Skip Navigation

News

Skip Side Navigation

Institute News

We periodically report articles of interest to our readers, but do not necessarily endorse the views of other websites or publications in which those articles also appear.

October 26, 2019

Institute Holds Virtues Strategic Plan Implementation Workshop for Norman Public Schools Partner Schools

On October 26, 2019, the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing held a Strategic Plan Implementation Workshop at Norman North High School for educators from Kennedy Elementary School, Washington Elementary School, Longfellow Middle School, Irving Middle School, Norman High School, and Norman North High School. Funded by the John Templeton Foundation and led by the Institute’s Assessment Coordinator, Dr. Michael Warren, the workshop provided leadership teams with an overview of the first 12 months of strategic plans that were collaboratively developed by ISHF and school principals. Each school’s strategic plan includes 6-10 virtue-related activities (e.g., weekly in-class virtue lessons, developing an extracurricular virtue program, etc.), a timeline for implementing the activities, and an assessment plan that involves collecting data from students, teachers, and leadership teams.   

Beyond providing leadership teams with this essential information, the workshop offered: (1) a brief presentation by Dr. Nancy Snow on virtue and virtue education, (2) a structured process for refining virtue definitions to better connect with students’ experiences, (3) time to meet with their team to plan the implementation of their school’s strategic plan, (4) resources for integrating virtues education into the classroom, and (5) opportunities to share their school’s virtue education efforts with other schools in the district.   

The workshop was attended by 29 educators, including principals, assistant principals, librarians, counselors, and teachers of various grade levels and with various areas of subject expertise. At the close of the workshop, attendees completed a survey that assessed how well key workshop objectives were achieved. Findings indicated that attendees thought the workshop was successful in achieving all five objectives, and the workshop either met or exceeded all attendees’ expectations. In addition, educators indicated that they especially valued the focused, designated time to work with colleagues on their own leadership teams, and they left the workshop thinking about how to build a greater sense of buy-in from other colleagues to help ensure that the virtues initiative has staying power.

Research Associate Position - Immediate opening

The Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing (ISHF) seeks a PhD-level research associate with expertise in evaluation to continue our work with six Norman Public Schools.  The Civic Virtues Project is being done in collaboration with educators from three of these schools to integrate compassion, fairness, and civility into their teaching.  This project will end on May 31, 2021. The Longitudinal Virtues Project (with four of these schools) and Five Year Strategic Planning Projects (with all six partner schools) has recently started and will continue for the next 15 months.  In addition, the position requires assessment of ISHF events and participation in the Kern Family Foundation Partners in Character and Educational Leadership.  Duties will include designing and administering surveys, analyzing data, and compiling reports; interacting with educators to devise and integrate strategies for cultivating virtue into their teaching and curricula; revising a Teacher's Guide to Civic Virtue, and compiling and revising a Teacher's Guide to Intellectual Virtue.  This work will done under the supervision of and in collaboration with the ISHF Director, Dr. Nancy Snow.  The salary is $50,000/year plus benefits, with supplemental pay not to exceed $12,000.  This work can be done remotely. 

For more information and to apply, please go to https://jobs.ou.edu/ and reference job #193317.

Pan-Asian summit on wisdom, morality, and character in the polarized world

May 10-13 2020

Hilton Colombo, Sri Lanka

Co-Organizers:

Santhushi Amarasuriya, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Eranda Jayawickreme, Wake Forest University, USA

Igor Grossmann, University of Waterloo, Canada

We invite proposals for the firstPan-Asian summit on wisdom, morality, and character in the polarized world, to be held on May 10-13, 2020, at the Hilton Colombo, Sri Lanka. The goal of this conference is to address the scientifically-based, psychological foundations of the ever-important concepts of wisdom, character and morality today. 

Overview: As you may already be well aware, we live in turbulent times, with rising polarization and intergroup conflicts around the world. This rise of polarization and intergroup conflict have led to social critiques that call for wisdom. Yet, what does this concept mean scientifically? How can we avoid the traps of ethnocentrism in understanding wisdom? How can it cultivated for the betterment of our common humanity?

