Academic Presenters

A luncheon for special guests will be held prior to the Installation Ceremony. During the luncheon, Buena Vista University faculty will deliver brief, thought-provoking academic presentations, showcasing their specialties in a variety of inspiring topics.

The Joy of Discovery

Dr. Shawn Stone

The greatest reward of scientific enquiry is not the uncovering of truth, but the realization that the universe is so much larger than you imagined—as well as your place in it. I will share two stories with you.

Dr. Shawn Stone is a professor of physics and computer science. He is finishing his 19th year of teaching at BVU and is currently the chair of faculty senate.

VIA: Pathways and Purpose - Seeking Meaning; Meeting Self

Dr. Bethany Larson

I explore four pathways of experience: Via Positiva, the path of learning about self; Via Negativa, the path of letting go; Via Creativa, the path of new exploration; and Via Transformativa, the path of change.

Dr. Bethany Larson is an actor, director, professor, and playwright. Last fall Larson directed the debut of Woman Wonder, an original play written by Larson and six other faculty colleagues, which was selected for performance at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Des Moines in January.

Of Hot Sauce and B2s: Lateral Thinking and the Liberal Arts

Kiley Miller

I will consider why, in an age of free and equal distribution of facts, the ability to see a problem differently and to communicate the opportunity are the skills in demand.

Kiley Miller is President and CEO of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, a regional economic development organization serving Buena Vista County and nearby counties. He previously led the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance in his hometown, Mount Pleasant, Iowa. He has also been a print journalist and served in the United States Army. Miller is honored to be an adjunct instructor in the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business this academic year.

The Psychology of Excellence

Dr. Wind Goodfriend

What is the psychological difference between people who are simply average, versus those who excel? What factors help us move from ordinary to extraordinary?

Dr. Wind Goodfriend is a professor of psychology and is the assistant dean of graduate programs. She has won the Wythe Award and has been named Faculty of the Year three times. Dr. Goodfriend has published two psychology textbooks and is currently writing her third.

Tomorrow Transformed

Lucas DeWitt

Education is the key to our existence as a society. How can we help students thrive in an ever-changing world? How will BVU help shape the makers of the future?

Lucas DeWitt is an associate professor of education and director of the master’s programs in teacher leadership, curriculum, & instruction and in special education. He is an Iowa Elementary Principal of the Year and National Distinguished Principal. He has been a teacher, principal, and coach for 20 years.

When I Grow Up I Wanna Be a Beaver!

Callé Friesen

Borrowing the language and whimsy of lyrical children’s literature, I will present a unique tribute to Buena Vista University by exploring what it means to be a BVU Beaver, yesterday, today, and tomorrow!

Dr. Callé Friesen is an associate professor of education, and the Department Chair for Literacy and Early Childhood Education. Friesen serves as the Iowa representative for the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the National Council for Teachers of English (ALAN-NCTE). She is an active advocate for children’s and young adult literature and life-changing power of literacy education.