Events Details - spring 2022

Roots of Knowledge: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Event

Presented by: Roots of Knowledge

January 18 and 19, 2022 all day

Commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy with our free civil rights scavenger hunt!  All day in the Bingham Gallery.


Clothing Matters: Sartorial Choices as a Window to Culture and Meaning

Presented by: La Beene

January 20, 2022 at 2 pm

Our knowledge of history is often comprised of major events—wars, successions, government formation, inventions. However, battles are fought in armor, royalty wear coronation robes, and government and military leaders attach pins to their ties or wear heels of a certain height or color to make a particular impression. Material culture is a primary site of inquiry that can help us understand not just what knowledge matters, but how that knowledge is formed in physical, tactile, and intimate ways. Clothing Matters: Sartorial Choices as a Window to Culture and Meaning will discuss how the performative act of dressing oneself matters, what it says (and doesn’t say) not just for the practical but also the philosophical, psychological, and often ridiculous ways people express themselves through fashion.

More about La Beene

La Beene is an Associate Professor of Costume Design and Technology at UVU, where she heads up the BFA in Theatre design program and serves as Associate Chair. She has an MFA in Costume Design and Technology from Brigham Young University and has taught at the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She currently serves as the Commissioner for the Costume Design & Technology Commission for the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and has served as the Chair for the Intermountain Desert Section of USITT. La maintains an active professional design portfolio, having designed nearly 50 productions in the past 10 years for theatre, dance, and opera across the west, including UVU, Sundance, Salt Lake Acting Company, Plan B Theatre Co., Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Clime International, and BYU.


'Woman is Born Free’: Women in the French Revolution

Presented by: Jenna Nigro

January 27, 2022 at 1 pm

The Roots of Knowledge window depicts several significant people from the revolutionary era of the late 1700s, including Madame Roland, an important figure in the history of the French Revolution. How did she participate in and shape the events of the revolution? How did other French women support the revolution? To what degree were their demands for rights successful? What was their relationship to revolutionary violence—and why did some face the guillotine? This lecture will tell the stories of several women in the French Revolution. It will highlight moments when women—through their ideas or actions—shaped the course of this important event in world history.

More about Jenna Nigro

Jenna Nigro is an assistant professor of French and West African history at UVU. She has taught in UVU’s history program since 2013, including a course on the French Revolution. Her published work focuses on French imperialism in Senegal in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.


Trashed: The risks and rewards of plastics

Presented by: Sally Rocks, Assistant Professor – Chemistry

February 3, 2022 at 1 pm

The course of our history and our daily lives have been shaped by the synthetic materials around us, principally plastics. From building materials to medicine, we have created materials that have transformed our world for the better. Plastics have revolutionized our lives. However, the very properties we treasure in these materials, their stability and ease of preparation, are now also what are causing harm. The synthetic materials chemistry has enabled us to create are nowcausing environmental damage. We created these materials through great scientific advancement, and it will take another leap of science to help us destroy them.

More about Sally Rocks, Assistant Professor – Chemistry

Sally Rocks graduated from Bucknell University with a BS degree in Chemistry in 2004. She received her PhD from the University of Rochester in 2009 while studying the mechanisms of non-heme iron enzymes involved in the bioremediation of chlorinated pollutants. After receiving her PhD, she worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University exploring the role of bacteria in mercury methylation. Sally then moved to Utah and worked in Research and Development for FLSmidth A/S, a global equipment and process supplier to the mining and cement industries. After seven years in industry, Sally transitioned to academia and is currently an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Utah Valley University. At UVU, Sally conducts research in the areas of bio-inorganic chemistry and environmental chemistry.


Managing Risk - Then and Now

Presented by: Laura C. Ricaldi, PhD, CFP®

February 10, 2022 at 1 pm

Oops! How am I going to afford this car accident? Will my family be okay if I were to pass away tomorrow? Managing risks has been an important practice throughout time. A main tool to manage risks is insurance. Using insurance to manage risk dates back to the ancient world. The insurance industry has evolved over time to protect businesses and individuals from risks. This presentation will explore the historical and modern applications of insurance and managing risks.