Central topics for the conference will include

·      Empirical research on wisdom and its folk understanding

·      Empirical research on intellectual humility and open-mindedness

·      Empirical research on polarization and ways to a combat intergroup conflict

·      Empirical research on moral orientation, judgment, and meta-cognition

·      Empirical research on interventions aiming to promote character development / wisdom

Costs: The conference will be free to attend for ~ 80 selected local and foreign participants. At least 50 foreign scholars (especially those from the Asian region) will qualify for honoraria, which will be used to subsidize travel and hotel costs. 

LocationWe have selected Colombo, Sri Lanka as a location for this first summit of its kind for several reasons. First, Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic society with a long history of traditional philosophical scholarship on wisdom and a recent history of intergroup tensions and conflict. Second, the conference on wisdom is especially timely for Sri Lanka now, after a terrorist attack earlier this year, the repercussions of which are still felt throughout the country. Third, Sri Lanka remains one of the safest places to visit in South Asia due to high level of security throughout the country. Finally, Sri Lanka was crowned as the world's top tourist destination of 2018, with very attractive and affordable options for travel. In this sense, it is a perfect location for our summit.

Date: Our summit will take place in early May, when the weather offers plenty of sunshine and relativelymoderate temperatures.

We hope you will be interested in joining us for the summit, with an option to present your research on relevant research topics. Please contact characterwisdomasia@gmail.com with any questions.

This conference is supported by a generous grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation.

July 31-August 1st, 2019

Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing Hosts Civic Virtues Workshop


On July 31st and August 1st, the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing hosted a Civic Virtues Workshop at the University of Oklahoma. Led by the Institute’s Assessment Coordinator, Dr. Michael Warren, the workshop provided middle and high school teachers with an overview of a semester-long quasi-experimental study in which teachers will deliver in-class lessons on civility, compassion, and fairness. A draft of the Teachers’ Guide to Civic Virtues—a working document with over 65 virtue activities—was shared with the teachers and served as a foundation for the creation of developmentally sensitive virtue lessons. After constructing concrete lesson plans that will be implemented throughout fall 2019, teachers were briefed on an assessment plan by which the efficacy of the virtue lessons will be evaluated according to how well they foster the development of civic virtues in students’ lives. The event was rounded out with a brief lecture by Dr. Nancy Snow on the relevance of civic virtues in the lives of students, and by a sample lesson presented by Dr. Pamela Pittman-Adkins from Norman North High School. 

The workshop was attended by educators from Norman High School, Norman North High School, and Irving Middle School. In addition, school counselors, administrators, and officials from Norman Public Schools district participated. At the close of the workshop, attendees completed a survey that assessed how well key workshop objectives were achieved. A forthcoming assessment report is in progress to document the survey results. Teachers will begin in-class virtue lessons during the week of August 20, when the new school year begins.

 

July 17th, 2019

Wake Forest University Invites Applications for Post-Doctoral Fellow and Research Coordinator


The Department of Psychology and the Program for Character and Leadership at Wake Forest University invite applications for a three-year post-doctoral research fellowship and a three-year research coordinator position beginning in August 2019. We are seeking dynamic, detail-oriented,         and interpersonally skilled individuals to play key roles in designing and implementing innovative         research on how to help people become the best versions of themselves, both during their college         experience as well as in the face of serious life challenges. The position is funded by a research         grant from the John Templeton Foundation and is led by Drs. Eranda Jayawickreme (Psychology)         and Michael Lamb (Interdisciplinary Humanities/Program for Leadership and Character). More         information on the positions can be found here and here.

        Two Postdoctoral Fellows in Engineering (with focus on learning assessment, program evaluation,         and character education): The new Department of Engineering at Wake Forest University invites         applications for two Postdoctoral Fellows to begin fall semester of 2019 and be renewable for one         or two additional years. The Postdoctoral Fellows will support innovative approaches to curriculum         design, assessment of student learning and attainment of program outcomes, character education,         accreditation efforts, and contribute to teaching as needed. Candidates should hold a Ph.D. in         engineering, engineering education, assessment and measurement, learning sciences, psychology,         STEM education, or other related fields. The successful candidate will diversify our team and will         provide significant educational contributions in support of our students’ development as         engineers. The position is funded by a grant led by Drs. Olga Pierrakos (Engineering) and Michael         Lamb (Interdisciplinary Humanities/Program for Leadership and Character). More information can         be found here.

