University Speakers

Leading thinkers about important issues of our time

Download a PDF of this year's speakers series.

Because I Said I Would

Wednesday, February 17  7:00 PM
Performing Arts Center (SPAC) - Larson Concert Hall

Alex SheenAlex Sheen had a simple idea—make and keep promises to yourself and others—which led to because I said I would, a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity. It encourages and supports making and keeping promises to end suffering, establish peace and build happiness through the promise card, which helps hold people accountable to their commitments

Sponsor: University Program Council (UPC)




Eating Like a Pig: The Role of Meat in the Human Diet

Thursday, February 25  7:00 PM
Performing Arts Center (SPAC) - Larson Concert Hall

Eric BergEric Berg, professor of animal science at NDSU, has focused his research on using swine as a biomedical model for humans with regard to the role of meat in a healthy low-glycemic diet. In 2015, Berg was selected to represent the American Meat Science Association in oral testimony to the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture during the public comment hearing for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report.

Sponsor: Swine Club




Put your Ph.D. to work: Planning for a Successful Scientific Career

Wednesday, March 9  9:00 AM
Northern Plains Bio Lab (SNP) 067

Philip CliffordPhilip Clifford asks scientists if they want to find a career that’s enjoyable and rewarding? Of course, but how does one find the right path, especially when there are so many career directions scientists can follow? This interactive workshop will teach a logical, step-by-step process for exploring career options and deciding which will provide the best fit for your individual set of skills, interests and values. By the end, participants will have started an individual development plan (IDP) and set specific goals for taking charge of their careers.

Sponsor: SDSU Biology and Microbiology




Observance

Friday, March 18  5:30 PM
South Dakta Art Museum (SMU) Auditorium

Jason LankaJason Lanka will speak about his work in the exhibition “Observance” on view at the South Dakota Art Museum (March 1–July 10). Lanka’s exhibition includes large-scale sculpture, photographic and video documentation of endurance performance works. His art is centered on an exploration of man’s connection to the environment and his own personal relationship with impact upon and place within the land.

Sponsor: South Dakota Art Museum




The Role of the Humanities in the Digital Age: The GPWC at 40 Years

Monday, March 21  7:00 PM
McCrory Gard Edu & Visitor Ctn (SMVC)

Janet H. MurrayJanet H. Murray is an internationally recognized interaction designer, specializing in digital narrative and digital humanities. She is the author of “Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace” (1998) and “Inventing the Medium: Principles of Interaction Design as a Cultural Practice” (2011), which was hailed as “an epic accomplishment.”

Sponsor: English Department




Plants Know What Day It Is: Phenology in a Changing Climate

Tuesday, March 22  6:00 PM
McCrory Gard Edu & Visitor Ctn (SMVC)

Mark D. SchwartzMark D. Schwartz, Distinguished Professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was co-founder of the USA-National Phenology Network, which engages citizen scientists to observe and report stages of plant growth and development. His research focuses on interactions of the lower atmosphere regarding vegetation during the onset of spring and autumn in mid-latitudes.

Sponsors: Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence and Geography Department




Attract the Attention of Influential Sponsors

Tuesday, April 12  3:00 PM
University Student Union (SSU) Room 169

Jo MillerJo Miller, Women’s Leadership Summit keynote speaker, explores the difference between mentors and sponsors. Learn four ways to make the most of mentoring conversations, how to identify potential sponsors and how to create a culture of sponsorship in your organization. Discover eight steps to gaining sponsorship and leave with a personalized plan to attract the attention of an influential sponsor.

Sponsors: Women’s Studies, UPC, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance and Consumer Affairs Student Organization




2016 Hoch Family Lecture

Wednesday, April 13  7:30 PM
Performing Arts Center (SPAC) - Larson Concert Hall

Dr. Randy SchekmanDr. Randy Schekman is a Nobel Prize-winning cell biologist at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the former editor-in-chief of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is now the editor of eLife, a high-profile open-access journal launched in 2012. Schekman shared the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with James Rothman and Thomas C. Südhof for groundbreaking work on cell membrane vesicle trafficking.

Sponsor: Hoch Family Lecture in Health Science




Miasmatic Filigree

Thursday, April 14  5:30 PM
South Dakta Art Museum (SMU)

Liz MillerLiz Miller will speak about her exhibition “Miasmatic Filigree” on view at the South Dakota Art Museum (March 15-November 20). Miller’s exhibition is a colorful site-specific, full-gallery installation composed of large-scale folded and cut pieces of paper and stiffened felt with intricate patterning. She recontextualizes simplified shapes and symbols, forging relationships between benign and malignant forms that confuse the original implications of each.

