Digital archives of convocation speakers are available through the Olin Library.
The United States has enjoyed the status of superpower, with a material standard of living and system of democratic government often envied by many around the world. Innovation, independence and entrepreneurship have characterized this county since its founding in the late 18th century. It gave constitutional form to the philosophical concepts of democracy, religious freedom, and opportunity for material reward through individual effort and enterprise. There is little doubt that our country’s economic achievements over the years have been driven by innovators and entrepreneurs in America’s free enterprise system. But not all of our nation’s citizens have benefited from this economic system.
The 20th century may have been characterized as “The American Century,” but our new century offers less certain prospects for America’s continued economic and political dominance in an increasingly global society. In this time of energy shortages, environmental concerns, economic downturns, disparate national and international labor practices, warring factions across the globe and shifting national and international political landscapes, innovators and entrepreneurs are needed perhaps more than ever before.
In the context of these issues, the 2008-2009 Convocation theme Entrepreneurship and Innovation seeks to accomplish two goals. First, to showcase speakers who will challenge us with some of America’s greatest problems, including issues that impact those outside our borders. However, these innovators and entrepreneurs won’t simply discuss these problems and issues; they will also offer innovative solutions. The series will also highlight speakers who can inspire us to become more creative, innovative and entrepreneurial in our own lives and in our local, national and international communities.
It is clear that the pace of change in society, the economy and in international relationships continues to accelerate with the accompanying requirement that individuals and institutions become more resilient, flexible, innovative and entrepreneurial, while at the same time becoming more honest, humane and just.
We invite you to join in Drury University’s common classroom, Convocation 2008-2009.
August 24, 2008
Catherine Porter Moore, known by her middle name, Porter, had a far from typical upbringing in the Midtown area in Springfield. Never venturing far for her early education, she attended Boyd Elementary, Pipkin Junior High and Central High schools, none more that three blocks from her home. After her junior year at Central, she began working with Drury Professor Dr. Rabin Roy on chemistry research projects before entering Drury as a freshman student in 1991. At Drury she continued her interest in science, majoring in chemistry and conducting undergraduate research in this field. During the summer between her junior and senior year at Drury, Dr. Moore did research work with Nobel Laureate Dr. Johann Deisenhofer at the Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
After graduating from Drury in 1995, she began graduate studies at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, receiving her Ph.D. in 2000. Her thesis project examined redox modulation of the calcium release channel in skeletal muscle. As a newly minted Ph.D, Porter entered medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University where she received her M.D. in 2004. She began her residency in pediatrics at the Dallas Children’s Medical Center, completed her residency in 2007, and received her Texas medical license and board certification in pediatrics later that year.
She is now in her second year of a fellowship at Children’s Medical Center, and she is also a clinical fellow with the Texas Southwestern Medical School, where she specializes in pediatric emergency medicine. She has also begun research work involving pediatric pneumonias and child abuse.
Dr. Moore lives in urban Dallas with her two dogs, Durga and Joey, and her cat, Waldo. She played string bass in the Drury Orchestra, but has not had time to continue this interest. She drives a Cooper Mini convertible, loves relaxing with friends, camping, hiking and outdoor sports, is an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Dallas. She looks forward to speaking to Drury’s entering Class of 2012 on the topic “Savor the Questions because you will never know all of the answers.”
September 4, 2008
Dr. David W. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College. He is also a James Marsh professor at large at the University of Vermont.
Orr is best known for his pioneering work on environmental literacy in higher education and his recent work in ecological design. A contributing editor of Conservation Biology, he spearheaded the effort to design and build a $7.2 million Environmental Studies Center at Oberlin College, a building described by The New York Times as “the most remarkable” of a new generation of college buildings.
He gives generously of his time to many boards and community service organizations, among them the Trust for Public Land and the National Parks Advisory Committee.
September 11, 2008
Gene Baur grew up in Hollywood and worked in television, film and commercials, including some for McDonald's and other fast food restaurants. Baur now campaigns to raise awareness about the negative consequences of industrialized factory farming. He lives in rural New York State and is the co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, America's leading farm animal protection organization.