June 14, 2019

Call for Papers - Populism and the Recovery of the Intellectual Virtues


An announcement from Greg Peterson (South Dakota State University):

Our SDSU Ethics Lab has recently received a South Dakota Humanities Council Grant to support a small workshop on "Populism and the Recovery of the Intellectual Virtues." The workshop is Sept 25-27, and will feature Heather Battaly (Philosophy, University of Connecticut) and Kirk Hawkins (Political Science, Brigham Young University). For six participants who commit to coming and writing an article for a proposed edited volume, we are offering $1,000 ($800 for attendance and $200 upon receipt of the article at the end of December). If you feel like this is up your alley, I encourage you to apply. If you could kindly forward information about the workshop to others who might be interested, we would deeply appreciate it.  More information can be found at http://populismandintellectualvirtues.org.


Call for Papers

Scholars in philosophy and related disciplines are encouraged to submit a proposal for participation in a workshop at South Dakota State University on September 25-27, 2019. The topic is: “Populism and the Recovery of the Intellectual Virtues.” Paper proposals may be on any topic as it relates to the project theme, including papers on populism and populist movements, intellectual virtues and virtue epistemology, democratic virtues, deliberative democracy, epistemic democracy, political cognition, and democracy and science. Proposals should include the following documents and information:

  1. A short cover letter including Name, Role and Institutional Affiliation
  2. An academic C.V.
  3. A description of a proposed paper (300-500 words) addressing some aspect of the workshop theme, “Populism and the Recovery of the Intellectual Virtues.”

Six selected scholars will receive $1,000 as a stipend ($800 for attending the workshop and $200 upon submission of a paper by December 31 for publication in a proposed edited volume). Applications may be sent by email to michael.berhow@sdstate.edu. Application Deadline: June 30

Learn more

View the archived version of this post

May 10, 2019

Extended Deadline for European Liberal Arts Conference


Institute director, Nancy Snow, will present a keynote address at an international conference in Spain next year. We include here the call for papers. The deadline has been extended to July 1, 2019.

* * *

III European Liberal Arts and Core Texts Education Conference
Caring for Souls: Can Core Texts Educate Character?

University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain)
17-19 October 2019

Plenary Lectures:

Rosalía Baena (University of Navarra)
“Reading for Pleasure: from Narrative Competence to Character Education”

David Carr (University of Edinburgh)
“From Characterization to Parable and Allegory: Varieties of Moral Imagination in Fictional Literature”

John F. Crosby (Franciscan University of Steubenville)
“Newman’s Vision of the Intellectual Virtues”

Alkeline van Lenning (Tilburg University)
“The World’s Desperate Need for Small Heroes”

Nancy Snow (University of Oklahoma)
“Virtue, Vice, and Saintliness in The Brothers Karamazov

Plenary Round Table

  • “Character Projects: Learning from Practice and Research”
  • Confirmed participants:
  • Concepción Naval (University of Navarra)
  • Edward Brooks (University of Oxford)

Topic summary 

Recent debates on higher education are focusing on interdisciplinarity and problem-solving skills, but tend to forget the classic goals of a liberal education, namely, personal growth and the engagement with the fundamental questions of being human.

The reading of core texts – i.e. classic texts from philosophical, historical, literary, cultural, or scientific traditions involving ‘the best that has been written’ – eminently allows for a reflection on the great questions of human existence. They allow the student to develop certain intellectual dispositions or character traits whereby the student gains agency in navigating the different knowledge areas within the realm of the university and life outside it.

Can core text education provide for character education and, in this way, promote intellectual development and personal growth, resulting in students who are engaged with, and care for, the world? And, if so, how, and which virtues? Which virtues or vices are discussed in particular core texts? How does core text education promote community?

Call for papers

The conference invites proposals on any topic related to liberal arts and core texts education in the European context. However, in line with the focus of the conference we are especially keen to receive paper proposals that address the role of character education in universities and, particularly, those proposals that connect core texts to the formation of character, both in the core texts themselves and in core text education. 

Papers are required to be seminar style essays: approximately 5 pages double spaced. The usual presentation time allotted to each paper is 25 minutes (including Q&A). The language of the conference, including contributed papers, is English.

The extended deadline for paper proposals and / or panel proposals is Monday, 1 July 2019 (midnight). Proposals are submitted by sending the following information to coreconference@unav.es:

Your name, affiliation and e-mail address.

