CRESSON — Mount Aloysius College will present a distinguished group of panelists during the annual spring semester Academic Honors Society Panel Discussion entitled, “Do #AllThoughtsMatter?.” The event is part of the College’s yearlong exploration of “Authentic Discourse” as the campus-wide theme for the 2017-2018 academic year. The discussion is open to the public and will be held on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 3:30 p.m. in historic Alumni Hall.

“The discussion will engage panelists in a conversation of topical and potentially controversial topics with the goal of attaining an authentic discourse that moves past buzzwords, hot takes and Fake News,” said Panel Moderator, Chris Burlingame, who serves as writing instructor at Mount Aloysius College.

“Potential topics will include the influence of social media on mental health, finding the line between free speech and misinformation, medical marijuana and the opioid epidemic, and conspiracy theories,” added Burlingame. “The panelists will employ their own expertise to offer insights about sorting through the information overload and finding truth so that they can more effectively engage as active citizens. Our panel aims to demonstrate and promote an authentic discourse that attendees will be able to transfer and apply in their everyday lives.”

Instituted by Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley, the idea of an annual theme began with the 2011-2012 academic year. Since then time there have been six explorations of various campus-wide themes including; The University’s Role in Civil Discourse, Citizenship in the 21st Century-The Common Good, The Good Life, Hospitality, two years were spent exploring Voice, and now Authentic Discourse.

Panelists for the Mount Aloysius College Honor Societies Panel Discussion include: Michael C. Ryan, or Carrolltown, Pa., a retired A-10 pilot and military officer who currently serves as North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Senior Mentor for its Comprehensive Approach Practitioner’s Course; Dr. Mary Shuttlesworth, Mount Aloysius assistant professor of psychology; Dr. Bradley Rohlf, adjunct professor of History and English; Ms. Rachel Cain, Mount Aloysius graduate assistant and assistant mock trial coach; and Mr. Cruz Rivera, retired US Army officer currently studying pre-health as a Mount Aloysius student.

Panel Moderator Chris Burlingame is in his sixth year as the writing consultant and study skills specialist at Mount Aloysius College.

He also teaches developmental reading and writing, Rhetoric I and II, and Creative Writing as an adjunct professor. Mr. Burlingame is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Literature and Criticism program.

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