Integrative Studies Lecture Series

Otterbein’s Integrative Studies program is committed to a sustained conversation about “Knowledge, Action, and the Public Good.” Teaching and learning within Integrative Studies is designed to inspire curiosity and inform action that will support the flourishing of individuals, societies, and the natural world in the widest and deepest sense. Lectures and other events sponsored by Integrative Studies provide an opportunity to extend this conversation to the campus and central Ohio Communities.

2024 Integrative Studies Lecture Speaker: Megan Buskey

Otterbein’s Integrative Studies Program, in collaboration with the Humanities Advisory Committee and The Frank Museum of Art and Galleries, welcome Megan Buskey, author of Ukraine Is Not Dead Yet: A Family History of Exile and Return (Ibidem Press, 2023).

Public Talk: Ukraine is Not Dead Yet
Wednesday February 7, 2024
3 pm – 4:30 pm
Riley Auditorium, Battelle Fine Arts Center, 170 W. Park Street, Westerville, OH

When Megan Buskey’s grandmother Anna dies in Cleveland in 2013, Megan is compelled in her grief to uncover and document her grandmother’s life as a native of Ukraine. A Ukrainian American, Buskey returns to her family’s homeland and enlists her relatives there to help her in her quest—and discovers much more than she expected. The result is an extraordinary journey that traces one woman’s story across Ukraine’s difficult twentieth century, from a Galician village emerging from serfdom, to the “bloodlands” of Eastern Europe during World War II, to the Siberian hinterlands where Anna spent almost two decades in exile before receiving the rare opportunity to emigrate from the Soviet Union in the 1960s. In the course of her research, Megan encounters essential and sometimes disturbing aspects of recent Ukrainian history, such as Nazi collaboration, the rise and persistence of Ukrainian nationalism, and the shattering impact of Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022. Yet her wide-ranging inquiries keep leading her back to universal questions: What does family mean? How can you forge connections between generations that span different cultures, times, and places? And, perhaps most hauntingly, how can you best remember a complicated past that is at once foreign and personal?


This Integrative Studies Lecture is a free, public event. Seating is not ticketed.

  • Doors to Riley Auditorium open at 2:45p. A reminder that Riley is in an academic building and classes will be ongoing throughout the day; please be aware of the teaching and learning in this space, prior to and concurrent with the event.
  • Parking: There is no charge for parking at Otterbein University. Significant parking is available adjacent to The Point (60 Collegeview Road). Other parking lots are located next to Cowan Hall, across from the Battelle Fine Arts Center on Park St., behind Roush Hall, and at the Campus Center on Home St. To view a campus map, click HERE.

Previous Speakers

2023 – Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer

Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. In addition to Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, which has earned her wide acclaim, her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, and her other work has appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. She tours widely and has been featured on NPR’s On Being with Krista Tippett and in 2015 addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.” Kimmerer lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability.

As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She holds a BS in Botany from SUNY ESF, an MS and PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.

Integrative Studies, the Humanities, and Museums & Galleries at Otterbein

The Integrative Studies (INST) Program has been a major component of general education at Otterbein for several decades; INST courses facilitate interdisciplinary conversations and co-curricular connections throughout a student’s undergraduate career, and the program is coordinated through the INST Advisory Committee. The INST Advisory Committee consists of faculty members across campus, as well as representatives of the Student Success and Career Development Office, Courtright Memorial Library, and the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center.

The Humanities Advisory Committee (HAC) is comprised of Humanities faculty from Otterbein’s Humanities disciplines: English, History, Religion & Philosophy, Spanish and Latin American Studies, and the History, Theory, and Criticism of the Arts (Art, Music, and Theater). HAC works to promote and support the Humanities at Otterbein by supporting faculty and student scholarship and courses. This includes hosting visiting speakers, funding course enrichment opportunities such as fieldtrips, and producing the student-run Humanities journal, Aegis. HAC oversees the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant awarded to Otterbein University in 1984 – one of only thirteen universities nationwide to receive this award. This endowment funds the aforementioned activities on campus and supports faculty research and professional development through project grants and conference travel awards. In Spring 2024, HAC is chaired by Dr. Paul Eisenstein (English).

Otterbein’s Frank Museum of Art and Galleries promote creative, scholarly, and educational inquiry through the intentional curation art exhibitions and related programming that interface across the University’s curriculum, particularly the Integrative Studies Program, and into the broader community. Our unique exhibition system includes The Frank Museum of Art and the Miller, Fisher, and Stichweh Galleries, which are distributed across campus and into the City of Westerville. The University hosts over seven exhibitions annually that feature work by regional and international artists. This active arts environment, our contemporary art collection, and The Frank Museum’s permanent collection of global art support student internships and training in curation, collection preservation and management, art handling, marketing and design, and other museum-related work. The Otterbein & the Arts: Opening Doors to the World (ODW) global arts programming, which addresses some of the most important issues of our times, includes an exhibition catalog print series that is published through The Frank Museum of Art.

For further information, please contact Dr. Megan Chawansky, Associate Professor of Health and Sports Sciences (, Dr. Carrigan Hayes, Director of the Integrative Studies Program (, or Dr. Janice Glowski, Director, The Frank Museum of Art &  Galleries (

Towers Hall Behind Spring Leaves