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A&M-Texarkana PLACE Lecture to Focus on Scientific Racism

Published: August 30, 2016

A&M-Texarkana PLACE Lecture to Focus on Scientific Racism

Dr. Angela Sikorski

The Program for Learning and Community Engagement (PLACE) at Texas A&M University-Texarkana will get underway Thursday, Sept. 1, with a SuperLecture titled “Scientific racism: How (pseudo)science has been (mis)used to perpetuate discrimination” by Dr. Angela Sikorski, associate professor of Psychology.

The lecture is set for 5:30-6:45 p.m. in University Center 210 on the A&M-Texarkana campus at 7101 University Ave., Texarkana, Texas.

PLACE is a faculty-led program designed to create a community of learners comprising A&M-Texarkana students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

PLACE chooses an annual theme around which to organize a lecture series and other activities that provide focal points for learning and discussion. This year’s theme is “Race and Ethnicity.”

“Science is instrumental to our understanding of ourselves and of our world,” Dr. Sikorski says. “While most scientists behave ethically in their pursuit of knowledge, some have hidden under the shroud of science to not only perpetuate racism and discrimination, but to deliberately harm vulnerable populations.”

Dr. Sikorski’s lecture will describe classic examples of blatantly unethical conduct and discuss how they ultimately led to the National Research Act in 1974, and the Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research (Belmont Report) in 1979.

“While this year’s PLACE theme focuses on a sensitive subject, we believe that the university can and should serve as a catalyst for respectful exploration and exchange of knowledge regarding challenging topics.  We approach this opportunity for learning thoughtfully and with civility,” said Dr. Emily Cutrer, president of A&M-Texarkana.

Dr. Sikorski is a neuroscientist who earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005.  After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Neurobiology Laboratory at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) in 2008, she accepted a tenure-track position in psychology at Texas A&M University-Texarkana.

While at A&M-Texarkana, Dr. Sikorski has earned several teaching awards, received over $530,000 in grant funding, and was named the 2015 Distinguished Faculty Member.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Sikorski serves the university and her profession and is actively engaged in scholarly research. She coordinates the undergraduate and graduate programs in psychology and is the chair of the Institutional Review Board. She also is the program coordinator for the Southwestern Psychological Association.

Dr. Sikorski has spent nearly two decades studying the extent to which experience alters brain morphology, learning and memory, using both human and animal models. Her teaching philosophy is based upon her belief that mentorship is critical to the success of students both during and beyond college. As such, at A&M-Texarkana Dr. Sikorski recruits exceptional students to assist her with her research.  Over a dozen students who have worked with Dr. Sikorski have had the opportunity to co-author presentations at both local and national meetings.

Future PLACE events include the following:


  • Thursday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. - Dramatic Workshop featuring Alejandro Garza - Eagle Hall, University Center
  • Thursday, Sept. 15, 7-9 p.m. - “Coconut,” featuring Alejandro Garza, Eagle Hall, University Center
  • Wednesday, Sept. 21, 9-10:30 a.m. - Dr. Michael Perri - SuperLecture, “Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois: A Study in Contrasts” - University Center 210
  • Thursday, Sept. 22, 7-9 p.m. - Terry Taylor, Robert Jones, Jasmine Crockett, Lieutenant Thedford White and Officer Latriesha Grandy - Symposium, “Sharing Some Thoughts on African-American Men and the Legal System” - Eagle Hall, University Center


  • Monday, Oct. 3, 6-10 p.m. - Dr. Drew Morton - Screening and Discussion, “Color Adjustment” - University Center210
  • Thursday, Oct. 6, 2-3:30 p.m. - Dr. James Presley - “Superfund Drama in Texarkana: The Battle of Carver Terrace” - University Center 210
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18, 12-2:30 p.m. - Dr. Kim Murray – "Cultural Appreciation or Cultural Appropriation? A Conversation about Halloween Costumes" - Eagle Lounge, University Center
  • Wednesday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. - Dr. Corrine Hinton - SuperLecture, “‘God decreed it so’: The Rhetoric of Destiny in 1963” - University Center 210
  • Thursday, Oct. 27, 7-8:30 p.m. – Dr. Daniel Fairbanks - Everyone Is African: How Science Explodes the Myth of Race - Eagle Hall, University Center


  • Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2:30-3:45 p.m. - Dr. Doug Julien SuperLecture, “Digitally Mapping Race in Texarkana” - University Center 210
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1, 6-10 p.m. - Screening and Discussion with Dr. Drew Morton - “Do the Right Thing” - University Center 210
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8, 1:30-3 p.m. - Dr. Kevin Ells - SuperLecture, “Verifying Sources in Science Reporting or How NOT to Broadcast about Race” – University Center 210
  • Thursday, Nov. 17, 7-9 p.m. - Dr. Leo Chavez - “The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation” - Eagle Hall, University Center

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Michael Perri at mperri@tamut.edu, Dr. Luz Mary Rincon at lrincon@tamut.edu or Corinne Billings at cbillings@tamut.edu.

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  • Texarkana, TX 75503
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