A Conversation with Eric Weiner
“Embark on a Journey of Living Well”
Presented in affiliation with the Honors Program, Department of English, Department of History, and Department of Philosophy.
Following an introduction on the topic of happiness by Fairfield’s Anthropology Department Chair Scott Lacy, PhD, students Pete Baron ‘23, Sebastian Michel ‘23, and Lauren Fleckenstein '22 will engage in conversation with Eric Weiner, best-selling author of The Geography of Bliss and The Socrates Express. In his latest book, The Socrates Express, Weiner draws life lessons from 14 different philosophers. The author previously went on a search for the happiest places on earth to complete his book, The Geography of Bliss.
The theme of this conversation will be happiness in the 21st century. Drawing from their own academic and life experiences, Baron, Michel, and Fleckenstein will pick Weiner's brain regarding the philosophical lessons about happiness. The event aims to motivate students, faculty, and other attendees to embark on the journey to “live well.” Interested in living a happy life? Please join us for this exciting event.
Sebastian Michel is a junior accounting and finance major with a minor in Black studies. Sebastian currently serves as the resident assistant for the Honors LLC in Jogues Hall and the treasurer for Black Student Union. In addition, he is a part of the Alpha Mu Gamma Language Honor Society and St. Bellarmine Pre-Law Society.
Lauren Fleckenstein is a senior philosophy major on the pre-med track with minors in health studies, Black studies and biochemistry. On campus she is a member of CARE team, a tour ambassador, President of the Health Equity Awareness club, promotions director, and show host for WVOF.
Pete Baron is a junior with an individually designed major titled Socioeconomic Inequities: Inevitable or Avoidable? On Campus, Pete is the founder and leader of the Honors Social Justice Book Club, an editor for the Honors Newsletter, and a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu Honors Society and the St. Bellarmine Pre-Law Society.
Scott Lacy, PhD is the associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and anthropology professor, and the Faculty Chair of Community-Based Research Initiatives at Fairfield University in Connecticut. Dr. Lacy is also the founder and executive director of African Sky, Inc., a non-profit organization that collaborates with hard-working farm families in rural Mali, West Africa. His research interests include cross-cultural knowledge production, food systems, and intellectual property rights associated with seed, and more recently, the anthropology of happiness. He earned his PhD in anthropology at UC Santa Barbara where he started his teaching career in the Department of Black Studies as the University of California President's Faculty Fellow. Prior to arriving at his current post at Fairfield University, Lacy taught in the Department of Anthropology at Emory University during his tenure as Marjorie Shostak Endowed Lecturer. Since his first years as a teacher, Dr. Lacy has received numerous teaching awards and grants from the University of California, Emory, and Fairfield. His unique teaching style is featured in a DVD/streaming course produced by The Great Courses.
Dr. Lacy has worked in Mali since 1994 when he first served in the Peace Corps. Since then, he has partnered with family farmers, teachers, community leaders, plant scientists, engineers, and a host of other knowledge specialists in Mali and throughout the world. A two-time Fulbright Scholar (Mali 2001-2002 & Cameroon 2016-2017), he has presented his work as a consultant and/or keynote speaker for Engineers Without Borders, The Peace Corps, The Material Research Society, ICRISAT Mali, the Institute d’Economie Rural (Bamako, Mali), the Guangxi Maize Research Institute (Nanning, China), the D80 Conference, MIT and, Columbia. Currently, Dr. Lacy is working on a book manuscript that chronicles over two decades of friendship and collaboration in southern Mali. His non-profit and academic work has been featured in two major documentaries: Sustaining Life by Sprint Features (nominated for a 2009 Academy Award), and Nyogonfe: Together (scheduled to be released in 2020).
Lacy is co-editor and author of two popular textbooks, Applying Anthropology, and Applying Cultural Anthropology, both published by McGraw-Hill. He has published a number of book chapters and articles that document cross cultural knowledge production in agriculture, community development, engineering, and even nanotechnology. He was awarded a Certificate of Congressional Recognition and Achievement from the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011, the same year he was the inaugural awardee for Otterbein University’s Global Intercultural Achievement Award. In addition to his work as an anthropologist, Lacy is also known for his batik artwork, including one piece that toured the country from 2006-2009 as part of a traveling Smithsonian Folklife Festival exhibit celebrating the U.S. National Parks Service.