Liberal Arts Week

September 24, 2021 Washtenaw Community College

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Find your path. Love your job. Explore your possibilities during WCC's Liberal Arts Week.

Join us for WCC’s Liberal Arts Week, October 25-29! 

October is National Arts and Humanities Month! Celebrate with WCC through interactive virtual and in-person workshops, showcasing how liberal arts classes empower personal and professional success, and sustain a fair and just society.

All Liberal Arts Week events are free and open to all students, faculty, staff, and community members.

Connect with WCC faculty, as well as community leaders from industry & nonprofit organizations. 

Gain skills necessary for success in the workplace and life. 

Learn more about Liberal Arts Courses and Workplace Skills at WCC.

Register Now!

View the full schedule


October 25 - 29, 2021

Join us:

On Zoom


Please email [email protected]

Keynote Speakers

Chris Shepherd

Chris Shepherd

Christopher Shepherd is a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The Boston Consulting Group is a global management consulting firm with over 80 offices in 48 countries. The firm advises clients in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors around the world.

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Yodit Mesfin-Johnson

Yodit Mesfin Johnson

Yodit Mesfin Johnson (she/her), mother, poet, strategist, and champion for human rights and social change. Yodit thrives in building community around the questions that matter most: how can we unlock the potential and possibility needed to radically transform our communities, see the ecosystem and the whole, and design and act in ways that bend the long arc of history towards balance and harmony?

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Madison Rally

Madison Rally

There's a good chance you've already heard Madison Rally somewhere. While currently the Promotions Director for Cumulus Media Ann Arbor and co-host of 102.9 W4 Country's Breakfast with Bubba show, Madison originally hails from Grand Rapids, went to school at Michigan State University, and has worked at various radio stations in the Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit markets.

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Event Schedule

Monday, October 25

10:45-11 a.m.

Opening Remarks: Scott Britten, Dean, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences


11 a.m.-Noon

Linking the Liberal Arts to Workplace Success.

Chris Shepherd, Boston Consulting Group, Introduction by Kim Jones, English and College Readiness

Ever wonder how the liberal arts can unlock unlimited potential in employment fortune? Join former WCC dual-enrolled student, Christopher Shepherd, as he details his path to success at Boston Consulting Group, one the most influential business strategy consulting firms in the world. Learn how he transitioned from WCC to the University of Michigan and how he discovered his trajectory into the world of corporate consulting while pursuing a Liberal Arts degree, making him stand-out amongst the competition.

2-3:30 p.m.

Cool Careers in the Liberal Arts Professional Panel.

Hava Levitt-Phillips, English and College Readiness, Leslie Neal, WCC Professionals in the Classroom, and Kristin Gapske, Director, WCC Entrepreneurship Center 

Employers across industries know -- the skills we develop in liberal arts classes are essential to successful organizations! In this moderated Q&A, you’ll learn directly from professionals with a liberal arts background how they use their training in the arts and humanities to succeed in the workplace. You’ll also get to ask your own questions in networking breakout rooms! Join us to learn how #TheLiberalArtsGetPaid.

6-7 p.m.   

Join Creative Jazz and Improvisation with Steve Somers! 

This special class will be an overview of material that we cover during a typical semester.  Jazz-oriented songs that include improvisation will be discussed and analyzed.  Songs like Take The A Train, The Girl From Ipanema, Summertime, Cantaloupe Island and original material are performed. Online class audio recording techniques will also be demonstrated.

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Tuesday, October 26

11 a.m.- Noon

Getting Personal and Hurting Feelings: A discussion of the moral significance of personhood and sentience.

Meghan Bungo, Philosophy and Charles Johnson, Philosophy

WCC Philosophy Faculty Meghan Bungo and Charles Johnson will debate ethical issues surrounding personhood and sentience.  Through their initial discussion they will display how philosophers think through complex issues and employ critical thinking to construct their own positions, and critique the positions of others.  They will then turn the discussion over to the audience and provide an opportunity for all to practice philosophy.

2-3:30 p.m.

Start Tuning Your Job Search Engine NOW! WCC Student Alumni Demonstrate How They Shifted Gears From Student to Professional! 

Bonnie Tew, Communication and Shana Barker, WCC Foundation

Wondering how to crack into the job market when you get your degree?  Are there steps you can start taking NOW to put YOU in the driver seat toward landing that coveted first position in your desired career?  This session brings real WCC Alumni stories front and center to light the pathway to successful career entry before, or after, graduation!  Learn the planning steps you should be taking NOW to get on track for driving straight into new and exciting professional job opportunities! Join us to learn how #TheLiberalArtsGetPaid.

6-7 p.m. 

Improv Yourself!

Tracy Jaffe, Theatre Arts 

Dip your toe into the joyous pool of improv theatre.  This is a perfect place for absolute beginners to enter the learning zone through the power and fun of “YES!…And…”!   Improvisation cultivates a space that honors creative thinking and delights in the shared creation of a narrative.  Whether you participate, or enjoy from the sidelines, join our class for a dose of instant fun and laughter!

