2016 Past Speakers

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

Meshell Nedgeocello

Ten-time Grammy nominee Meshell Ndegeocello is a bassist, singer, rapper and activist who composes music and writes powerful lyrics that explore the intersection between race, politics, and sexuality. After her debut album Plantation Lullabies in 1993 Ndegeocello has consistently released music that mixes jazz, R&B, hip-hop, and rock. Born Michelle Lynn Johnson in Germany in […]


Dr. Daniel Colón-Ramos

Daniel Colón-Ramos was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He completed his B.A. at Harvard University, his PhD in the lab of Dr. Sally Kornbluth at Duke University and was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Kang Shen at Stanford University. The Colón-Ramos lab is interested in how synapses are precisely assembled to […]

Salgado Maranhao and Alexis Levitin Photo

Salgado Maranhão & Alexis Levitin

Salgado Maranhão is known for his beautiful lyricism as well as his incisive depiction of themes related to racial identity among Brazilians of African descent. He is a poet laureate in Brazil, having won the country’s highest honor for poetry, the Jabuti Prize. Maranhão’s poetry also derives inspiration from a wide range of Brazil’s diverse […]

Dr. Haywood Brown (2)

Dr. Haywood Brown

Dr. Haywood Brown is currently the Roy T. Parker Professor and Chair of Duke University Obstetrics and Gynecology Department and a practicing Maternal-Fetal Medicine physician.  Dr. Brown is a distinguished and nationally recognized physician.  Dr. Brown serves on the board of directors of the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologist and the Society of Maternal […]


Dr. Roberta Krueger

As the Burgess Professor of French at Hamilton College, Dr. Krueger is an internationally-renowned scholar and teacher of medieval French literature and gender studies. She is not only a highly-regarded scholar, but she has also contributed to significantly shifting the terms of analysis in medieval studies by complicating our discussions of medieval identity through gendered […]


Alicia Ostriker

Alicia Ostriker has published fourteen volumes of poetry, including The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog; The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems 1979-2011; No Heaven; The Volcano Sequence; and The Imaginary Lover, winner of the William Carlos Williams Award. She was twice a National Book Award Finalist, for The Little Space (1998) and The Crack in Everything (1996). Her poetry has […]


Dr. Fouad Kasim Mohammad

Dr Fouad is currently a professor of pharmacology and toxicology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Mosul, Iraq. He also has held numerous positions at the university including Dean of Veterinary Medicine, Chairman of Pharmacology, Vice President for Administration and Financial Affairs and a number of other leadership positions. Additionally, Dr. Fouad obtained his MS […]


Dr. Richard Kogan

Richard Kogan has a distinguished career both as a concert pianist and as a psychiatrist. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and Artistic Director of the Weill Cornell Music and Medicine Program, he has been praised for his “exquisite playing” by the New York Times, and the Boston Globe wrote that “Kogan […]


Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, and a professor of law at New York University School of Law. He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people […]


Teddy Seidenfeld

Professor Teddy Seidenfeld (H.A. Simon University Professor of Philosophy and Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University) works on foundations at the interface between philosophy and statistics, often being concerned with problems that involve multiple decision makers. For example, in collaboration with M.J. Schervish and J.B. Kadane (Statistics, CMU), they relax the norms of Bayesian theory to […]

Portraits of Richard Alley

Dr. Richard Alley

Dr. Richard Alley (PhD 1987 in Geology from Wisconsin) is Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences and Associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at The Pennsylvania State University.  He studies the great ice sheets to aid in prediction of future changes in climate and sea level, and has conducted three field seasons in […]


Rodríguez Olazábal

Born in Havana in 1955, Rodríguez Olazábal is rooted and deeply well-versed in Cuban religion, tradition, and history, on which he draws for his large-scale, mixed-media paintings and installations.  His extensive exhibition record spans 3 decades and includes institutions such as the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana, The Louvre in Paris, The Modern […]

2. Adashi E color (1)

Dr. Eli Adashi

Dr. Eli Adashi is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences), and the former Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences at Brown University. He is an author of over 300 peer-reviewed publications (h-index 69), in the areas of reproductive medicine and women’s health […]


Dr. S.R. Wayne Chen

Research in Dr. Chen’s laboratory is directed towards understanding the structure/function relationships and physiological roles of the calcium release channel (ryanodine receptor) (RyR) in cardiac function. His current research interests focus on: (i) the molecular and cellular basis of cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death (ii) the molecular actions of pro- and anti-arrhythmic drugs and the […]


Manuel Mendive

Manuel Mendive is considered by many to be the most important living artist in Cuba today, and he is known internationally. Born in Havana in 1944, he attended the San Alejandro School of Arts. He has exhibited his paintings and sculptures in Cuba, Spain, France, Russia, Somalia, Benin, Congo, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Jamaica, and the […]


William Luis

Professor William Luis is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Spanish at Vanderbilt University. He has held teaching positions at Dartmouth College, Yale University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Binghamton University. Professor Luis was awarded a 2012-2013 Guggenheim Fellowship for his project titled “The Life and Works of the Cuban Slave Poet Juan Francisco […]

Wilson James formal

Dr. James Wilson

Dr. James Wilson is a pioneer and world leader of in the field of gene therapy.   He has made many seminal contributions and received numerous awards for his outstanding research work.  Dr. Wilson is currently the Director of the Gene Therapy Program and the Director of the Orphan Disease Center at the University of Pennsylvania.  […]


Janet Echelman

Janet Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create artworks that have become focal points for civic life on four continents. Echelman’s art reshapes urban airspace with monumental, fluidly moving sculptures that respond to environmental forces such as wind, water and sunlight. Her work has been featured in a multitude of venues including the […]