  • A title for the paper(s).
  • An abstract for the paper (max. 500 words).
  • For panel proposals only: a title for and description of the panel theme (max. 250 words).

You will be notified whether your proposal can be accommodated before 20 July 2019. Should you need an answer before that date, please indicate so in your submision. For questions or further information about the conference, please contact coreconference@unav.es or a member of the organizing committee.

Undergraduate students may send paper proposals. There will be special panels for them. Please, indicate clearly if you are an undergraduate student.

Publication

Selected contributed papers will be considered for publication in a volume on  "Character education in universities".

 

Deadline for submission of the paper (max. 8000 words): 10 January 2020, by email to coreconference@unav.es

The Scientific Committee will evaluate proposals with the following criteria:

  • The topic of the paper is "Character education in universities".
  • The quality of the foundation of the theoretical framework and the methodology used.
  • Scope of the results.
  • Quality of the discussion and conclusions.

Organizing committee

  • Kathleen Burk (ACTC)
  • Emma Cohen de Lara (Amsterdam University College)
  • Reyes Duro (University of Navarra)
  • Rebekah Howes ( University of Winchester)
  • Gesche Keding (Leuphana University)
  • Álvaro Sánchez-Ostiz (University of Navarra)
  • José M. Torralba (University of Navarra)

For further information about the conference, see: https://www.unav.edu/en/web/instituto-core-curriculum/congreso-europeo-actc/home

View the archived version of this post

May 1, 2019

Past Postdoctoral Fellow Publishes on Intellectual Humility and Acquiring Knowledge


Megan Haggard, assistant professor of psychology at Fancis Marion University, recently published a co-authored article titled "Links between intellectual humility and acquiring knowledge" in the Journal of Positive Psychology. Haggard was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute during the 2016-17 academic year. Some of the research outlined in the article was completed while she was at the Institute. 

Haggard and her co-authors found that intellectual humility (IH) "was associated with a variety of characteristics associated with knowledge acquisition, including reflective thinking, need for cognition, intellectual engagement, curiosity, intellectual openness, and open-minded thinking. IH was also associated with less social vigilantism, which may promote collaborative learning. Finally, IH was associated with an intrinsic motivation to learn. These links may help explain the observed relationship between IH and possessing more knowledge." 

Read the full article

April 8, 2019

Social Responsibility and Business Ethics Forum


The University of Oklahoma will be hosting a Social Responsibility and Business Ethics Forum on April 26 at the Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business in Oklahoma City.

If you are attending for continuing education credits there is a $300 fee, all others attend free.

Please visit the forum’s web page for more details and to register online: price.ou.edu/ethicsforum

April 8, 2019

Save the Date - Public Lecture with Professor Lewis Gordon


On September 20, the Self, Virtue and Public Life Project will hold a public lecture with Professor Lewis Gordon. The event is the first in a series of lectures on "Faith and Civic Virtue in Public Life." 

The lecture will be held in Meacham Auditorium at the University of Oklahoma. Further details will be provided soon. Mark your calendars now!

Learn more about this event

View the archived version of this post

March 25, 2019

Nancy Snow Quoted in Article on College Admissions Scandal


Institute director, Nancy Snow, was recently quoted in an article written by Jennifer Graham titled, "The college admissions scandal revealed what can happen when a moral compass breaks. How can people fix this?" Published by Deseret News of Salt Lake City, the article discusses the ethical dimensions the admissions scandal that has afflicted several top universities in the U.S. Graham writes:

The scandal has exposed multiple ethical fault lines in American society, says Nancy Snow, director of the Institute of the Study of Human Flourishing at the University of Oklahoma and a specialist in virtue ethics and moral psychology.

These fault lines include a justice system that is harsher to poor people of color than to affluent whites, and one that is heavily invested in the ethically dubious but necessary practice of plea bargaining, she said.

More pointedly, the scandal also asks a question of all Americans: If moral standards are encoded in our DNA, as many theologians and philosophers have taught, how can people go so wildly off course?

And when our moral compass malfunctions, how can we recalibrate?

Read the full article

March 15, 2019

Nancy Snow to Present Research on Hope at Princeton University


In April 2019, Institute director Nancy Snow will present her research on hope at a colloquium held at Princeton University. The colloquium is sponsored by the University Center for Human Values, and will feature presentations from 14 scholars from around the country.

