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CCU's Celebration of Inquiry explores 21st century life

January 24, 2008

More than 160 programs and presentations exploring the theme "The Modern Life: The Challenges and Advantages to Living and Learning in the 21st Century" will be offered during Coastal Carolina University's seventh Celebration of Inquiry conference from Feb. 13 to 15. All events are free and open to the public.

Sir Ken Robinson, a noted expert on innovation, creativity and human resources, will give the conference's keynote address, "Out of our Minds: Learning to be Creative," on Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium. The event is free but tickets are required from the Wheelwright box office.

Robinson will discuss education systems throughout the world that are being reformed to meet the challenges of the 21st century, including many that he believes are going in the wrong direction. He will also talk about innovative organizations and the methods they employ to stay ahead of the pack.

Robinson is the author of "Out of our Minds: Learning to be Creative" and "The Arts in Schools: Principle, Practice and Provision." He earned a Ph.D. from the University of London in 1981 and was chair of Great Britain's National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education.

Robinson was knighted by Elizabeth II in 2003. He has served as an adviser to many organizations, including the Royal Shakespeare Festival, UNESCO and the J. Paul Getty Trust. Celebration of Inquiry is a two-day, universitywide academic conference that redirects all classes to presentations and events held all over campus. Conference sessions, many of them led by students with faculty direction, cover a diverse range of topics, from a roller derby presentation to a program on why right-brainers will rule the future.

Five plenary speakers are featured during the conference, including:

* Jessica Mogul, a CCU graduate who is customer development manager for Coca-Cola Bottling Co.,"Even the Mighty Think Critically About Relationships: Managing Relationships and Fit at Coca-Cola Bottling Company," Thursday, Feb. 14, 10 a.m., Wall Auditorium

* David Redmon, filmmaker and producer, "'Mardi Gras Made in China' documentary film and conversation with the filmmaker," Thursday, Feb. 14, 3 p.m., Wall Auditorium (for mature audiences only)

* Danny Nicholson, CCU's vice president for university advancement, "Leading Where It Counts," Friday, Feb. 15, 10:30 a.m., Wall Auditorium

* Jack Thompson, photographer "A Pictorial History of the Changing Times in Horry County and the Grand Strand," Friday, Feb. 15, 10:30 a.m., Wheelwright Auditorium

* Patti Mercer, "Mrs. South Carolina 2006 Speaks Out About Autism," Friday, Feb. 15, 11:30 a.m., Wall Auditorium.

Closing the session on Friday will be Luz Marina Posada and Gustavo Renjifo, two popular Colombian musicians performing "Songs of Our Times" at 2:30 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium. Their songwriting focus is the human condition in Colombia and the wider world. A reception will follow the performance on the Wheelwright Mezzanine.

A sampling of some of the presentations:

"Geezers, Grungers, GenXers, Geeks," a session exploring the pitfalls and benefits of four distinct generations in the American workforce, Thursday, 11:30 a.m., Edwards 110

"The Clutter that Ate My Life," a discussion of the phenomena of American shopping and resulting clutter, Thursday, 1:30 p.m., Wall 322

"Shrink Your Ecological Footprint," a session on how everyday decisions affect the environment around you, Thursday, 1:30 p.m., Wall 309

"The Ukelele: More Popular than Ever?" a mini-concert by CCU amateur musicians, Thursday, 1:30 p.m., Edwards Recital Hall

For a complete schedule of Celebration of Inquiry events, visit This conference is sponsored in part by the Burroughs Foundation Inc.