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Tsakiridis to receive Hendrickson award, deliver Cheever lecture

South Dakota State University faculty member George Tsakiridis will receive the annual J.P. Hendrickson Liberal Arts Faculty Scholar Award and deliver the Herbert Cheever Jr. Liberal Arts Lecture. The award presentation and lecture, sponsored by SDSU’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, are scheduled for 7 p.m., Sept. 24, in the Volstorff Ballroom of the University Student Union on the SDSU campus.

George Tsakiridis
George Tsakiridis

Tsakiridis, a lecturer of philosophy and religion, will deliver “The Liberal Arts and Technology: Our Need for Ethics.”

“There are two ways people approach tech ethics,” Tsakiridis said. “One is the professional ethics of working in the field of technology. While I think that’s important, what I want to address more is the importance of individual and communal ethics in a rapidly changing technological world. Technology has changed dramatically in the last five years, yet alone the last 100.

“I don’t think people have fully navigated that yet and they aren’t aware of what’s going on with technology,” he continued. “We need to be aware of privacy in this technologically changing world, especially with social media and our portable devices. People need to be aware of who they are in terms of identity because we sometimes don’t think about how we come across on a social media platform.”

Previous recipients are: Paul Baggett (2014), Timothy Meyer (2015), Greg Peterson (2016), Michael Dianovsky (2017), James Murphy (2018) and Christine Garst-Santos (fall 2018).

“I hope this lecture starts a conversation with people not only on a broader level but also with friends and family and what they’re doing in their everyday lives,” said Tsakiridis, who has a podcast with Peterson in conjunction with the SDSU Ethics Lab.

The award and lecture are named for two former College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences professors and administrators. Professor John Phillip Hendrickson was a longtime faculty member and head of the Department of Political Science from 1957 to 1988.

Herbert Cheever Jr. served as a professor in political science from 1968 until his retirement in 2000. He served as department head for nine years and as dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences for nine years.

Upon Hendrickson’s retirement in 1988, Cheever said, “J.P. Hendrickson exemplifies the qualities of the best of professors. His scholarship, teaching and advisement, character and citizenship have consistently, year in and year out, been ranked high by those who work with him or study under him. A professor’s professor.”

“We are proud to honor the legacy of faculty leaders such as John Hendrickson and Herbert Cheever. Both of them fully recognized the importance of the liberal arts as the foundation for a civil society, as well as the value of the liberal arts as the intellectual and cultural core of a university education,” said Lynn Sargeant, dean for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

The J. P. Hendrickson Faculty Scholar award celebrates a life devoted to teaching and learning, strengthens the pride and cohesion within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences around its core mission, and stimulates collective thinking about the importance and value of providing all students with the strongest possible liberal arts experience and education in and out of the classroom.

The Herbert Cheever Jr. Liberal Arts Lecture is the signature celebration of the value of a liberal education within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at South Dakota State University. The Cheever Lecture emphasizes the role and importance of a liberal arts education in today’s increasingly specialized and vocationally oriented political and higher education climate.