Learn more

View the archived version of this post

March 13, 2019

Scott Beck Selected as Principal of the Year


We are pleased to report that Scott Beck was selected as principal of the year by the Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals (OASSP)! Beck is the head principal of Norman High School, one of the Institute's first educational partners. He is also a member of our leadership team. 

According to the joint press release by OASSP and Norman Public Schools,

As principal, Dr. Beck has focused on building a strong sense of well-being and safety among his school community as a foundation for deep and meaningful learning experiences. Norman High School (NHS) strategically engages students and community stakeholders around issues like cultural awareness, restorative practices, and tiered-intervention practices. With graduation rates of 91% in 2017 and 92.1% in 2018, NHS connects students with a wide variety of options including Advanced Placement classes, career-tech coursework, robotics, and five world languages.

The press release also highlighted our partnership with Norman High School, especially our most recent project, the Virtue Resource Library:

Beck’s commitment to student growth is also seen in the partnership his school has developed with the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing at the University of Oklahoma (ISHF). In 2018, NHS and ISHF embarked on a groundbreaking endeavor, the development of a Virtue Resource Library (VRL) to serve students, parents, educators and community members. A $100,000 project, the VRL is a collection of thousands of physical and virtual resources addressing relevant topics including: mindfulness, virtue, self –care, civility, mental health, and more.

Read the full press release

Read the Norman Transcript's story

View the archived version of this post

March 1, 2019

Pan-Asian Symposium on Morality, Character and Wisdom


Dear Friends of the Institute -

We are pleased to post this recent announcement about a new conference on morality, character and wisdom.



Pan-Asian Symposium on Morality, Character and Wisdom

July 23rd-25th 2019
Colombo, Sri Lanka

We would like to draw your attention to the first Pan-Asian symposium on Morality, Character, and Wisdom, July 23rd-25th in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

With the generous support of the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the symposium will bring together top scientists interested in the questions of morality, character development, and wisdom (e.g., empathy, open-mindedness, humility). The symposium aims to providing a novel platform for fostering meaningful research connections for scholars from different parts of the world. It will also include a session on applying character virtues and wisdom in medical settings. It will be the first meeting of its kind in the Asian region.

We are happy to offer travel honoraria to subsidize travel and hotel costs to accepted participants (we anticipate providing 50 awards, with priority given to researchers from the Asian region).

The format of the symposium is single‐session, with a mix of keynotes, short “data-blitz” format flash talks, a poster session, a presentation of new funding opportunities, workshops on state-of-the-art measurement of virtues and wisdom, and cultural activities. To ensure the symposium will foster discussion in a small-group setting across specialists in the fields of psychology, philosophy, and education, the conference is limited to 70 participants. The symposium will begin with the theme of morality and character on day one, followed by a wisdom theme on day two, and concluded with a morning session on day three focused on morality, character, and wisdom in the medical setting.

We invite both junior and senior researchers to submit a 150 words summary of their proposed presentation by April 1st, 2019 online here.

Inquiries about the symposium or location can be directed to characterwisdomasia@gmail.com. The conference will take place at Hilton Colombo, which has been awarded the title of Sri Lanka’s Leading Hotel and Sri Lanka’s Leading Business Hotel at the World Travel Awards.

Best regards,

Eranda Jayawickreme
Igor Grossmann
Santushi Amarasuriya


View the archived version of this post

February 27, 2019

Intellectual Virtues Institute in Long Beach, CA


Our friends at the Intellectual Virtues Academy are hosting an Intellectual Virtues Institute on June 24-27 in Long Beach, CA, funded by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation. We include here the text from their announcement.


Greetings from Intellectual Virtues Academy!

Reconnect with your passion for teaching and wrestle with "big questions" in education during this summer's Intellectual Virtues Institute ("IVI"). Learn the "principles and practices" of educating for the qualities of a creative and critical learner -- such as curiosity, open-mindedness, and intellectual humility -- from leading researchers and expert practitioners. IVI will give you an opportunity to reflect on your teaching practice and provide you with practical tools on teaching for thinking in the 21st century. 

