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Since 2013, the Yavapai College Interdisciplinary Symposium has offered area residents the opportunity to see the college’s faculty in action, focusing on areas of academic expertise and passion.

Not only does this year’s symposium, Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 2 through 4, offer a wide spectrum of programming in the Verde Valley, it is the first time professionals from outside the college have been included. According to symposium coordinator Amy Ilona Stein — a history and humanities professor, faculty director of accreditation and Verde Campus art gallery director — the topic inspired reaching out to new speakers.


“The Public Health Symposium: A Series of Interdisciplinary Lectures” will feature five lectures open to the public.

“The Public Health Symposium will examine historical and contemporary issues relating to this multi-faceted topic,” Stein said. “This broad view of public health issues will be discussed with the hope of generating a conversation about the diversity of public health and the varied responses to current issues. We will also reflect how our response to public health issues in the past shaped our present views.

“We make this a celebration of scholarship and not entertainment. I gave a traditional causes, course and consequences lecture on World War I last year, but this year I am speaking on medieval social constructs which prevail in our health care system .... What is unique this year is that two friends, Kim Fawcett and Ed Womack, who do not work for the college, have agreed to speak. Kim Fawcett has spent time in Africa dealing with some serious public health issues there.”

According to Stein, the joy of organizing the symposium is showcasing the talent of experts, allowing the community to see the kind of academic talent the college attracts and sustains.

“We have real scholars working at Yavapai College. I like sitting down with my colleagues and brainstorming ideas for lectures. I like coming up with ideas for my own lectures .... And I really like the creativity that my colleagues demonstrate when they participate. The community that does show up for our lectures is really enthusiastic and appreciative.”

Stein said she has experienced some trouble drumming up support for the symposium in the Verde Valley, as opposed to the ease of such efforts in Prescott.

“It may be that local managers don’t understand the college is an institution of higher learning and a public entity,” she said. “We aren’t trying to sell anything or force our ideas on anyone.”

Stein said that Mingus Union High School has been a major supporter, however, and encouraged other high schools to get involved in promoting the lectures.

“This is a great way for the students to see what our faculty has to offer.”

Yavapai College Symposium
  • Where: Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus, Room M-137
  • When: Wednesday, Nov. 2 through Friday, Nov. 4
  • Nov. 2, 3 p.m.: “Florence Nightingale — Founder of Modern Nursing” by Selina Bliss
  • Nov. 2, 4:30 p.m.: “Judeo Christian Constructs and American Health Care” by Amy Ilona Stein
  • Nov. 3, 3 p.m.: “Pastoral Care and Health Care: Can a Pastor Really Help People Stay and Become Well?” by Ed Womack
  • Nov. 3, 4:30 p.m.: “Nursing in Africa: Two Experiences” by Kim Fawcett
  • Nov. 4, 3 p.m.: “Domestic Violence as a Public Health Issue” by Erin Whitesitt
  • All events are free and open to the public
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