SUNY Potsdam Offers Interdisciplinary Lecture Series on Happiness


SUNY Potsdam's Honors Program will examine the topic of happiness as seen through multiple lenses this semester. The "Thinking Across the Disciplines" lecture series will invite professors from an array of academic backgrounds to speak about contentment and bliss from their own perspectives.

The series kicked off with a lecture about happiness and the dramatic arts by Associate Professor Dr. Kim Bouchard of the College's Department of Theatre and Dance. The happiness series was created by course instructor Dr. Richard Williams, a professor of psychology.

"This is a way to showcase the honors program, but also contribute toward the intellectual atmosphere on campus and between SUNY Potsdam and the community," said Honors Program Director Dr. Thomas Baker. "For the students, the guest lectures will serve to spark discussion and expand on materials explored in other meetings of the course. But for the public, the lecture series will, in itself, offer an exploration of the course theme from various disciplinary perspectives."

The "Thinking Across the Disciplines" series is free and open to the public. All lectures will be offered from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in the Raymond Hall eighth floor dining room, which is wheelchair-accessible.

Mark your calendars for the lunchtime series! The schedule is as follows:

·Thursday, Feb. 20: "The Biology of Happy," presented by Dr. Walt Conley, professor of biology.

·Tuesday, Feb. 25: "How Can You Tell if a Puritan is Happy?," presented by Dr. Sheila McIntyre, associate professor of history.

·Tuesday, March 4:"The Surprise of Happiness," presented by The Venerable Dr. Christopher Brown, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Potsdam.

·Tuesday, March 11:"The Pursuit of Happiness," presented by Dr. Galen Pletcher, dean emeritus of The School of Arts and Sciences.

·Tuesday, April 1:"Human Happiness and the Environment: A Sociological Perspective," presented by Dr. Heather Sullivan-Catlin, associate professor of sociology.

The SUNY Potsdam Honors Program encourages highly motivated students to explore education in a supportive environment. The Honors Program is designed to realize the ideal of a handcrafted education by offering small class sizes with increased student interaction and independent projects. Honors courses encourage student participation, and are taught by faculty members who excel in their field of study. Honors students enjoy benefits such as graduation with distinction, early registration, use of an honors lounge and computer lab, optional housing that includes a shared kitchen and lounge, special programming and a jump-start into undergraduate research.

For more information about the SUNY Potsdam Honors Program, visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.