Educators worldwide are encouraged to apply for this rare opportunity. Groups of two or more teachers from the same school site are encouraged to apply. Tuition for the Institute will be covered by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation and participants will receive $1,000 stipend for attending the entire series. Submit your application by the March 22, 2019 deadline to be included. Applicants will be notified of acceptance into IVI by mid-April. 

Apply today!

The Intellectual Virtues Institute will be held from June 24 - 27, 2019 (First Session) in Long Beach, California. IVI kicks off with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Monday, June 24, and continues through Thursday, June 27 with seminars, break-out sessions, studies of the most recent research, and activities led by researchers and practitioners alike. Visit the IVI website to learn more about this year’s schedule of events. A follow-up two-day Second Session will be held in the Summer of 2020, dates to be announced at the IVI.

For more information, visit www.academylongbeach.org/IVI.

To engage with curiosity,

Intellectual Virtues Academy
Email: IVI@academylongbeach.org
Phone: 562-283-4456

View the archived version of this post

February 11, 2019

How Learning Happens Video Series


On January 15, Edutopia (the George Lucas Educational Foundation) released How Learning Happens, a series of more than 20 videos showcasing teaching practices, grounded in the science of learning and development, that educators can use in their classrooms right away. The series was produced in collaboration with the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development and with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Turnaround for Children, The Science of Learning and Development Initiative, Learning Policy InstituteAmerican Institutes for Research and EducationCounsel collaborated closely with Edutopia to develop the content. 

Pairing brain and social science research with real-life examples from schools, the videos feature expertise in science and practice from Turnaround Founder and Senior Science Advisor, Pamela Cantor, M.D. and Learning Policy Institute President and CEO Linda Darling-Hammond, Ed.D.

View the video series

Archived version of this post

February 6, 2019

Linda Zagzebski's Persian Translation of "Virtues of the Mind" Receives Prestigious Award


In 1996, professor of philosophy Linda Zagzebski published Virtues of the Mind: An Inquiry into the Nature of Virtue and the Ethical Foundations of Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 1996). The book quickly became a landmark work in contemporary epistemology, and has been translated into multiple languages over the past decade. The Persian edition, translated by Amirhossein Khodaparast, recently won Iran’s Book of the Year Award for western philosophy translations. This is Iran’s most important annual award for books in categories of religion, philosophy, social sciences, language, applied sciences, art and literature. The award ceremony was held on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Distinguished guests at the ceremony included president Rouhani, various government cultural ministers, and some of the most important figures in Iran’s scientific community.

Linda Zagzebski is George Lynn Cross Research Professor and Kingfisher College Chair of the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at the University of Oklahoma. She is also on the leadership team for OU’s Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing, and serves as a core project team member for the Self, Virtue and Public Life project.

View the archived version of this post

January 30, 2019

University College to Host Third "This I Believe" Event

On February 5, 2019, from 3:30-5:00pm, University College will host their third "This I Believe: OU" event in Meacham Auditorium. A select group of first-year students who took Gateway in Fall 2018 and faculty, staff, alumni, and community members will present their personal "This I Believe" essays. This event is a wonderful opportunity to come together as a community, share perspectives, and grow in our deepening understanding of human flourishing. 

"This I Believe: OU" was originally created in partnership with OU's Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing, funded through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. That grant ended in August 2018, but we are delighted that University College was able to continue the "This I Believe: OU" events.

Join us to hear OU freshman and other invited guests offer their personal reflections on what matters to them, viewed through the perspective of virtue. Invited guests include:

  • Robert Con Davis-Undiano, Ph.D., Presidential Professor of English and Neustadt Professor of Comparative Literature
  • J.D. Baker, OU alumnus and special assistant to the Oklahoma City Mayor
  • Janna Storey Martin, Ph.D., OU alumnus and past High School teacher
  • Clarke Stroud, Director of Football Operations for Coach Lincoln Riley at OU and past OU Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Learn more about this event

View the archived version of this post

January 7, 2019

Institute Director Presents Research on Empathy


In September 2018, Institute director Nancy Snow participated in a webinar conference titled, “Empathy and Emotions in Morality, Communication, and Human Life.” Her presentation was on “Compassion, Empathy, and Prosocial Behavior.” A video of that presentation is available above.

