Lunch & Learn

WNMU, 12th St, Global Resource Center, 1st Floor ABC Room (unless otherwise noted)
DAY/TIME: WEDNESDAYS, 12 NOON to 1:00 p.m. FREE and Open-to-the-Public.
Interested in offering a Lunch and Learn program?
To get started, contact:

25 January 2017
Dr. Magdaleno Manzanárez

Demographic Growth and Political Power: The Latino Reality in the United States.

Synopsis: In democratic systems government should be a reflection of society. Such representation is manifested at all levels and, depending on the degree of democratic development, all demographic groups should be evident in the whole governmental structure. This presentation argues that although Latinos/Chicanos/as are increasingly present in multiple institutions of government, their representation has not kept pace with their demographic growth. The research upon which this presentation is based focuses primarily on the United States Congress. It analyzes Latino demographic data from 1960 to 2016 and compares these figures to Latino representation in Congress. The resulting gap between the Latino population and its representation in Congress is then analyzed.  Although much progress has been achieved since the Voting Rights Act of 1965, this research concludes that the gap in congressional representation is still too wide as shown by the data in the emerging patterns.

Dr. Magdaleno Manzanárez completed a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the Universidad de las Américas. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science/Public Administration and a Graduate Certificate in the Administration of Nonprofit Agencies from Sonoma State University. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Northern Arizona University. Dr. Manzanárez had been teaching political science at Western New Mexican University for 15 years, where he also served as chair of the Department of Social Sciences. He presently holds the position of Vice-President for External Affairs at WNMU.

Dr. Manzanárez has written extensively on border and Latino issues and is co-author of recently published. North American Border Conflicts: Race, Politics, and Ethics. He serves on several boards: Southwest Center for Health Innovations, Hidalgo Medical Services, Gila Regional Medical Center, Aldo Leopold Charter School Foundation, and the National Center for Frontier Communities.

1 February 2017
Brian Dolton

Hot Cross Buns to Spotted Dick: Why English Food isn't one of the World's Great Cuisines.

Synopsis: For two centuries, the English ruled an Empire that spanned the globe, and had access to an unprecedented range of ingredients. And yet, English food is traditionally bland and dull. Why did the English not invent fusion cuisine? And just what IS a spotted dick, anyway? Brian Dolton will attempt to answer questions you never even had in a light-hearted tour through the history and culture of English cooking from medieval times to the present day.

Brian Dolton is an Englishman transplanted to New Mexico. He has eaten traditional and modern food from a range of countries - from France to Thailand, from Bulgaria to Morocco, from South Africa to Trinidad - but having grown up in England there is no doubt he has eaten more English food than everything else put together, and thus is in the perfect position to tell you why it's so terrible (and why, occasionally, it isn't).

8 February 2017
Carmen Vendelin

Not So Easy: Images Of Middle-Class Men Accosting Un-Chaperoned
Women On The Streets Of Paris c. 1840s-1890s.

Synopsis:  In 1859, Jules Michelet asserted that a woman could not venture out alone, particularly at night, but everywhere French artists show us just such scenarios. Michelet claimed that the lone woman would constitute a “spectacle.” The term spectacle is apropos given the number of artists’ depictions of un-chaperoned women and the attention they received. Even though Michelet uses woman as a general term in La Femme, he really means middle-class women. Working-class women were much more likely to find themselves both unescorted and taken for prostitutes. Bourgeois men assumed that they could approach these women and attempt to seduce them as part of their upper-class male privilege. Moreover though, women of all classes were increasingly out in public and unaccompanied towards the end of the century, spectacle or not.


Carmen Vendelin became the Museum Director of the Silver City Museum in May 2016. She has an extensive museum background working at a range of institutions. She moved to New Mexico in 2014 to become Curator of Art at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe. Prior to her arrival in New Mexico, she held a curatorial position at the La Salle University Art Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for eight years. At La Salle, she served as interim director for a six-month period. She has also worked at the archives of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Newark Museum, and The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Museum.

Ms. Vendelin hails from Boise, Idaho. An art historian by training, she holds a BA in art history from the University of Washington, a MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and completed doctoral candidacy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Dr. Deborah Heller
Dr. Jennifer Coleman

15 February 2017
Jennifer Coleman and Deborah Heller

Virtual WNMU and YOU! A Lunch and Learn about Cutting-edge Online Courses Offered Through WNMU.

Synopsis: Find out about some of the courses that lie at our virtual doorstep, that make connections between psychology and literature, philosophy and literature, history and literature, and literature and writing! Learn about courses, costs, auditing opportunities, how online instruction works, and much more.

Did you know that seniors can take courses at WNMU for less than an evening at the theater? That these courses are as enlightening and exciting as theater? That you don’t have to be enrolled in a program to take a course or two?

Dr. Deborah Heller is Professor of English at WNMU, where she has taught English at both the graduate and undergraduate levels for more than twenty years. For the past seven years, she has taught regularly for the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies Program, specializing in courses that unite two or more disciplines, such as history, philosophy, and literature (in Great Works of Ancient Literature and The Enlightenment) or psychology and literature (Psychological Perspectives on Literature). Dr. Heller has published widely in the areas of eighteenth-century literature and women's writing; her most recent work is an edition of essays on the English Bluestocking movement, Bluestockings Now: the Evolution of a Social Role (Routledge, 2015).

Dr. Jennifer Coleman is the founding Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies at WNMU and has served in that role since 2010. She is also a professor of Psychology, founder and coordinator of the Student Research and Professional Development Funds, and the Director of the Graduate Division. She has been recognized as a pioneer in online education, won Professor of the Year, and has extensive experience mentoring students in scholarship and professional activities. Trained in several disciplines, she has presented extensively and published in topics ranging from discourse processing, judgement and decision making, effective teaching and advising, to statistics.

22 February 2017
Lynn Haugen

Giardia, Laughing frogs, and Biparental Care in the Peruvian Amazon.

Synopsis: The generalized life cycle of temperate-zone frogs involves the deposition of eggs in aquatic situations, which then hatch into aquatic larvae (tadpoles), and which subsequently undergo a dramatic re-organization (metamorphosis) to produce terrestrial or semi-terrestrial adults. As this presentation will show, at tropical latitudes frogs have, in an evolutionary sense, been far more “creative” with respect to aspects of their reproductive biology.

Dr. Lynn Haugen grew up in La Canada-Flintridge, near the base of the San Gabriel Mountains in southern California. She received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in biology from California State University, Northridge, and her Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Her doctoral dissertation, conducted over a period of two years in a remote sector of the Amazon rainforest of Peru, explored the reproductive biology of a little-known species of frog. Her research revealed an unusual form of biparental care of the developing tadpoles. Dr. Haugen is Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at Western New Mexico University. She and her husband, fellow biologist Julian Lee, moved to Silver City in 2006.

1 March 2017
Kathy Whiteman

Seeing Stars

Synopsis: This Lunch and Learn program will engage participants in a dialogue about environmental literacy among WNMU college students, education, and sustainability, particularly as related to our region.

Dr. Kathy Whiteman is the Director of the WNMU Outdoor Program and holds a Ph.D. in biology. Her goal is to use adventure based experiences to get people outside and connected to the place where they live and the Gila, being one of the most biologically diverse areas in North America, is the perfect place to do just that!