Saint Martin's, Panorama City begin fifth year of Minds on the Millennium lecture series

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Lacey, Wash. - Saint Martin’s College and Panorama City will begin the fifth year of a series of free public lectures in February with a presentation by Saint Martin’s Dean of Business William McDonald Wallace on how accelerated technological developments may affect humanity in the future.

The lecture series, Minds on the Millennium, was launched in 2000 to promote intellectual conversation and the exchange of ideas based on historical, philosophical and literary topics.

“Over the last four years, the Minds on the Millennium lecture series has become established as a vigorous cooperative program between Saint Martin’s College and Panorama City,” said David Suter, Ph.D., co-director of Minds on the Millennium V. “Not only have the audiences at Panorama City been delighted by the diversity of the presentations, but Saint Martin’s faculty have heard from their colleagues about the responsiveness of the audiences there and are anxious to take part in the series. Lectures are open to the public, and I invite the greater Olympia community to discover what the people of Panorama City and the faculty of Saint Martin’s College have worked to create.”

The spring 2004 series will feature six Saint Martin’s faculty members speaking in an area of their expertise. Each lecture will be at 1:30 p.m. at Panorama City’s Quinault Auditorium, 1835 Circle Lane. For more information on Minds on the Millennium V, please call the college at (360) 491-4700.

February 12
“We Invent Technology, Then Technology Reinvents Us”
William McDonald “Don” Wallace, dean, business and economics division

Invented technology began driving human evolution long ago, but at a relatively slow pace. Today, technology advances so fast it is creating major problems worldwide, says xxx Professor Don Wallace, who will talk about how new technologies reinvent us by amplifying the power of our bodies and brains to a greater extent than most mutations to our DNA. Wallace, chief economist of commercial airplanes for the Boeing Co. before joining the Saint Martin’s faculty, will explain the deep dilemmas entailed in any successful effort to stop self-accelerating technology and will take a look at three possible futures.

February 26
“China A Year Later: Can it sustain its rapid economic growth?”
Riley Moore, Ph.D., assistant professor, economics and finance

Current economic and financial developments in China, the world’s biggest market, and their impact on U.S. business will be discussed by Riley Moore, Ph.D. Moore teaches American-style economics and finance to students in China through a program linking Saint Martin’s with Shanghai Maritime University’s Pudong Business Administration College. His research interests in international trade and China have prompted him to design an upcoming conference for Washington businesses interested in doing business with China.

March 11
“Musical Theater: A social and Cultural Commentary”
Darrell Born, chair, music department; director, Saint Martin’s Chorale

Hang on to your hats as music department chairman Darrell Born leads the audience on a cultural exploration of musical theater “greats.” The discussion will cover the rich heritage of musical theater, from early works such as the controversial “Showboat” through standards such as “Oklahoma” and “West Side Story,” concluding with recent musicals like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Rent.” Born, whose masters degree is in vocal performance, has performed regionally for Musical Theater Wichita and Opera Kansas. He was musical director for South Puget Sound Community College performances of “The Cradle Will Rock and “Mack and Mabel,” and Tumwater High School’s “Once upon a Mattress.”

March 25
“Ethnobotany in the 21st Century”
Alfredo Gomez-Beloz, Ph.D., assistant professor, biology

The recent surge of interest in complementary and alternative health practices has kindled a new interest in the use of plants for treating a variety of human ailments. Biology faculty member Alfredo Gomez-Beloz, Ph.D., will discuss the field of ethnobotany, the study of the interrelationship between people and plants, and how it can contribute to human health and well-being. His presentation also will cover the important role ethnobotony plays in cultural renovation and ecological conservation. Gomez-Beloz, a Fulbright Scholar, did his doctoral research among the Warao Indians of Venezuela and currently is studying plants used by Native Americans - notably the Squaxin Island Tribe - in the Pacific Northwest.

April 8
“Sukarno, Suharto and the Abortive Communist coup of Sept. 30, 1965”
Richard L. Langill, Ph.D., professor, political science; chair, history/political science department

An attempted 1965 communist coup in Indonesia and the coup’s aftermath left as many as one million Indonesians slaughter. The Indonesian army under Lieutenant-General Suharto took power to establish the “New Order.” Political science Professor Richard Langill, Ph.D., will trace the events surrounding the coup and subsequent takeover - and some of the contradictory explanations about them - at this presentation. Langill, who did his doctoral thesis in international relations on military and economic development in Indonesia at Washington, D.C.’s American University, chairs Saint Martin’s history/political science department.

April 22
“‘Moby Dick’ in the New Millennium”
Gloria Martin, Ph.D., professor, English; dean, humanities division

Herman Melville’s epic novel, “Moby Dick,” brought together the minute, realistic details of the much-maligned profession of whaling with a far-ranging intellectual examination of life. In her presentation about the great Melville work, English Professor Gloria Martin, Ph.D., will examine Melville’s sometimes contradictory philosophical viewpoints about humanity and the ways in which his novel speaks to modern readers. Martin, who teaches women’s literature, freshman writing and American literature, is a researcher in composition studies and in 19th-21st century American literature.

For more information:
David Suter, Minds on the Millennium co-director
Professor of religious studies
360-438-4360 or

Veronica Kessler, Minds on the Millennium co-director
Panorama City activities director

Deanna Partlow, media relations coordinator
Saint Martin’s Office of Communication
360-438-4541 or