His talk, “Humans Are Underrated: How a Liberal Education Prepares You for a Brilliant Future,” will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, in Farber Hall in Old Main, and is free and open to the public.

Colvin’s latest book, Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know that Brilliant Machines Never Will, describes the most essentially human abilities—empathy, creativity, social sensitivity, storytelling, humor, building relationships, and leading—that place humans at an advantage over technology. The author’s lecture will relate how an education in the liberal arts and sciences helps students acquire and enhance these skills.

While in Vermillion, Colvin will also meet with students in the communication studies and media & journalism departments, as well as participate in a roundtable discussion with alumni of the College of Arts & Sciences and a group of approximately 40 students on Friday.
The week’s public events include:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 18, 7 p.m. Farber Hall: “Metabolism Explains (Almost) Everything,” the 64th annual Harrington Lecture, with David Swanson, Ph.D., professor of biology. The college’s flagship lecture features a distinguished faculty member who presents a non-technical talk, blending insight into liberal education with his or her work as a scholar.
  • Wednesday, Oct 19, 4 p.m. Farber Hall: Study Abroad Panel Discussion sponsored by the college’s Phi Beta Kappa Chapter, the only chapter of the national honor society in the state. Faculty and students will share their experiences traveling and studying abroad. Each year about 200 students participate in study abroad programs led by Arts & Sciences professors.

In addition to the public events and Colvin’s meetings with students and alumni, the week’s activities also include visits to large introductory-level classrooms by groups of students and faculty who will give short presentations on what it means to be a student of the liberal arts and sciences. These will occur throughout the day on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Jill Tyler, professor and chair of communication studies, is organizing the week’s events. “For generations, the University of South Dakota has built its educational mission on a commitment to the freedom and responsibility embedded in the liberal arts and sciences,” she said. “This celebration allows us to look back and celebrate our heritage and to look forward, re-committing ourselves to improving our students’ lives, our state’s future, and our democracy’s potential.”

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