Judge David Hansen and sophomore Courtney Kissinger listen to a mock case argued by junior Jamie Lomheim during a class, Current Cases Before the Supreme Court, Hansen teamtaught with politics professor Rob Sutherland.
David Hansen, a judge on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, guided 16 students through the high court's docket in Current Cases Before the Supreme Court, a fall class he teamtaught with politics professor Rob Sutherland.
The class examined in-depth 15 of the approximately 85 cases argued before the Supreme Court this year. The students presented oral arguments in a mock courtroom, the Mount Vernon City Council chambers. The cases included age discrimination in the workplace and Miranda rule challenges.
"He has seen cases like these firsthand. He takes us seriously, and he takes our opinions seriously," said junior Jamie Lomheim, a history and politics major with plans to attend law school and become a district attorney.
It's an "unprecedented opportunity," Sutherland said, to have a federal court judge instructing undergraduates; it is more common in law schools.
"I hope they take from this class a better understanding of the work of the Supreme Court and what effect that has in their daily lives," said Hansen, of Mount Vernon, who was named to the appeals court in 1991. He retired in March 2003 as chief judge and accepted reduced responsibilities as a senior judge.
25th year of Chautauqua
Cornell's popular Chautauqua series of classes for older adults is marking its 25th year.
Chautauqua was borne from the confluence in 1979, says professor emeritus of history Richard Thomas, of three events: the college's move in 1978 to One-CourseAt-A-Time, the overwhelming popularity of the Elderhostel program for older area residents, and an infusion of state and federal funds to launch the program. Chautauqua appealed to people who were eager to learn but who were not necessarily interested in earning college credit.
"This has been one of the most successful community outreach programs ever in terms of attendance and outreach," said Thomas, who served on Cornell's original Chautauqua steering committee and taught a course during this silver anniversary.
Each weekly Chautauqua class draws an average of 67 participants. Enrollment for a four-week course is capped at 80. Instructors are Cornell professors, guest lecturers, and alumni. Amana historian Peter Hoehnle '96 and Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce president Ron Corbett '83 led sessions during the "All Things IOWA" course last fall.