Baur conducted hundreds of visits to farms, stockyards, and slaughterhouses to document conditions. His images from those trips expose factory farming cruelty in detail. He has testified in court and before local, state and federal legislative bodies, and has initiated groundbreaking legal enforcement and legislative action to raise awareness and prevent factory-farming abuses. The author of Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food , he has played a significant role in passing the first U.S. laws to prohibit cruel farming systems – including the Florida ban on gestation crates, the Arizona ban on veal and gestation crates, and the California and Chicago bans on foie gras.
September 18, 2008
Dr. Courtney Price, founder, president and CEO of VentureQuest, works with universities, federal laboratories and high growth companies worldwide to better commercialize their innovation to produce bottom line impact. Price founded the Entrepreneurial Education Foundation in Kansas City and co-founded FastTrac, which was selected to have the best materials for entrepreneurship training in the United States.
Price was the first Scholar-in-Residence at The Kaufman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in Kansas City and is a former professor of management and director of the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Creativity at Metropolitan State College of Denver. She is an internationally recognized expert in mentoring and executive development and directed the Committee of 200 Mentoring/Protege program for women entrepreneurs.
September 25, 2008
Conrad received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2005, where he studied with the well-known reptile anatomist/paleontologist Olivier Rieppel. He has used his paleontologic experience in 2006 to co-curarate "Lizards & Snakes ALIVE!" a traveling exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History that features more than sixty live and fossil reptiles.
Conrad studies the thousands of lizard specimens recovered from the Gobi Desert, which are housed at the American Museum of Natural History. The fossil lizard cache includes some of the earliest known complete lizard skeletons representing both new and previously identified species. Conrad has been on major paleontological digs to both the Sahara, the Arctic, and to the Andes.
In 2000, Conrad was part of a team led by Paul Sereno, which searched in the Sahara for Cretaceous dinosaurs, pterosaurs, crocodiles and turtles. Conrad has also been fossil hunting north of Magnetic North to collect new fossils from the fish-tetrapod transition and to the Alti Plano in the Bolivian Andes to collect 15 million-year-old fossil vertebrates.
October 2, 2008
Join Professors Jeff VanDenBerg, Dan Ponder, and Elizabeth Paddock in exploring the uncharted territory of the November 2008 election. What role will foreign policy play in voters' decisions? How do image and substance compete? What power do the media really have? Who is going to vote, and who will stay home? What will the Electoral College vote look like in November? The political science faculty of Drury University will examine what is at stake in the 2008 election, and how members of the Drury community can be a part of this historic election.
October 9, 2008
Peter Herschend is co-owner and co-founder of Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation. Since their first visits to Marvel Cave in the late 1940s with his parents Hugo and Mary Herschend, he has worked with Jack Herschend, his brother, to nurture and grow what is now regarded as the country's foremost privately held family entertainment company.
Herschend has devoted his professional life to the company, serving as executive vice president and vice-chairman. He earned his business degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and holds an honorary doctorate from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. Not only does the company own Silver Dollar City and Celebration City, but also Dollywood in Tennessee, Stone Mountain Park in Georgia, and the Adventure and Newport aquariums.
October 16, 2008
Lin Foulk, assistant professor of horn at Western Michigan University, is interested in music with horn by female composers. She will offer not only a discussion, but also a recital of works by female composers. Foulk's compact disc, Four Elements: Works for Horn and Piano by Female Composers, was released in 2004.
She has also published an annotated guide to works for horn and piano by female composers and a website at www.linfoulk.org, which lists more than 1,000 works with horn by female composers. She currently serves on the Board of the International Alliance for Women in Music.
October 30, 2008
Rick Lowe is an expert on Project Row Houses, a neighborhood-based art and cultural organization located in Houston's Third Ward. Established in 1993 on a site of 22 1930s-era abandoned shotgun houses, the project now connects artists with the revitalization of the wider community.
The original campus now includes 13 units of low-income housing, two of which are long-term artist's residencies and two commercial buildings, the historic Eldorado Ballroom, an artist-initiated bike co-op and an artist residency/gallery space. Volunteers have been able to renovate the site of 2500 Holman and the 22 shotgun houses that sit upon it with generous financial donations from individuals and corporations.
Ten of row houses are dedicated to art, photography, and literary projects, which are installed on a rotating six-month basis. The Young Mothers Residential Program, which provides transitional housing and services for young mothers and their children, is located in seven houses on a nearby location.
