Digital archives of convocation speakers are available through the Olin Library.
Our goal for the Year of Sustainability is to explore topics related to environmental, economic, and cultural sustainability in a variety of contexts. For our Convocation series, we invited some of the leading environmental scientists, consultants and activists, green building architects, novelists, religious studies experts, and human rights advocates to name a few. Many of these speakers will help inspire and inform the Drury community as it embraces new and exciting ways to operate more sustainably and enhance its curriculum with the theme of sustainability.
September 1, 2005
Dr. Barlett, professor of Anthropology at Emory University, and co-editor of the book Sustainability on Campus will speak about the nationwide green campus movement, successful environmental initiatives on the Emory campus, and the role of environmental stewardship in various human cultures.
September 8, 2005
Dr. Glover is an agroecologist with The Land Institute, where he explores ways to cultivate native species that will maximize productivity and minimize the impact to the ecosystem. Dr. Glover will discuss how modern agriculture has affected the world’s ecosystem, as well as how it has altered the way modern humans interact with nature.
September 22, 2005
Step Afrika! is a powerful collaborative project between young artists from the United States and the South Africa based Soweto Dance Theatre, which highlights the African American fraternity and sorority art form of stepping and its link to traditional South African dance.
The troupe has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and reviewers have described the genre as “one of the most exciting created by Americans in the 21st century." Step Afrika! displays the roots of stepping in South Africa's gumboot dance and declares its relationship with tap dance and hoofing.
September 29, 2005
Phil Page, attorney with the Environmental Protection Agency, is the team leader of the EPA Brownfields Program in the Office of Site Remediation Enforcement in Washington, D.C. His team helps to develop policies and programs that provide environmental protection while facilitating sustainable redevelopment of contaminated sites. He helped develop and implement an initiative through which incentives are identified and provided to developers, who then can develop the contaminated sites in a sustainable manner.
Mr. Page is a Drury alumnus who graduated in 1978. He has received two gold medals, several bronze medals and other awards and recognition for his work at EPA.
October 4, 2005
The Springfield Symphony, co-conducted by the Symphony's Music Director, Ron Spigelman, and Drury's new conductor, Christopher Koch, will perform a program related to Sustainability. The event will be a "formal gala" and will be followed by a reception with dessert and coffee in the Cox Gallery. This concert is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. However, there are a limited number of seat in Clara Thompson Hall, so arrive early to ensure seating.
October 6, 2005
Bob Berkebile is a leading authority in the field of sustainable design and is the founding chairman of the American Institute of Architects National Committee on the Environment. He is a principal of BNIM Architects and Elements Consulting, and brings 40 years of diverse experience to the profession. Bob currently serves on the boards of The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Building News, The Center for Global Community, Athena and New Earth Organization. Bob utilizes diverse collaborative teams, integrated design and creates new approaches and tools to restore social, economic and environmental vitality.
October 20, 2005
Sam Goldstein is a member of the faculty at the University of Utah and in private practice at the Neurology, Learning and Behavior Center in Salt Lake City. He is on staff at the Primary Children’s Medical Center and the University Neuropsychiatric Institute. Dr. Goldstein's research has looked at the challenging topics of children with genetic and developmental disorders, depression, learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
November 1, 2005
President of the Population Institute, Werner Fornos, has been described as the foremost spokesman on global population issues. A distinguished administrator, having held high national and state office, he has also served four years as a Maryland State Legislator. Fornos has addressed virtually all major international gatherings on population, dating back to 1974. He continually appears before many other groups around the world, including extensive presentations in China where he is an Honorary Professor of International Relations at Sichuan University.He has dedicated his energies and talents to speaking to diverse audiences, from college students and civic organizations, to U.S. and UN officials --- pressing for "rational solutions to the population problem."
It took all of recorded history until 1830 for world population to reach one billion; by 1930 we were at two billion; by 1960, three billion; 1975, four billion; 1986, five billion; and in 1999 we crossed the six billion mark. Currently, we are a world of over 6.5 billion people. Ninety-nine percent of that growth occurs in the poorest countries – countries too often torn by civil strife and social unrest and where too many survive on the equivalent of less than one U.S. dollar a day. Population growth in these countries exacerbates existing problems – such as environmental degradation, resource scarcity, economic inequity, global insecurity and inadequate health care – placing a growing population in growing misery.
November 3, 2005
The Galileo Players are a professional sketch comedy and improv troupe that focuses on scientific and philosophical themes. They blend the brainy with the absurd as they explore logic, truth and reason. Formed to provoke and entertain, the Galileo Players are committed to raising the intelligence of satirical sketch comedy and their uniquely clever, fast-paced show will make you laugh and ponder life’s peculiarities.
November 10, 2005
Just what is in that fast food you scarf down in a rush? Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser explores the hidden realms of American business and culture and their far-reaching effects on our daily lives in his best-selling book, Fast Food Nation. He challenges people to think about issues such as food safety, worker’s rights, marketing to children, and America’s obesity epidemic. Schlosser uncovers the inner workings of the industry, from the appalling working conditions in American meatpacking plants to the “flavor industry” along the New Jersey Turnpike that gives fast food its taste.
Novermber 17, 2005
After watching development slowly creep into once-open areas, Dr. Albert Bartlett, a retired physics professor from the University of Colorado at Boulder, led the establishment of the City of Boulder’s Open Space & Mountain Parks Program, as well as other local and regional environmental efforts. He has been a frequent speaker on population growth and its associated problems.
December 1, 2005
Shawn is principal and senior mediator at the Forrester Group, an environmental management firm with offices in St. Louis, Springfield, and Kansas City, Missouri, and Denver, Colorado. Shawn believes in public/private consensus building and action-oriented environmental leadership as the keys to advance a more sustainable society around us.
