WSCC Humankind discussion on the past, present and future of work

September 28, 2022

WSCC Humankind discussion on the past, present and future of work

WSCC News is a presentation of West Shore Community College in partnership with Mason County Press. 

VICTORY TOWNSHIP – West Shore Community College Humankind series will present “The Past, Present, and Future of Work” discussion on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. The event takes place via Zoom:, and is free and open to everyone.

“The Past, Present, and Future of Work” is part of year six of Humankind, which is focused on the future of work.  Representative topics for the series include remote work, “the great resignation,” shortening the work week, work/life balance, full time versus part time work, and the role of work in the meaning of life.      

Mike Nagle

The event will feature three WSCC employees speaking about the nature of work in American society: Mike Nagle, professor of history; Dr. Wendy Gradwohl Wells, talent pipeline coordinator; and Kellon Petzak, professor of information technology.

Nagle will take a historical approach to this topic and show how the nature of work in the United States was transformed during the late nineteenth century as the nation shifted away from an agrarian-based economy to become one focused on manufacturing. This change impacted family life, work patterns, and even the purchasing power of average Americans.

Wells will present from a psychological perspective and discuss how generational work values influence attitudes toward work, how organizations have responded in the past and present, and how they are likely to respond in the future.

Kellon Petzak

Petzak will examine the current impact digital technology has on the workforce and its likely repercussions on future work. Specifically, this topic will explore the incorporation of automation, the internet of things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) into many predominant industries in which most Americans are employed.

“This event embodies the best of what the Humankind series is all about,” said Dr. Matt Sanderson, professor of philosophy and ethics and chair of the Humankind planning team. “Examining the topic of work from historical, psychological, and technological points of view will deepen our understanding of the possibilities that exist for the future of work. This multi-disciplinary approach will also help us recognize important connections of how different academic disciplines approach topics like work. Overall, audience members will leave this panel discussion with an enriched perspective on the world of work yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”

Wendy Wells

Humankind is WSCC’s arts and culture lecture series. The series consists of lectures, presentations, workshops, art exhibitions, film series, and much more.

For more information about humankind, please visit or contact Dr. Sanderson at or 231-843-5937.

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