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2021 Past Speakers

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MESHELL

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.  […]

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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 […]

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Dr. Donald O. Castell

Dr. Castell is a Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Esophageal Disorders Program in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Medical University of South Carolina. He received his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine, completed his residency at the National Naval Medical Center, and was a Research Fellow […]

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Dr. John Hartwig

John F. Hartwig was born outside of Chicago in 1964 and was raised in upstate New York. He received a B.A. degree in 1986 from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. degree in 1990 from the University of California, Berkeley under the collaborative direction of Robert Bergman and Richard Andersen. After an American Cancer Society postdoctoral […]

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Dr. Andrew Barker

A biographical sketch provided by Dr. Andrew Barker: A bald summary of my academic career would look something like this. In 1970, after a first degree in Lit. Hum. at Oxford and a PhD in the philosophy of biology at the Australian National University, I joined the University of Warwick’s Philosophy Department as their ancient […]

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Dr. Shane Butler

Shane Butler works on Latin literature from antiquity through the Renaissance. His special interests include media history and theory; sensation, cognition, and aesthetics; rhetoric and poetics; the history of sexuality; classical reception; and the history of classical scholarship. His published books reconstruct the material context of the production and circulation of Roman oratory (The Hand […]

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Dr. Bruce Rittmann

Dr. Bruce E. Rittmann is Regents’ Professor of Environmental Engineering and Director of the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology in the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the scientific and engineering fundamentals needed to “manage microbial communities to provide services to society.” Services include generating renewable energy, cleaning water and soil, […]

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Dr. Meave Leakey

Dr. Meave Leakey was born Meave Epps in 1942 in London. She attended the University of North Wales, where she earned joint honors in Zoology and Marine Zoology. In 1965, she began to pursue a Ph.D. in Zoology. That same year, she had her first contact with the Leakey family; she took a staff position […]

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Dr. Simon Richter

Dr. Simon Richter is Professor of German in the Germanic Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Richter has authored 3 books and (co-)edited three more on Goethe and German Classicism; he has also pusblished more than forty scholarly articles on a broad variety of topics. Among his many fellowships and […]

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Randy Brecker

Jazz trumpeter and composer Randy Brecker has helped shape the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than four decades. His trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament/Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa. Born […]

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Dr. Paul B. Jaskot

Paul B. Jaskot is the 2014-2016 Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (National Gallery of Art) in Washington, D.C. and a Professor of Art History at DePaul University. His research focuses on the cultural history of National Socialist Germany and its postwar impact on art and architecture. More […]

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Dr. Aline Helg

Professor Helg is an authoritative scholar of worldwide recognition in the field of Latin American History and Politics who has written extensively on issues of slave liberation movements and equal rights in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Her works focus on questions of social hierarchies based on race and color distinctions, and the participation process of Blacks and Mulattoes […]

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David McCollough

Hailed as a “master of the art of narrative history,” David McCullough is a two-time winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, and is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Included among the many bestselling titles that he has authored over the course of his […]

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Dr. David Maslanka

David Maslanka was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1943. He attended the Oberlin College Conservatory where he studied composition with Joseph Wood. He spent a year at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and did masters and doctoral study in composition at Michigan State University where his principal teacher was H. Owen Reed. Maslanka’s music for […]

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Dr. Rita Charon

Rita Charon, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Clinical Medicine and Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. A general internist with a primary care practice in Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Charon took a Ph.D. in English when she realized how central storytelling and listening to stories […]

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Mark R. Wiesner

Mark R. Wiesner holds the James L. Meriam Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University where he has appointments in the Pratt School of Engineering and the Nicholas School of Environment. He serves as Director of the National Science Foundation’s Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT) and Chair of the Department […]

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Hans Abrahamsen

Hans Abrahamsen was born in 1952, and received his musical education from, amongst others, Per Nørgård, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen and György Ligeti. An early beginner – his first published works date from when he was sixteen – he had produced a sizeable output by the time he reached thirty: several orchestral works (including Nacht und Trompeten […]

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John Solaro, PhD

Dr. Solaro received his PhD in Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine in 1971. In 1972, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Physiology at the Medical College of Virginia. As a British-American Heart Fellow in 1975-76, he worked with Professor S.V. Perry at the University of Birmingham in England and as a […]

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Julian I. Schroeder

Prof. Schroeder is a AAAS Fellow and as of April 28, 2015, a newly elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. He also currently serves as the President of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB). He is the recipient of numerous awards and is internationally recognized as a renowned plant scientist working at […]

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Donald Lindberg, M.D.

Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., a scientist who has pioneered in applying computer technology to health care beginning in 1960 at the University of Missouri, in 1984 was appointed Director of the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest biomedical library (annual budget $336 million; 799 career staff). From 1992 -1995 he served in a concurrent […]

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Simon Carrington

Simon Carrington, Yale University professor emeritus, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in music, performing as singer, double bass player and conductor, first in the UK where he was born, and latterly in the USA. From 2003 to 2009 he was professor of choral conducting at Yale University and director of the Yale Schola […]

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Joan Silber

Joan Silber is the author of seven books of fiction, most recently Fools, longlisted for the National Book Award and finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Other works include The Size of the World, finalist for the LA Times Fiction Prize, Ideas of Heaven, finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize, and Household […]

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Emily Martin

Emily Martin is Professor of Anthropology at New York University and an internationally renowned scholar. One of the earliest feminist anthropologists, Martin’s diverse body of work has explored technoscience, reproduction, the immune system and psychology. Her research areas include science and medicine, gender, cultures of the mind, emotion and rationality, history of psychiatry and psychology, […]

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Sergei Babayan

A student of such legendary teachers and musicians as Gornostayeva, Naumov, Pletnev and Vlasenko in the Moscow Conservatory, Sergei Babayan was one of the first pianists from the former USSR who was able to compete without government sponsorship after the collapse of the system. Immediately after his first trip outside of the USSR, he won […]

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Robert D. Putnam

Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. He has received numerous scholarly honors, including the Skytte Prize, the most prestigious global award in […]

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Scott Soames

Prof. Scott Soames was an undergraduate in philosophy at Stanford University, and a graduate student studying Linguistics and Philosophy at M. I. T., where he received my Ph.D. in philosophy in 1976. He taught philosophy at Yale University from 1976 – 1980, when he moved to Princeton University, where he taught from 1980 – 2004. […]

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Professor Geoff Eley

Professor Geoff Eley is the Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is one of the most distinguished historians of modern Europe not just in the US, but anywhere in the world. Professor Eley is the author of ten books, and the editor of eight others. […]

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Alejandro de la Fuente

Dr. Alejandro de la Fuente is the Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics at Harvard University. He is also Professor of African and African American Studies, and of History. He is the director of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. He is an authoritative […]

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Kyle Harper, PhD

Kyle Harper graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Letters and earned his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in History from Harvard University. He is the Interim Senior Vice President and Provost at the University of Oklahoma and Professor of Classics and Letters, as well as the Director of the […]

Dr. Gordon Hunter

Gordon Hunter, Ph.D.

Gordon Hutner is professor of American literature at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he has taught for the last 10 years.  After taking degrees at Kenyon College and the University of Virginia, he began his career at the University of Wisconsin, where he taught for 17 years before leaving for the University of […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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, […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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™: […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Jeffrey Bennetzen

Dr. Bennetzen is a pioneer in the comparative analysis of plane genomes. His research currently focuses on plant genome structure and evolution, specifically transposable elements. An additional interest of his lab is the relationship between genome structure, evolution, and gene function. He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2004, […]

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Dr. Susan Bordo

  Susan Bordo (Ph.D. State University of New York, Stony Brook) is the Otis A. Singletary Chair in the Humanities and Professor of English and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Kentucky.  She is author of several books, including The Flight to Objectivity: Essays on Cartesianism and Culture (SUNY Press, 1987) and Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western […]

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Malaika Favorite

Malaika received her BFA (1971) and MFA (1973) in art from LSU Baton Rouge, LA. Her artwork is featured in: Art: African American by Samella Lewis, African American Art and Artist, also by Samella Lewis, Black Art in Louisiana by Bernardine B. Proctor and the St. James Guide to Black Artists, by Thomas Riggs. Her […]