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Wednesday, October 27

Emailed Video- Watch at your convenience.

Madison Rally, Co-host of Breakfast with Bubba on W4 Country and promotions director at Ann Arbor Radio/Cumulus Media 

This featured lighting talk will come to your email in a video to all registered participants.

11 a.m.- Noon 

Resilience and Social Justice Work

Yodit Mesfin Johnson, President & CEO at Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW) and Hava Levitt-Philips, English and College Readiness

Join us for this interactive session. Together, we will explore the liberal arts sources and practices that keep the work for social justice healthy and sustainable. 

2-3 p.m. 

On Butterfly Wings – Teachings and Traditions of Día de Muertos

Michelle Garey, Foreign Languages 

El Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a time of remembrance and connection – a time for family and friends to gather and commemorate the dead.  During this time, families visit and decorate burial sites, build ofrendas (altars) in honor of the dead, and gather together in celebration, as they welcome back the souls of their deceased loved ones.  Join WCC Spanish instructor, Michelle Garey, for an informative talk on this culturally rich tradition rooted in indigenous, as well as Spanish, spiritual beliefs and customs. 

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Thursday, October 28

10:30 a.m.-Noon  

Reshaping the World through Collage*

Jill Jepsen, Fine Arts
*This is an in person art session. Student Center Community Room. Register early! 15 participants max.

Respond to the social injustice issue you are passionate about through art making!  The creative process of collage gives you the opportunity to be socially responsible and make art that connects you to others and the social movement.  Collect images, text and found objects to transform your social injustice issue into art.

What to bring:  Your social injustice issue theme, pictures, magazines, newspapers and found objects that could be used in your collage.

2-3 p.m.

Intro to Songwriting: Building Life Skills Through the Power of Song.

Michelle Ureña, Music

By expressing ourselves through song, we can all learn to become more effective communicators and build skills for career readiness. Songwriters must use creativity, communication, collaboration, and emotional-relational intelligence to successfully blend music and language together. In this workshop, we will explore the basics of how to begin a song by combining ideas and inspiration, lyrics, and common chords and rhythms. We will also meet WCC student songwriters who will perform their original work and discuss their own songwriting process.

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Friday, October 29

10:30-11 a.m.

Closing Remarks, Kim Hurns, WCC Executive Vice President of Instruction


11-12:00 p.m.

Careers in Communication, Media, and Theatre Arts Panel & Networking Workshop

Dena Blair, Broadcast Media Arts, Claire Sparklin, Communication, Bonnie Tew, Communication, Myron Covington, Communication, Allison Fournier, Communication,Tracy Jaffe, Theatre Arts

Wondering what careers highlight the skill sets you’ve been acquiring in your Liberal Arts classes? Wonder no more! Join the Communication, Media and Theatre Arts faculty to explore the bright future one could have within Careers in Communication, Media and Theatre Arts. Meet with our panel of working professionals in break out rooms for small group discussions about your future.

2-3 p.m.  

Preparing a Résumé That Will Get You Noticed!*

Lisa Veasey, Faculty, Technical Communication, Dena Blair, Faculty, Broadcast Media Arts
*This session has an in-person option in one of WCC’s computer labs, along with the Zoom option. If you would like to attend in person, please register for the in-person session in the Technical and Industrial Building Room TI 127.  Register early! 15 participants max for the in-person session. All others may join the session, via Zoom.

As you transition from college student to career professional, you’ll need to do more than simply dust off your résumé. In this session, you’ll learn how to customize your job search materials to reflect your skills and then align those skills with the job you are seeking. Feel free to bring your questions and an electronic copy of your résumé so we can help you take it from good to great!

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Contribute Original Writing or Artwork to the LA Week Blog, Resilience

Resilience, a new WCC blog/anthology-in-the-making, seeks poems, short prose (1,000 words max), visual art, audio, and video by WCC students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, on the theme of “Resilience.” We are especially interested in social justice, inclusion, environmental, and positive-change themes.

Submissions will be published on the Resilience website, on a rolling basis throughout the 2021-22 academic year, launching in honor of Liberal Arts Week and National Humanities Month. You could send one this week, another next week, etc. Please send all submissions (along with a brief bio of 50 words or less) to [email protected].  With each new piece, we’ll send a link to you so you can share it.

By submitting your work, you understand that your art submissions should have no content that is discriminatory, disrespectful, and promotes inequity and injustice.  The ‘freedom’ to create art— carries also the responsibility to promote well being, equity and inclusivity for others.

Writing: PDF or Word file, 1,000 words maximum

Image: .jpeg or .png file, no smaller than 800dpi. No reproductions of master studies or artwork *all original content

Audio: .mp4 or .mp3 file, 8 minute maximum

Video: .m43 or .mv4 file, 5 minute maximum

Blog posts and the anthology itself will be housed on the site indefinitely. If you want a piece of yours removed, send an email to [email protected]

You retain all copyright to anything of yours that we publish.