ZYGO Series—HOBBY LOBBY: The Ethics of Healthcare between Corporation, Church and State

Friday, October 3, 2014, DML 241 | 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM | Lunch Provided

RSVP

Co-sponsored by the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

In September 2012, Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, filed a lawsuit against the United States over a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which mandated that health insurance provided by employers must include access to emergency contraceptives. Hobby Lobby stated that this provision violated their religious beliefs, and argued that they were protected by the First Amendment and Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The Supreme Court eventually ruled in their favor. This panel will seek to discuss the various ethical issues associated with the intersection of religion and health care, and the implications of this ruling. Is it ethical for a corporation to determine the exact services included in government- mandated health insurance for religious reasons? Furthermore, did this PPACA provision prevent Hobby Lobby from freely exercising religion, for which the RFRA was initially enacted?

Moderator: Varun Awasthi, ZYGO Student Director

Confirmed Panelists:
Varun Soni, Dean, USC Office of Religious Life
Hilary Schor, University Professor, English, Comparative Literature, Gender Studies and Law

The ZYGO Series is organized by USC students in health and medicine who seek dialogue with USC faculty across disciplines in order to increase the integration of ethical themes into their curriculum.

zygo / ˈzʌɪgəʊ, ˈzɪgəʊ / pref. relating to union or joining

Job Announcement: Joint Education Project (JEP) – YSP Teaching Assistant

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT
Joint Educational Project (JEP)– YOUNG SCIENTISTS PROGRAM
USC ReadersPlus
YSP Teaching Assistant

JEP is searching for two undergraduate students pursuing degrees in the sciences with at least one year to commit to the Young Scientists Program (YSP). The YSP Teaching Assistants will be placed at five elementary schools in our immediate USC community to teach hands-on science lessons that will support teachers and students in science education.

This position requires:

  • An interest in science education;
  • Strong communication skills;
  • Strong organization skills;
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and responsibilities;
  • A self-starter, able to take initiative and work independently;
  • 5 hours per week available to dedicate to the position (pay rate $10/hour);
  • Attendance at regular staff meetings.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Presenting meaningful, hands-on science lessons that will be implemented in the at assigned school;
  • Organizing and maintaining the Science Lab Materials at the school;
  • Assisting classroom teachers and students with science activities to promote the development of science education;
  • Other responsibilities which match specific program needs.

To apply, contact Tina Koneazny:
koneazny@usc.edu
Deadline to apply: Friday, September 5th, 2014

Job Announcement: Joint Educational Project (JEP) – Science Education Teaching Assistant

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT
Joint Educational Project (JEP)– YOUNG SCIENTISTS PROGRAM
USC ReadersPlus

Science Education Teaching Assistant

JEP is searching for two undergraduate students pursuing degrees in the sciences with at least one year to commit to the Young Scientists Program (YSP). The YSP Teaching Assistants will be placed at five elementary schools in our immediate USC community to teach hands-on science lessons that will support teachers and students in science education.

This position requires:

  • An interest in science education;
  • Strong communication skills;
  • Strong organization skills;
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and responsibilities;
  • A self-starter, able to take initiative and work independently;
  • 5 hours per week available to dedicate to the position (pay rate $10/hour);
  • Attendance at regular staff meetings.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Presenting meaningful, hands-on science lessons that will be implemented in the at assigned school;
  • Organizing and maintaining the Science Lab Materials at the school;
  • Assisting classroom teachers and students with science activities to promote the development of science education;
  • Other responsibilities which match specific program needs.

To apply, contact Tina Koneazny:
koneazny@usc.edu
Deadline to apply: Friday, September 5th, 2014

Research Assistant Position

We are looking for new undergraduate research assistants to aid in research tasks focusing on social and health consequences of drug use.  This is a paid part-time position through the USC School of Social Work and would include assisting with research tasks, such as data entry, literature reviews, and basic data analysis. Those with statistical or qualitative analysis experience are encouraged to apply. Spanish speakers are not required, but preferred.  If interested, please send a completed application and resume to erikague@usc.edu.

