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​Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar (IFS)

The Providence College Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar (IFS) brings together up to eight faculty members from across the disciplines on campus in a collaborative teaching and learning experience each year. Participants devote an entire semester to a multidisciplinary and multidimensional study of a particular theme.


The Office of Academic Affairs and The Center for Teaching Excellence proudly present the ninth annual Providence College Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar: 

Possible Perspectives:

  • How do values inform policies, both domestic and foreign?
  • Is value standardized? Is it a constant or does it shift over time?
  • Is value unit-less or only relative to other things?
  • Is value incremental or all-or-nothing?
  • How are knowledge and learning valued?
  • How does society value one’s work? 
  • What are values inherent to a good life? 
  • How can we think about numerical values? 

Applications are due May 15, 2014.

For detailed information on the application process, please refer to the "IFS Summary and Application Guidelines" PDF available via the link provided in the upper right column.


2014 ​Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar


Participants and topics: 

Joseph Torchia, O.P., Professor of Philosophy and Seminar Coordinator
“Curiosity: A Prelude to Wonder? Exploring the Scope and Dynamics of Cognitive Desire"

Paul Crenshaw, Associate Professor of Art History
"Curiosity, Collecting and Value in the Visual Arts"

Margaret Healy-Varley, Assistant Professor of English
"Paying Attention and the Medieval Meditation"

Despina D. Prassas, Associate Professor of Theology
"The Ascetical Life: Fulfilling a Novice’s Spiritual Curiosity"

Josephine Ruggiero, Professor of Sociology
"Curiosity: Sociologists as Sleuths of Human Behavior"

Monica Simal, Assistant Professor of Foreign Language Studies
“Curiosity in a colonial context: the European encounter with the Americas"

Adrian Weimer, Assistant Professor of History
"What News?:Curiosity and Rumors in Early New England"

Click here for a PDF version of the Curiosity flyer.


  • What is justice?
  • What is the role of social justice in a society?
  • Is it just to earn a profit?
  • How is justice embedded into contemporary issues (e.g., poverty, health care, the environment, mental illness, human subject research)?
  • Is justice fair? 

JUSTICE Seminar Participants


Mary O'Keeffe (Seminar Coordinator), Psychology
Tuba Agartan, Health Policy and Management
Fred Drogula, History
Raymond Hain, Philosophy
Julia Jordan-Zachery, Political Science, Black Studies
Nicholas Longo, Public and Community Service Studies
Darra Mulderry, History
Jeffrey Pugh, Political Science 


IFS Themes and Participants 2007-12

2012: Blood

Joan Branham (Seminar Coordinator), Art and Art  History
Kathleen Cornely, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Chard deNiord, English
Ian Christopher Levy, Theology
Patrick Macfarlane, Philosophy
Jane Lunin Perel, English and Women’s Studies
Charles Toth, Biology
Read more on "Blood"

2011: Relationships
Keith Morton, (Seminar Leader) Public & Community Service Studies
Joseph Cammarano, Political Science
Angela Licia Carlson, Philosophy
Sandra Keating, Theology
Lynne Lawson, Engineering/Physics/Systems
Paul Maloney, Finance
Michael Spiegler, Psychology
Benjamin Yost, Philosophy
2010: Beauty
Bruce Graver, (Seminar Leader) English
Elisabeth Arevalo, Biology
Helen Caldwell, Marketing
Peter Costello, Philosophy
Matthew Cuddeback, Philosophy
Sang Woo Kang, Music
Edgar Mejia, Foreign Language Studies
Eric Sung, Art and Art History
2009: Are we Free?
Deborah Johnson, (Seminar Leader) Art and Art History
Christopher Arroyo, Philosophy
Maia Bailey, Biology
Lydia Barovero, Foreign Language Studies
Dana Dillon, Theology
Anthony Esolen, English
Robert Hackey, Health Policy & Management
William Hudson, Political Science
2008: Color
Charlotte O'Kelly, (Seminar Leader) Sociology
James Baker, Art and Art History
Deidre Bird, Marketing
Laura Landen, Philosophy
Stephen Mecca, Engineering/Physics/Systems
Carmen Rolón, Secondary Education
Ray Sickinger, History/Public and Community Service
2007: Being Human
Joseph Torchia, O.P., (Seminar Leader) Philosophy
Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., Biology
Louis A. Beaubien, Management
Deborah P. Goessling, Elementary/Special Education
Paul L. Gondreau, Theology
Susan K. McCarthy, Political Science
Thomas F. Strasser, Art and Art History
Tuire M. Valkeakari, English 
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