CAS Inquire graphic
Students in lecture

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.

This selective program offers high-performing students opportunities to talk with college thought leaders, connect with other inquisitive students, and engage important ideas. 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.

The 2023-2024 Theme

Sustainable Futures

All talks will be in the City Union, Swanson Auditorium, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 12

Patrick Bitterman

"Visions of Sustainable Futures: The Need for a (Multi-)Spatial Lens"

Patrick Bitterman

Geography (School of Global Integrative Studies)

Watch the Video

Jan. 30

Julia Frengs

"Imagining Sustainable Futures: What Literature Can do for the Earth"

Julia Frengs

French (Modern Languages and Literatures)

Watch the video

Feb. 27

Cara Burberry

"Geology in a Green Energy Future"

Cara Burberry

Geology (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)

Register for the Zoom link

Mar. 26

Panel featuring all speakers

The 2024-2025 Theme

War, Peace, and Reconciliation

Possible Future Themes

  • Civil Discourse
  • Monsters and the Monstrous

What Program Participants Do

After applying or being nominated as a freshman:


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.


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

  • Facilitate small group conversations
  • Reflect on talking about the interdisciplinary experiences you have had and choosing what to do next
  • Take 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.


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 Benefits


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' distinction projects


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