Global Environmental Microbiology (GEM)

CDEBI

The University of Southern California’s Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI), funded by the NSF, offers an all-expense paid four-week intensive introductory course, Global Environmental Microbiology (GEM). This course focuses on microbes found in aquatic environments.

Where: University of Southern California
When: July 7 – August 1, 2014
Who: Undergraduates from 2 or 4-year colleges
Cost: FREE, including travel, plus modest stipend

How to apply: http://www.darkenergybiosphere.org/education/undergrads/undergradscourse.html

Important dates

Application Opens: December 1, 2013
Application Deadline: February 7, 2014
Course: July 7 – August 1, 2014

Note: First generation college, women, and under-represented students encouraged to apply

Additional information:

Cynthia Joseph at cynthijr@usc.edu.

Undergraduate Research Opportunity

Interested in gaining valuable experience in a research lab?

Looking for a strong letter of recommendation?

The Town lab is looking for motivated undergraduate students who are interested in gaining lab experience as a research assistant. Our lab focuses on the interface between two main systems of the body, the central nervous system and immune system. More specifically, our lab is interested in the innate immune system in Alzheimer’s disease. There are projects focused on immune drug deliveries in Alzheimer rats, immune reactions to neural stem cell engraftments, and the basic cellular biology of microglia (the resident immune cells of the brain).

Freshmen and sophomores looking for multiple years of experience are highly encouraged to apply. Juniors with lab experience are also encouraged to apply. Animal handling experience is a bonus. Drosophila experience is also a bonus. We are asking students to dedicate at least 15 hours per week.

If you are interested, please send an email with a one paragraph description of your reasons for wanting to join the Town lab along with your CV to Allan Jensen allanjen@usc.edu

New Course Math for 499 (no math prerequisite)

Math 499 The Foundations of Mathematics and the Acquisition of Mathematical Knowledge Spring 2014

Why is addition commutative but its ‘inverse’ subtraction is not? Why is a equal to a÷b? b

Whyis a ÷c equalto a ×d? Whyisthisstilltrueevenifa,b,canddaren’tintegers? bd bc

What does e + π mean and how can we evaluate it? What is the difference in the meaning of the equals sign between x2 −1 = 0, x2 −1 = (x−1)(x+1), (x2 −1)/(x−1) = x+1 and √x2 = x? What does it mean for a line to be straight? Are there lines that are not straight? In Math 499 we will be addressing these questions and more!

In this class we will explore the foundations of mathematics and how we acquire and process mathematical knowledge. We will revisit K-12 mathematics from the point of view of a mathematician. We will explore the roles of metaphors, models, and definitions. We will discuss the use of symbols and see that even in mathematics their meanings are often contextual. We will compare and contrast proofs and convincing arguments and think about the roles they play in developing and understanding mathematics. We will discuss the relationship between mathematics and our physical world and how we use mathematics to understand the physical world. We will consider various algorithms common in K- 12 mathematics and discuss why and how they work. We also will read and discuss the literature on how K-12 mathematics is taught and how we learn and process that knowledge. Throughout the semester, you will also the opportunity to observe and participate in classes at AUGUSTUS HAWKINS High School. This is a new school with a modern curriculum implementing an initiative called the Algebra Project.

This class has no prerequisites. In particular, it is not necessary to have taken any college level math classes; you are only expected to know how to count (albeit fairly well!). However, students must be willing to engage with the material at a mathematically sophisticated level. There will be very little lecturing. There will be a lot of discussion, group work, and both oral and written presentations. This class will be valuable for math majors, anyone with an interest in teaching mathematics, and sociology and psychology majors interested in the science of learning.

David Crombecque

Lecturer

Mathematics Department

crombecq@usc.edu

Course offering: has a service learning component

relevant majors: mathematics, sciences, psychology, sociology,

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