More about Laura C. Ricaldi, PhD, CFP®

Laura Ricaldi received a BBA in accounting from Texas Tech University. She worked for the Bank of New York in New York City as a mutual fund accountant for a year before moving back to Texas. Once in Texas, she completed her MBA with an emphasis in Management & Leadership in 2008. In her last semester of her MBA coursework, she took a personal finance class that changed her life. She decided that she wanted to help people save for their financial goals; the best way to make the impact she wanted was to work on a Ph.D. so she could teach others how to help families. She began the Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech university and graduated before moving to Utah. Dr. Ricaldi has several years of teaching experience, both online and face-to-face. She enjoys UVU’s engaged learning mission and tries to bring as much to the classroom as possible. She’s excited to be part of UVU’s nationally recognized Personal Financial Planning program. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and exercising.


Date Night in the Bingham Gallery

Presented by: Roots of Knowledge

February 11, 2022 from 5 - 8 pm

Grab a date for a free evening of games, valentines, and refreshments in our stained-glass gallery!


What We See, What We Do, and Who We Are: Roots of Visual Literacy

Presented by: Erika Johnson

February 17, 2022 at 1 pm

We are a storytelling people, and while we may not have always had the written word nor contemporary verbal abilities to share our stories, we have created and continue to create visuals to share those stories. This presentation adds to arguments of storytelling as visual literacy, and while visuals are a priori to written words, they are also cohort to textual literacy.

More about Dr. Erika Johnson

Dr. Erika Johnson is a Texan, and she earned a doctoral degree in Rhetoric and a Graduate Certificate in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies from Texas universities. She has experience as a writing tutor, teaching Basic Composition, Composition I and Composition II, British literature, and digital rhetoric at community colleges and universities. Her pedagogy and research focus is the marginalization in and of Basic Writing, visual rhetoric, and multiple literacies, with specific attention to digital literacies and gender studies. And, just as important, she is an all-things sci-fi fan.


The Logic of Gender

Presented by: Kelli Potter

February 24, 2022 at 1 pm

Consider, if you will, two seemingly unrelated topics: logic and gender. The dominant view in the west is that logic is unassailable and impartial. This view scoffs at the idea that logic could be political or biased in any way. However, this view is mistaken. Logic is political. And western or “classical” logic is one that justifies the domination of marginalized groups. Classical logic is binary, involving two mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories: the True and the False. It sees the world as black and white, always privileging one category over another. This strict binary is imbedded in our conceptual frameworks, including that of gender. And the gender binary justifies not only the oppression of women, but also of transgender and intersex people. How should we deal with this problem? Do we have to abandon logic? Or is it possible to construct a logic that isn’t oppressive, but rather liberatory? In this talk, I will attempt to answer these questions.

More about Kelli D. Potter

Kelli D. Potter is Associate Professor of Philosophy and member of the Religious Studies board at Utah Valley University. She has published numerous articles on philosophy of religion and Mormon theology, including the recent “Trans and Mutable Bodies” in the Routledge Handbook of Mormonism and Gender. She also has research interests in the philosophy of logic and the philosophy of gender


Fostering Educational Equity by Sustaining Roots of Knowing & Culture

Presented by: Laurie Toro

March 3, 2022 at 1 pm

During this presentation we will examine the controversies underpinning culturally sustaining pedagogy, which at it’s heart is the practice of sustaining our individual roots of knowledge and culture. We’ll problematize the academic expectation of code-switching and introduce code-meshing as an alternative to privileging monocultural and monolingual norms.

More about Laurie Toro

Laurie Toro is the Director of Faculty Development at Utah Valley University. She earned her M.A. in Community Leadership from Westminster College and completed a B.A. in English at Utah Valley University. Her passions and research interests focus on race, culture, identity, leadership, and equity in education.


