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From the Print

Antioch College — Summer Institute series debuts

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Read the related article, “Antioch Reunion — Talking town-gown links.”

Taking advantage of Antioch College’s new academic calendar, which leaves the campus nearly empty of students in both mid-summer and late fall, the college is introducing a set of public programs under the organizational umbrellas of Summer and Winter Institutes.

The Institutes, to be offered in four- to five-week blocks, according to coordinator Don Hollister, are anticipated to feature a variety of of settings, including workshops, conferences, panels, courses and camps.

The inaugural Summer Institute debuts this month with five separate experiences and ranges in topics from bird language to artificial intelligence, to community renewal, to culturally inspired ways of knowing, to activism. (A sixth — a five-day bird watching trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks to be led by Glen Helen Institute Executive Director Nick Boutis — was canceled because not enough people signed up in time.)

“This summer is the pilot — opening the door” on plans to increase the scope of experiences each year, Hollister said this week.

“We’re planting seeds of seeds,” he said.

While the programs are designed for public participation, they are also meant to be tied to the college’s five designated areas of practice: environmental sustainability; deliberative democracy, diversity and social justice; creativity and story; well-being; and work, world, and resilient community.

And like Antioch’s Learning Collaborative, another recently introduced public initiative that offers quarter-long workshops in a range of topics, the Institutes are part of a new focus at Antioch “that the college be more than a [traditional] college,” Hollister said.

As coordinator of the Institutes’ series of events, Hollister likened himself to a planter of seeds.

“I’m not responsible for the content of any of these. I’m just sort of the gardener,” Hollister said.

He added that one of the college’s expectations for the Institutes is that once individual offerings are established, the themes are repeated, and knowledge around a particular subject deepens. 

Also, in bringing more people onto campus and into the life of the college, administrators hope to foster a broader network of supporters and “friends,” somewhat like alumni, Hollister said.

The 2019 Summer Institute schedule begins Saturday, July 13, with a day-long workshop titled “Bird Language and Nature Awareness.”

All levels of knowledge and all abilities are welcome, according to presenters Emily Foubert and Michael Blackwell, who set the participant age range at 9 and up.

“We will gather by fire, tell stories, play games, meditate with all our senses, listen to bird-language basics, enliven spirits, write, draw, and eat, all with bird behavior as our theme,” they write in the course description.

On Monday, July 15, the Institute moves off campus to Dayton Metro Library in downtown Dayton for a symposium on artificial intelligence.

Antioch alumnus Jay Tuck, class of 1968, and a U.S. defense expert, is the featured speaker. A panel discussion will include villager Amy Magnus, a research assistant professor and director of the quantum autonomy research group at the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Tuck, the author of “High-Tech Espionage” and “Evolution without Us,” can be seen on YouTube in a TED-talk that has more than 1 1/2 million views.

The next Saturday, July 20, will feature a symposium titled “Community Renewal & Re-Imagining America.”

Participants will first watch the PBS documentary “America Left Behind,” and then representatives of community redevelopment projects from three Ohio communities — Troy, Mansfield and Wilmington — will share some of their experiences and lessons they’ve learned.

After lunch, staff members from Dayton Collaboratory will lead an exercise in re-imaging America.

The following week, Antioch’s mental health counselor, Nzingha Dalila, has organized a contemplative day-long educational experience for Saturday, July 27, entitled “Flow 2019: Ways of Knowing.”

Flow refers to experiencing the connections between our physical world and metaphysical phenomena,” Dalila writes in the workshop’s description. “Being in the ‘flow’ is where students seek to realize their full potentiality by expanding their understanding of the world beyond their lives as individuals.” 

The 2019 Summer Institute offering will explore intersections of Western academic knowledge with the knowledge of indigenous people from around the world, with particular focus on how music, dance, song, and martial arts can inform contemporary wellness practices.

Presenters will represent Caribbean, South American, Native American, African and Asian cultures.

The 2019 Summer Institute will close with a “Bootcamp for Activism,” hosted by the Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom, Aug. 1–3. For more information about the bootcamp, contact CSKC Director Mila Cooper by email at mcooper@antiochcollege.edu or by phone at 937-319-0123.

For more information about the other programs, contact Don Hollister at dhollister@antiochcollege.edu or 937-830-6151.

Program and registration information is also available online at antiochcollege.edu/alumni-friends/public-programs/institutes.

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