Capital University To Highlight Results of 2012 Empathy Experiment

Posted by Nichole Johnson |

Thursday, April 19, 2012

news-empath-experiment-lockup-175x150Capital University will hold a culminating event to wrap up its most recent Empathy Experiment, focusing on “Food for Thought: Nutrition in America.” The event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25 at 6 p.m. in the university’s Mees Hall, 1 College and Main in Bexley.

The unique social experiment — which involved nine Capital students and community partnerships with Whole Foods Market, Columbus Public Health and Columbus City Schools — sought to answer the question ‘Can you empathize with someone who makes choices you disagree with?’ All activities were guided by Capital’s President Denvy A. Bowman, Ph.D., who launched the initiative in 2010 to explore whether empathy can be taught, and if it can be harnessed to effect social change.

“It’s fascinating to witness our students transform from sympathetic to empathetic when faced with challenging situations outside of their comfort zones,” said President Bowman. “Our goal is to encourage our students to evolve their thinking and truly put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Thanks to the engagement of our students, and the insight of our partners, we have some powerful results to share.”

Throughout a period of eight weeks, the students participated in immersion experiences ranging from living like a diabetic for a weekend to navigating the special supplemental nutrition program, WIC. The students and President Bowman blogged about their experiences at Students participating in this year’s program were Nathan Bell of Akron, Ohio; Alex Broshious of Vickery, Ohio; Ella Douglass of Columbus; Brandon Juarez of Washington, D.C.; Bridget Miller of Cloverdale, Ohio; Mark Mullen of Sidney, Ohio; Carolyn Newberry of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; Jessica Stoltz of Clayton, Ohio; and Kaylin VanBuskirk of Pickerington.

The April 25 concluding event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program begins at 6 p.m., with a reception to follow. To RSVP for the event, visit For more information about the Empathy Experiment, visit

Located in the Columbus, Ohio, neighborhood of Bexley, Capital University is a private, four-year undergraduate institution and graduate school. Capital prepares students for meaningful lives and purposeful careers through a relevant liberal arts core curriculum and deep professional programs. Influenced by its Lutheran heritage, Capital places great emphasis on the free and open exchange of ideas, seeking out diverse perspectives, active participation in society, leadership and service. With a focus on rigor and experiential learning, the University capitalizes on its size, location, and heritage to develop the whole person, both inside and outside the classroom. 


Contact: Nichole Johnson
Director of media relations and communications
Capital University
(614) 236-6945
Cell: (614) 440-9158


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