Eliminate library fines? Benefits to cancer? Speakers offer insight

Dawn speaking on the TEDxUWLa Crosse stage in the UWL Student Union.Dawn Wacek, gave a TEDxUWLa Crosse presentation in February that is now available to watch. Does eliminating library fines improve literacy?

Public librarian, biology professor and psychologist share novel ideas related to chain reactions in these videos

Librarian Dawn Wacek is advocating for no fines to boost children’s literacy. UWL Biology Professor Tom Volk says he is sometimes grateful to have had heart disease and cancer. And Suthakaran Veerasamy, UWL assistant professor of psychology, shares an example of how critical feeling can help us truly appreciate the experiences of another human being.

These topics and more were part of a sold-out TEDxUW-La Crosse event at UWL spring semester. Videos from the event are now available online.

Why Tom Volk is sometimes grateful for heart disease, cancer

UWL Biology Professor Tom Volk celebrated the 12th anniversary of his heart transplant on Tuesday, May 22. Surviving his transplant and numerous other health issues has given Volk a different perspective — a change of heart so to speak. In this video he explains why there are days he is glad he had heart disease — and cancer. Listen to his story.


Don’t just think — feel

What is critical feeling and how can it help you understand others??Watch this video featuring Suthakaran Veerasamy, UWL assistant professor of psychology.


Going fine free

Since starting at the public library more than two years ago, Dawn Wacek has been advocating to eliminate fines. With support from the library director and interest and enthusiasm from the board, a policy to go fine free was unanimously approved this spring. The new policy will eliminate overdue fines for most of the materials checked out from the La Crosse Public Library’s three locations. The policy starts in early July. Hear why Wacek advocates for this kind of change.

Many are familiar with TED Talks, an award-winning video site that is a branch of the TED non-profit organization. The organization is devoted to “ideas worth spreading,” and, in that spirt, it created TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

UWL’s TEDx event included presentations from five speakers and watching TED Talks videos with the goal of sparking deep discussion and connection around ideas related to “Chain Reaction.” It also included a locally-produced video interview between Sue Hessel, writer and personal historian, and long-time social justice advocate June Kjome.

Presenters included:

  • Tom Volk, professor, Biology
  • Dany Bicoy, UWL student, musician and poet
  • Tim Dale, UWL associate professor, Political Science Public Administration.
  • Suthakaran Veerasamy, UWL assistant professor, Psychology
  • Dawn Wacek, youth services manager, La Crosse Public Library