University Lecture Series

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2017 Lectures

Designed to create a campus-wide conversation, the University Lecture Series gives first-year students an opportunity to interact with leading members of our faculty—scholars, scientists, and civic leaders who are nationally and internationally renowned. All students, faculty, alumni, staff and community guests are invited, but the events will be aimed at entering first-year students. The University Lecture Series is generously brought to UT Austin by the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Excellence Fund for Undergraduate Studies.

Spring 2017

Tuesday, Feb. 7
7-8 p.m.
The Impact of Disability Representations in the Media – Prof. James Patton
SJH MPR 207

This session will look at how disability has been and continues to be portrayed in the media. Emphasis will focus on how various conceptions of disability are formed through exposure to different forms of media throughout our lives. Special attention will be given to contemporary events where misconception of disability has significant impact on the lives of individuals.

Jim Patton is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin and independent consultant. He formerly was a special education teacher, having taught students with special needs at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels of schooling. He has written books, chapters, articles, and tests in the area of special education and disability. Dr. Patton’s current areas of professional interest are the preparation of students with special needs for life after high school, issues related to youth and adults with special needs in the criminal justice system, and the ways that disability is portrayed in the media. He also works as an intellectual disability forensic specialist in death penalty cases throughout the country. Dr. Patton received his B.S. from the University of Notre Dame and obtained his M.Ed. and Ed.D. from the University of Virginia.

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Wednesday, Feb. 22
7-8 p.m.
Why Real Journalism and Fake News Should Matter to Millennials – Prof. Paula Poindexter
SJH MPR 207

Born in the 1980s and 1990s, Millennials are the largest, most educated, and most diverse generation. Millennials are also the generation that is least likely to get news and the news they get may be fake and not produced by real journalism. This lecture will, therefore, provide insight into the difference between real journalism, which seeks to inform, and fake news, which seeks to deceive, and why Millennials should care. Additionally, the implications of the deception methods of gaslighting and alternative facts that have emerged since the presidential election will be discussed.

A journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Paula Poindexter is the author of Millennials, News, and Social Media: Is News Engagement a Thing of the Past? and News for a Mobile-First Consumer. She has been a TV news reporter and co-producer at Houston’s NBC-affiliated station, KPRC-TV and she has worked as a manager and executive at the Los Angeles Times. As the 2013-2014 president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Poindexter founded News Engagement Day, a national event held the first Tuesday every October to encourage news engagement and understanding about the principles and process of real journalism. As a year-round complement to News Engagement Day, Poindexter established the online Center for News Excellence and Engagement, a program of AEJMC. Poindexter is also the co-founder of Millennials and News, a Facebook page with news curated daily from trusted sources.

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Tuesday, Mar. 21
7-8 p.m.
Bob Dylan: The Next Generation – Prof. Tom Palaima, Michael Chaiken, & Tom Staley
Texas Union Theatre

Tom Palaima is Armstrong Centennial Professor and Director, Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP). He received the UT Alumni/ae Association’s Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching 2003-2004 and the Plan II Chad Oliver Teaching Award in 2004-2005. A MacArthur fellow for his work on ancient archives, Aegean prehistory and early Greek language and culture, he has long studied, written and taught seminars about the human response to experiences of war and violence. This includes folk and popular songs from Homer to Bob Dylan and beyond. From his perspective as a scholar of ancient archives and of the music of Bob Dylan, Palaima will lay out the particular challenges connected with creating an archives of the most fully documented poet and songster in human history in “Introduction: How Do We Archive America’s Homer?”

Michael Chaiken is the Curator of The Bob Dylan Archive in Tulsa, OK. He is an archivist, film programmer, and Curator of the Bob Dylan Archive at the Helmerich Center for American Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His archival work includes the collections of Nicholas Ray, Pennebaker-Hegedus Films and Renata Adler. As a film programmer, he has organized touring retrospectives of the work of Norman Mailer, Luc Moullet, Dick Fontaine, Albert and David Maysles, and Pierre Clémenti. Chaiken will discuss his experience over the past decade as an archivist with emphasis on the unique characteristics of the Dylan collection.

Tom Staley was director of the Harry Ransom Center from 1988 to 2013. He is professor emeritus of the department of English and Fellow of the C. B. Smith, Sr., Nash Phillips, Clyde Copus Centennial Chair honoring Harry Huntt Ransom. A noted James Joyce scholar, in his 25 years as director of the Harry Ransom Center he orchestrated the acquisition of the papers and archives of figures who define our culture: Norman Mailer, Jorge Luis Borges, Robert De Niro, Tom Stoppard, Stella Adler, Doris Lessing, Bernard Malamud, David Mamet, Tim O’Brien and the Watergate materials of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. In “What Did HR See?: UT’s Harry Huntt Ransom Center Vision and Realization.” Staley will discuss what the archives means for Texas, American and western culture and what it will mean going forward from his unique perspective as director of the HRC for a quarter century.

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Tuesday, Apr. 11
7-8 p.m.
Engineering the Body’s Ability to Heal Itself – Prof. Laura Suggs
Texas Union Theatre

Dr. Laura Suggs earned her undergraduate degrees from The University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering with a concentration in biomaterials and tissue engineering from Rice University in 1998. Following an industrial position as a Senior Scientist and a Research Associate position at the University of Minnesota, she returned to Texas to join the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 2004. She has been the recipient of numerous awards in her field and is the Associate Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department at UT Austin. Her education portfolio includes classes in engineering biomaterials, tissue engineering, cell engineering, and senior design projects.

Dr. Suggs will discuss the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. While pluripotent stem cells have not yet reached the clinic, the therapeutic use of adult stem cells, which has been ongoing since 1995, has not generally been as successful as hoped. This may be largely attributed to our lack of understanding regarding the mechanisms for tissue repair. There is a complex relationship between the host immune system and the stem cell compartment. A critical scientific gap in our ability to understand and promote tissue regeneration is a lack of understanding of the interplay among the stem cell reservoir, the host immune system and the contribution of human movement towards cellular function.

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Fall 2017

Turning Points
Featuring former UT Presidents William Cunningham and William Powers, Jr.
Monday, September 11, 2017
7:00-8:00 p.m. | Bass Concert Hall
Careers are often not linear in trajectory, and today’s students need to prepare for a dynamic and unpredictable workplace. Many will undoubtedly take on multiple positions, likely involving opportunities that unexpectedly come their way. Please join us for an informative and inspiring University Lecture Series event in which former UT presidents, William Cunningham and William Powers Jr., will discuss memorable turning points in their lives that led them to their important positions at UT Austin.

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To Your Health!
Featuring Professor Patricia Carter, School of Nursing; Professor Jaimie Davis, College of Natural Sciences; and Dr. Reginald Baptiste, Dell Medical School
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
7:00-8:00 p.m. | Bass Concert Hall
To Your Health! will focus on the science of sleep as a predictor of physical and emotional health, provide nutrition tips to maintain weight and boost energy in your students’ first year of college, and educate students about heart health from a cardiothoracic surgeon.

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