November 6, 2008
Do you believe this culture will undergo a voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living? Activist, author, beekeeper, philosopher and small farmer Derrick Jensen has asked this question all over the country, and almost nobody says yes. His next question: if you don't believe this culture will undergo a voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living, and you care about life on this planet, what does that mean for your strategy and tactics?
The answer is that we don't know because we don't talk about it. Derrick Jensen talks about it. He wants to stop this culture from killing the planet. Jensen's acclaimed book, A Language Older Than Words , explores the nature of injustice, of what civilizations do to the natural world and how, in the face of the resulting horror that is one of the all-too-apparent consequences of grave injustice, civilized human beings create intricate systems of denial, silence, deception and self-hatred to keep it at bay.
November 13, 2008
Dr. Carol Gilligan's research in psychology has shown how the inclusion of women and girls' voices changes the paradigm of psychology, opening up new ways of thinking about education and mental health.
She serves in an interdisciplinary position at New York University in 2002, with appointments in the Steinhart School of Education, the School of Law and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. With her students, Gilligan founded the Harvard Project on Women's Psychology and Girls' Development and initiated the innovative prevention projects: Strengthening Healthy Resistance and Courage in Girls, and Women Teaching Girls/Girls Teaching Women. Her prevention projects expanded to include boys in the Harvard Project on Women's Psychology, Boys' Development, and The Culture of Manhood.
As the author of several groundbreaking books, including In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development (1982), Between Voice and Silence: Women and Girls, Race and Relationship (1996, with Jill McLean Taylor and Amy Sullivan) and The Birth of Pleasure (2002), Gilligan challenges common perceptions about human existence and often discovers that the reality is far different from our assumptions.
November 20, 2008
Dr. Cal DeWitt is a scientist, writer, and conservationist whose work builds bridges among environmental science, ethics and practice. DeWitt lives at the Waubesa Marsh were he has created a sanctuary for animals to travel a glacial drumlin island that emerges from the marsh. Early in his career as a professor in Michigan, he discovered the animals he was studying were losing their habitats to development or climate changes.
He helped develop the Au Sable Institute to prepare hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students for environmental careers, to do wetlands research that integrates across the disciplines, to probe environmental beliefs and to reach out to help people incorporate environmental integrity into their beliefs.
January 29, 2009
Shawn Askinosie left a career as a successful criminal defense attorney to start making chocolate from scratch. The idea for Askinosie Chocolate was born in 2005 during a drive through Santa Fe, N.M., after Askinosie attended a family member's funeral. Starting from a background where he only knew that chocolate was something you used to make cupcakes, Askinosie learned the chocolate business from the bean up.
He now visits the farmers in Mexico and Ecuador who supply his cocoa beans to share the profits of his sales. He is a firm believer in fair trade, and through his chocolate adventure, he strives to make this world a little bit sweeter.
February 5, 2009
Dr. Gary Kremer is the executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri. Before coming to the University of Missouri, Kremer taught history at Lincoln University in Jefferson City and William Woods University in Fulton. Between those academic appointments, he also served as Missouri's state archivist.
He has written, co-written and co-edited ten books, including the recently released Women in Missouri History: In Search of Power and Influence; A Dictionary of Missouri Biography; A History of Missouri, 1875-1919 and Missouri's Black Heritage . He has written dozens of journal articles and is an authority on the African-American experience in Missouri.
February 12, 2009
In 2001, a tenacious group of actors decided to found a comedy club and improvisational group from nothing, then built it into a comedic juggernaut (at least for Springfield). This is their story, told in the way the Skinny Improv could tell it. The Skinny Improv, a division of the Upside Down Creative Group, prospers as a comedy training center and performance review. Located in downtown Springfield, the Skinny Improv is known for both performing and teaching short and long-form improvisational theater.
February 13, 2009
Dr. Amy-Jill Levine returns to the Convocation Series to examine the innovation St. Paul of Tarsus offered to the start of Christianity. Jesus speaks of the 'scribe trained for the kingdom of heaven' (Matthew 13:52) who takes out of his treasure box what is old and what is new. What does Jesus draw from his Jewish tradition, how does he adapt that tradition to the message of the Kingdom of Heaven, and how do his followers today understand his words?
A self-described “Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Protestant divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt,” Levine combines historical-critical rigor, literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor with a commitment to eliminating anti-Jewish, sexist and homophobic theologies.
Dr. Levine also participates in The Teaching Company, an innovative website that offers the lectures of engaging professors through courses on DVD, audio CD and other formats. Dr. Levine has recorded Introduction to the Old Testament, Great Figures of the Old Testament, and Great Figures of the New Testament.
February 26, 2009
Dr. Armour is the author of Deconstruction, Feminist Theology, and the Problem Of Difference: Subverting the Race/Gender Divide and co-editor of Bodily Citations: Judith Butler and Religion . Her current book project, tentatively called Signs and Wonders: Theology After Modernity , will diagnose and craft a theological response to the shifts in our understanding of "man" and "his" others (sexed/raced, animal, and divine) as modernity declines.
March 5, 2009
David Bornstein specializes in writing about social innovation. He is the author of How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, which chronicles and analyzes the work of social innovators who are successfully addressing social problems at scale in several countries.
Bornstein's first book, The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank, traces the history of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Grameen Bank during its first 20 years and describes the global emergence of the now-famous anti-poverty strategy known as micro-finance. He is currently at work on a book exploring the growth and implications of social entrepreneurship in the United States and Canada.
March 19, 2009
Dr. David Walton was one of the first candidates to be selected for the Howard Hiatt Residency in Global Health Equity and Internal Medicine. He has been working with Dr. Paul Farmer and Partners in Health since 1997 and is currently a resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He divides his time between Boston and Haiti.
Partners in Health has been helping patients in low-income areas in countries such as Haiti, Peru, Africa, Russia, and Boston, U.S., for more than 20 years. As Dr. Walton wrote in a Partners in Health newsletter: “Diseases settle on the poor because they have been forced to endure hunger, famine, political violence, and social inequality. The Haitian peasants bear the weight of the country on their shoulders, and those who reap the benefits of their work – from local landowners to transnational corporations—use their power to exploit them further.”
April 2, 2009
Bo Burlingham is the author of Small Giants: Companies That Choose To Be Great Instead of Big and an editor-at-large of Inc. magazine. He has written two books with Jack Stack, the co-founder and CEO of Springfield Remanufacturing Corp. and the pioneer of open-book management. The Great Game of Business has sold more than 300,000 copies. A Stake in the Outcome discusses what is involved in running an employee-owned company.
April 23, 2009
Carmencita "Chie" Abad speaks from personal experience about the hardships endured by millions of workers in sweatshops around the world. These workers often work dozens of hours per week, endure verbal and sometimes physical and sexual abuse to make the clothing on retailers' shelves. Only earning poverty wages their efforts to improve their situation are frequently met with repression.
Ms. Abad spent six years as a garment worker on the Pacific island of Saipan, a U.S. territory. She endured wretched conditions, frequently working 14-hour shifts in order to meet arbitrary production quotas for her employer, the Sako Corporation, which made clothes for the Gap and other retailers. When she tried to organize a union, Ms. Abad was met by fierce resistance from management. She eventually lost her job. She now lives in the U.S., where she educates Americans about the inhumane factory conditions occurring worldwide, including on U.S. soil. Ms. Abad was instrumental in forcing 26 major retailers to settle a lawsuit in September 2002 to improve conditions in Saipan.
April 30, 2009
John P. (Jack) Stack is president and CEO of SRC Holdings Corporation. SRC manufactures gasoline and diesel engines for the automotive and off-highway markets, distributes engine kits, manufactures power units and electrical components, and conducts seminars and training programs specializing in all aspects of teaching people how to implement open-book management.
Stack came to SRC in 1979 as the plant manager of International Harvester after eleven years of direct management experience. In 1983, Stack and the SRC employees bought the company from IH and have turned it into what INC. magazine has proclaimed "one of America's most competitive small companies." His books, The Great Game of Business and A Stake in the Outcome , have become primers for those who plan on employee-owned ventures.
Stack is a national and world judge for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Institute and has served as an advisor for this group since 1998. INC. magazine has called him the “smartest strategist in America” and named him one of twenty-five entrepreneurs selected to represent the 25 years INC. has been published. Stack was also listed among the “top 10 minds in small business” in Fortune Small Business Magazine .
He serves on the board of directors of Quest Capital Alliance, is a member of the Drury University's Board of Trustees and is a past president of the Springfield Business Development Corp., a subsidiary of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.