'Immigration: Past, Present, and Future'

Panel to invite and facilitate discussion on immigration March 12

Luther College invites the community to "Immigration: Past, Present, and Future," a panel encouraging conversation on the history and current state of immigration in the United States, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall on the Luther campus.

The discussion, sponsored by Luther's Hispanic Organization of Latinos y Amigos, and Enlaces, is open to the public with no charge for admission.

The panel is comprised of Luther Campus Pastor David Vasquez, and faculty members Gokhan Savas, sociology, and Greg Jesson, philosophy.

The Hispanic Organization of Latinos y Amigos, and Enlaces organize panels, talent shows, film discussions and other events to promote Latino culture on campus.

Pastor Vasquez has been a member of the College Ministries department since 2001. Prior to coming to Luther, he served St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Batesville, Ind., and worked in youth ministry at First Lutheran Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Active in advocacy and study around immigration issues and youth development, Pastor Vasquez has spoken at various regional and national youth events, including serving as keynoter for the ELCA Youth Gathering in Atlanta, Georgia, ELCA Global Mission "Glocal" events around the country, and others.

Savas, assistant professor of sociology, joined the sociology department in 2013. As a quantitative sociologist, he has been conducting educational research pertaining to social stratification, inequality, immigration, and gender, race and class. His current research interests include race, gender and social class differences in precollege academic achievement, college enrollment, college success and degree attainment, and labor market outcomes.

Jesson has been a professor in the philosophy department since 2010, teaching courses in philosophy, philosophy through film and philosophy of the mind. He is also director of the Center for Ethics and Public Life at Luther, implementing the center's programming initiatives, overseeing the first-year immersion programs and advising students in the Washington semester abroad. His courses and research focus on epistemology, philosophy of mind, and phenomenology.