North Central College - Naperville, IL

International programs hosts symposium with speakers, faculty panels

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April 6, 2011—As part of its yearlong international focus, North Central College will present a symposium titled “Contemporary India and the Environment” on Thursday, April 14.

Guest speakers and North Central faculty and students will give presentations. An Indian dance performance and Indian supper are also part of the symposium, presented by the College’s Office of International Programs.

Free and open to the public, the symposium takes place from 4 to 9 p.m. in Heininger Auditorium in the College’s Larrance Academic Center, 309 E. School St., Naperville. From 4 to 6 p.m. the public is invited to participate in three concurrent sessions on various topics. The sessions with panel discussions resume from 7 to 9 p.m., ending with a dance performance by the Natya Dance Theatre, a professional Indian dance company based in Chicago. An Indian vegetarian supper and dance demonstration will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. in the lobby at Heininger Auditorium.

Keynote speakers are Kathleen Morrison, professor of anthropology and social sciences at the University of Chicago; Prakasam Tata, professor of environmental sciences and health at the Maharajah Institute of Medical Sciences in Andhra Pradesh, India, and executive director at the Center for the Transformation of Waste Technology in Wheaton, Ill.; and Porus Dadabhoy, president of India Development Coalition of America.

Jack Shindler, North Central professor of English, director of international programs and event organizer, said, “This is the second in a series of annual spring symposia celebrating the College’s annual international focus. We hope the symposia will be an annual tradition, focusing on guest speakers and student and faculty work and open to the public.”

The speakers:
Kathleen Morrison received her Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley and is professor of anthropology and social sciences at the University of Chicago. She studies the archaeology and historical anthropology of South Asia with a focus on precolonial and early colonial south India. Since 2004, she has been director of the University of Chicago’s Center for International Studies, which sponsors and coordinates activities related to research, teaching, curriculum and public outreach on global and international topics.

Prakasam Tata received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University and worked at Cornell University before joining the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD). He has done extensive work on wastewater treatment technologies at MWRD and also on the land application of biosolids from wastewater treatment. He is professor of environmental sciences and health at the Maharajah Institute of Medical Sciences in Andhra Pradesh, India, and executive director at the Center for the Transformation of Waste Technology in Wheaton, Ill.

Porus Dadabhoy
is president of India Development Coalition of America, which serves as a liaison among various organizations to bring awareness about sustainability, harmony among castes and religions, job creation and new technologies to villages in India. He will talk about the work being done to improve waste water treatment in one of the most polluted places on the planet—Vapi, Gujarat, in India.

The program schedule:
4-6 p.m. sessions:
4-4:40 p.m. Opening session presented by Morrison and Tata
4:45-5:15 p.m. Morrison will lead session one, a student panel will lead session two
5:20-5:50 p.m. Tata will lead session one, Dadabhoy will lead session two

6-7 p.m. supper:
Indian cuisine and dance demonstration by Natya Dance Theatre

7-9 p.m. sessions:
7-7:30 p.m. Panel discussion with Tata; R. Devadoss Pandian, North Central vice president for academic affairs; and Revati Natesan, ThinkGlobal Arts Foundation founder; with questions by North Central student Sid Yadav  
7:35-8:05 p.m. Tata will lead session one, Dadabhoy will lead session two
8:10-8:40 p.m. Morrison will lead session one, session two is a panel of North Central  faculty members Bill Muck, assistant professor of political science; Brian Hoffert, associate professor of religious studies and history; and Shereen Ilahi, assistant professor of history
8:45-9 p.m. Dance performance by Natya Dance Theatre

Founded in 1861 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in the Historic District of Naperville, Illinois—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live”—North Central College is just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes.

Contact: Nancy Dunker, associate director of public relations, 630-637-5306

04-13-2011