Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Values and Attitudes of Undergraduates Subject of A&M-Kingsville Annual Faculty Lecture April 17

KINGSVILLE - April 07, 2008

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

Regents professor Dr. Jim Norwine presents at Ben P. Bailey Art Gallery, free to public

The mindset of today’s undergraduate is the subject of the annual Faculty Lecture at Texas A&M University-Kingsville Thursday, April 17 at 7 p.m. in the Ben P. Bailey Art Gallery, at the corner of Armstrong Street and Santa Gertrudis Avenue.

Dr. Jim Norwine, Regents Professor of Geography, presents the lecture, “Dueling Weltanschauungen? A Critical/Conservative Reading of Fugitive Values: What Being-In-The-World-Is-Truly-Like for Contemporary Undergraduates.”

Weltanschauungen is the German term for “world view.” Since 1990, Norwine and his research team have surveyed more than 5,000 students from public and private colleges and universities in America and beyond about their world view, including specific subjects like family, happiness, relationships, self-identification and the environment. The lecture will center on the findings from those surveys.

“We have found in surveying students at about 30 campuses in the U.S. and elsewhere that contemporary students tend increasingly to share a hybrid world view that makes sense to them but which often seems incoherent, even alien, to elders,” said Norwine. 

“They affirm traditional values like family and modern values like technology, but they also are what scholars call ‘postmodern’ in that they tend to be extremely ‘self-referential.’ In other words, while most do not reject sources like scientific evidence or the Bible, their own personal experience is really mostly how they make up their minds. As a consequence, personal choice and toleration are typically assumed to be non-negotiable, almost sacred, values.”  

Norwine has been with Texas A&M-Kingsville since 1972. During that time, he also has been a visiting professor at Kansas Wesleyan University, Texas A&M University and, most recently, Western State College in Gunnison, Colo. for a 2006-2007 academic school year sabbatical.

Norwine holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from Indiana State University and a B.S. from Southeastern Missouri State University.
He was the first faculty member named a Regents Professor in A&M-Kingsville’s history in 1997, the highest academic recognition throughout the Texas A&M University System. Norwine has served as a Fulbright Scholar three times, teaching higher education in Jordan, Yugoslavia and India. He also has received the A&M-Kingsvillle honors of the Olan Kruse Science Faculty Award and the Alumni Research Award.

Norwine has been writer and editor of numerous books and articles. His latest book, South Texas Climate 2100: Problems and Prospects, Impacts and Implications, co-edited with Dr. Kuruvilla John, associate dean of the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering and associate professor of environmental engineering, was released in December 2007.

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