Library Brown Bag Talks are free and open to UNC Asheville students, faculty, and staff as well as the Asheville community. Feel free to bring your lunch. Light refreshments are always served.
For questions or comments about Library Brown Bag Talks, please contact Gene Hyde, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, UNC Asheville. firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-251-6645
Karin Hedberg, Conferences and Camps Office
"Third Culture Kids: The Blessings and Curses of Being a Global Nomad"
Imagine your identity formed out of many cultures. Imagine growing up in multiple countries and speaking several languages. Imagine your friends are scattered across the globe. These are only some of the traits of Third Culture Kids or TCKs. We are the children of adventuresome parents who dared to leave their countries of origin and go elsewhere. Find out what the TCK phenomenon is all about and why we can never easily answer the question “Where are you from?” This session will include material from "Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds" by David Pollock and other studies of this population. The facilitator will also share personal experiences and first-hand accounts from other TCKs.
"A metacognitive approach to trust and a case study: artificial agency"
Trust is defined as a belief of a human H (‘the trustor’) about the ability of an agent A (the ‘trustee’) to perform future action(s). We adopt here dispositionalism and internalism about trust: H trusts A iff A has some internal dispositions as competences. The dispositional competences of A are high-level metacognitive requirements, in the line of a naturalized virtue epistemology. (Sosa, Carter) We advance a Bayesian model of two (i) confidence in the decision and (ii) model uncertainty. To trust A, H demands A to be self-assertive about confidence and able to self-correct its own models. In the Bayesian approach trust can be applied not only to humans, but to artificial agents (e.g. Machine Learning algorithms). We explain the advantage the metacognitive trust when compared to mainstream approaches and how it relates to virtue epistemology. The metacognitive ethics of trust is swiftly discussed.
Barbara Duncan, Adjunct Instructor of Cherokee
"Indigenous Languages and Polysynthetic Words; Software for Conjugation"
This is the year of indigenous languages by declaration of the U.N. Join Barbara Duncan as she discusses work she and colleagues from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians did to develop software that breaks break down the polysynthetic words (equal to a sentence in English) that are the basis of Cherokee and other indigenous languages. They discovered that these long words are made of regular parts similar to a math equation, and that this equation can be programmed to conjugate words from a known language. The software also can break down and find the regular parts of words in unknown polysynthetic languages. This software received a patent in 2015, and has enabled them to create a dictionary with 80,000 words at www.yourgrandmotherscherokee.com.
Jessica Pisano and Brian Graves, Department of English
"What We Say When We Talk about Writing: Seeking Common Ground across the Curriculum"
Inspired in part by existing Writing Studies research, we’ve been examining how UNCA faculty talk about writing with their students. Over the past several semesters, we’ve surveyed faculty about how they teach writing and followed up with both focus groups and a review of assignment prompts. What can we learn from this data that might help all of us with writing instruction in our respective disciplines? We invite interested faculty from across campus to learn about our findings and enter into conversation about their significance and implications.
Patrick Bahls, Department of Mathematics
"Contracts for Honors credit: Balancing access, equity, and opportunities for authentic learning"
A 2017 study by Scott, Smith, and Cognard-Black shows that at a majority of institutions, honors students are able to earn honors credit through fulfillment of honors “contracts” that stipulate additional work the student must perform in a non-honors-designated section of a particular course. As popular as they are, little has been written on honors contracts’ design and delivery, in part because of the difficulty of assessing both contract systems’ efficacy at helping students meet various learning objectives and their impact on the sense of community honors administrators attempt to cultivate in their programs. The purpose of the present article is to offer an overview of the first full year of our own institution's newly-implemented honors contract system, focusing on students’ metacognitive reflections on the work they did in fulfilling their contracts. These reflections demonstrate students’ gains in understanding of interdisciplinarity, alternative ways of knowing and ways of being, and intellectual humility, among many other things. Given this, we find that despite legitimate concerns about contracts’ effect on honors curriculum and community, contracts provide a flexible means of offering rich opportunities for student learning.
Toby King, Music Department & Will Revere, Department of English
"National Humanities Institute Scholars' Reports; or, Banjos and Chaucer."
Join Toby King and Will Revere as they discuss their National Humanities Institute Scholar projects.
Toby King: "Another Double-History: Decentering Bluegrass in Japan"
Michelle Bettencourt, Languages and Literature Department
"Voices of Migration: An Oral History Collective"
Brittani McNamee, Department of Environmental Studies
Concerning carcinogenic minerals, most think of asbestos products such as insulation or brake pads. The minerals deemed as group 1 human carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) are asbestos group minerals, erionite, and crystalline silica. Concerns surrounding the health impacts of exposure to these minerals (asbestos in particular) have extended from occupational settings to their presence in soils and rock deposits. Furthermore, certain non-asbestos varieties of amphiboles and serpentine are currently regulated as asbestos and quartz is a carcinogen, but not regulated as in the same manner as asbestos. The distribution of these minerals is ubiquitous in natural environments and defining these minerals is complex, but key in regards to regulations.
Dave Erb, Retired UNCA Mechatronics Engineering Faculty
Electric vehicles and solar energy offer significant potential to reduce harmful emissions, improve public health, ease geopolitical tensions, and lower the cost of energy for everyone. "Driving to Net 0: Stories of Hope for a Carbon-Free Future" is a collection of 15 first person accounts of families who combine driving on sunshine with other sustainability strategies. Dave Erb, who retired from the UNC Asheville Mechatronics Engineering Program in 2018, wrote Chapter 1, titled "An Unapologetic Car Junkie." After reading an excerpt from his chapter, Dave will lead a discussion of electric vehicles and renewable energy.