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Second Annual Lewis College Roundtable

Illinois Tech's Lewis College of Human Sciences engages in compelling work at the intersection of people and technology and strives to create cross-disciplinary dialogue. The Lewis College Roundtable reflects that mission. Instead of a standard lecture, invited panelists, ranging from academics to industry experts, participate in a 90-minute, moderated discussion about a chosen topic. Their unique perspectives on the given theme create a lively discussion that allows our guests to think more deeply about these topics of far-reaching significance.

Are you on Twitter? Join the conversation by using #IITLewis and following @IITHumanScience.

Digital Discourse and Civil Society

October 13, 2016 | 3:30–5 p.m. | Mccormick tribune campus center (MTCC) Auditorium

In the next Lewis College Roundtable, scholars from the fields of digital ethics, social psychology, and gaming will explore what constitutes a civil society in the digital age.

How can we promote ethical behavior and social good in the digital space? Has the Internet fostered more extreme viewpoints on controversial issues? Does the perceived anonymity in the digital space increase bullying and toxicity in online communities? Are the rules of etiquette and civility different online?

Join us as we discuss these questions and more at the next Roundtable. This event is free and open to the public. A reception celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions will follow in the MTCC Ballroom.

RSVP Today!

2016 Roundtable Panelists

Lucy Bernholz

Lucy BernholzLucy Bernholz is a senior research scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and director of the Digital Civil Society Lab. She has been a visiting scholar at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and a fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, the Hybrid Reality Institute, and the New America Foundation. Bernholz is the author of numerous articles and books, including the annual Blueprint Series on Philanthropy and the Social Economy, the 2010 publication Disrupting Philanthropy, and her 2004 book Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution. She is a co-editor of Philanthropy in Democratic Societies, to be published in June 2016 by the University of Chicago Press. She writes extensively on philanthropy, technology, information, and policy on her award winning blog,

Bernholz has a B.A. from Yale University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Howard D. Fencl

Howard FenclHoward D. Fencl is a vice president at Hennes Communications LLC, a crisis communications, crisis management, litigation communications, and media training firm based in Cleveland. His crisis experience includes helping clients deal with accusations of criminal behavior, leadership changes, industrial accidents, product recalls, and other high-stakes reputation issues.

Fencl previously served as assistant news director at WKYC-TV in Cleveland, where he and his news team received the Edward R. Murrow Award in 2013 for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism. He was vice president at Edward Howard & Co. (now Fahlgren Mortine), a public relations agency serving a diverse client portfolio including Hoover, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Rubbermaid, Kidde, and Huffy. In the 1990s, he was president and general manager of Multiverse, one of the pioneer internet service providers in Northeast Ohio. Fencl was pivotal in creating and launching Cleveland’s first presence on the web in late 1994 in his capacity as director of communications for The New Cleveland Campaign, a civic marketing organization. He also served as a television news producer and executive producer for a dozen years.

Fencl graduated as valedictorian from Denison University, and earned his M.A. at Hiram College.

Kishonna L. Gray

Kishonna GrayKishonna L. Gray is currently a MLK Visiting Scholar in Women & Gender Studies and Comparative Media Studies/Writing at the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. She is also the founder of the Critical Gaming Lab at Eastern Kentucky University. She is expanding on the work created at MIT to develop new initiatives surrounding Equity in Gaming. Her work broadly intersects identity and new media although she has a particular focus on gaming. Her most recent book, Race, Gender, & Deviance in Xbox Live (Routledge, 2014), provides a much-needed theoretical framework for examining deviant behavior and deviant bodies within that virtual gaming community. Her work has been featured in outlets such as the Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology; Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology; Bulletin of Science, Technology, & Society; and New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, Information, Communication, & Society, among others. Her work has also been featured in the LA Times, Paste Magazine, Engadget, The Guardian, BET, and Blavity. She’s a featured blogger and podcaster with “Not Your Mama’s Gamer” and actively blogs on her own website.

Gray completed her Ph.D. at Arizona State University with a concentration in media, technology, and culture. You can follow her on Twitter at @KishonnaGray and the Equity in Gaming Initiative at @EquityInGaming.

Donald Heider

Don HeiderDon Heider is the founding dean and professor in the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago, and  founder of the Center for Digital Ethics & Policy.  He is the author or editor of seven books including Ethics for a Digital Age.  Heider is a multiple Emmy-award winning producer and reporter who spent ten years in news before entering the academy.

Heider worked previously at the University of Maryland, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He holds a B.A. from Colorado State University, an M.A. from American University and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.

Eric D. Wesselmann

Eric WesselmannEric D. Wesselmann is an assistant professor of psychology at Illinois State University. His research interests focus broadly on the dynamics of social connection and dissolution in various contexts. Specifically, he conducts research on ostracism and other types of social exclusion. He has published empirical articles and book chapters on how individuals feel when they experience being ostracized, as well as how and why individuals ostracize others. He also has published articles on the psychological aspects of such diverse topics as religious beliefs, stigma, aggression, and sexual harassment. He is a fellow of the Midwestern Psychological Association, has received the Association for Psychological Science's "Rising Star" designation in 2015, and has co-edited two themed issues for peer-reviewed journals—one for the Journal of Social Psychology and one for the Journal for Prevention and Intervention in the Community

Wesselmann has a B.A. and M.S. from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.

Lewis College Roundtable