2014 Past Speakers

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Laura Kiessling

Laura Kiessling received her undergraduate training in Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she conducted undergraduate research in organic synthesis with Professor Bill Roush. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Yale University where she worked with Stuart L. Schreiber on the synthesis of anti-tumor natural products. Subsequently, she did her postdoctoral training […]

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Steven Henikoff, Ph.D.

Steven Henikoff received a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard University in the laboratory of Matthew Meselson, and did postdoctoral research with Charles Laird and Benjamin Hall at the University of Washington. He is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a Member of the Basic Sciences Division of the Fred […]


Dr. Thomas Spencer

Dr. Tom Spencer is the Baxter Endowed Chair in Research and Professor of Animal Sciences and Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University.  Dr. Spencer is a world-leading scientist in the area of Animal Science/Reproductive Biology specializing in uterine and conceptus development and function.  He has received sustained (US-Federal) competitive grants, including USDA, BARD, NIH R01, NIH […]


Evan Flory-Barnes

Bassist and composer Evan Flory-Barnes is a Seattle native who has been composing and performing music since he attended the renown Garfield High School.  He was a member of the award winning symphony orchestra at Garfield while writing music for the hip-hop group Maroon Colony. In 2008, Flory-Barnes won a prestigous Meet the Composer commission […]


Justice Albie Sachs

Albie Sachs was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1935. At age 17, he joined the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign. Since graduated at age 21 with a law degree, he practiced law, often in defense of people charged under racial statutes and security laws under apartheid. As a result of his work, he was […]


Ariel Rubenstein

Ariel Rubinstein is probably the most widely known economist to come from Israel, the country that may well be second only to the US in important contributions to economic modeling. Educated at Hebrew University, after his compulsory service in the Israeli army, and his two years getting a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, economics, and statistics, […]

Louis Rendina

Louis M. Rendina, PhD

Lou Rendina leads the Bioinorganic Medicinal Chemistry group in the School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney, Australia. He is also the Associate Head (Research). He is the recipient of several research awards and international fellowships, including two prestigious national awards from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) for his seminal contributions to the areas […]


Glen T. Daigger, PhD, PE, BCEE, NAE

Dr. Glen T. Daigger, Chief Technology Officer for CH2M Hill and President of the International Water Association, discusses Global Water Challenges and Solutions. Dr. Glen T. Daigger is a recognized expert in wastewater treatment, especially the use of biological processes. His nine patents for wastewater treatment have helped establish the nation’s wastewater treatment standards, and […]


Carolyn Forché

Carolyn Forché’s first volume, Gathering the Tribes, winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, was followed by The Country Between Us, The Angel of History, and Blue Hour. She has translated Mahmoud Darwish, Claribel Alegria, and Robert Desnos. Her famed international anthology, Against Forgetting, has been praised by Nelson Mandela as “itself a blow against tyranny, against prejudice, against […]

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Dr. William Evans

William Evans received a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin, where he did research on pentaboranes with Professor Donald Gaines, and a Ph.D. from UCLA with Professor Fred Hawthorne studying metallocarboranes. He did postdoctoral studies in transition metal chemistry with the late Professor Earl Muetterties at Cornell University. When he began his independent career in […]

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David G. Amaral, Ph.D.

Dr. Amaral joined the University of California, Davis in 1995 as a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Center for Neuroscience and is currently a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. In 1998, Dr. Amaral was named the Beneto Foundation Chair and founding Research Director of the M.I.N.D. Institute. Dr. […]


Dr. Rob Porter

Rob Porter’s academic career got off to a quick start. After a bachelor’s degree in math and economics from Western Ontaro, he received his Ph.D. in economics from Princeton in 1981, and was an assistant professor at Minnesota. 3 years later, he accepted a tenured associate professorship at Stony Brook, and in another 3 years, […]


Elijah Anderson

Dr. Anderson’s most recent book, The Cosmopolitan Canopy (Norton, 2011) systematically investigates Philadelphia as the global metropolis: “Strongly affected by the forces of industrialism, immigration, and globalization, the American city of today is more racially, ethnically, and socially diverse than ever, with profound cleavages dividing one social group from another. As anonymous pedestrians actively “see but don’t see” one another, […]


Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall is a legendary primatologist, best known for her study of chimpanzee behavior in what is today’s Gombe National Park. Dr. Goodall’s research became a foundation for future study in the field of primatology, redefining the relationship between humans and animals. In 1977, Dr. Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute, a global organization […]


Dr. Sudhir Kumar

Sudhir Kumar, Ph.D., is director of Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine and Carnell Professor of Biology at Temple University. He is an interdisciplinary scientist who merges evolutionary biology, genetics, and computational thinking to tackle long-standing questions in personalized medicine and evolutionary genomics. He has made pioneering efforts in developing bioinformatics tools and databases for […]


Nick Bazan

Nicolas Bazan, M.D., Ph.D., LSU System Boyd Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence School of Medicine, LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) New Orleans, Louisiana. Nick Bazan has been called “a true renaissance man”: a research scientist, teacher, mentor, community leader, administrator, author, patron of the arts, and entrepreneur. He has devoted his […]


Dr. James E. (Jim) Womack

Dr. James E. (Jim) Womack holds the title of Distinguished Professor at Texas A&M University and is the W.P. Luse Professor of Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a member of the Faculty of Genetics and holds a joint academic appointment in the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Genetics. Dr. Womack holds […]


Carlos Bustamante

Carlos Bustamante’s research interest involves the development of novel methods of single-molecule manipulation and detection (such as optical tweezers and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy) and their application to study the behavior of DNA-binding molecular motors and the mechanical unfolding of globular proteins and RNAs. In addition, Scanning Force Microscopy (SFM) is used to investigate the structure […]


Rafael de la Llave

Professor Rafael de la Llave is a Professor of Mathematics at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a leading mathematician working in the areas of Dynamical Systems, Differential Equations, and Mathematical Physics. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (2010) , Chief Editor of two journals and Editor for more than 20 other journals, was an […]

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Dr. Larry Trinkhaus

Erik Trinkaus’ research is concerned with the evolution of the genus Homo as a background to recent human diversity. He has focused on the paleoanthropological study of late archaic and early modern humans, emphasizing biological reflections of the nature, degree and patterning of the behavioral shifts between these two groups of Pleistocene humans. This research […]


Dr. Harry Edwards

Harry Edwards was born in St. Louis but grew up in East Saint Louis, Illinois. After an outstanding athletic career at East St. Louis High, he graduated in 1960 and was awarded an athletic scholarship to San JoseStateUniversity from which he graduated in 1964 with high honors.  He subsequently was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship […]

P Allen Smith

P. Allen Smith

P. Allen Smith is an award-winning designer, gardening and lifestyle expert. He is the host of two public television programs, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, P. Allen Smith’s Garden to Table and the syndicated 30-minute show P. Allen Smith Gardens. Smith is one of America’s most recognized and respected garden and design experts, providing ideas and inspiration through multiple […]


Marilynne Robinson

Born in Sandpoint, Idaho in 1943, Robinson’s childhood environment serve as an influence for her debut novel Housekeeping (1980), which she wrote while pursuing a PhD in English at the University of Washington.  It was another 25 years before Robinson would write another novel, as she pursued her interests in political and theological subjects in […]


Dr. Natasha Raikhel

Dr. Natasha Raikhel: Director, Institute for Integrative Genome Biology; Distinguished Professor of Plant Cell Biology; Ernst and Helen Leibacher Endowed Chair, University of California, Riverside Dr. Raikhel has been widely recognized for her contributions to protein trafficking leading to discoveries relevant to plant growth and development. Her work currently focuses on using computational biology and […]


Bob Phillips

Bob Phillips has become a national leader in health workforce policy and primary care delivery, first as director of the Robert Graham Center in Washington and now as Associate Director of the American Board of Family Medicine.  He was elected three years ago to the Institute of Medicine as probably the youngest member selected that year.