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Joan E. Strassmann

“Privatization, veils of ignorance, economics, and rapid evolution in micro-organisms.” Friday, November 15th at 3:30 in Monsanto Auditorium Joan E. Strassmann is an evolutionary biologist at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is Charles Rebstock Professor of Biology.  She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2013. Professor Strassmann is interested in how […]

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Makoto Arai

Makoto Arai is a Professor of Law at Chuo University in Tokyo, Japan (Tama Campus). Professor Arai is a graduate of the Faculty of Law at Keio University and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. He was formerly Dean of the Law School at Tsukuba University. His research interests […]

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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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Margaret J. M. Ezell

Margaret J. M. Ezell is distinguished professor of English and Sara and John Lindsey Chair of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. She has received numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships and multiple National Endowment for the Humanities grants.

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Lia Purpura

Lia Purpura is the author of three collections of poems (King Baby, Stone Sky Lifting, and The Brighter the Veil), three collections of essays (Rough Likeness, On Looking, Increase), and one collection of translations, (Poems of Grzegorz Musial: Berliner Tagebuch and Taste of Ash).

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Rochel Gelman

Rochel Gelman has developed ways to study the ease with which very young children acquire intuitive understandings of natural numbers and arithmetic, that different sources of energy support the movement and change over time of separately movable animate and inanimate objects, that outcomes have causes, and the learning of words and conversationally appropriate ways of talking.

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Charles Randy Gallistel

Charles Randy Gallistel is professor of psychology and former co-director of the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

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John Toussaint

Dr. John Toussaint is the founding chair of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality and the Wisconsin Health Information Organization, CEO at ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value and the non-executive leader of the Partnership for Healthcare Payment Reform in Wisconsin.

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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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Jon Kaas

Dr. Kaas is a Centennial Professor of Psychology, professor of cell biology and Kennedy Center investigator. He has studied the brain for some 35 years, most of them at Vanderbilt University.

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Stephanie Coontz

Stephanie Coontz teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and is director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families.

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John Geyman

John Geyman, M.D. is professor emeritus of family medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, where he served as chairman of the Department of Family Medicine from 1976 to 1990. As a family physician with more than 25 years in academic medicine, he has also practiced in rural communities for 13 years.

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Hedrick Smith

Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter and editor and Emmy award-winning producer/correspondent, has established himself during the past 50 years of his career as one of America’s most distinguished journalists.

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Doug Rees

Doug Rees is a central figure in the determination of membrane protein structure by x-ray crystallography, notably transport proteins and mechanosensitive channels. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

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Randolph Phillip

Randy Philipp is an international leader in scholarship of the preparation and development of mathematics teachers, with a particular focus on professional noticing and attention to children’s thinking.

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Byron Hurt

Byron Hurt is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a published writer and an anti-sexism activist.

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Kirby Dick

Kirby Dick is an Academy Award- and Emmy Award-nominated documentary director. He has been directing documentaries since 1986 and, beyond his Academy Award nominations for Twist of Faith (2005) and The Invisible War (2012), he has been recognized by the Sundance Film Festival, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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David Weisbach

David Weisbach serves as the Walter J. Blum Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He has published more than 50 articles and book chapters on issues relating to federal income taxation and climate change.

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Brian Coats

Brian Coats has established a successful career in regional and off-Broadway theater that includes work on some of the most prestigious stages in the country: The Lincoln Center, People’s Light and Theater Company, The Public Theatre, New York Shakespeare in The Park.

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Mark Majesky

Dr. Mark Majesky began his research training at the University of Washington and is now a professor with the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. He is director of the Myocardial Regeneration Initiative for the Center for Tissue and Cell Sciences.

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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.

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Charles Rice

Dr. Charles Rice is the Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Chair in Virology and serves as head of the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease at The Rockefeller University. He is one of the world’s most accomplished virologists and a prominent figure in research on members of the Flaviviridae including hepatitis C virus (HCV).

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Ferid Murad

Ferid Murad M.D., Ph.D., is a world-renowned pioneer in biochemistry and a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology.