Unfolding Connections between Hidden Figures and Origami

Presented by: Dr. Violeta Vasilevska

March 17, 2022 at 1 pm

“Hidden Figures” is a 2016 American movie about forgotten African American women who helped win the space race. Origami is an ancient art of paper folding that can result in complex, beautiful, and eye-catching paper designs. The presentation will discuss the math behind the movie and the amazing Origami folds, and in addition, will draw connections between the movie, Origami, and space.

More about Dr. Violeta Vasilevska

Content for Accordion Item #1Dr. Vasilevska received her doctorate degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and joined the Department of Mathematics at Utah Valley University in 2010. She is passionate about teaching; and in her classes, she implements various active learning, student-centered approaches and cultivates an inclusive, interactive, and engaged environment. Her research interests are diverse, ranging from topics in pure mathematics to topics in math education. She enjoys mentoring students through undergraduate research. Since 2007, she has been leading and participating in various outreach programs that popularize mathematics, especially ones that encourage and support women in mathematics. Among her hobbies are her love for Origami, reading, and traveling to learn about different cultures.


Roots of Knowledge - Connecting Students, Stories, and Understandings through the Windows

Presented by: Debora Escalante

March 24, 2022 at 1 pm

This presentation will address the following questions. How can we use these in our own teaching to help our students make meaning from their educational experience? What powerful connections are found in the windows that can provoke essential questions? How can grappling with those questions lead to enduring understandings? And, how can connections in the windows help students create meaning from the world in which they live?

More about Debora Escalante

Debora Escalante is an Associate Professor and Graduate Studies Program Director in the School of Education at Utah Valley University. She earned her Ph.D. in Instructional Design at Utah State University and completed a B.A. and M.A. in Theatre at Brigham Young University. Her research focuses on the development of models for K-12 curriculum correlation and integration and elementary arts integration.


Ghosts' Stories: Lived Experiences of Persons with Albinism in Africa

Presented by: Sarah Hall

March 31, 2022 at 1 pm

During this presentation we will consider how physical health challenges, cultural myths, and discrimination impact the lives of persons with albinism in Tanzania. We will explore how misconceptions about the cause of albinism contribute to conflict in families and communities. We will discuss amputations and killings of persons with albinism in recent years, including the role of witch doctors and end-users. We will examine obstacles to medical care, financial security, and mental health. Lastly, we will discuss what community-based organizations are doing about it and strategies to consider moving forward.

More about Dr. Sarah Hall

Dr. Sarah Hall holds a Ph.D. in Global Health, Master of Public Administration with an International Nonprofit Management emphasis, and B.A. in English with minors in African Studies and Dance. She is an Associate Professor of Public Health at Utah Valley University teaching Health Ethics, Theory-Based Approaches to Modifying Health Behaviors, Health and Diversity, and other courses. Dr. Hall's research history includes earthquake and tsunami preparedness in Indonesia, flu vaccination messaging in the United States, and barriers to medical care access for Deaf populations in Utah. Prior to her career at UVU, she worked in the nonprofit sector as Executive Director of Empower Playgrounds in Ghana, Marketing Director for Utah County Crisis Line, Mexico Expedition Coordinator for A Child's Hope Foundation, and Country Director for HELP International. Dr. Hall serves on the Ethics Advisory Board at UVU and volunteers with Utah County Medical Reserve Corp and as a guest columnist for The Daily Herald.


Watering the Roots: How Understanding Memory Informs Education

Presented by: Acacia Overoye

April 7, 2022 at 1 pm

Human knowledge is shared and passed on to each generation through our memory. Plato compared memory to a wax tablet, one in which impressions are made through our perception of the world and then serve as the basis of our recollections. Modern psychologists use different metaphors to understand memory, such as computers or the storage and retrieval of items in space. These metaphors not only shape psychological research on memory, but how the findings of such research are applied in education. When memory is treated as storage and retrieval of bits of information, the act of learning can become mechanical and prioritize the memorization of facts and their access with little room for other aspects of knowledge. In my talk, I review a brief history of memory and its influence on education in the U.S., explore how popular understanding of memory can lead to teaching practices that are potentially harmful to students, and suggest some alternative ways of thinking about memory that can reshape classrooms to be more holistic in developing our students’ knowledge about the world.

