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2021 Past Speakers

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David R. Williams

David R. Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University.

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Dr. David Baulcombe

Professor Sir David Baulcombe received a PhD in Botany from the University of Edinburgh. He then completed postdoctoral fellows at McGill University (Canada) and the University of Georgia.

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Dr. Eric Helland

Eric Helland is the William F. Podlich Professor of economics at Claremont McKenna College and an Economist at RAND’s Institute for Civil Justice.

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Dr. Larry Hench

Larry Hench, University Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Florida Institute of Technology College of Engineering, has been awarded the highly acclaimed international 2014 Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal Award.

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Deborah Willis

Named among the 100 Most Important People in Photography by American Photography Magazine, Dr. Deborah Willis is chair and professor of photography and imaging at Tisch School of the Arts.

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Hank Willis Thomas

Hank Willis Thomas is a photo conceptual artist working with themes related to identity, history and popular culture.

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Sophia McClennen

Professor Sophia McClennen of Pennsylvania State University is an internationally known scholar and the director of the Global Studies Program at Penn State.

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Billy Hudson

Dr. Billy Hudson is scientifically acclaimed for his research in the area of ancient collagen proteins that compose basement proteins. He discovered and characterized collagen-IV proteins, in which structural alterations underlie the pathophysiology of four kidney diseases, including Goodpasture’s syndrome and Alport syndrome.

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Augusta Read Thomas

Augusta Read Thomas is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a member of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and she was Mead Composer-in-Residence for Pierre Boulez and Daniel Barenboim of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1997 through 2006.

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Jianhua Zhang

Jianhua Zhang is a professor of plant biology in the School of Life Sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also director of the State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology at the university.

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Lydia Millet

Lydia Millet is the author of eleven books of fiction, most recently the novel Magnificence (2012), a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle and Los Angeles Times book awards. Magnificence is the last in a trilogy about extinction and loss that began with How the Dead Dream and Ghost Lights.

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Marshall Mason

Marshall W. Mason and Danny Irvine discuss acting, directing and the business of theatre with students in Corner Playhouse.

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Tony Kushner

Kushner is best known for his two-part epic, Angels In America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, which won both a Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 and has been developed as an Emmy Award-winning TV miniseries and an opera.

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Jeffrey Long

Jeffrey R. Long is a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and faculty senior scientist in the Materials Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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David Hillis

David Hillis has developed molecular approaches for reconstructing the evolutionary history of organisms, or phylogeny, with a particular emphasis on the relationships of amphibians. He also made significant contributions to the understanding of hybridization, molecular processes of evolutionary change and statistical analysis of biological phylogenies.

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Olivia Gude

Professor Olivia Gude is a Chicago-based artist and educator who has become one of the most recognized names in 21st century art education. Born and raised in St. Louis, Gude was awarded the National Art Education Association’s 2009 Lowenfeld Award for significant contributions to the field of art education.

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Peter Wiley

Cellist Peter Wiley enjoys a prolific career as a performer and teacher. He is a member of the piano quartet, OPUS ONE, a group he co-founded in 1998 with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violinist Ida Kavafian and violist Steven Tenenbom.

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Frederic Chiu

Pianist Frederic Chiu performs in the world’s most prestigious halls including the Berlin Philharmonic, Kioi and Suntory Halls in Tokyo, Lincoln Center in New York City and Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

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Lynn Spigel

Lynn Spigel is the Frances E. Willard Professor of Screen Cultures in the school of communications at Northwestern University.

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Antoinette Burton

Burton is a historian of 19th and 20th century Britain and its empire, with a specialty in colonial India and an ongoing interest in Australasia and Africa.

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Randall Wright

Randall Wright, one of the world’s best known and most prolific researchers in monetary and macroeconomics, is a professor in the department of finance, investment and banking at the Wisconsin School of Business, where he holds the Ray Zemon Chair in Liquid Assets.

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Nikolai Krylov

Professor Krylov is the Ordway Professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota. His contributions to Probability Theory and Differential Equations have earned him the Steele Prize of the American Mathematical Society “for Seminal Contribution to Research.”

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Paul Miles

Dr. Paul Miles serves on quality committees with the American Academy of Pediatrics and with the American Board of Medical Specialties, where he serves on the Task Force for Maintenance of Certification. He is a former chair of the board of directors of the American Board of Pediatrics.

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Winslow Briggs

Winslow Briggs’ research on plant responses to light and photoreceptor systems in plants has been internationally recognized for its applications to agricultural and medical research.