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Nancy Morejon

Nancy Morejón, a celebrated essayist, critic, editor, journalist and translator, is renowned principally as one of the most distinguished women poets of Cuba and the first Afro-Cuban recipient of Cuba’s National Prize for Literature.

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Ruth Behar

Ruth Behar was the keynote speaker at the MU conference Cultural Bricolage: Artist Books of Cuba’s Ediciones Vigía in November 2012. Born in Havana, Cuba and raised in New York, Behar shares her experiences of crossing cultural borders through her work as a writer, editor, ethnographer and documentary filmmaker.

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Joseph Henrich

Joseph Henrich is a Canadian research chair in culture, cognition and evolution in the departments of psychology and economics at the University of British Columbia.

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Mina J. Bissell

Mina J. Bissell, Ph.D., is an Iranian-American biologist and a world-recognized leader in the area of the role of extracellular matrix and microenvironment in regulation of tissue-specific function, with special emphasis on breast cancer.

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Robert Picard

Professor Robert G. Picard is a world-leading specialist on media economics and government media policies. He was formerly based in the Media Management and Transformation Center at Jönköping International Business School in Sweden where he was director of the center and Hamrin Professor of Media Economics.

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Bernard Lo

Bernard Lo, M.D., is president of the Greenwall Foundation, which supports bioethics research and young researchers in bioethics. He is professor emeritus of medicine and director emeritus of the program in medical ethics at the University of California, San Francisco.

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Tim Page

Tim Page won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1997 for his writings about music in The Washington Post, where he has held the position of chief classical music critic since 1995.

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Allan Gibbard

Professor Allan Gibbard’s two books, Wise Choices, Apt Feelings (1990) and Thinking How to Live (2003) develop a general theory of moral judgments and judgments of rationality.

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Patricia Brennan

Dr. Brennan is a nationally recognized health care professional, having been elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2002 and the New York Academy of Medicine in 2009.

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Steven Stucky

Steven Stucky, born in 1949, has an extensive catalogue of compositions ranging from large-scale orchestral works to a cappella miniatures for chorus. He is also active as a conductor, writer, lecturer and teacher, and for 21 years he enjoyed a close partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic

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Michael Zgurovsky

Michael Zgurovsky is a well-known scientist in the field of mathematics and system analysis. He is the author of more than 350 scientific publications, including 35 books which were published in different countries, and the author/creator of 50 inventions.

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John Boyer

Professor John Boyer was raised on a small beef cattle farm that he and his brother operated for six years and where he remains active. Because the farm is subject to severe drought on average every three years, he devoted his career to understanding how plants perform in these conditions and whether their performance can be improved.

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John Mackey

John Mackey holds a master’s degree from The Juilliard School and a bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with John Corigliano and Donald Erb, respectively. Mackey particularly enjoys writing music for dance and for symphonic winds, and he has focused on those mediums for the past few years.

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John Terborgh

For the past 35 years, John Terborgh has been actively involved in tropical ecology and conservation issues. An authority on avian and mammalian ecology in neotropical forests, Terborgh has published numerous articles and books on conservation themes.

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Toi Derricotte

Toi Derricotte is the author of five books of poetry, the latest of which, The Undertaker’s Daughter (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), was hailed by Terrance Hayes as “her most stirring and innovative work yet.” Her other volumes are Tender, winner of the 1998 Paterson Poetry Prize; Captivity; Natural Birth; and The Empress of the Death House.

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Bill Davies

Bill Davies has been recognized for his fundamental research on root-to-shoot signaling in plants that has led directly to the development of water-saving irrigation management systems now widely adopted on several continents. He is a distinguished professor at Lancaster University in the U.K.

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Barry Bozeman

Barry Bozeman’s research focuses on public management, organization theory and science and technology policy. He is the author or editor of 16 books, including Rules and Red Tape: A Prism for Public Administration Theory Development (Sharpe Publishing, 2011) and Public Values and Public Interest (Georgetown University Press, 2007).

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Valerie Boyd

Valerie Boyd is the author of Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston and Spirits in the Dark: The Untold Story of Black Women in Hollywood. She is an associate professor and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, where she teaches magazine writing, arts reviewing and narrative nonfiction.