Sponsor: South Dakota Art Museum




Getting on with Life: Managing Long-Term Conditions

Thursday, April 14  7:00 PM
McCrory Gard Edu & Visitor Ctn (SMVC)

Kate LorigKate Lorig is a nurse and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University School of Medicine and director of the Stanford Patient Education Research Center. Her career has focused around developing, evaluating and translating into practice self-management programs for chronic diseases, cancer survivors and caregivers. Lorig will be the 2016 College of Nursing Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer.

Sponsor: College of Nursing




Origins of Biomolecular Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Tuesday, April 26  5:30 PM
South Dakta Art Museum (SMU)

John L. MarkleyJohn L. Markley, professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a former colleague of Dr. Henry Lardy, will deliver the Lardy Lecture on the structure/function relationship of various proteins using modern spectroscopic techniques. The late Dr. Henry Lardy, an SDSU alum, had a long and prosperous career at UW, Madison, as a biochemist. He and his wife, Annrita, endowed a lecture series to bring world-renowned scientists to SDSU to discuss their work.

Sponsor: Henry Lardy Lecture Series




Maximizing Patent Protection in Academic Settings

Wednesday, April 27  1:00 PM
Administration (SAD) 104

Matt PoulsenMatt Poulsen is a patent attorney and partner at Suiter Swantz IP, located in Omaha. His practice is generally focused on IP procurement and protection, including U. S. and foreign patent preparation and prosecution. Prior to becoming an attorney, Matt earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. As a physicist, his research focused on the molecular engineering of self-organizing electroactive organic systems. Matt’s clients operate in a broad spectrum of technological areas, including telecommunications, integrated circuitry, the optical arts, semiconductor fabrication and testing technologies, nanotechnology, nuclear and renewable energy, biofuels, chemical processing, software, agriculture, e-commerce and the mechanical arts. Having worked in academia for several years, he is keenly aware of the variety of unique patent-related issues that arise in university settings. needs some cutting.

Sponsor: Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization




Protecting Biotechnology Inventions

Thursday, April 28  1:00 PM
Administration (SAD) 104

Heidi S. NebelHeidi S. Nebel is an intellectual property attorney with McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. She has over 20 years of experience obtaining patents and designing IP  strategy in the areas of biotechnology, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Nebel obtained patent 6,136,320 titled “Vaccines Expressed in Plants” cited in MIT’s Technology Review as one of five patents that will “transform business and technology.” She participated in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Pioneer v. J.E.M. Ag Supply, which confirmed the availability of utility patent protection for plants.

Sponsor: Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization




Event Archive

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.




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






The Role of Humanities & the University in Creating a Better World

Tuesday, January 19  7:00 PM
University Student Union (SSU) - Volstorff Ballroom

Gregory PetersonGregory Peterson, professor in the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy and Religion, joined the College of Arts and Sciences at SDSU in 2002. He holds a Ph.D. from Denver University, M.A. from Luther Seminary and B.A. from University of Minnesota. His specialty areas include ethics, social and political philosophy, religion and science. Peterson was named the College of Arts and Sciences Researcher of the Year in 2008.

Sponsors: J.P. Hendrickson Faculty Scholar and Herbert Cheever Jr. Liberal Arts Lecture




Breaking Silence: The Pervasiveness of Oppression

Wednesday, January 20  6:00 PM
South Dakta Art Museum (SMU) Auditorium

Antonia DarderAntonia Darder is a world-renowned scholar, poet and activist who holds the Leavey Presidential Endowed Chair in Ethics and Moral Leadership at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. For 30 years, her ideas on critical pedagogy, critical democracy, political economy and education have informed scholars and activists and served to both strengthen the field of critical education and furthered efforts to alleviate human suffering around the world

Office of Diversity, Equity and Community, and Women’s Studies




Governing Global Health in an Interconnected World

Thursday, January 28  7:00 PM
University Student Union (SSU) - Volstorff Ballroom

Katherine E. Bliss

Katherine E. Bliss is a senior associate with the Global Health Policy Center at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she has launched research on the role of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and other emerging economies in shaping a new global health agenda. Bliss earned a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and was a David E. Bell Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Sponsors: Harding Lecture Committee and South Dakota World Affairs Council




Trading Biodiversity for Pest Problems

Friday, February 5  10:00 AM
Northern Plains Bio Lab (SNP) 103

Jonathan LundgrenJonathan Lundgren is an agroecologist and entomologist with more than 20 years of experience in ecological risk assessment and developing sustainable food production systems. His data shows that many challenges faced by farmers can be confronted by reducing disturbance and increasing diversity. He is currently director of Ecdysis Foundation and CEO of Blue Dasher Farm; both are efforts to bring science to innovative farmers, ranchers, and beekeepers.

Sponsor: Department of Natural Resource Management