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By Barbara Reul, Editor
It’s time for another issue of Impetus! As a liberal arts college rooted in Christian spirituality and a partner in post-secondary education with the University of Regina, five key principles inform our teaching and research in the arts, fine arts, and sciences at Luther College: commitment to global citizenship; engagement in social justice; pursuit of a sustainable environment; demonstration of high ethical standards; and continuous reflection on values.
In this issue I invite you to view Luther College’s key principles with me through the lens of storytelling. Faculty, students and community members share memorable stories – including digital ones, a first for Impetus! – about preserving identity; being a university chaplain; truth and reconciliation; Regina’s Indian Residential Schools; and teaching.
Dr. Mary Vetter (Biology) eloquently describes the IDS 290AB course titled “Ecomuseums: A Sense of Place” course which she taught in the Fall 2015 semester. It involved working with the communities of White City, Balgonie, and Pilot Butte in the Rural Municipality of Edenwold, just east of Regina. “This region is in the process of developing the White Butte Ecomuseum,” Dr. Vetter writes, explaining that “a community comes together to form an ecomuseum to explore, interpret and preserve its heritage in a multifaceted and dynamic way, and to promote sustainable development.” This article includes a representative sample of digital stories prepared by students for this course. They bring the ecomuseums concept to life – literally and virtually!
In his insightful article entitled “Marking Time, Being Present – and Surviving Bombastic Events: Chaplaincy at Luther College”, Pastor Sean Bell reflects on how his story as Luther College’s Campus Chaplain has unfolded since joining us last summer. Did you know, for instance, that “Luther College and its Chaplaincy takes the disparate raw ingredients and mixes them together to create space for a unique university experience”? This definitely sounds like a recipe for success to me.
Luther College’s involvement in the Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE) programme emphasizes our institution’s ongoing commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation process, notes Dr. Brenda Anderson (Women’s and Gender Studies/Religious Studies). CRE is a national organization that trains Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to form Reconciliation Teams. Its purpose is to teach about the effects of colonialism in Canada on Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike. One of the CRE Regina Team members, Austin Josephson, shares his amazing story.
The Project of Heart (POH) at Luther College is another initiative spearheaded by Dr. Brenda Anderson (Women’s and Gender Studies/Religious Studies). She reports that over the course of seven workshops held between January 12 and February 27, 2016, more than 40 participants wanted to learn more about the Regina Indian Residential School, located at what is now close to the Paul Dojack Centre. Two students from Dr. Michelle Folk’s Religious Studies 100 class, Mirella Matenda and Elizabeth Capnerhurst, and a community participant, Sharon Hurst, tell us more about their very own POH experiences.
Six unforgettable “Stories from the Podium” were “born” when I asked some of my fellow instructors at Luther College – and myself – the following question: “Would you be willing to share a meaningful, salient story from your teaching (and learning) experience with our Impetus readership?” Much to my surprise, it took me much longer than anticipated to formulate an answer. Should I write about something that happened a long time ago or focus on an event that took place last week? How much detail should I include, and would anyone care about “my” story? My colleagues, it appears, experienced similar struggles. “Is this what you are looking for?” asked Dr. Dorothy Lane (“It’s perfect”, I replied). “I have attached three versions of this story,” Dr. Michelle Folk noted, adding “pick the one you like the best” (I did!). The words “tell me” are at the heart of the story submitted by Laura Ambrose (Biology). What did Dr. Yvonne Petry (History) and her brother Dr. Roger Petry (Philosophy) choose to share? Click on their respective contributions to find out. And if you feel compelled to ponder your own “story from the podium”, I urge you to send them to me, barbara.reul (at) uregina.ca. Thank you!
In closing I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this issue, especially the authors. I am also grateful to Michelle Clark (Manager of Alumni Relations, Development & Communications and Editor of the Luther Story) and Amber Peters (Alumni Relations, Development & Communications Assistant) for once again working their online “magic”.