Public welcome at Honors College lecture series fe...

Public welcome at Honors College lecture series featuring ‘American Values’

Nearly 50 MTSU students are experiencing the spring Honors Lecture Series themed “American Values.”

They will hear nine lectures from noted on- and off-campus academic experts from Jan. 29 through April 2. With the exception of March 5 when MTSU students are on spring break, the 55-minute lectures begin at 3 p.m. each Monday.

Dr. Philip Phillips

Dr. Philip Phillips

The lectures, which are free and open to the public, are held in Simmons Amphitheater/Room 106 of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. The course is required for students planning to graduate from the Honors College.

For those wanting to attend a lecture, a parking map is available at Off-campus visitors can obtain a special one-day permit at

Honors associate dean Philip Phillips, who calls it “a very distinguished lineup of speakers with a wide range of backgrounds,” gives the majority of credit for this series and theme to history professor Mary Evins.

“The speakers will provide us with new things to think about,” Phillips told the students Monday, Jan. 22, in his welcome and introduction to the series. “The speakers and you come from different disciplinary backgrounds.”

Presenters will include Derek Griffith of the Vanderbilt University Center for Medicine, Health and Society; Kasar Abdulla, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer with Valor Collegiate Academies; Steve Joiner, dean of the Lipscomb University College of Leadership and Public Service; and Anne Passino, staff attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center in Tennessee.

Dr. Mary Evins, historian, associate professor in the University Honors College and director of the MTSU chapter of the American Democracy Project

Dr. Mary A. Evins

Evins, director of the American Democracy Project at MTSU, begins the series Jan. 29 with “American Values: Immutable and Adapting.”

“Grappling with American values, broadly considered and in the smallest daily actions of our everyday lives, is how we as individuals are forming a more perfect union, or not, every day,” Evins said.

“The University Honors College advances civic learning across the disciplines, a core MTSU value, through our interdisciplinary lecture series, this semester and every semester,” she added. “This spring we’re explicitly examining American values that we as citizens must directly evaluate and in which we must personally engage.”

Other topics include “the Value of Environmental Stewardship,” “Fighting for LGBTQ Rights as a Core American Value,” “America’s Very First Core Value” and more. For the complete list, visit

— Randy Weiler (

Spring 2018 Honors Lecture Series 'American Values' graphic