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Anita Foeman to Discuss DNA and Identity in Second Mudd Lecture The title of Foeman's lecture is "DNA and Identity: Changing the Conversation About Who We Are."

Anita Foeman, professor of communications studies at the West Chester University of Pennsylvania, is the second speaker in the 2017-18 “Ethics of Identity” series, sponsored by the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics at W&L.  Her public lecture is Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater.

Foeman is the founder and primary investigator of the DNA Discussion Project. She will speak on “DNA and Identity: Changing the Conversation About Who We Are.” The talk is free and open to the public.

“Professor Foeman has been a pioneer in thinking and speaking about race through the lens of DNA ancestral data,” said Brian Murchison, Charles S. Rowe Professor of Law and director of the Mudd Center for Ethics. “She’s adding a fascinating new dimension to the conversation about identity, and we are excited about her participation in the Mudd Center’s series on what identity means.”

Foeman is a scholar of intercultural and organizational communication. Her work examines diversity in organizations, in public speaking and in interpersonal communication as well as identity issues for multiracial people and families. Her co-authored work on the stages of development in interracial relationships (1999) continues to be used as a template for research in the field. Her most recent work considers the relationship between DNA ancestral data and the social construction of racial identity.

She holds a B.A. from Defiance College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Temple University; she joined the faculty of West Chester University in 1982.

The Mudd Center was established in 2010 through a gift to the university from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, a 1950 graduate of W&L. When he made his contribution, Mudd said that “given the state of ethics in our current culture, this seems a fitting time to endow a center for the study of ethics, and my university is the fitting home.”

For full details on this series, visit https://www.wlu.edu/mudd-center.