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One Day University in Westchester

April 15, 2018 1:30 PM – 5:15 PM

schedule

1:30 PM - 2:35 PM
Our Broken Two-Party System: Gridlock, Dysfunction, and Incivility

Robert Watson / Lynn University

It is an understatement to say that Americans are frustrated with our two-party system and the dysfunction that seems to define our politics in recent years. Polls reveal that the public has an unfavorable view of the two major parties, many Americans consider themselves to be "independents," and the Congress is wildly unpopular. At the same time, the parties and Congress seem to be unable to come together to effectively address either the structural challenges of the political system or the issues facing the nation, and studies reveal that the gap between Democratic and Republican voters is growing. Despite all this, the major parties seem to be here to stay, as third or minor parties still struggle to field electable candidates for most any office. What is going on? Are these new trends in American politics? And how did it get so bad?

This lecture analyzes the development of the political parties and the nation's historical experiences with political dysfunction, then offers thoughts on the causes and consequences of the partisan gridlock and dysfunction, and closes with ideas for reform.

Robert Watson / Lynn University
Robert Watson is the Distinguished Professor of American History at Lynn University. A frequent media commentator, he has been interviewed by CNN, MSNBC, "Time," "USA Today," "The New York Times," and the BBC and others, and has appeared on C-SPAN's "Book TV," "Hardball with Chris Matthews," and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." He has received multiple Professor of the Year awards at Lynn and other universities, and published 40 books on topics in history and politics. His book "America's First Crisis" won the book of the year award in history at the Independent Publishers' awards and his book "The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn" won the Commodore Barry Book Award.

2:50 PM - 3:55 PM
Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness

Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College

Happiness has been in the news quite a bit lately. The UN released a "Happiness Report" rating nearly 200 countries, which found that the world’s happiest people live in Northern Europe (Denmark, Norway, Finland, and the Netherlands). The US ranked 11th. The report's conclusion affirmatively states that happiness has predictable causes and is correlated specifically to various measures that governments can regulate and encourage. And there's more. A new AARP study looks at how Americans feel - and what factors contribute to their sense of contentment. It concludes that nearly 50% of us are "somewhat happy" and another 19% are "very happy." 

What role do money, IQ, marriage, friends, children, weather, and religion play in making us feel happier? Is happiness stable over time? How can happiness be increased? Professor Sanderson will describe cutting-edge research from the field of positive psychology on the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and provide practical (and relatively easy!) ways to increase your own psychological well-being.

Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College
Catherine Sanderson is the Manwell Family Professor of Psychology at Amherst College. Her research has received grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. Professor Sanderson has published over 25 journal articles and book chapters in addition to four college textbooks, a high school health textbook, and a popular press book on parenting. In 2012, she was named one of the country's top 300 professors by the Princeton Review. Professor Sanderson speaks regularly for public and corporate audiences on topics such as the science of happiness, the power of emotional intelligence, the mind-body connection, and the psychology of good and evil. More information on these talks is available on her website: SandersonSpeaking.com.

4:10 PM - 5:15 PM
The Five Most Powerful People in the World

William Burke-White / University of Pennsylvania

Who are the real influencers on the world stage? Who makes the decisions that determine war and peace? Economic growth or stagnation? Global cooperation or political stagnation? 

This lecture answers those questions by examining how we think about power and influence in international politics. We will consider traditional answers based on military might and examine how globalization, technology, ideology, and economic interdependence are changing the ways we should think about power and influence.

After engaging in an analysis of power and influence in today’s world, we will consider 5 particular individuals—some expected, others perhaps unexpected or even unknown—who are calling the shots in global affairs today. The lecture concludes with a detailed look at what their influence means for our global future.

William Burke-White / University of Pennsylvania
William Burke-White is the Richard Perry Professor and Inaugural Director of the Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania. He served in the Obama Administration from 2009-2011 on Secretary Clinton's Policy Planning Staff. He was also principal drafter of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, Secretary Clinton's hallmark foreign policy and institutional reform effort. Professor Burke-White has received the Levin Award and the Gorman award for Excellence in Teaching.

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