaching and learning across campus, will express our Catholic and Jesuit conviction in the unity of knowledge, and will bring increased prominence to Le Moyne as a center for serious inquiry into enduring human questions. II. Scope and Nature of the Initiative We hope that this two-year initiative (2012-2014) will engage and excite the entire Le Moyne College community, will draw involvement from Le Moyne alumni and the greater Syracuse/Central New York community, and will enhance Le Moyne’s regional and national visibility and standing. The central pillars of the initiative are a three semester series of nine, high-profile evening lectures by eminent scholars, and a concluding conference to be held at Le Moyne in the spring of 2014. All of these events will be digitally recorded and made available on the McDevitt Center website. Furthermore, the lectures and conference presentations will be collected to form a book that will be published by a major academic press. In addition to these central pillars, the initiative includes vital dimensions designed to enhance the involvement of the entire campus community. First, the initiative will include a spectrum of planned events allowing Le Moyne students and faculty to interact with the visiting speakers. These will range from informal dinners and lunches with faculty and students to visits with classes, interdisciplinary seminars, and other interested groups of students. Most importantly, the Center will work with all interested college departments and faculty to develop ways of integrating this initiative into courses and/or other programs with and for students. Second, the Center will invite and support selected proposals from Le Moyne faculty and students for research projects, creative work, or other initiatives that complement and enhance the central initiative. The breadth of this initiative allows for a wide range of complementary projects. For example, projects may involve: scientific evolution and intelligent design; ethical problems in health care; the problem of physical and moral evil; Jesuit spirituality and academic theology; neurobiology and free will; time in physics and in theology; the history of religious fundamentalism in America; religion and the environment, production of dramatic works such as Galileo or Copenhagen, and much more. III. Invited Participants All of the participants identified below have presented or accepted our invitation to participate in this initiative. Videos of past participants are available on under the Events Archives link. J. Matthew Ashley, Chair, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame Lectured on 7 February 2013 Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Notre Dame teaches undergraduate courses on liberation theology as well as science, religion, and spirituality and teaches graduate courses in theological method and nineteenth century theology. Research interests focus in two areas: the relationship of spirituality and theology and the relationship between Christian faith, with its intellectual expression in theology, and modern science. Ashley is completing a book on the relationship between Jesuit spirituality and academic theology, using two important twentieth century figures as case-studies: Karl Rahner and Ignacio Ellacuría. He is also beginning a project that analyzes the uses of narrative in contemporary books (written both by theologians and by "anti-theologians" such as Richard Dawkins) that attempt to present the significance of evolution for our understanding humanity's place in the cosmos. Francisco J. Ayala, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine Lectured on 20 September 2012 Dr. Ayala is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a recipient of the 2001 National Medal of Science, and served as Chair of the Authoring Committee of Science, Evolution, and Creationism, jointly published in 2008 by the NAS and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ayala has received numerous awards, including the 2010 Templeton Prize for exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, and 20 honorary degrees from universities in nine countries. He has been President and Chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and President of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society of the United States. Dr. Ayala has written numerous books and articles about the intersection of science and religion, including Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion (Joseph Henry Press, 2007) and Am I a Monkey? (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010). He teaches classes in evolution, genetics, and the philosophy of biology, which are also the subjects of research. Jonathan I. Lunine, David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences, Cornell University Having published more than 200 research papers, Lunine is at the forefront of research into planet formation, evolution, and habitability. His work includes analysis of brown dwarfs, gas giants, and planetary satellites. Within the Solar System, bodies with potential organic chemistry and prebiotic conditions, particularly Saturn's moon Titan, have been the focus of Lunine's research. He is the David Baltimore Distinguished Visiting Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2008–2010). He is an interdisciplinary scientist on the Cassini mission to Saturn, and on the James Webb Space Telescope, as well as co-investigator on the Juno mission under development for launch to Jupiter. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Geophysical Union. He earned a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Rochester in 1980, followed by M.S. (1983) and Ph.D. (1985) degrees in Planetary Science from the California Institute of Technology. Nancey Murphy, School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California Nancey Murphy joined the Fuller faculty in 1989 and serves as professor of Christian philosophy. She is highly sought-after speaker at national and international conferences on philosophy and the relationship between theology and science. Murphy serves on the board of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Berkeley, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for Science and Religion. Murphy’s first book, Theology in the Age of Scientific Reasoning, received the American Academy of Religion’s Award for Excellence. Most recently she co-edited Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will (2009). Other recent books include include: Did My Neurons Make Me Do It? Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will (co-authored with Warren Brown, 2007); Physics and Cosmology: Scientific Perspectives on the Problem of Natural Evil (co-edited with Robert Russell and William Stoeger, SJ, 2007); Evolution and Emergence: Systems, Organisms, Persons (co-edited with William Stoeger, SJ, 2007); and Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies? (2006). Murphy serves as an editorial advisor for numerous publishers and journals. She is a research professor at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, and is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren. Robert John Russell, Founding Director, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California Lectured on 14 March 2013 Russell holds a Ph.D. in experimental physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, an M.Div. and an M. A. in theology and science from the Pacific School of Religion (one of nine seminaries in the GTU consortium), an M. S. in physics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and he triple- majored in physics, religion and music at Stanford University. He is ordained in the United Church of Christ and is a member of the Society of Ordained Scientists. His current research topics include: resurrection, eschatology and scientific cosmology; quantum mechanics, biological evolution and divine action; evolution, theodicy and Christology; philosophical assumptions in contemporary scientific cosmology and their theological roots; time and eternity from a Trinitarian perspective in relation to time in physics. Thomas F. Tracy, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine Lectured on 6 December 2012 Dr. Tracy has served as consultant to the Maine Governor’s Office of Health Care Policy and he serves on the Ethics Committee of the Maine General Hospital. He is a member of the International Society for Science and Religion and the Society for the Philosophy of Religion. Dr. Tracy’s research focuses on issues in philosophy of religion and theology, and on topics in applied ethics, particularly medical ethics and the morality of warfare. His published work has dealt with philosophical questions raised by the classical conception of God in Western religions. He has written on the problem of evil, on the concept of God as an agent who acts in the events of history, and on the relation between these classical issues in philosophical theology and contemporary developments in the natural sciences. Wesley J. Wildman, Boston University, School of Theology Lectured on 5 November 2012 Dr. Wildman is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Society for Science and Religion. He is founding director of the Institute for the Biocultural Study of Religion (a research institute devoted to the scientific study of religion) and founding co-editor of the institute’s Taylor & Francis journal Religion, Brain and Behavior. His research pursues a multidisciplinary, comparative approach to important topics within religious and theological studies. His religious naturalist view of the human condition is presented in his Science and Religious Anthropology (Ashgate, 2009). His Religious and Spiritual Experiences (Cambridge University Press, 2011) presents a spiritually evocative naturalist interpretation of religious experience. Dr. Wildman directs the doctoral programs in Christian Theology, in Comparative Theology, and in Science, Philosophy, and Religion at Boston University. He is ordained in the Uniting Church of Australia (a union of Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregational denominations). IV. Schedule of Events for Fall 2013 To be announced soon. Science, Technology, and Information: 'Grand Challenges' Call for Proposals In Academic Year 2013-2014, the McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation, in partnership with the McDevitt Chair in Information Systems, will sponsor broad research and teaching initiatives focused on ‘grand challenges;’ areas of enduring challenge and critical importance that are worthy of serious scholarship and investigation as well as appropriate venues for long-term research, programming, investment, and exploration. Read More... By their nature, these ‘grand challenges’ often involve many disciplines and traverse system boundaries; they have the potential to impact large populations; and they have significant impacts on vulnerable (at risk) populations. Solutions to these challenges, even small solutions, advance the state-of-the-art or a discipline and thus provide a significant contribution to both social and scholarship domains. Examples of ‘grand challenge’ research areas include efforts to improve and enhance critical infrastructure, advancing health informatics, and securing cyberspace (National Academies, 2010). Examples of ‘grand challenge’ initiatives include research that focuses on: “….developing machines that better people's lives and can communicate with humans on human terms (i.e., plain language and voice); exploring Mars; establishing scheduled space tourism; solving the [living and transportation] congestion problems already confronting much of the world; and balancing the benefits of new technological accomplishments with the invasions of individual privacy that many new developments will undoubtedly generate (micro-video recorders, human implantable micro-storage devices, engineered plants and animals, etc.) In fact, some of engineering's greatest challenges may well prove to reside in the field of ethics (Augustine, 2010). The McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation and the McDevitt Chair in Information Systems invite proposals from disciplines across the college for teaching, programmatic, research and exploratory efforts in academic year 2013-2014 focused on ‘grand challenges.’ In 2013-2014, the McDevitt Chair in Information Systems will fund several student research projects and organize two symposia described below: McDevitt Chair in Information Systems Student Research Projects, 2013-2014 Next generation computing user interfaces that may redefine our sense of self, technology and the other, using Google Glass, Global enterprise technology initiatives examining ethical and technical issues of human and technology load balancing in large-scale data warehouse applications, and privacy and security issues associated with analysis of health information systems exchanges and big data sets, and Scientific, human, social, technology, political and organizational implications of Arctic oil exploration and spill response. Scheduled symposia Ethics in Large-Scale Disaster Response (October 2013), with the National Research Council’s Disaster Roundtable, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the International Red Cross, Google Disaster Response, Virginia Polytechnic Institute Crisis and Disaster Management Institute, and Future High Reliability Organizations and Risk Management (Spring 2014), with the University of California, Berkeley’s High Reliability Organization/Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, Vanderbilt University, United Airlines, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the U.S. Navy, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), Shell Americas and Statoil. Proposals for research projects, programs, seminars, and other initiatives from members of the Le Moyne community need not be directly connected with these specific efforts. They must, however, demonstrate that they: (1) meet the criteria of ‘grand challenges’ as specified above; (2) are importantly connected to one or more of the McDevitt disciplines (Computer Science, Information Systems, Physics, and Religious Philosophy); and (3) will positively impact a wide constituency including Le Moyne faculty, students, and the broader community. Applications For information about submitting proposals and applying for funding, contact Steven G. Affeldt, Director McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation 442 Reilly Hall firstname.lastname@example.org References Augustine, N. 2012. Norm Augustine on the Nature of Challenges. National Academy of Engineering, National Academies. http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/cms/7125/8289.aspx, retrieved 6 April 2013. National Academies. 2010. Grand Challenges in Engineering. http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/cms/7125/8289.aspx, retrieved 7 November 2011.