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David Wellbery

David Wellbery is the author of two studies considered classics in the field of German literary history: Lessing’s Laocoön: Semiotics and Aesthetics in the Age of Reason (Cambridge University Press, 1984) and The Specular Moment: Goethe’s Early Lyric and the Beginnings of Romanticism (Stanford University Press, 1996). He is the LeRoy T. and Margaret Deffenbaugh Carlson University Professor at the University of Chicago.

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William Brock

William Brock is Vilas Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He earned a doctorate in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1969.His dissertation and early work were on optimal growth theory. His proof of the existence of a growth program that is maximal with respect to the catching-up criterion was an especially notable contribution.

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James Skinner

James Skinner’s research interests are in the theoretical chemistry of condensed phases. A graduate of Harvard University with a doctorate in chemical physics, Skinner has coauthored more than 180 scientific publications and has given more than 280 invited lectures. He has received numerous awards for both scholarship and teaching.

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Joanna Fowler

Dr. Joanna Fowler has had a distinguished career in the development of radiotracers for positron emission tomography (PET) using organic synthesis and radiochemistry with applications for studying health and disease in human beings.

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Gene Likens

Gene E. Likens is president and director of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y. Dr. Likens’ research focuses on the ecology and biogeochemistry of forest and aquatic ecosystems, primarily through long-term studies at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

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Rick Sordelet

Rick Sordelet is a physical action director who has choreographed 52 Broadway shows including Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Tarzan, Aida, The Scottsboro Boys and That Championship Season. His work in film as a stunt coordinator includes: The Game Plan, Dan in Real Life and Hamlet.

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Sally Stapleton

Sally Stapleton is the former deputy executive photo editor of The Associated Press. During her tenure as the international editor, Stapleton led a team of photographers, based in Africa, to two Pulitzer Prizes in photography.

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Donald Lindberg

Dr. Donald Lindberg, director of the National Library of Medicine, has been a pioneer in the application of computer technology to health care beginning in 1960 at the University of Missouri. In addition to an eminent career in pathology, Dr. Lindberg has made notable contributions to information and computer activities in medical diagnosis, artificial intelligence and educational programs.

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Joyce Mitchell

Dr. Joyce A. Mitchell obtained her doctorate in population genetics from the University of Wisconsin with postdoctoral training in clinical genetics. She is certified as a medical geneticist by the American Board of Medical Genetics and the American College of Medical Genetics.

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Thomas Kemper

Thomas L. Kemper, M.D., received his medical degree from the University of Illinois School of Medicine with residency training in internal medicine at the Rush-Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago. Kemper’s main interests are in brain development, the neuropathology of aging in the monkey brain and in the anatomy of infantile autism.

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Ron Phillips

Dr. Ronald L. Phillips is Regents Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in Genomics, University of Minnesota. Phillips has coupled the techniques of plant genetics and molecular biology to enhance our understanding of basic biology of cereal crops and to improve these species by innovative methods.

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Terry McElwain

Dr. Terry McElwain was instrumental in establishing the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, for which he received the 2006 USDA Administrator’s Award. He has also played a key role in the development of the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health at WSU.

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Roger Reynolds

Roger Reynolds’ singular exploration of sound spatialization has helped him create site-responsive works for distinctive architecture (Isozaki’s, Kahn’s, Wright’s and Gehry’s). He has collaborated with John Ashbery (“Whispers Out of Time,” a string orchestra work arising out of an Ashbery poem, garnered him the 1989 Pulitzer Prize.) as well as inventor-philosopher Buckminster Fuller.

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Michel Georges

Dr. Michel Georges is known for his research in the field of animal genetics and genomics and in the development of tools and strategies for increasing the efficiency of genome analysis for livestock improvement.

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John Mattick

John Mattick is professor of molecular biology and Australian Research Council Federation fellow at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. His research interest is RNA regulation and noncoding DNA in complex organisms.

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Mario Biagioli

Mario Biagioli is a distinguished professor of law and science and technology studies at the University of California, Davis. He is also and director of the Center for Innovation Studies. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he is a founding member of the International Society for the Theory and History of Intellectual Property.

