Luther College professors attend ACM-SAIL seminar in Italy

Three Luther College professors explored the links among Earth, the environment and culture during a seminar in Italy this summer. Anita Carrasco, Beth Lynch and Matt Simpson participated in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest-Mellon Seminar for Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning.

The onsite portion of the seminar, “Mediterranean Trivium: Earth, Sea, and Culture in Italy,” brought faculty from five ACM colleges together in Florence, Italy to explore these interactions firsthand. The group also examined cultural achievements and urban geology in Tuscany, and went on overnight excursions to the bay of Naples and Rome. Faculty used the experience to develop curricular innovations that foster multidisciplinary learning by advanced undergraduates.

Lynch said the experience was exemplary, expanding the knowledge and horizons of all of the teams involved through collaborative learning. “It was inspiring to plan, learn and discover with people so passionate about teaching and learning,” she said.

Along with the Luther team, teams from Carleton, Coe and St. Olaf colleges attended the seminar led by a team from Colorado College. The group discussed how natural phenomena affect societies; how societies manage the environment; how people think about and imagine nature; how Classical and Renaissance perspectives inform contemporary society; and how to conceive, design and implement multidisciplinary courses or modules for advanced undergraduates.

Faculty teams from each school will continue development and dissemination during the coming academic year.

The SAIL program is funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,500, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the bachelor of arts degree in 60 majors and preprofessional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: