The 2012-2013 Distinguished Speakers Series at Colorado State University-Pueblo will feature an animal expert, hip-hop preacher, inventor/entrepreneur, social activist, and an autism advocate. All events are free and open to the public.
The Distinguished Speakers Series features eminent national or international speakers who contribute to current thought in social or political activities, in the arts and sciences, or other realms of contemporary significance. The series is an opportunity to learn from scholars, politicians, and business people, who can inspire students and community members to think critically about current issues, trends, events, knowledge, diversity, and leadership. Events will be co-sponsored by the Office of Student Activities, Student Fee Governing Board, Associated Students’ Government, Diversity Resource Center, Hasan School of Business, College of Science and Math, and the Division of Student Affairs.
Jack Hanna, An Evening with Jack Hanna, 7 p.m., Hoag Recital Hall
John Bushnell “Jack” Hanna is an American zookeeper who is the Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. He was director of the zoo from 1978 to 1993 and is viewed as largely responsible for elevating its quality and reputation. His media appearances have made him one of the most notable animal experts in the United States. Nicknamed “Jungle Jack,” Hanna has presented live animal demonstrations on Good Morning America and both of David Letterman’s talk show incarnations, which brought national attention to the Columbus Zoo as well as to Hanna himself. Over the course of Hanna’s tenure as director, the zoo made the transition from cage-like enclosures to habitat environments, and the grounds were significantly expanded. Annual attendance at the Columbus Zoo increased by more than 400 percent during this time. Hanna published his autobiography, Monkeys on the Interstate in 1989. He has been the host of the syndicated television show “Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures” since 1993. Hanna also occasionally contributes commentary as an animal expert on various local and national news programs, and has done guest spots on other shows such as Larry King Live, Nancy Grace, Maury, and Hollywood Squares. He was also named one of the “50 Most Beautiful People” by People magazine in 1996. For more information on Hanna, visit http://www.jackhanna.com.
Eric Thomas, Break the Cycle, 7 p.m., OUC Ballroom
Speaker, educator, author, activist, and minister, Eric Thomas delivers a high-energy message that tells youth through first-hand experience how to live up to their full potential by breaking the cycles of crime, hopelessness and despair. Born in Chicago and raised on the streets of Detroit, he struggled because of not establishing a relationship with his biological father until his early 30s. A high school dropout at age 16, he was encouraged by a minister to complete his GED, prepare for college, and live up to his potential. He later earned a bachelor’s degree from Oakwood University and a master’s degree from Michigan State University, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in educational administration. He founded Break the Cycle I Dare You, a non-profit youth development and special event organization that focuses on developing programs for youth who have made bad choices. He serves as senior pastor of A Place of Change Ministries in Lansing, Mich., and also works with the Advantage Program at Michigan State, an undergraduate retention program targeting academically high-risk students of color. For more information on Thomas, visit http://www.etthehiphoppreacher.com.
Ray Kruzweil, How Technology will Transform Us, 7 p.m., OUC Ballroom
Described as “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes, Kruzweil was ranked #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States by Inc. magazine, who labeled him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison.” PBS included Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” among inventors of the past two centuries. As one of the leading inventors of our time, Ray was the principal developer of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray’s web site Kurzweil AI.net has more than one million readers. Kurzweil is the recipient of the $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize, the world’s largest for innovation, the 1999 National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor in technology, and is a 2002 inductee to the U.S. Patent Office’s National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Angela Davis, Democracy and Civil Engagement, 7 p.m., OUC Ballroom
Through her activism and scholarship over the last decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in our nation’s quest for social justice. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice. Her teaching career has taken
her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and University of California- Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. She spent the last 15 years at the University of California-Santa Cruz, where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness, an interdisciplinary Ph.D program, and of Feminist Studies. Davis has written eight books and has lectured throughout the world. A persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early70s as a person who spent 18 months in jail and on trial, after at one time being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.”
Temple Grandin, The Way I See It . . .Different, Not Less, 7 p.m., OUC BallroomTemple Grandin is a philosophical leader of both the animal welfare and autism advocacy movements. She knows the anxiety of feeling threatened by everything in her surroundings, and of being dismissed and feared, which motivates her work in humane livestock handling processes. She is an doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University, bestselling author, and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. As a person with high-functioning autism, Grandin also is noted for her work in autism advocacy and is the inventor of the squeeze machine designed to calm hypersensitive people. Grandin has been featured on major media programs, such as Lisa Davis’s It’s Your Health, ABC’s Primetime Live, the Today Show, and Larry King Live, the NPR show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and written up in Time magazine, People magazine, Discover magazine, Forbes and The New York Times. She also is the focus of a semi-biographical HBO film, titled Temple Grandin, starring Claire Danes. The movie was released in 2010, nominated for 15 Emmys, and earned five awards, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie and Best Actress in a Drama. For more information on Grandin, visit http://www.templegrandin.com. For more information or an updated schedule, contact the CSU-Pueblo Office of Student Affairs at 549-2687 or visit www.colostate-pueblo.edu/speakers. All events are free and open to the public on a first come, first-served basis.
Colorado State University – Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.