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Donald Detmer

Don E. Detmer, M.D., is an Institute of Medicine member, medical director of the Division of Advocacy and Health Policy at the American College of Surgeons, past president and CEO of American Medical Informatics Association and professor emeritus and professor of medical education at the University of Virginia.

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William Brock

William Brock is Vilas Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He earned a doctorate in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1969.His dissertation and early work were on optimal growth theory. His proof of the existence of a growth program that is maximal with respect to the catching-up criterion was an especially notable contribution.

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Richard Luthy

Dr. Richard Luthy is the Silas H. Palmer Professor and former chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and senior fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. His area of teaching and research is environmental engineering and water quality.

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Elizabeth Ashley

Elizabeth Ashley is an Emmy- and Tony Award-nominated actress, best known for her stage roles in Barefoot in the Park (1963) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1973) and for her role on the television series Evening Shade (1990-1994).

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Steven Pinker

Dr. Steven Pinker is Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He is also is the chair of the usage panel of The American Heritage Dictionary and has served as editor or adviser for numerous scientific, scholarly, media and humanist organizations. He has won many prizes for his books, his research and his graduate and undergraduate teaching.

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Edward Albee

The celebrated playwright Edward Albee has been redefining American theater since the 1950s. In addition to his most renowned piece, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Albee’s body of work includes three Pulitzer Prize-winning plays: A Delicate Balance (1966), Seascape (1975) and Three Tall Women (1994).

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Steven Block

Dr. Steven Block is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Biophysical Society. He is a recipient of the Max Delbrück Prize in Biological Physics from the American Physical Society, the Young Investigator Prize and the Outstanding Investigator in Single Molecule Biophysics Award from the Biophysical Society.

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Sudhir Venkatesh

Sudhir Venkatesh is William B. Ransford Professor of Sociology at Columbia University in New York. He is a researcher and writer on urban neighborhoods in the U.S. His most recent book, is Gang Leader for a Day (Penguin Press), received a Best Book award from The Economist.

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Roger Tsien

Dr. Roger Tsien was the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP. His numerous other awards include the Burks Prize for Outstanding Research in Pharmacology from the Western Pharmacological Society, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the National Heart Association, and the Spiers Memorial Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry, Great Britain.

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Robert Darnton

Robert Darnton is Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Harvard University Library. He has written and edited two dozen books.

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William Ferris

William R. Ferris is the senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South, Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of history and an adjunct professor in the curriculum in folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ferris has written more than 100 publications in fields of folklore, American literature, fiction and photography.

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Stephen Henderson

Stephen Henderson shares his experiences as an award-winning actor and renowned acting teacher. Henderson is considered one of the foremost interpreters of the August Wilson canon, and he received a Tony nomination and the Richard Seff Award from Actor’s Equity for his performance as Jim Bono in the Broadway revival of Fences, starring Denzel Washington.

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Judy Irola

Judy Irola’s awards include the Women’s International Film & Television Showcase International Visionary Award (2009), the Sundance Film Festival Best Cinematography Award (1993, An Ambush of Ghosts) and the Cannes Film Festival Camera d’Or Prize (1979, Northern Lights).

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Richard Askey

Dr. Richard Askey is professor emeritus in the department of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has been a Guggenheim Fellow as well as an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Bangalore.

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Terry Collins

A champion in the field of green chemistry, Terry Collins has been recognized internationally for his work in creating a new class of oxidation catalysts with the potential for enormous, positive impact on the environment. Experts worldwide believe that Collins’ systems can be used to effectively replace chlorine-based oxidants in large global technologies.

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Michael Clegg

Dr. Michael Clegg is the Donald Bren Professor of biological sciences, ecology & evolutionary biology in the School of Biological Sciences at University of California, Irvine.

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Michael Lynch

Michael Lynch is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research looks at population-level evolutionary processes, focusing on mechanisms of evolution at the gene, genomic, cellular, and phenotypic levels, with special attention being given to the roles of mutation, random genetic drift and recombination.

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Jeff Bennetzen

Dr. Jeff Bennetzen is chair and professor of genetics at the University of Georgia. He is well known for his research on the intricacies of the plant genomes and has studied corn, wheat, barley, rice and sorghum.