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Students in lecture

This selective program offers high-performing students opportunities to talk with college thought leaders, connect with other inquisitive students, and engage important ideas through an interactive and multidisciplinary series of public lectures and private seminars exploring emerging topics of broad societal interest.

During the three-year program, CAS Inquire students will play a leadership role in planning, organizing, and facilitating the program in future years and will enjoy additional benefits.

Contact the program's director, Dr. Taylor Livingston, for more information.

Why apply?

  • Be a part of a distinctive group
  • Think about important, contemporary issues from a variety of perspectives
  • Enjoy special benefits

The Lecture Series

The CAS Inquire program builds around a college-wide series of public lectures centering on a new theme each year. A touchstone for the college, the talks give students, staff, and faculty a focal point and shared topic for conversations and further inquiry.

The 2022-2023 Theme

Searching for Common Ground
in a Polarized World

Mar. 28

Panel discussion - people seated at a table with microphones

Panel Discussion

Julia Schleck, Elizabeth Theiss-Morse, Regina Werum, Geoff Lorenz, Margaret Jacobs

2021-22: Pleasure and Pain

CAS Inquire, Pain and Pleasure in Philosophy, Joseph Mendola
CAS Inquire, On Melancholia and White Pain, Casey Kelly
CAS Inquire, MeToo in the Renaissance, Nora Peterson
CAS Inquire, No Pleasure, Addiction, Poverty, and the Everyday Lives of Drug Users, Roberto Abadie
CAS Inquire, Sexy Times Call for Sexy Measure, Tierney Lorenz
CAS Inquire panel discussion

2019-20: Rise of the Machines

CAS Inquire, The Rise of the Machines and How We Can Resist Them, Reynolds
CAS Inquire, Shaping the Future Rise of Drones, Detweiler
CAS Inquire, Gene Machines, Navigating a world enthralled by DNA, Meiklejohn
CAS Inquire, The Rise of Nanotechnology, small machines with big impact, Binek
CAS Inquire, Discriminatory Algorithms and Cultural Complexities, Heitman and Richards Rissetto

Future themes may include

Sustainable Futures  •  War, Peace, and Reconciliation  •  Civil Discourse  •  Monsters and the Monstrous

What to Expect

Once you have applied, or were nominated, as a freshman, here's what the program includes each year.

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Sophomore

Take a 1-credit class both fall and spring built around the CAS Inquire lecture series:

  • Read and discuss an article based on the upcoming lecture one week
  • Attend the public lecture the next week
  • Discuss the topic with the speaker the week after the lecture.
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Junior

Take “Inquire Inspires,” a mini-course offered as a weekend retreat in the fall. Develop skills such as:

  • Facilitating small group conversations
  • Reflecting on talking about the interdisciplinary experiences you have had and choosing what to do next
  • Taking first steps toward preparing for job searches or applying to professional or graduate school

Serve as a discussion leader in the class or member of the planning committee for the next lecture series.

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Senior

Take “Whole-life living,” a mini-course in which members of Lincoln- and Omaha-based civic organizations talk about finding your communities in your next step after college and making your next address home by taking a role in the community.

Anticipate and prepare for what you will need and want in your next step.

Serve as a discussion leader in the class or member of the planning committee for the next lecture series.

Additional opportunities

CAS Inquire students will enjoy special events and benefits including:

A junior year dinner with the dean and a student invited faculty guest

A senior year brunch with their family and a faculty guest

A thesis writing group starting spring of junior year to support students as they develop their projects to submit for distinction

A one-time stipend to attend a national conference or education abroad experience

How to apply

Apply to the program as a first-year student.

Student application

Nominate, or provide a reference for, a student.

Nomination form