Viterbo University's Humanities Symposium - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Viterbo University's Humanities Symposium

LA CROSSE, Wis. – People from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions will come together for a community dialogue about the history, nature, and value of work at the "Why Work? Making a Living and Making a Life" Humanities Symposium at Viterbo University Tuesday, Feb. 5–Wednesday, Feb. 6.
            The lives of everyone are profoundly shaped by their work and the work of others. The symposium will explore answers to the question, ‘what distinguishes the work that only makes us a living from work that defines our lives?'
            "Attendees of this year's symposium will be treated to informative and inspirational presentations on the theme of work," said Robyn Gaier, Viterbo faculty member and co-coordinator of the event. "The wealth of knowledge and experience among our presenters enriches this timely event and community discussion."
All events are free and open to the public and will be held in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre unless otherwise noted. The symposium is sponsored by the Viterbo University School of Letters and Sciences. The mission of the annual symposium is to bring an interdisciplinary perspective and debate to contemporary topics. The schedule includes:
Tuesday, Feb. 5
"The Work of Co-creation: Call, Freedom, and Risk" at 9:30 a.m. with Eileen McKenzie, FSPA, of Integrative Therapies and Holistic Health of La Crosse. Sr. McKenzie has professional experience in cross-cultural nursing, traditional Chinese medicine, and clinical outcomes research.
"Tomorrow's Workforce: Are You Prepared?" at 11 a.m. with Beth Sullivan, manager of the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board. Sullivan, MBA, has served in a leadership position in workforce development for over 19 years. She has led strategic planning, program oversight, and labor market information functions for Workforce Connections, Inc. and the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, Inc.
"Free Soup Lunch" at 12:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Lobby
"Work and Culture" at 12:45 p.m. with Larry Harwood, Viterbo University professor of religious studies and philosophy. Harwood, Ph.D., has taught at Viterbo since 1998. He taught in Portugal in 2008 as a Fulbright Scholar and regularly hosts study abroad trips to China.
"Following Your Bliss: Working at what Makes Your Soul Soar" at 2 p.m. with Kem Gambrell, Viterbo University assistant professor of business. Gambrell, Ph.D., teaches leadership and research courses. She enjoys conversations about the meaning of life and other stimulating topics.
Film Discussion: Norma Rae at 4 p.m. in the Reinhart Center Board Room. Facilitated by Viterbo honors program students.
Wednesday, Feb. 6
"Answering the Call! It May be Life Changing" at 9 a.m. with Tammy Koenecke, spiritual care coordinator at Reedsberg Area Medical Center. Koenecke, BSN and MASL, has been a registered nurse at Reedsburg Area Medical Center for 23 years.
"Look for the Union Label: Labor Unions in U.S. History" at 10:10 a.m. with Michael Smuksta, Viterbo University history professor. Smuksta, Ph.D., grew up in a union household. His father was a member of the United Steelworkers of America, working at a U.S. Steel plant from 1939 until his retirement in 1974.
"Work-Life Balance: The Dichotomous Divide between Work and Leisure" at 11:15 a.m. with Raintry Salk, Viterbo University assistant professor of business. Salk, Ph.D., has researched recreation and leisure meaning, workplace culture, leadership, and sustainability within organizational settings.
"Free Soup Lunch" at 12:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Lobby.
"Panel Discussion: Why Work?" at 1:30 p.m. with area human resources officials Sonya Ganther of Viterbo University, Karen Kouba of Trane/Ingersoll Rand, Jennifer Bausch of Riverfront, Inc., and Nikki Emerson of Mayo Clinic Health System, Franciscan Healthcare-La Crosse.
"Work as a Sacred Gift Given to the World Every Day" at 2:30 p.m. with Tom Thibodeau, Viterbo University distinguished professor of servant leadership. Thibodeau is the director of the Master of Arts in Servant Leadership program at Viterbo and has been a faculty member at the university for more than 25 years.
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