Millersville University, Faculty Senate
February 11, 1998

Dr. Joel Piperberg
Associate Professor
Biology Department
Roddy Hall
Millersville, PA 17551

Dear Dr. Piperberg:

The purpose of this letter is to request that the theme for 2001-2002 be "Unity Through Diversity." The theme committee would be the M.U. Commission on Cultural Diversity and I would chair the committee.

As we begin to see the next century, Millersville and America as a whole is faced with various constituencies who are striving for self determination and self definition. At the same time, we are all in this fish bowl together. It is apparent that we are not building and can not buid unity on a pretense of sameness or by attempting to round the edges of triangles, squares, or rectangles into circles. Additionally, research indicates that while homogenous societies have less conflict, they stagnate economically, politically, and socially. Instead, during this year, students, faculty, staff, and community will learn to build relationships on difference. This is essential since heterogeneous societies are much more progressive, even though there is maybe more conflict.

Activities will center around traditional dichotomoies, men vx. women, black vs. white, Hispanic vs. Anglo, subjective vs. objective, Christians vs. Hebrews, Hebrews vs. Muslims, science vs. religion, art vs. technology, fiction vs. fact, East vs. West, etc.

In terms of process, the types of activities would include panels that would present part point and counterpart point not to the typical conclusion of win and lose, but to a win-win result. Other activities will include projects and presentations developed by diverse groups. An example may be a multimedia project by Islamic and Jewish students on the crisis in the Middle East. Another example would be an art exhibit which is a joint project of fine artists and computer scientists. A final example would be the development of culturally diverse curricula for the social sciences, the sciences, mathematics and the language arts by educators, and pure scienctists which would be presented in an exposition to which local educators would be invited.


Rita Smith-Wade-El, Ph.D.

Daniel H. Yocom, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
Millersville University


To: Joel Piperberg, Chair, University Theme Committee
From: Dan Yocom
Date: 16 February 1998
Re: Possible Idea for Academic Theme 2001-2002 (or beyond)

A series of international organizations concerned about declining biodiversity are planning the International Biodiversity Observation Year (IBOY, see
attachment). IBOY seems to be still in the planning stages and I have not been able to determine if a year has been selected. In any case, the idea for the Academic Theme would be to examine biodiversity and its importance to all of us. Ideally, the Academic theme would coincide with IBOY so that our local programming would be part of a larger international effort.

I realize that this theme may seem very similar to "Earth: The Next Generation," however, it would be more narrowly focused on biodiversity. Even with a narrower focus, I believe this topic would have rather broad appeal across campus to specific disciplines such as Biology, Earth Sciences, Geography, Education and Economics and to a general audience interested in nature and wildlife.

I will be glad to gather more information and draft a more detailed proposal if you and your committee are interested in this idea.

The International Biodiversity Observation Year

Friday, February 13, 9:00am-12:00noon, Convention Center Room TBA

Organized by Harold A. Mooney, Stanford University; Jose Sarukhan, UNAM


An integrative body of knoweldge, synthesizing the information on ecosystems, from taxonomy and systematics to populationgenetics and systems ecology, including societal interactions with them, has recently risen under the name of Biodiversity Science.

DIVERSITAS, a scientific program created under the auspices of ICSU, UNESCO, SCOPE, IUBS, IUMS and the IGBP, to stimulate Biodiversity Science, has the mission of promoting and catalyzing scientific research on fundamental aspects of biodiversity, integrating its results to policy relevant to conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity. As part of its program, DIVERSITAS is launching an initiative named International Biodiversity Observation Year (IBOY). It is envisaged as an important step in the effort to know and understand better the biological diversity of our planet, bringing Biodiversity Science to the forefront of the scientific agenda of Nations and International organizations interested in the subject. The symposium lays out the need and challenge of designing and executing IBOY.

IBOY would cover the three main levels of biological diversity (genetic, species, and ecosystems), surveying the field for the most obvious lacks in our knowledge of global patterns of Biodiversity, focusing on those areas most amenable to a short term, intensive year of international cooperation in data collection, and insuring ample participation of the world's scientific community, in both developed and developing nations. The potential integrative uses of these data in understanding and managing the Earth System will be discussed.

1998 AAAS Annual Meeting--Symposia Synopsis

Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 10:13:12-0500 (EST)
From: "Jamie M. Byrne"
Subject: Academic Theme idea for 2001-2002

Hi. I have an academic theme idea for 2001-2002 that could be called "A world of Cultures in our Own Backyard," and could focus on South Central PA's various cultures--the PA Dutch, the Old Orders, and other groups such as the Latino, Greek, and Vietnamese communities. This theme cuts across disciplines and provides ample opportunities to bring in a variety of speakers and related special events. Plus, a group of faculty in Humanities and Social Sciences have been talking about starting a Regional Cultural Studies Center at MU, and this could tie in nicely with that. Plus, it has the added advantage of bringing the community and the university closer together through joint planning of these speakers and special events. I've received feedback from faculty in Social Work, Geography, Foreign Languages, History, and others that said they would support such a theme idea. I can be reached via email at the address in this heading, or by phone at Ext. 3996 Monday and Weds. from 10-Noon, and Tues from 11-1. I can also be reached by phone at home afternoons. Thanks for your interest. I look forward to speaking with you further.

Jamie Byrne, Comm/Theatre

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