honors symposium lecture series revised schedule graphic
Feb 10, 2015

FVCC Honors Symposium to Address The Next America: How Millennials are Changing Everything

Honors-Symposium-buttonFlathead Valley Community College’s Honors Symposium will return February 23, offering FVCC students and members of the community five opportunities to hear from regional and national experts who will address various topics that support this year’s theme, “The Next America:  How Millennials are Changing Everything.” The college brings these free lectures to the community to provide credible and substantive information on important topics of public interest. 

This year’s lecture series will examine the next America and how the nation is facing challenges that seem to threaten some of its most cherished foundations. The opening presentation, “Generation Me and the Rise of Individualism:  Understanding Generational Differences,” by Jean Twenge, Ph.D., will describe a common theme of how millennials are commonly focused on self and less on social rules and how they approach key issues they are facing in the 21st Century. The series will continue with discussions on changing perceptions on religion, health care and drug policy, as well as a consideration of the implications of increased political polarization and changing attitudes on family and gender roles.

On February 23, Twenge will provide a behind-the-scenes look at generational differences and cultural changes based on a dataset of 11 million young people. The trends include shifts in positive self-views, narcissism, religious beliefs, attitudes toward equality, civic engagement, technology and social media.

Twenge is a professor of psychology at San Diego State University in San Diego and is the author of more than 100 scientific publications and the book, “Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable than Ever Before” and co-author of the book, “The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement.” She frequently presents lectures to college faculty and staff, high school teachers, military personnel, camp directors and corporate executives. Her research has been covered in multiple national news media outlets and publications. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Chicago and a doctorate from University of Michigan.

The symposium will continue with the following presentations:

March 2:  “The Rise of the ‘Nones’: Why More Americans are Becoming Non-religious,” by Phil Zuckerman, Ph.D., professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif.;

March 10:  “Obamacare and Legalized Recreational Marijuana,” by Gregg Davis, Ph.D., professor of economics at Flathead Valley Community College;

March 17:  “Polarization, Fragmentation, and Culture Wars:  the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” by Christopher Muste, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at The University of Montana, Missoula; and

March 23:  “The Way We Never Were:  American Families and the Nostalgia Trap,” by Stephanie Coontz, professor of history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.

Free and open to the public, all lectures will take place at 7 p.m. in the large community meeting room inside the Arts & Technology building on the FVCC campus. The FVCC Honors Symposium is supported by FVCC, Humanities Montana, Kalispell branch of American Association of University Women, FVCC Alumni & Ambassadors and the Theodore Chase Endowment Fund. 

For full presentation descriptions and speaker bios, visit For more information, contact Ivan Lorentzen, Ed.D., at 756-3864 or