Lawrence University July Seminars

Lawrence University’s Summer Seminars are gearing up for the season. In July, topics range from the exploration of science on the grounds of Björklunden to the relationship between China and America and the little-known secrets of the CIA.

“Adventures in Science – Natural and Physical” with David Stokes and Karl Debelack is being offered from July 5 through July 10. “Adventures in Science” will allow participants to become involved with environment of Björklunden through the use of song, stories, live animal interactions, and other outdoor investigations.

David Stokes is a freelance naturalist, educator, and entertainer, having taught students and families since 1972. He uses humor, songs, and story to teach what he thinks is the most important part of nature education, which is being hands-on and interactive.

Karl Debelack’s programs have been featured at the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. He has been referred to as one of the best science communicators in the state.

Then, the week of July 12 – 17, Lawrence is offering two seminars:  “China and America” with Michael Desch and “All You ever Wanted to Know about the CIA but were Afraid to Ask” with John Herms and Shirene Hansotia.

“China and America” will explore the military, economic, and political challenges that China poses for the Unites States, and considers the pros and cons of the various policies that the US might adopt in response. Michael Desch is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame as well as the founding director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs.

The goal of “All You Ever Wanted to Know about the CIA but Were Afraid to Ask” is to teach participants about the little-known and often misunderstood world of American intelligence, specifically the Central Intelligence Agency.

A graduate of The Citadel, John Herms served as an officer in the US Army special operations forces before joining the CIA as an undercover paramilitary/special operations officer. In his 20 years with the agency, he conducted covert action operations around the world. He currently is an intelligence contractor serving as an advisor and helicopter pilot in Afghanistan.

Shirene Hansotia is a Wisconsin native and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked in journalism and community/economic development for several years before joining the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. She has worked as a covert intelligence analyst in Washington, DC, Africa and the Middle East.

Since 1980, Lawrence University has sponsored a summer seminar series at Björklunden, a 425-acre estate on the shore of Lake Michigan. Seminar classes meet weekday mornings and some evenings with remaining free time open for exploration of the area’s many cultural and recreational opportunities.

For more information on Bjorklunden’s Summer Seminars, call 920.839.2216 or visit