Syracuse University

SU News

Syracuse University announces 2010-11 University Lectures season

May 13, 2010

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Nine distinguished guests will share their global experiences and perspectives with the Syracuse University and Central New York communities next fall and spring as part of the University Lectures 2010-11 season.

Guests during the Fall 2010 semester are Majora Carter, MacArthur "Genius" Award -winning green economic strategist, television and radio host and president of the Majora Carter Group, LLC; Kathleen Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and a leading expert on political advertising and campaigns; Randy Cohen, Emmy Award-winning writer and humorist and author of The Ethicist column in The New York Times Magazine; Nicholas D. Kristof, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, New York Times columnist and co-author of “Half the Sky”; and Bernard Amadei, founding president of Engineers Without Borders, professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder and faculty director of the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities.

During the Spring 2011 semester, guests are Eric Schlosser, investigative journalist and author of “Fast Food Nation”; James Balog, photographer and director of the Extreme Ice Survey; Karen Tse, human rights attorney, founder and director of International Bridges for Justice (IBJ); and Maude Barlow, co-founder of the Blue Planet Project and chair of the Food and Water Watch.

“The University Lectures—in its 10th season—continues the tradition of bringing to the Syracuse University campus influential actors in many arenas who have their fingers on the pulse of the planet,” says Kal Alston, SU associate provost for academic administration and director of the University Lectures series. “Our invited guests will bring the world to our doorstep to educate us on some of today’s most critical global issues—including sustainability, politics, human rights, reconstruction and the environment.”

The University Lectures brings together SU students, faculty and staff, and community members in a shared learning experience. “My hope is that the perspectives each of our speakers brings will inspire us to become informed, energized citizens of the world and to seek out collaborations with each other and within our larger communities,” Alston says.

All lectures are free and open to the public, and will be held in Hendricks Chapel at times to be determined. Following is additional information on the 2010-11 guests:

Majora Carter
Tuesday, Sept. 21
While the term “green-collar jobs” gains more press daily, very few people have actually marshaled the resources to get unemployed Americans trained and placed on pathways out of poverty in this growing economic sector. Carter has. Born, raised, and continuing to live in the South Bronx, her work takes her around the world in pursuit of resources and ideas to improve the quality of life in environmentally challenged communities. She founded Sustainable South Bronx in 2001 and by 2003 had implemented the highly successful Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training (BEST) program—a pioneering green-collar job training and placement system—seeding communities with a skilled workforce that has both a personal and economic stake in its urban environment. She is currently president of the green-collar economic consulting firm Majora Carter Group LLC. Her vision, drive and tenacity earned her a MacArthur “Genius” grant. Newsweek named her one of “25 To Watch” in 2007 and one of the “century’s most important environmentalists” in 2008. Carter is a board member of the Wilderness Society, SJF and CERES. She hosts a national public radio series, “The Promised Land,” on the Sundance Channel. The lecture is sponsored in cooperation with the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems.

Kathleen Jamieson
Tuesday, Oct. 12

Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She will speak on presidential speeches with an emphasis on the history of American oratory in the broad terms of politics, media and culture. Jamieson is author or co-author of 15 books, including “Presidents Creating the Presidency” (University of Chicago Press, 2008), “Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment” (Oxford, 2008) and “unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation” (Random House, 2007). Jamieson has won university-wide teaching awards at each of the three universities at which she has taught and political science or communication awards for four of her books. Her forthcoming book, co-authored with Kate Kenski and Bruce Hardy, is called “The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Messages Shaped the 2008 Election.” The lecture is sponsored in cooperation with the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Randy Cohen
Tuesday, Oct. 19
Cohen was born in Charleston, S.C., and raised in Reading, Pa. He attended graduate school at the California Institute of the Arts as a music major studying composition. His first professional work was writing humor pieces, essays and stories for newspapers and magazines, including The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic and Young Love Comics. His first television work was writing for “Late Night with David Letterman,” for which he won three Emmy Awards. His fourth Emmy was for his work on Michael Moore’s “TV Nation.” He received a fifth Emmy as a result of a clerical error, and he kept it. He was the original head writer on the “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” for which he also co-wrote the theme music. For two years, he wrote and edited “News Quiz” for Slate, the online magazine. Currently he writes “The Ethicist,” a weekly column for the New York Times Magazine syndicated throughout the United States and Canada.

Nicholas D. Kristof
Wednesday, Nov. 3

Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times since 2001, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. Kristof graduated from Harvard College, Phi Beta Kappa, and then won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. He has lived on four continents, reported on six, and traveled to 140 countries. After joining The New York Times in 1984, initially covering economics, he served as a correspondent in Los Angeles and as bureau chief in Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. In 2000, he covered the presidential campaign. He is the author of the chapter on George W. Bush in the reference book “The Presidents.” He later was associate managing editor of the Times, responsible for Sunday editions. In 1990, Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, also a Times journalist, won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement. Kristof and WuDunn are also authors of “China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power” (Times Books/Random House, 1994), “Thunder from the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia” (Knopf, 2000) and “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” (Knopf, 2009). Haunted by what he has seen in Darfur, Kristof has traveled to the region four times to provide coverage of the genocide that is unfolding there. In 2006, he won his second Pulitzer Prize for Commentary “for his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world.” The lecture is sponsored in cooperation with Karl Solibakke for the Bachman Conference and Syracuse University’s Humanities Center.