He has been recognized nationally for his work in bringing people, government, and institutions together to solve complex environmental issues that affect communities and large regions. His leadership and collaborative activities have been recognized numerous times by federal, state, and local organizations, including a 1999 National Phoenix Award for redevelopment of a 200-acre lead mine waste site in Bonne Terre, MO.
January 26, 2006
Avidan Cover is a senior associate at Human Rights First. Through research and reporting, litigation, and advocacy, Avi works to promote human rights and civil liberties in U.S. law and policy related to counterterrorism and national security. In addition to analyzing U.S. uses of security and detention domestically, at Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, Avi helps coordinate legislative efforts in Human Rights First's “End Torture Now” campaign.
Mr. Cover has also monitored the military commission process; attending war crimes trial proceedings at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. He has authored a critique of counterterrorism regulations, which permits monitoring of attorney-client communications. He also was part of the legal team for the main plaintiff in the Guantanamo Bay case decided by the Supreme Court in June 2004.
February 9, 2006
From Appalachia to Angola and from Nashville to Sarajevo, in her nursing career Carol Etherington has focused on traumatized populations, designing and administering programs to address health and mental health needs of individuals, families and communities affected by crime, war or disaster.
Most recently working with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in Bosnia, Poland, Honduras, Tajikistan, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Angola, Etherington is an outspoken advocate for underserved and vulnerable populations in local, national, and international settings, and strongly promotes an interdisciplinary concept of care.
February 16, 2006
In a talk show/interview format, Wendy Anderson will interview Kristina Jowers, author of the book, Off the Farm, about how she pursued job opportunities to maximize her life experiences after graduating with a degree business marketing from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville in 2004.
Jowers has spent the past year on a tall ship, sailing the Caribbean, and evaluating how best to sustain her idealistic undergraduate dreams within the reality of life outside the university. She believes that students must maintain their individuality after graduation, while also continually educating themselves daily through experiencing life and holding onto our dreams and biggest aspirations.
February 23, 2006
Nathan Hodge is a reporter for Defense Today, an investigative journal based in Washington, D.C. Since 2001, he has written extensively on military operations around the globe. In early 2003, he was embedded with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, filing stories on the war from Iraq and Kuwait. He has also reported for Defense Today from Tajikistan, Afghanistan, the Republic of Georgia and Qatar.
Mr. Hodge got his start as a journalist writing for the Kyiv Post, Ukraine’s English-language newspaper. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from Rutgers University and master’s degree in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University
February 28, 2006
George Blakely is an artist, educator, and environmentalist who allows his ecological concerns to carry over into his art. What Do You Do With Yours? includes both self-portraits and thirty tablets of items, all of which chronicle Blakely's consumption of everything from bottlecaps to animals. For the tablets, Blakely encases the used and discarded items in resin and concrete. Each piece allows Blakely to transform recycled materials into works of art, which uses post-modern techniques to showcase personal social activism.
March 2, 2006
Bob is the lighting designer in residence at the Hippodrome State Theatre in Gainesville, Florida, and he has created the lighting for more than 200 productions at the Hippodrome during his more than 20 years there. He has also freelanced more than 300 lighting designs regionally in the United States. He also performs the task of sound engineer, safety officer, teacher, stage manager, consultant, and speaker.
March 9, 2006
Jason and Erich are graduates of the Hammons School of Architecture, and now work for EMSI, an international consulting company as sustainable design consultants and are currently working on numerous green projects in the United States and China. Jason and Erich are going to discuss the important role our built environment has in creating healthy, thriving, energy independent communities and futures.
March 16, 2006
Chad Pregracke grew up in the Quad Cities, just a few feet from the Mississippi River. He began a quest to clean trash from its shorelines in 1997, and in 1998 he founded Living Lands & Waters, a nonprofit environmental organization based in East Moline, Illinois, to futher his efforts to clean the nation’s waterways.
He has received national and international recognition and won the distinguished Jefferson Award in 2002 for public service. The work done by the Living Lands & Waters project has been featured in several publications, including Smithsonian, Philanthropy, Readers Digest, Outside Magazine, Biography, Field & Stream, Life, People, Time, and USA Today.
Thursday, April 6
A professor of New Testament Studies at the Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Dr. Amy-Jill Levine studies Christian origins, Jewish-Christian relations, and sexuality, gender, and the Bible. Levine combines historical-critical rigor, literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor with a commitment to exposing and expunging anti-Jewish, sexist, and homophobic theologies. She will speak about the need for dialogue among religious groups that is necessary in living together in peace.
April 20, 2006
An environmental activist and author of Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, Terry Tempest Williams tells stories that are full of paradoxes, humor, and complexity. In Refuge, she chronicles the epic rise of the Great Salt Lake and the flooding of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in 1983 alongside her mother’s diagnosis of ovarian cancer, which possibly was caused by the radioactive fallout from nuclear tests in the Nevada desert in the 1950s and 1960s.
Tempest Williams weaves together issues of gender, geography, and culture, and the duty to engage in civic life. At the heart of her work as a writer, naturalist, and crusader is the theme of restoration—Restoring our connection to the land, to the sacred, and to each other.
Thursday, April 20
Life at the time of the Roman Empire could be nasty, brutish, and short. But it was also one in which people lived more closely to nature. The group recreates what life was like in ancient Rome, including military tactics, the environmental impact of Roman life on the surrounding countryside, cooking methods, foods, fashion, jewelry and cosmetics. The group also recreates "mask theater," one of the Roman's great entertainments.