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Fall Speaker Series Announced


Contact:Rachel Hatch

The Speaker Series of Illinois State University returns this fall with guests that include a leader on the world stage of alternative energy and a celebrated author who encourages embracing our differences.

All events are free and open to the public.


photo of Barbara FordThe global reach of libraries will be the focus of this year’s Bryant Jackson Lecture. Barbara Ford will give the talk, titled Libraries and Campus Globalization at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in the Old Main Room, Bone Student Center.

Ford is the director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and Mortenson Distinguished Professor at the Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has been recognized for her significant contributions and dedication by the Chinese American Librarians Association and the American Library Association (ALA), for which she served as president from 1997 to 1998 with the theme Libraries: Global Reach, Local Touch.

Ford is actively involved with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, and she has published and traveled the world addressing numerous library-related issues.

The talk is sponsored by Milner Library’s Bryant Jackson Lectureship, established in 2003 by former University Librarian Joe Kraus to honor his associate university librarian.  For additional information, contact Jan Johnson at Milner Library at 438-3897.


photo of Juan OrtizInspirational speaker Juan Ortiz will come to Illinois State to help celebrate Latino Heritage Month.

Juan Ortiz will present Being a Successful Latino Male in Business at 11:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 27, in the Brown Ballroom at the Bone Student Center.

Coming from humble beginnings, Ortiz rose to his current role of executive vice president of business development for BluePay Processing, based out of Naperville. He manages more than 120 sales agents nationwide for the $5 billion processing company, and serves as part of the company’s acquisition team.

As a child, Ortiz faced his father’s verbal and physical abuse, fueled by drugs and alcohol. As the eldest of six children, he became a support for his mother and a father figure to his siblings. He trained as a youth pastor, and worked with high school students for years before entering the business world. He has volunteered with youth groups for more than two decades, and continues to work with the Wheaton Family Shelter, speaking about domestic violence.

The event is sponsored by the McLean County Child Protection Network, Illinois State University School of Social Work and Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program, the Sage Foundation Fund and the Social Work Club at Illinois State. For additional information about Ortiz’s visit, contact Diane Zosky of the School of Social Work at (309) 438-3631.


photo of Jeremy RifkinJeremy Rifkin helps to shape the future of energy on a global scale. An advisor to the European Union for the past decade, Rifkin has worked with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates and presidents of the European Union.

Rifkin will share his vision in a talk titled The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, in the Prairie Room at the Bone Student Center.

The principle architect of the European Union’s long-term economic sustainability plan, Rifkin helps guide world leaders to address the triple challenge of the global economic crisis, energy security and climate change.

The author of The Third Industrial Revolution, Rifkin describes how the last industrial revolution is sending the world toward another collapse of the global economy. He explores how Internet technology and renewable energy are merging to create a powerful “Third Industrial Revolution,” with hundreds of millions of people producing their own green energy in their homes, offices and factories.

The president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, Rifkin is the bestselling author of 19 books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society and the environment. His other recent books include The Empathic Civilization, The Hydrogen Economy, The European Dream, The End of Work, The Age of Access, and The Biotech Century.

The talk is sponsored by the Illinois State’s Office of Sustainability, Katie School of Insurance, Center for Renewable Energy and Student Sustainability Committee, as well as the Ecology Action Center and the McLean County Economic Development Council.For additional information, contact the Office of Sustainability at 438-7357.


photo of Andrew SolomonAndrew Solomon believes it is our differences that unite us. A celebrated author and lecturer, Solomon will give a talk based on his groundbreaking book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, in the Brown Ballroom of the Bone Student Center.

Published in 2012, Far From the Tree won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was chosen as one of the New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2012. The work is a breathtaking look at parents and children who face extraordinary circumstances including deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism and schizophrenia, to those facing stigmas for being transgender, prodigies or conceived in rape. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, Solomon argues, the “experience of difference” within families is universal.

Solomon is a lecturer in psychiatry at Cornell University and holds the title of Special Advisor of LGBT Affairs (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) at Yale University. He is an activist in LGBT rights, mental health, education and the arts. He is founder of the Solomon Research Fellowships in LGBT Studies at Yale University, and a member of the board of directors of Trans Youth Family Allies. He is also a director of the University of Michigan Depression Center, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and Columbia Psychiatry; and a member of the Board of Visitors of Columbia University Medical Center. Solomon is a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the World Monuments Fund.

The Oct. 28 talk is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Sage Foundation Fund, the Fell Trust, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Division of Student Affairs. For additional information about Solomon’s talk, contact Julie Barnhill, Presidential and Trustee Events, at (309) 438-8790.


photo of Bill RosemannBill Rosemann may not be a super hero, but he’s worked with them for years. Rosemann is an editor at Marvel Comics, and he’ll offer what everyone can learn from comic books at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in the Brown Ballroom, Bone Student Center. The event, which is part of the Speaker Series of Illinois State University, is free and open to the public.

From Marvel to CrossGen to DC Comics and back to House of Ideas, Rosemann has worked alongside the industry's top creators and edited titles starring Marvel's most famous characters – including Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and the Avengers – as well as cult favorites such as Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Throughout his 20-plus year career in the industry, Rosemann has been a journalist, copywriter, scriptwriter, “Your Man @ Marvel” blogger, marketing director, project manager and editor. He now oversees Marvel Custom Solutions publications as well as monthly comics including Avengers Arena, which he describes as “The Hunger Games with super heroes.”

The talk is sponsored by the University Program Board (UPB). For additional information on the speaker, contact Sarah Clayton of the UPB at .

The Speaker Series of Illinois State University seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim providing the community a platform to foster dialog, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process. Find out more online.

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