Other speakers at the conference included Institute advisory board member, Darcia Narvaez, Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame; Michael Slote, UST Professor of Ethics and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami; Gustavo Carlo, Millsap Professor of Diversity at the Department of Human Development and Family Science at the University of Missouri; and Michael Frazer, Lecturer in Political and Social Theory in the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language, and Communication Studies at the University of East Anglia, UK.

The event was co-sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Department of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. 

View the archived version of this post

December 13, 2018

Virtue Resource Library Opens at Norman High School


In spring 2018, Dr. Nancy Snow (University of Oklahoma) and Dr. Scott Beck (Norman High School) gathered a team of teachers and librarians to compile a "Virtue Resource Library," containing books, articles, lesson plans, videos, and other media. The resource is located in Norman High School's Learning Commons and is available for all Oklahoma educators. Currently, it houses 3,840 print books, 52 websites and 12 PDFs.

On December 10, 2018, the library was introduced to the Norman community during Norman High School's Creativity and Learning Showcase. We comemorated the openning of the library with poetry readings of their own work by students from Norman High School, Norman North High School, Irving Middle School, Kennedy Elementary, Longfellow Middle School, Washington Elementary, Odyssey Leadership Academy, Santa Fe South High School and the Academy of Classical Christian Studies.

Download the program (PDF)  

View pictures of this event

Visit the Virtue Resource Library Website

Learn more about this event

December 5, 2018

Graduate Student Cross-Training Fellowships


The Society of Christian Philosophers invites applications for its Graduate Student Cross-Training Fellowship Program, with fellowships to begin fall 2019. The program is intended to equip graduate student members of the Society of Christian Philosophers with an opportunity to take up to one academic year to develop competency in an empirical science connected with their research.

Up to five fellowships will be awarded. Each Fellowship will provide recipients with a stipend of $31,000, plus an additional research fund for the applicant of $3,000. For more details and application instructions, please visit  http://kevintimpe.com/gsct.html.

Funding is provided by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

November 27, 2018

Michael Spezio and Team Find Humility is Key to Flourishing Communities and Functioning Democracy


Featured Image: Jean Venier, founder of l’Arche and recipient of the 2015 Templeton Prize.
Photo by Elodie Perriot. Copyright 2011. Used with permission.


In 2016 the Self, Motivation and Virtue Project awarded a research grant to Michael Spezio (Scripps College) and Robert Roberts (Baylor University) to explore models of humility in “stable communities of care, forgiveness, and reconciliation.” The team’s research included extensive interviews with participants at l’Arche USA and l’Arche International (founded by Jean Venier, pictured above), and with the residents and staff at Homeboy Industries (based in Los Angeles, CA).

Building on that research, Spezio, Roberts and their fellow researcher Gregory Peterson (South Dakota State University) have suggested that humility is important for sustaining flourishing communities and democracies.

According to a recent press release, the team believes that

empathy proceeds from the mindset of accepting people based upon nothing more than a shared humanity, rather than their relatability or acceptability, which are concepts rooted in “in-group/out-group” mentality. According to Spezio, a rejection of “in-group/out-group” thinking is central to the functioning of a liberal democracy: “A liberal democracy takes trust in others. Without trust that others are going to keep you ‘in the in-group’ or dominant circle, liberal democracy is going to break down—we are going to all seek ways of creating our own or finding the dominant circle, and then it all devolves into being about nothing but power.”

Their work is now garnering national attention, having been reported in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Houston Chronicle. To learn more, read the team’s Self, Motivation and Virtue research project description.

View the archived version of this post

November 16, 2018

Eleven Books for Tolerance and Understanding


We are pleased to share the "11 Books" list from our friends at World Literature Today. The list was compiled by the University of Oklahoma's Schusterman Center for Judaic and Israel Studies, which is directed by professor Alan Levenson, Schusterman/Josey Chair in Judaic History. We include here the introduction to the list.

"In the wake of the October 27 mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the University of Oklahoma’s Schusterman Center for Judaic and Israel Studies sponsored a vigil on November 1 at the Hillel center on campus. In honor of the eleven victims of the massacre and those injured in the attack, the Schusterman Center has assembled the following list of eleven books to facilitate reflection, to promote tolerance, and to foster understanding. Each year, November 16 marks the International Day for Tolerance, based on the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance, which UNESCO adopted and proclaimed in 1995."

View the 11 books list

View the archived version of this post

For more news items, visit our News Archive