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Virtual Tour

Summer Seminars

TO: All Students

FROM: Division of Academic Affairs

As we approach the beginning of a new academic year, the Division of Academic Affairs invites you to participate in our new Summer Seminars. Join Ramapo College Deans and faculty for this series of one-hour virtual academic presentations and discussions that examine current events from a variety of perspectives. Summer Seminars are free and open to all students. The series begins on Monday, July 27 and concludes on Friday, August 7.

Summer Seminar topics include The Sounds of (Social) Science, Utopia and Dystopia in American Culture, Essentials of Public Health, Ethics and Morality in the Time of COVID, The Arts in Times of Crisis, and Role of Bioinformatics in Modern Medicine. Plus, there will be a special Seminar devoted to Canvas, the College’s Learning Management System.

Click here to register for one or more Seminar.


Monday, 7/27 at 4:30pm
The Sounds of (Social) Science
Presenter: Dean Aaron Lorenz

This presentation and discussion explores the social, cultural, and behavioral tenets of how the social sciences navigate the spaces during a pandemic. Using research from environmental, legal, sociological, and psychological perspectives, we will explore the value of education in solving contemporary social problems, ultimately allowing us to expand the horizon and the parameters.


Wednesday, 7/29 at 4:30pm
Utopia and Dystopia in American Culture
Presented by: Professor Stephen Rice

Have you ever noticed how stories of supposedly utopian worlds – The Giver, for instance, or the animated film Zootopia, or most episodes of Black Mirror – always contain as well elements that are clearly dystopian? There is a long and deep strain of this utopia/dystopia pairing in American culture, which we will explore in political thought as well as in fiction and film. We will also discuss how this framework has been used to make sense of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Friday, 7/31 at 12pm
How to Access Your Courses in Canvas
Presenter: Professor Michael Bitz with Anjali Patel, Student Government Association President

Canvas is the Learning Management System (LMS) at Ramapo College. A Learning Management System (LMS) is a platform used to deliver courses, and can be used for online, hybrid, or face-to-face courses. The LMS allows you to access course resources, engage in learning activities, submit assignments, participate in group work, communicate with your professor, and more. Professor Bitz will lead you through how to log in, access your courses, and make sure your display name is accurate. You’ll also hear Canvas tips and tricks from your Student Government Association leadership.


Monday, 8/3 at 12pm
Essentials of Public Health
Presenter: Professor Yan Xu

This session will introduce students to topics related to public health including public health history, public health policy, social and behavioral health, global and environmental health, and analysis of health data. Special attention will be given to the current COVID-19 pandemic.


NEW DATE: Wednesday, 8/12 at 12pm
Ethics and Morality in the Time of COVID
Presented by: Associate Professor Marta Vides Saade

If we want to move beyond a polarized choice between love and money, perhaps taking a view of the deeper moral questions will help us live in the time of COVID. Our discussion will consider the views offered by John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Kwame Anthony Appiah. We track the “meaning of the mask” for liberal theory, entitlement theory, and cosmopolitan communitarian theory. Participants will receive two short articles and two brief videos together with study questions for discussion, along with their registration information.


Thursday, 8/6 at 4:30pm
The Arts in Times of Crisis
Presenter: Dean Peter A.Campbell

As our world deals with multiple crises – of the COVID-19 pandemic, of racism and violence, of global climate change – what is the role of the arts? This presentation will explore the ways that crisis has inspired art and how the arts have helped in times of crisis from ancient Greek drama to Black Lives Matter protests. Through contemporary and historical examples, we will examine how art and artists thrive in times of crisis and help us cope with radical change.


Friday, 8/7 at 12pm
Role of Bioinformatics in Modern Medicine
Presenter: Professor Paramjeet Bagga

Bioinformatics is a modern interdisciplinary science that develops and applies computational methods to help frame and resolve biological problems. It is practiced in the modern fields of molecular, personalized and preventative medicine, and allows for applying highly complex systems-biology approaches to address medical challenges of the 21st century. This powerful technology-oriented science can be applied to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases, design new generations of drugs and vaccines, shorten the development cycle of new medicines, and develop gene-based medicinal treatments. This presentation will highlight some of the advancements in this field.


If you have any questions about the series, please email

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