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Jonathan Sawday

Dr. Jonathan Sawday holds the Walter J. Ong, SJ Endowed Chair in Humanities in the Department of English at St. Louis University. Dr. Sawday earned his Ph.D. in Renaissance Literature from University College, London, in 1988. Since then, he has authored two influential monographs: Engines of the Imagination: Renaissance Culture and the Rise of the […]


Louis Menand

Louis Menand earned his B.A. from Pomona College in 1973, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1975 and 1980. After teaching at Princeton University, Queen’s College CUNY, and the Graduate Center CUNY, he is now at Harvard University as the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of English. He has received […]


Harry B. Gray

Professor Harry B. Gray, Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry at California Institute of Technology.  Dr. Gray is one of the most prominent names in energy-related research and has an enormous center (multi-million dollar) funded by the National Science Foundation.  Dr. Gray has won the Priestley Medal of the American Chemical Society in 1991 (the […]

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Katherine Sender

Katherine Sender is a professor in Media, Film, and Television at the University of Auckland. She is the author of two books, one on the construction of the gay market in the US (Business not Politics: The Making of the Gay Market), the other on audiences of reality television (The Makeover: Reality Television and Reflexive […]

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Sarah Banet-Weiser

Sarah Banet-Weiser is Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.  She is the author of The Most Beautiful Girl in the World: Beauty Pageants and National Identity (1999), Kids Rule! Nickelodeon and Consumer Citizenship (2007), and Authentic™: […]


Dr. Stuart Pimm

Stuart Pimm is a world leader in the study of present day extinctions and what can be done to prevent them. His research covers the reasons why species become extinct, how fast they do so, the global patterns of habitat loss and species extinction and, importantly, the management consequences of this research. Dr. Pimm received […]


Dr. Charles E. Murry

Dr. Murry is a Professor of Pathology, Bioengineering and Medicine/Cardiology at the University of Washington and also serves as Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Biology and Co-Director of the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. In addition to running his research laboratory, he practices diagnostic cardiovascular pathology and is extensively involved in teaching […]


Dr. Megan Franke

Ketchum Auditorium in the Engineering Building 4:00pm-6:00pm Dr. Franke received her Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1990. Upon graduating, Dr. Franke accepted a position with the University of California Los Angeles.  Dr. Franke is well known for one of mathematics education’s most influential research projects, the Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) Project. Dr. Franke’s […]


Marta Cunningham

Marta Cunningham is an accomplished actor turned first-time filmmaker. A native of Northern California, she was so moved by the story of Lawrence King’s murder that she became embedded in Oxnard and soon began filming those whose lives were touched by the tragedy for her documentary Valentine Road. At the age of 14, Cunningham danced […]


Robert Maggio

  Robert has performed in Italy, Greece, Holland, Spain, South Korea, United States, and Japan both as soloist and in orchestral and chamber settings, collaborating with many international artists of reputation.  Particularly, he has collaborated in music and dance performances with Carla Fracci as well as in music and theatre shows with Nando Gazzolo, Virginio Gazzolo, Arnoldo Foà and […]


Eugene Watts

  Eugene (Gene) Watts grew up playing jazz trombone in Sedalia, Missouri, and earned his Bachelor of Music degree in trombone performance from Mizzou in 1959 (financing his education by founding and performing with the Missouri Mudcats Dixieland band).  Graduate studies at the New England Conservatory and summers at the Tanglewood Music Center eventually led […]


Dr. Mark Collard

  Dr. Collard is Professor of Archaeology at Simon Fraser University, where he directs the Human Evolutionary Studies Program.  The significance of Dr. Collard’s work was recognized in 2007 when he was awarded the Canada Research Chair in Human Evolutionary Studies at Simon Fraser. Dr. Mark Collard is Dr. Collard’s work spans the fields of […]

Karen Russel

Karen Russell

    Karen Russell is a fiction writer whose haunting yet comic tales blend fantastical elements with psychological realism and classic themes of transformation and redemption. Setting much of her work in the Everglades of her native Florida, she depicts in lyrical, energetic prose an enchanting and forbidding landscape and delves into subcultures rarely encountered […]

Chuck D

Carlton Douglass Ridenhour “Chuck D”

  As leader and co-founder of legendary rap group Public Enemy, Chuck D redefined rap music and hip hop culture. His messages address weighty issues about race, rage and inequality with a jolting combination of intelligence and eloquence.  Chuck D is also a national spokesperson for Rock the Vote, the National Urban League, and the National […]