Dead-End Dreams? Inequality in America

Simpson Colloquium SC 101 – Dead-End Dreams? In Equality in America

America is the land of opportunity, the one nation where you can be anything you put your mind to being. Or is it? Inequality is an issue of growing importance in the years after the Great Recession of 2008. President Barack Obama has made addressing inequality a priority of his final term in office, and Pope Francis warned it will bring about “a new tyranny” in secular cultures that practice the “idolatry of money.” In this class, we will examine inequality using a multidisciplinary focus. The goal is to help you think through, research, write about, and present your own perspectives on inequality in the United States. Is it a real problem and, if so, how do we deal with it?

Meet Your ProfessorBrian-Steffen

Brian Steffen, Ph.D.

Professor of Communication Studies

Brian Steffen is professor and chair of the Department of Communication & Media Studies at Simpson. He’s been on the faculty since 1989, when he left life as a working journalist to become a professor because “it was a lot better than working for a living.” While he quickly realized that his reasoning was a bit off, he’s never regretted his move to a life of college teaching and scholarship. For the first 17 years of his life at Simpson, Brian was adviser of The Simpsonian newspaper and maintains a keen interest in the student press at Simpson and in the rest of the nation.

Before coming to Simpson, Brian was a reporter and editor with news organizations ranging in size from the Story City (Iowa) Herald to the Associated Press. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State in 1981, picked up his master’s degree in the same field from the same school in 1987, and earned his doctorate in mass communication from the University of Iowa in 1995.

Brian’s been married for 29 years to his college sweetheart, Sharon, and is father to two sons: Andy, a senior at Iowa State, and Alex, a junior at Drake. He lives in Ankeny.

Meet Your SC LeaderScreen Shot 2014-03-07 at 8.57.13 AM

Austin Jacobs 

Hello all!

My name is Austin Jacobs and I will be an SC Leader for Professor Steffen’s SC class this fall. My job will be to help you have an easy transition from high school to college and be a resource to you in any way I can! I grew up in NW Iowa and graduated from Southern Cal High School. I was overly active in student government, FFA, band, speech, Academic Decathlon and cross country. I am now a sophomore here at Simpson College and am currently double majoring in Political Science and Management with a Minor in Mathematics. In my two years here at Simpson, I’ve stayed pretty active. I’ve been my class president for the past two years, serve as vice-chair of the Simpson College Republicans, and attend CAB, Second-Year Council, and Pre-Law Society meetings. I’m also a professional intern and am currently serving Iowa as an Intern in the Office of the Governor. I can’t wait to meet all of you at Summer Orientation! I know, like me, you will love Simpson College and everything it has to offer you. Don’t be afraid to find me on Facebook or Twitter at @austinjacobs. Enjoy the rest of your senior year and I will see you in the summer. Go Storm!

Meet Your Writing FellowScreen Shot 2014-01-30 at 8.44.43 AM (1)

Steffi Lee

My name is Steffi Lee and I am going to be a junior this fall. I am studying multimedia journalism and political science here at Simpson College! I am so excited to be your Writing Fellow for Fall 2013 for Professor Steffen’s class. I am originally from Anaheim, California. I attended Oxford Academy, where I participated in Speech and Debate and Show Choir. Here at Simpson College, I write for The Simpsonian and am in Pi Beta Phi. I am also a John C. Culver Fellow. I studied abroad in Krosno, Poland last semester and love traveling. Don’t hesitate to come to me with questions! That’s what I’m here for! You can find me on Facebook or on Twitter at @SteffiSLee.


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