Annual Discovery Day at Benedictine College Set for April 11, 2018

Annual Discovery Day at Benedictine College Set for April 11

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Remains of US Servicemen are returned to the country.Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., will host its 23rd annual Discovery Day on Wednesday, April 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This year it will feature 82 student presentations along with a keynote address from Dr. Michael Dolski, a historian with the Department of Defense, POW/MIA Accounting Agency. His presentation, “Augmented Capabilities: Searching for Missing Individuals in a Team Environment,” is set for 1:00 p.m. that day in O’Malley-McAllister Auditorium inside the St. John Paul II Student Center. All events and presentations are free and open to the public.

“What makes the POW/MIA Accounting Agency interesting for Discovery Day is that their work is cross-disciplined,” said Dr. Julia Bowen, Discovery Program co-chair and professor in the Benedictine College English Department. “It is historians and scientists working independently and then coming together to compare their findings. This is what Dr. Dolski will comment on in his presentation.”

Each year, Benedictine College cancels its classes and meetings to allow for students and faculty to attend Discovery Day, a day of learning focused on student projects that have been researched outside of the classroom. This year, the many projects include a look at the ancient art of wax casting, a mathematical study of fractions, astrophotography from the Daglen Observatory, the presentation of an original play and an experiment to harvest energy from luminescent solar concentrators. More than 2800 students have participated in Benedictine’s Discovery Day since its inception in 1996. In that time, most faculty members and academic departments have taken an active role in sponsoring student projects.

The keynote speaker, Dolski, earned a BA in history from Ohio State University in 2000. In 2004, he graduated from American Military University with an MA in Intelligence Studies. At that time, he was employed as a declassification analyst on a contract for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. As part of his work duties, he deployed to Iraq twice in 2004 to help preserve, protect and process for potential declassification U.S. documents. He earned a Ph.D. from Temple University in 2012 and his focus area was American military history and particularly that of the twentieth century. From 2006 to 2012, and continuing since late 2015, Dolski has taught a variety of traditional and online history courses at several institutions. He has authored or co-authored several books, including most recently Histories on Screen (2018). His 2016 book, D-Day Remembered, was nominated for multiple awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

Dolski started at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command’s Central Identification Laboratory, Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam, as a fellowship historian in 2011. He became a federal employee in 2013. From 2011 to 2015, he was a part of the Laboratory’s Disinterment Project, eventually assuming the position of Project Lead. During that time, he was responsible for research on unidentified remains in U.S. custody accruing from either World War II or the Korean War. In 2015, he helped with the transition to the new accounting entity, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, and focused on solidifying the new disinterment process.

In November 2015, Dolski relocated to Arlington, VA, to join the Strategic Partnerships Directorate. This current assignment requires him to conduct outreach, negotiation and project development with a wide array of external entities such as universities, non-governmental organizations, and private businesses. He focuses on historical research and analysis collaborative ventures as well as a range of field activities like archaeological investigations and excavations. In order to solidify the agency’s approach to partnership activities, and to better take advantage of opportunities in the Pacific, Dolski relocated once more, returning to DPAA’s office in Hawaii in September 2017.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.

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