University Speakers

Leading thinkers about important issues of our time

Download a PDF of this year's speakers series.

Sex & Excess

Tuesday, September 8  7:00 PM
University Student Union (SSU) Volstorff Ballroom

Elaine Pasqua

Since 1997 Elaine Pasqua has been presenting programs about the negative effects of high-risk behaviors to thousands of students at over 500 colleges and universities across the United States. Her passion is to prevent students from altering their life goals as she has seen many lives that were changed by one decision. 

Elaine is a four time nominee for Best Speaker of the Year for the Campus Activities Readers Choice Awards. She provides player development training for the New York Giants, the Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, the NFL, NBA and the Philadelphia Phillies. She is the columnist for Student Activities Magazine “Real Life on Campus,” and co-wrote, directed, and produced the video “Be Aware of the Risks of Date Rape Drugs” which has been viewed over a half a million times on YouTube.

So get ready for a frank, lively, and hilarious discussion about the party scene.

Sponsor: Office of Student Affairs




Considerations for Creating Great Pollinator Habitat

Wednesday, September 9  7:00 PM
McFadden Biostress Room 103

Pete BerthelsenPete Berthelsen, director of Habitat Partnerships for Pheasants Forever will speak on considerations for creating great pollinator habitat. He joined Pheasants Forever in 1991 after receiving his M.S. in Wildlife Science from Texas Tech University and has served as regional biologist, director of conservation programs, senior field coordinator and now director of habitat partnerships over his 22 year career.

Sponsor: Department of Natural Resource Management




Confessions of a Well-Meaning White Man: Learning to Be White in a Multiracial World

Wednesday, September 16  6:00 PM
Larson Memorial Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center

Ross WantlandJoin social justice educator Ross Wantland for his exploration of what it means to be white in a post-Ferguson society. Through personal stories and insights, Ross will highlight the funny (and not-so-funny) ways that whiteness operates in society, and how everyone can play a role in changing it.

Sponsor: Office of Diversity, Equity and Community




From Paper Park to Model Protected Area

Wednesday, September 16  3:00 PM
McFadden Biostress Room 103

Dr. Rich ReadingDr. Rich Reading is the former head and founder of the Department of Conservation Biology at the Denver Zoological Foundation. Focusing on inter- disciplinary approaches to conservation, his work has taken him to 5 continents and many countries including Mongolia, Botswana, and the U.S. A Yale University graduate, Rich is now a professor at the University of Denver and University of Colorado in Denver.

Sponsor: Department of Natural Resource Management




Living & Leading: If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes

Thursday, October 1  3:30 PM
McCrory Gard Edu & Visitor Ctn (SMVC)

Scott CarbonaraScott Carbonara, keynote speaker, author and consultant, is passionate in engaging a company’s greatest asset: its people. He helps organizations and individuals create and live the stories they want to have told by stakeholders, employees, and customers. He has served as a crisis counselor, executive director of communications/change management and chief-of-staff of a multi-billion-dollar healthcare company.

Sponsors: Office of the President, Human Resources, and Continuous Improvement




Daschle Dialogue with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

Tuesday, October 13  7:00 PM
Larson Memorial Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center

Madeleine AlbrightDaschle Dialogues is the chief public component of the Sen. Thomas A. Daschle Congressional Research Study. This year’s featured guest is former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Albright was named the 64th Secretary of State of the United States in 1997, the first female to hold this post and the highest- ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. Tickets required — free and available online in September.




The Life and Times of the Florida Everglades

Tuesday, October 20  6:30 PM
Alfred Dairy Science Hall Room 100

William GrafThe Florida Everglades is a unique wetland ecosystem that anchors both the human and natural worlds of south Florida. William L. Graf will describe how science, policy, politics, and economic development interacted to degrade and shrink the Everglades and discusses the accomplishments and goals of the ongoing Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.

Sponsor: Department of Geography




Keo Glidden Smith Convocation: Pediatric Drug Development

Monday, October 26  3:30 PM
University Student Union (SSU) Volstorff Ballroom

Anne ZajicekAnne Zajicek, M.D., Pharm.D., FAAP is the chief of the Obstetric and Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The branch is responsible for the NIH implementation of the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act. Dr. Zajicek's lecture will address the opportunities and challenges in pediatric drug development.

Sponsor: College of Pharmacy




Holtry Lecture: Mapping Challenging Environments

Thursday, November 12  5:30 PM
McCrory Gard Edu & Visitor Ctn (SMVC)

Andrew CurtisDr. Andrew Curtis is a former director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center for Remote Sensing and GIS for Public Health. He uses geospatial technologies and geographic information system (GIS) analysis to support neighborhood scale intervention strategies. He has developed a spatial video methodology for use in mapping any challenging environment and monitoring post-disaster recovery.

Sponsors: Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence (GSCE) and Department of Geography




Ethel Austin Martin Lecture: Space Flight Nutrition

Thursday, November 12  7:00 PM
University Student Union (SSU) Campanile Room

Dr. Scott SmithDr. Scott Smith leads the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory at the NASA Johnson Space Center. The primary goal of this group is to determine nutritional requirements for extended-duration space flight. Activities include assessment of nutritional status of International Space Station crewmembers, along with ground-based and spaceflight research efforts.

Sponsor: Ethel Austin Martin Program in Human Nutrition




From Towels to Trophies – 43 years of Title IX in College Athletics

Thursday, November 12  7:00 PM
Larson Memorial Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center

Chris VoelzA recognized leader in gender equity and intercollegiate athletics, Chris Voelz, executive director, Collegiate Women’s Sports Awards, has more than 35 years of leadership experience – including 14 years as women’s athletics director at the University of Minnesota. She has been recognized as one of the most influential people in sports, including by Sports Fitness Magazine and the Star Tribune.

Sponsor: Harding Lecture Committee




Griffith Honors Forum: The Other Wes Moore

Thursday, November 19  7:00 PM
Larson Memorial Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center

Wes MooreDynamic speaker, leader and social justice advocate, Rhodes Scholar, White House Fellow, and decorated veteran, Wes Moore is the author and hero of the fall 2015 SDSU common read, The Other Wes Moore. Themes of awareness, identity, choices, community and hope will be highlighted as Moore brings the story of one name and two fates to life. Tickets required — free and available online in October.

Sponsor: Fishback Honors College