Joseph Trumpey Kicks Off 2017–2018 Senior Humanities Program
Posted 09/27/2017 04:00PM


Joseph E. Trumpey delivered the 2017–2018 Academic Year’s first Senior Humanities Program address in the Palmer Center on the evening of Monday, September 25. A question-and-answer session followed in Casa Fleming, and Mr. Trumpey remained on campus to visit classes the following two days.

Mr. Trumpey is a farmer, sustainable designer, science illustrator, and educator. As an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, he holds appointments at the Stamps School of Art & Design, Program in the Environment, and School for the Environment and Sustainability. He directs the University’s Sustainable Living Experience, is a recipient of the  Michigan’s Undergraduate Teaching Award, and has been a TedX Speaker.

As a freelance illustrator, Mr. Trumpey founded and directs Michigan Science Art, one of North America’s largest groups of science illustrators. He has led field-based art and design courses for more than 20 years, and through this fieldwork, he has facilitated seven unique design-build projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr. Trumpey and his family live off the grid in a strawbale home he designed and built in Grass Lake, Michigan. There they farm a variety of heritage breed livestock and grow more than half their food. He was recently named the 2015 Homesteader of the year by Mother Earth News Magazine.

Mr. Trumpey’s engaging address to the senior class centered on sustainability and the role of creativity in our future as sustainable citizens. Photos from his visit can be found here, and his full speech can be viewed in the clip below.

Made possible by a a CHF 100,000 donation from TASIS parents Michael and Jane Grindfors to the The M. Crist Fleming Endowment for International Understanding and Leadership in 2008 and ongoing financial assistance from generous parents and friends of the School, the Senior Humanities Program draws from five of the best elements of the TASIS identity—truth, beauty, goodness, international understanding, and humanitarian action—to provide seniors and postgraduates with a signature educational experience. The year-long program, which communicates a clear message to seniors and postgraduates about what the School hopes for and expects from them after they leave TASIS, is chaired by High School English teacher and Associate Dean Peter Locke.

Natasha Tsakos, Artist

The year’s second Senior Humanities Program guest will be conceptual director, interactive designer, idea generator, and performer Natasha Tsakos, who will present to the entire High School at an assembly in the Palestra on the morning of Thursday, October 26, and will address the senior class in the Palmer Center that evening before holding a question-and-answer session in Casa Fleming.

Brie Mathers

Brie Mathers, who has spoken to 100,000 teens worldwide through her multimedia event Love the Skin You’re In, will be on campus November 20–23. She will discuss body image and media issues with High School girls in the Palmer Center on Monday, November 20, and with High School boys in the Palmer Center on Tuesday, November 21.

Susan Middleton

Susan Middleton—an artist, photographer, author, and educator specializing in the portraiture of rare and endangered animals, plants, sites, and cultures—will address the senior class in the Palmer Center on the evening of Monday, March 19.

“This year's lineup is already a real coup for TASIS,” said Mr. Locke, who intends to add one more speaker later in the spring. “We worked with other schools in Switzerland to bring some speakers who might normally pass up a visit to a high school. In doing so, we have a slate of visitors who are diverse, multitalented, and eager to engage with our students.”

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