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Warren College Community Dinners

Throughout this academic year, Dr. Doug and Mrs. Patricia Fisher will be hosting dinners in their apartment (Warren 503) for Warren College residents. Many dinners will be catered by Vanderbilt dining and all will include a special guest from the Vanderbilt community and a lively conversation about various topics of interest to our residents and our faculty affiliates.

Typically, dinner will be served at 6:00 pm, and you are welcome to arrive between 5:30 pm and 6:00 pm.

Please sign-up for as many dinners as you'd like to attend. If a guest has not yet been slated for the date you've selected, please check back soon, as we hope to have all guests determined in the near future.

Thanks! We look forward to seeing you at dinner this semester!
Dr. Doug and Mrs. Patricia Fisher



Past Dinners

 Sunday, April 17
Dinner Guest: Leslie Kirby, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer of Psychology 

About Dr. Kirby: 
Dr. Kirby
Leslie Kirby's research program is broadly concerned with emotions and stress. Her background is in appraisal theories of emotion, which focus on antecedents to emotional states, or what causes us to become emotional and under what circumstances. Her work centers on the process of emotions - how does the emotion system work, what are the differences between conscious and non-conscious emotional processing, and what are the consequences of emotions. (Source)


 Sunday, January 17
Dinner Guest: Derek Bruff, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Teaching and Senior Lecturer of Mathematics

About Dr. Bruff:

Dr. Derek Bruff


Derek Bruff  is director of the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching and a senior lecturer in the Vanderbilt Department of Mathematics. As director, he oversees the Center’s programming and offerings for faculty and graduate students, helping them develop foundational teaching skills and explore new ideas in teaching and learning. He also consults regularly with campus leaders about pedagogical issues, seeking to foster a university culture that supports effective teaching. His research interests include educational technology, visual thinking, and social pedagogies, and he teaches courses on cryptography, linear algebra, and statistics. Learn more about Derek’s work, including his 2009 book Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Active Learning Environments, on his blog, Agile Learning. (Source)



 Wednesday, February 10
Theme: Recovering Lost Voices: Robert Penn Warren and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement
Dinner Guests: Ruth Turner Perot, Robert Moses & Kelly Miller Smith, Jr.

About Our Guests:

Ruth Turner Perot was the Executive Secretary of the Cleveland chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) as well as a National Action Council member. She was born in Chicago, educated at Oberlin College, and taught German in the Cleveland public schools before assuming her position at CORE. She is credited with the formulation of the Black Power philosophy. Currently she is the Executive Director of Summit Health Institute for Research and Education, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., which works to eradicate health disparities and aid vulnerable populations in attaining optimal health. (Source)

Robert Moses is an educator and civil rights activist. After earning a master’s degree in philosophy at Harvard, Moses moved to the South and served as field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, working to register black voters in Mississippi as director of SNCC’s Mississippi Project. In 1961 he was a Freedom Rider, and in 1964 was the main organizer of the Freedom Summer project with the Council of Federated Organizations. His calm leadership helped SNCC navigate the threats and violence encountered in this process, including the murder of three volunteers. When SNCC became less committed to nonviolence, Moses left the organization to teach math in Tanzania. He later founded the Algebra Project, an innovative math literacy program geared for disadvantaged youth. Moses eventually returned to Harvard to complete a doctorate in philosophy, and now holds the Frank Rhodes Professorship at Cornell University. (Source)

The Reverend Dr. Kelly Miller Smith Jr. is the proud pastor of First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill, which he began serving in September 2010. He is the son of the late Reverend Dr. Kelly Miller Smith Sr. (after whom Moore College's own Smith Hall is named) and Dr. Alice C. Smith Risby; he was born in Mound Bayou, Mississippi and reared in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Smith received a B.A. degree in Music from Morehouse College in 1976. He later attended Morehouse School of Religion of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 1983. In 1993, he received a Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.) degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where he was a Proctor-Moss Fellow. He is currently serving or has formerly served on various boards and positions on the local, state, and national levels. He is a member of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (Boule). (Source)


 Monday, February 22
Theme: Internship Opportunities in Washington DC and a Career in Government Relations
Dinner Guest: Christina West, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Federal Relations

About VC West:

Christina West Christina West is the assistant vice chancellor for federal relations in Vanderbilt University's Office of Federal Relations. In this role, West is responsible for coordinating the University and Medical Center's federal relations and advocacy activities. She works closely with both campus leaders and Washington policy makers on topics such as funding levels for federal research agencies; federal higher education policy and student aid; health policy; regulatory issues related to higher education, research and academic medical centers; technology transfer and tax issues. West interacts regularly with leaders in Congress, focusing primarily on the Tennessee congressional delegation and their staffs. Building on her previous experience on Capitol Hill in a Tennessee congressional office, West has built solid relationships with many of the key offices with which Vanderbilt interfaces. She has served as the vice chair and chair of the Association of American Universities' (AAU) Council on Federal Relations. She previously chaired AAU's Humanities Task Force which advocates on behalf of the National Endowment for the Humanities and is the 2014 chair of AAU's Higher Education Task Force which focuses on higher education policy and federal student aid. (Source)


 Sunday, March 20
Theme: God and Geeks -- Looking for God in Engineering and Computing
Dinner Guest: Larry Dowdy, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, Emeritus

About Dr. Dowdy:

Dr. Dowdy Larry Dowdy obtained the B.S. degree in Mathematics from Florida State University in 1974.  He then went to Duke University where he obtained both an M.A. degree and a Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1976 and 1977, respectively.

From 1978-81, Dr. Dowdy was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland at College Park.  From 1981-2014, he was a faculty member at Vanderbilt University in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.  In 1987-88, he spent a sabbatical year at the Institut für Informatik at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.  From 1995-98, he served as the Chair of the Computer Science Department.  Professor Dowdy served as Vanderbilt's Dean of Students from 1998-2001.  During 2002-03, he was on sabbatical leave (pictures) at the University of Leeds, England, in the School of Computing.

In the past, Professor Dowdy served a member of the IFIP Working Group 7.3, an international group of researchers in the area of performance measurement and modeling of computer systems.  Dr. Dowdy also served as the Chair of SIGMETRICS and has served as the senior editor of the "Performance Supplement" project, a joint project sponsored by ACM SIGMETRICS and the Computer Measurement Group (CMG).  He has co-authored three books, P.S. to Operating Systems Capacity Planning and Performance Modeling , and  Performance by Design  published by Prentice Hall, and has received research, teaching, and administrative awards.  Professor Dowdy has taught many courses, primarily in the areas of operating systems and performance analysis.  He has also been involved in the  One Laptop Per Child  initiative and with  Engineers Without Borders .  In 2012, he spent three months in South America (blog).  In 2014, Larry retired from Vanderbilt University as an emeritus faculty member. (Source)

FROM Fall 2015: Professor Lisa Guenther, Associate Professor of Philosophy; Professor Lucious Outlaw, Professor of Philosophy; Dr. Tina Smith, Associate Dean of Students, Inclusion Initiatives & Cultural Competence;  Dr. Stephen Buckles, Senior Lecturer of Economics