Institute for Leadership and Service Undergraduate Research Conference

April 22, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The Helge Center at Valparaiso University


You can now register for the 2017 Bridge/Work Conference through our Eventbrite site. Attendance is free and both students and community members are welcome.


About the Conference

With the drama created by and around this recent election cycle, it seems U.S. democracy and, in particular, the “respectability” of our political discourse, has shifted considerably and will likely continue to evolve in ways experts and amateurs are equally unable to predict. Some of the more divisive or difficult language may not be new to American politics, yet new technologies, alliances and polarities appear to be reshaping the landscape of participation. As the rules of engagement change, how do “we the people” express our opinions, advocate for our causes, and engage with our elected representatives and fellow citizens effectively? What do we hold in common, and how can we build on that to connect across differences? What in our values brings us together, and what drives us further apart?

These complex and important questions will be at the heart of the 2017 Bridge/Work conference, hosted by the Institute for Leadership and Service at Valparaiso University. Through a mix of keynote addresses, undergraduate research presentations and practitioner panels, conference attendees will explore how American democracy is changing–and what the changes may mean for our own engagement with neighbor and nation.

Undergraduate students are invited to submit research presentation proposals that tackle these issues through a range of disciplines, including (but not limited to) history, sociology, philosophy, political science, communications and theology.

Want to Know More?

To get a sense of what Bridge/Work entails, feel free to check out video from the 2016 Bridge/Work Conference, “Send Money, Prayers and People: The Evolving Exchange Between Belief and Action in Global Humanitarian Work”

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