Bernard Amadei
Tuesday, Nov. 16

Amadei has focused on transforming the field of engineering by revamping traditional models and establishing professional standards to integrate the field of engineering more closely with pressing global issues and needs, such as redevelopment efforts in earthquake-devastated Haiti. He is the founding president of Engineers Without Borders–USA and co-founder of the Engineers Without Borders international network. Amadei directs the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities and leads its overall mission to educate globally responsible engineering students and professionals who can offer sustainable and appropriate solutions to the endemic problems faced by developing communities worldwide. Amadei’s goal is to promote sustainable development, appropriate technology, service learning and system thinking in the curriculum and research of civil and environmental engineering programs at the University of Colorado-Boulder and other U.S. universities. Among other distinctions, Amadei is the 2007 co-recipient of the Heinz Award for the Environment, the recipient of the 2008 ENR Award of Excellence and an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He was elected an Ashoka-Knight Fellow in 2010. Amadei is currently at work on a book titled “Engineering with Soul.” The lecture is sponsored in cooperation with the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science and the SU Humanities Center.

Eric Schlosser
Tuesday, March 1, 2011

As an investigative journalist, Schlosser continues to explore subjects ignored by the mainstream media and gives a voice to people at the margins of society. Over the years, he has followed the harvest with migrant farm workers in California, spent time with meatpacking workers in Texas and Colorado, told the stories of marijuana growers and the victims of violent crime, gone on duty with the New York Police Department bomb squad, and visited prisons throughout the United States. His aim is to shed light on worlds that are too often hidden. Schlosser’s first book, “Fast Food Nation” (Houghton Mifflin Co., 2001), helped start a revolution in how Americans think about what they eat. It has been translated into more than 20 languages and remained on The New York Times bestseller list for two years. His second book, “Reefer Madness” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003), looked at America’s thriving underground economy. It was also a New York Times bestseller. “Chew on This” (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2006), a New York Times bestselling children’s book, co-written with Charles Wilson, introduced young readers to the health effects of fast food and the workings of industrial agriculture. His next book, “Command and Control,” is about nuclear proliferation. Before trying to write nonfiction, Schlosser was a playwright and worked for an independent film company. In recent years, he’s returned to those fields. The lecture is sponsored in cooperation with the College of Human Ecology.

James Balog
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey is a monumental and stunning look at the impact that climate change is having on the world’s glaciers. Shocked by the changes he saw while shooting the June 2007 National Geographic cover story on melting glaciers, Balog, who has a graduate degree in geomorphology, founded the most wide-ranging glacier study ever conducted using innovative time-lapse video and conventional photography at sites in Alaska, Greenland, Iceland and the northern U.S. Rockies. For nearly 30 years, Balog has broken new ground in the art of photographing nature. He has received numerous awards, including the Leica Medal of Excellence, the Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure, the first-ever International League of Conservation Photographers Award for Conservation Photography, the Aspen Institute’s Visual Arts and Design Award and the North American Nature Photography Association’s “Outstanding Photographer of the Year” award. His photographs have been exhibited at more than a hundred museums and galleries from Paris to Los Angeles. Balog is the author of seven books, the most recent of which is “Extreme Ice Now: Vanishing Glaciers” (Focal Point, 2009) and “Changing Climate: A Progress Report,” released by National Geographic Books in March 2009. His images are regularly published in The New Yorker, National Geographic, Life, American Photo, Vanity Fair, Sierra, Audubon and Outside, and he is a contributing editor for National Geographic Adventure. The lecture is sponsored in cooperation with the Geoffrey O. Seltzer Lecture in The College of Arts and Sciences. Balog will also speak to local junior high school students the following morning at Hendricks Chapel.

Karen Tse
March 22, 2011

A former public defender, Tse first developed her interest in the intersection of criminal law and human rights as a Thomas J. Watson fellow in 1986, after observing Southeast Asian refugees detained in a local prison without trial. She moved to Cambodia in 1994 to train the country’s first core group of public defenders and subsequently served as a United Nations Judicial Mentor. Under the auspices of the U.N, she trained judges and prosecutors and established the first arraignment court in Cambodia. Tse founded IBJ in 2000 to promote systemic global change in the administration of criminal justice. As director, she provides the vision and direction for IBJ and is a leader in the global criminal defense movement. She has since negotiated and implemented groundbreaking measures in judicial reform with the Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian governments. Under her leadership, IBJ has expanded its programming to Rwanda, Burundi and Zimbabwe, and is now working to create a Global Defender Support Program that will bring IBJ assistance to public defenders worldwide. Tse is a graduate of UCLA Law School and Harvard Divinity School. She is the recipient of numerous awards and was named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders. In 2008, Tse received the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation International Human Rights Award, which annually recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the cause of human rights, rule of law and access to justice. The lecture is sponsored in cooperation with the College of Law.

Maude Barlow
Date of lecture to be determined

Barlow is considered by many to be one of the world’s leading experts on water issues. “This notion that we’ll have water forever is wrong. California is running out. It’s got 20-some years of water,” she says. Barlow talks about how our misuse of water may actually be changing the hydrological cycle and contributing to global warming. In 2008, she was appointed as the United Nations’ first senior adviser on water issues, a role she hopes to use to establish water as a human right. She is also the co-founder of the Blue Planet Project, a group that works to protect fresh water from trade and privatization around the world. Barlow chairs the board of the Washington-based Food & Water Watch and is also an executive member of the San Francisco-based International Forum on Globalization. She is the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award for her work on global water justice. Barlow holds several honorary doctorates and has written or co-written 16 books, including the international best seller “Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis” (New Press, 2008).

The University Lectures is a cross-disciplinary lecture series that brings to SU individuals of exceptional accomplishment. The series is supported by the generosity of the University’s trustees, alumni and friends. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The Office of University Lectures welcomes suggestions for future speakers. To recommend a speaker, or to receive additional information about the University Lectures series, contact Esther Gray in the Office of Academic Affairs at 443-2941 or

Recent News