Posted on Apr 30, 2007

Bob Baker, the William D. Williams Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Bioethics at Union

Michael Pinsky, professor of Literature and Popular Culture at the University of South Florida, will discuss “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrows: A Century of Theme Park Utopias,” to kick off the four-part spring lecture series for the Rapaport Ethics Across the Curriculum initiative.

Michael Pinsky, ethics speaker, May 2007

The talk is Thursday, May 10, at 7 p.m. in F.W. Olin Center 115 and is free and open to the public.

The Rapaport Ethics Across the Curriculum initiative incorporates ethics into the lesson plans to help prepare students to face the world of tough decisions and empower them to exercise moral leadership. The initiative also offers grants to professors who explore ethics in their courses.

“The initiative encourages faculty to discuss everyday ethics as it is interwoven into the fabric of the subjects that they teach," said Robert Baker, the William D. Williams Professor of Philosophy and director of the Center for Bioethics at Union. “We believe that these discussions prepare students to recognize, to articulately discuss and to more successfully negotiate the ethical challenges they will inevitably encounter later in life.”

The program is coordinated by Baker along with Anastasia Pease, an expert in Russian and English who designed and taught a course, "Diversity and Equity in America" encompassing many of the ethical issues facing people across the globe.

The program was made possible last year by a gift from Michael Rapaport ’59, an entrepreneur and real estate lawyer from White Plains, N.Y. Rapaport believes that colleges need to discuss ethics in realistic, everyday contexts, not segregate them into philosophy courses.

The idea for the program grew out of a 2003 pilot project by Economics Professor Harold Fried, who introduced ethics into the economic curriculum using a gift from Rapaport.

To date the Rapaport Ethics Across the Curriculum program has funded ethics segments in 11 courses in all four divisions of the college, plus the Spring Term Ethics Across the Curriculum Series.

Other spring offerings:

Tuesday, May 15 at 5:15 p.m. in Reamer Auditorium – Dr. Bonnie TuSmith of Northeastern University will give a lecture titled “Humor, Pathos and the Face of Difference.” (co-sponsored by the COT and UNITAS)  

Tuesday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m. in F.W. Olin Center 115 – Walter Palvo, former MCI executive convicted of wire fraud and money laundering will speak on his experiences involving the manipulation of financial records within a large corporation.

Thursday, May 24 at 7 p.m. in Reamer Auditorium – Dr. Bruce B. Svare of University of Albany will give a lecture entitled “What everyone should know about the Anabolic Steroid Abuse Crisis”

Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15 in Old Chapel – Two-Day symposium on exploring new curricula in Engineering Ethics, Bioengineering, Environmental Engineering and Liberal Education.

For more information, visit Rapaport Ethics Across the Curriculum or contact Dean Cherrice Traver (518) 388-6530.