Saginaw Valley State University is hosting several thought-provoking speakers for this year's Visiting Scholars and Artists Series. The series will run during both the fall and winter semesters and is part of SVSU’s community-minded mission to bring leading scholars to campus and share their insights with residents of the Great Lakes Bay Region.
The fall portion of the series will feature eight speakers covering a range of topics from the making of a writer to the mystery of Civil War London. With a retired SVSU president and a highly acclaimed physicist among the lineup, featured speakers will discuss politics within the Supreme Court, the revolutionary science of medicine and the need for inclusivity on college campuses and elsewhere.
All lectures are open to the public and admission is free of charge.
Fall speakers for the series include:
• Mamie T. Thorns, SVSU special assistant to the president for diversity programs, will lecture on the topic of “Civility, Inclusivity and Equity on Campus and Beyond.” In her role, she has provided leadership and coordination for SVSU's programs related to diversity, equal opportunity and affirmative action. Having more than 30 years of teaching and administrative experience in the field of higher education, Thorns was the recipient of the 2013 YWCA Women of Achievement Award. She was also recently endorsed by the Institute for Diversity Certification as a national certified diversity executive. Her presentation for SVSU’s annual Rush Lecture will be Thursday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. in Founders Hall.
• Paul Chang-Ha Lim will give SVSU’s Barstow Lecture titled, “Heretical Lives Matter…Really? Policing the Boundaries of Mystery in Civil War London,” on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. in Founders Hall. Lim is an associate professor of history and religious studies as well as the history of Christianity at Vanderbilt University. His latest book, “Mystery Unveiled: The Crisis of the Trinity in Early Modern England,” was awarded the Roland H. Bainton Prize as the best book in history or theology in 2013 by the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference. Lim earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University, a master of theology in church history from Princeton Seminary, and a Ph.D. in English religious history from Cambridge University.
• Eric R. Gilbertson, SVSU’s retired president and current executive-in-residence, will give the James E. O'Neill Memorial Lecture Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. His topic is “The Empty Ninth Chair: Politics and the Supreme Court.” Currently teaching SVSU courses in administrative science and constitutional law, Gilbertson formerly served as legal counsel to the Ohio Board of Regents. He completed a bachelor's degree at Blufton College, a master’s degree in economics at Ohio University and a law degree from Cleveland State University; he also has received honorary degrees from the University of Mysore in India and Ming Chuan University in Taiwan.
• Carlos Ojeda Jr., a former college administrator, is focused on teaching students across the country that their voices can be powerful. His passion for motivating others pushed him to start the organization CoolSpeak: The Youth Engagement Company. Providing youth motivational speakers, the organization includes programs and events that are specifically designed to give students the opportunity to engage while both educating and empowering them. Ojeda will speak Friday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. in Hamilton Gymnasium.
• Physicist Michio Kaku will examine “The Next 20 Years, How Science Will Revolutionize Medicine, the Economy and Our Way of Life” during SVSU’s Edwards Lecture in Philosophy and Religion Monday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. As the co-founder of string field theory and a professor of physics at the City University of New York, Kaku has written several books about the future of physics including "Hyperspace" and "Physics of the Impossible." His visit is part of the Dow Visiting Scholar program. The lecture will take place in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts.
• Samrat Upadhyay is a professor of humanities at Indiana University. He has written several books including the short story collection “Arresting God in Kathmandu.” The book won a Whiting Writers' Award as well as a pick for the 2001 Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers Program. Other works by Upadhyay include the acclaimed novel, “The City Son” and “Buddha's Orphans.” As part of SVSU’s Dow Visiting Scholar program, he will speak Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Rhea Miller Recital Hall. His lecture is titled “Celebrating Gratitude: An Ode to the Forces that Make a Writer.”
• Charlie Appelstein works as a youth care specialist as well as president of Appelstein Training Resources, LLC. In doing so, he provides expert strength-based training for people and groups that work with children dealing with serious emotional and behavioral issues. In dedicating the entirety of his career to this cause, Appelstein has been called “the best youth care trainer in America,” by Robert Lieberman, former president of the American Association of Children's Residential Centers. Applestein’s visit is also a part of SVSU’s Dow Visiting Scholar program; he will speak Monday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Ott Auditorium in Gilbertson Hall. His lecture is titled “Helping Kids to Be All That They Can Be-Using a Positive, Strength-Based Approach for Maximizing Children's Potential.”
• Carolyn Woo came to the United States to attend college and completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and a Ph.D. at Purdue University. She was motivated by her life experience growing up in Hong Kong, hearing many accounts regarding the fleeing from the communist government in China as her parents had. After working as the dean of the Mendoza School of Business at Notre Dame, Woo accepted the position of CEO and president of the global humanitarian arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. She will deliver her lecture, “Working for a Better World,” Monday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts as part of the Dow Visiting Scholar program.
The Dow Visiting Scholars & Artists program at SVSU was established through an endowment from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to enrich our region’s cultural and intellectual opportunities.
For more information on the lectures, please contact the SVSU box office at (989) 964-4348.