Get ready to learn with Grit City Think and Drink

Grit City Think and Drink will be meeting for their February discussion at 7 Seas Brewing.

Gear up to learn new and exciting topics that are relevant to student life with February’s Grit City Think and Drink at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 14. Grit City Think and Drink, which is hosted and coordinated by Jim Gawel, will be having its first in-person meetup since 2020, at 7 Seas Brewing. 

This month’s discussion will be led by Ander Erickson and the topic is titled “Is It Really Cheating? Understanding the New Relationship Students Have with Information and Truth.” 

Erickson, who is an associate professor of mathematics at UWT, specializes in research regarding informational literacy in mathematics classrooms. He also conducts research on how students seek out informational tools and resources that aid and help them with their studies outside of the classroom.  

This discussion comes at an interesting time as new resources have been made available to the public such as AI bots like ChatGPT.  

ChatGPT, which is a chatbot auto-generative system according to PC Guide, can do a wide variety of tasks that have some educators worried. This AI system is capable of generating texts such as essays, articles, code, poetry, etc. 

When this event was originally planned, ChatGPT had not been released yet and while it is not a focus of the talk, it will be discussed.  

“It’s useful in terms of providing initial drafts of something to work from or generate ideas,” said Ander Erickson regarding the AI chatbot. 

This is just an example of some of the resources Erickson will look at but more as a discussion on how resourceful students can be and the gray area that comes with outside help in an academic setting.  

“I tend to shy away from that term [of cheating] but it does come up in the talk because obviously there is some tension there when people are making use of online sources in particular… if I’m using this, is it okay? What’s the right way to use these resources there,” said Erickson.  

The goal of these discussions is for students to learn more about these said topics and learn more about them with scholars and experts who can help students understand these issues more thoroughly.  

“I like the format, I enjoy learning something different and I have a good time,” said Jim Gawel.

Gawel, who has been hosting these events for around six years, has coordinated a wide variety of topics that Grit City Think and Drink have conducted over the years (which you can find on YouTube). Discussions such as online dating, gender justice for missing indigenous women, bugs, plagues, and so much more. 

“There was one talk about yeast, by Jack Vincent… he did this great talk about how he’s used yeast in genetics and beer making and he made beer with four different yeasts and there was a taste testing and that was pretty spectacular and hands-on,” Gawel said.  

Presenters can get creative with their talks with some even incorporating performance with their Grit City Think and Drink session.  

Attendees of this event can expect a presentation at these events along with a moderated Q&A, along with some giveaways for attendees and light trivia questions. 

Individuals of all ages are welcome to attend this event and do not need to be over the age of 21.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, you can email Jim Gawel at or visit