More about Acacia Overoye

Acacia is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Utah Valley University. Her research focuses on how multimodality and retrieval influence the way we learn and remember information. Her research and teaching mutually inform each other, with creative and evidence-based practices in her classroom and with research in collaboration with students in her lab.


From Seurat to Gaugin: Fashion, Femininity & the Structure of Power

Presented by: Courtney R. Davis

April 14, 2022 at 1 pm

This presentation will explore the work of post-impressionistic artists Paul Gauguin and Georges Seurat by focusing on the social-cultural implications of clothing, fabric, and fashion. The paintings of Gauguin and Seurat are among the most recognizable of the late nineteenth century—the former known for his expressionist depictions of Tahitian life and the latter for his meticulous pointillist scenes of Parisian recreation. While their innovative approaches to shape, color, and brushwork would exert a tremendous influence on early Modernism, the content and symbolism of their work is perhaps even more significant, particularly related to depictions of women and the exploration of the feminine ideal. This presentation will focus on the juxtaposition of Gauguin's “Tahitian Women on the Beach” (1891) and Seurat's “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” (1884–86) in order to investigate powerful socio-cultural currents related to power, gender, and identity during the age of French colonialism.

More about Courtney R. Davis

Courtney Davis is the Interim Dean of the School of the Arts. Having taught art history at Utah Valley University since 2007, she was most recently the Department Chair of the Art & Design Department. Courtney has been recognized as the UVU Alumni Outstanding Educator of the Year for the School of the Arts on three occasions and has also twice received a Faculty Senate Award of Excellence. Courtney holds a Master of Art in Art History & Curatorial Studies and a Juris Doctor, both from Brigham Young University. She teaches a range of art history courses, focusing on the history of art from the nineteenth century to the contemporary era. Her research areas include early eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European painting, the American Gilded Age, contemporary art, and copyright law.


The FinTech Evolution –Winners and Losers

Presented by: Qianwen (Rachel) Bi

April 21, 2022 at 1 pm

Are FinTech innovations good or bad? What do you need to know about peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding? What is the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in transforming financial services? Can you trust a Robo advisor when making investment decisions? Is cryptocurrency a digital cash or a commodity? Are you ready for the Metaverse? This presentation will use a casestudy approach to share the secrets of FinTech evolution.

More about Qianwen (Rachel) Bi

Dr. Qianwen Bi is an associate professor in the Personal Financial Planning program and the head of the Finance and Economics Department at Utah Valley University Woodbury School of Business. She has been teaching financial planning software in the classroom for over 10 years and has been leading the Technology Applications in Personal Financial Planning course at Utah Valley University for seven years. Working with students at the WSB FinTech Center, Dr. Bi has been exploring new business applications using cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Machine Learning.

Having taught the technology course for many years, Qianwen focuses her research on the impact of financial technology in financial planning industry as well as the financial literacy education. She won the 2017 Best Journal Article Award at the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning, and Education (AFCPE) annual conference with the paper title of “Financial Software Use and Retirement Planning.” Her recent article “The Efficacy of Publicly-Available Retirement Planning Tools” has been downloaded over 2,950 times within five days and made the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) Weekly Top 5 list. The paper has been cited on the Wall Street Journal and also mentioned by other finance related medias. Dr. Bi is called the technology expert in financial planning by her colleagues. She spoke at the Technology Tools for Today (T3) conference panel discussions three times to share her teaching experience and course developing skills of technology application class in the personal financial planning program. She led the UVU teams won multiple T3 Student Technology Competitions. Being recognized as the technology expert with an international background, Dr. Bi has been invited multiple times by financial institutions and Top-ranked universities in China to share her vision on future FinTech evolution.

Dr. Bi holds a Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning from Texas Tech University. She also holds a M.B.A degree from Rawls College of Business of Texas Tech University with an emphasize in finance.