McMaster Symposium 2012

The Question of Individual Liberties as Critical to Improving the Human Condition
March 28-29, 2012

Symposium Schedule
Honors Poster Schedule

The 2012 McMaster Symposium committee invited individual papers, round table discussions, and panels that address the relationship between "individual liberties" and the various needs, values, expectations, beliefs, traditions, and orientations that may constitute an "improved human condition." Over the course of the symposium we seek to examine the "individual liberties" concept from the perspective of a wide range of disciplines, including but not limited to the fine arts, economics, political science, social sciences, education, peace and justice studies, communication arts, and the sciences.

Keynote Speakers

Lee J. Strang
Professor of Law

Professor Lee J. Strang joined the University of Toledo faculty in 2008 and was granted tenure in 2010. Before that, he was a visiting Professor at Michigan State University College of Law and an Associate Professor at Ave Maria School of Law. A graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was Articles Editor of the Iowa Law Review and Order of the Coif, Professor Strang also holds an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School.

Prior to teaching, Professor Strang served as a judicial clerk for Judge Alice M. Batchelder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He was also an associate for Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago, where he practiced in general and appellate litigation.

A prolific scholar, Professor Strang has published in the fields of constitutional law and interpretation, property law, and religion and the First Amendment. Most recently, he published An Originalist Theory of Precedent: The Privileged Place of Originalist Precedent in the B.Y.U. Law Review. Among other scholarly projects, he is currently editing a case book on constitutional law for LexisNexis and drafting a book proposal tentatively titled Originalism: Its Promise and Limits.

Professor Strang is a frequent presenter at scholarly conferences. He is also a regular participant in debates at law schools across the country, contributor to the media, and speaker to political, civic, and religious groups.

Professor Strang's course offerings include Constitutional Law, Constitutional Interpretation, Property Law, Administrative Law, Business Associations, Federal Courts, and Appellate Practice.

Alice Brinkman
Founder of REACH Art Center

There aren't many surfaces in the REACH Studio Art Center that don't have something painted on them. Shelves burst with art supplies. Handmade puppets line the walls. "We really need more space and that's a nice problem to have," says Alice Brinkman.

The 52-year-old Lansing resident founded REACH, a nonprofit art center, in 2003 as a place for kids to come create art in the REO Town neighborhood in south Lansing. It offers a few fee-based art classes, but most of its programs are free.

Brinkman grew up in East Lansing and says she recognized early in her life that she was fortunate to have access to music and art classes. "My parents were very proactive about getting me into different artistic endeavors," Brinkman says. "I just really believe that having access to artmaking should not be determined by whether you have enough money. REACH needs to continue to be a place that's accessible."

As interest has grown, Brinkman has added more art classes and studio time at REACH. She relies mostly on volunteers from the community and Michigan State University to work with the budding artists. While volunteers are a huge part of what makes REACH a success, there's no denying Brinkman is the heart of the organization.

Brinkman is a textile artist who loves to create pieces of art by dying large swaths of fabric. The size of her art wasn't easy to accommodate with two children at home, which was one of the reasons she first sought out a separate studio space. Her personal studio, the top level of the REACH building, is now crammed with items in storage for the community programs. Rogers says the community is Alice's canvas now.