Distinguished Lecture Series

Honors Lecture Series


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The University of Toledo
Office of the Provost

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2810 W. Bancroft St.
Toledo, Ohio 43606


2015-16 Lecture Series Speakers


Founder and CEO of Buzzcar, a peer-to-peer car-sharing service, Robin is co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, now a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group. She also started GoLoco.org, which combines online carpooling and social networking.

Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Time:   7 p.m.
Location:   Doermann Theatre

Robin Chase is a transportation entrepreneur. She is co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest carsharing company in the world; Buzzcar, a peer to peer carsharing service in France (now merged with Drivy); and GoLoco, an online ridesharing community. She is also co-founder and Executive Chairman of Veniam, a vehicle communications company building the networking fabric for the Internet of Moving Things. She is on the Boards of Veniam, the World Resources Institute, and Tucows. She also served on the board of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the National Advisory Council for Innovation & Entrepreneurship for the US Department of Commerce, the Intelligent Transportations Systems Program Advisory Committee for the US Department of Transportation, the OECD’s International Transport Forum Advisory Board, the Massachusetts Governor’s Transportation Transition Working Group, and Boston Mayor’s Wireless Task Force. Robin lectures widely, has been frequently featured in the major media, and has received many awards in the areas of innovation, design, and environment, including Time 100 Most Influential People, Fast Company Fast 50 Innovators, and Business Week Top 10 Designers. Robin graduated from Wellesley College and MIT's Sloan School of Management, was a Harvard University Loeb Fellow, and received an honorary Doctorate of Design from the Illinois Institute of Technology.


American novelist, short story writer, screenwriter and teacher.
Hosted in conjunction with Jesup Scott Honors College and the University Libraries.

 Photo Credit to Elena Seibert

Date:  Thursday, October 22, 2015
Time:   7 p.m.
Location:   Doermann Theatre

Richard Russo is an American novelist, short story writer, screenwriter and teacher. Drawing on a childhood in the upstate New York town of Gloversville, Russo’s observations on small-town life have won him many accolades and comparisons to fellow-writers Sinclair Lewis and Sherwood Anderson, who also wrote about small towns of their generation.

Russo attended the University of Arizona, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and later a Ph.D. in literature. He realized while working on his dissertation that writing fiction appealed to him more than did literary criticism and academic writing, and he stayed on to earn a master of fine arts degree. Five years later, he published his first novel, Mohawk.  
Russo has taught creative writing at various universities, including Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, Illinois), Colby College (Waterville, Maine), and the low-residency M.F.A. program for writers at Warren Wilson College (Asheville, North Carolina). Following the success of Nobody’s Fool and its 1994 film adaptation, Russo was able to write full time. Additionally, he and Hollywood director/screenwriter Robert Benton formed a friendship and a writing partnership during Benton’s movie adaptation of Nobody’s Fool; together they have collaborated on screenplays for such films that include Twilight and The Ice Harvest. Russo has retired from academia to focus his time and energy on his writing.

So far, there has been only one exception to this theme of small-town life—Russo’s 1997 Straight Man about the life and tribulations of a college professor, a role out of Russo’s own experiences. Critics hailed his 2001 novel Empire Falls, a story about a family in small-town Maine that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Russo also wrote The Risk Pool (1988), a coming-of-age story also set in a dying blue-collar New England town, and in 2002 published a collection of short stories called The Whore’s Child and Other Stories.
Travis T. Tygart TRAVIS T. TYGART
Travis Tygart is an American lawyer and CEO of the U.S. Anit-Doping Agency (USADA). Tygart became Chief Executive Officer of USADA in September 2007.


Date:  Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Time:   7 p.m.
Location:   Doermann Theatre

Travis T. Tygart became USADA’s Chief Executive Officer in September of 2007. In his twelve years at USADA he has also served as the Director of Legal Affairs and as Senior Managing Director & General Counsel; prosecuting cases on behalf of clean athletes before the American Arbitration Association and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

As CEO, Tygart works closely with the USADA Board of Directors to carry out the organization’s mission of preserving the integrity of competition, inspiring true sport, and protecting the rights of U.S. athletes. Tygart was actively involved in drafting the USADA Protocol for Olympic Movement Testing, and as CEO, he has injected a passion and energy into the fight against doping, including reaching out to America’s Olympic athletes and embracing them as part of the solution.

Tygart has served as an advocate for the integrity of sport and clean athletes, testifying in front of various Committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport, the need for hGH testing in all sports, regulation of the supplement industry, and the ratification of the UNESCO international treaty against doping in sport. Tygart has also testified internationally in front of Committees of the European Union, the German Parliament, and the French Senate about creating effective anti-doping policy and on the issues surrounding doping in sport.

Under Tygart’s leadership, USADA’s efforts to protect clean athletes have included cooperating with Federal authorities on numerous investigations such as the international steroid bust, Operation Raw deal and the international doping conspiracy involving the BALCO laboratory in San Francisco. Tygart led the investigation into the U.S. Postal Service pro-cycling team doping conspiracy and the publication of the Reasoned Decision in the Lance Armstrong case. Tygart’s tenure as CEO also produced the groundbreaking research on the importance of true sport, “What Sport Means in America,” and the “TrueSport Report.”

Tygart currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Sports Lawyers Association and the Board of Governors of the Partnership for Clean Competition. He has previously served on various committees and boards including, the Society for Major League Baseball Strength and Conditioning Coaches, the House Government Reform Committee’s Zero Tolerance Roundtable, and the Institute of National Anti-Doping Agencies. He was also appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency as the Vice-Chair for its Independent Observers Team, which monitored the doping control and legal processes at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Tygart has been recognized by Sports Illustrated as one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Sports; named to the TIME 100 list of most influential people in the world for 2013; named one of the top 12 World Sports Personalities of the Year by Sport Intern; selected as one of the World’s Most Influential Sports Personalities by Inside Sport and was one of the Colorado Lawyers of the Year named by Colorado Law Weekly. A lawyer by training, Tygart has also published numerous papers and law review articles on topics including, Title IX, antitrust, and doping in sport.

Originally from Jacksonville, Fla., Tygart graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, and in 2010 received the University’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Tygart went on to get his J.D. from Southern Methodist University in 1999, graduating Order of the Coif, and in 2014 he was recognized as one of its Distinguished Alumni.


American inventor, electronics engineer and computer programmer who co-founded Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.)

Monday, Feb. 1, 2016
Time: 7 P.M.
Location: John F. Savage Arena

A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Steve Wozniak has helped shape the computing industry with his
design of Apple’s first line of products the Apple I and II and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs
founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The Apple II was integral in launching the personal computer industry.

In 1981, he went back to UC Berkeley and finished his degree in electrical engineering/computer science. For his achievements at Apple, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators.

In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.

Through the years, Wozniak has been involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on learning and encouraging creativity for students. Making significant investments of both his time and resources in education, he adopted the Los Gatos School District, providing students and teachers with hands-on teaching and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment. He founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.

Wozniak currently serves as Chief Scientist for Fusion-io and is a published author with the release of his New York Times best-selling autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon, in September 2006 by Norton Publishing. His television appearances include reality shows Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and The Big Bang Theory.

Ann BancroftANN BANCROFT - A Conversation in Real Time

American author, teacher and adventurer, and the first woman to successfully finish a number of arduous expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. She was inducted as honorary member of the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1995.
Date:  Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Time:   7 P.M.
Location:   Doermann Theatre
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Ann Bancroft is one of the world´s preeminent polar explorers and an internationally recognized leader who is dedicated to inspiring women, girls and audiences around the world to unleash the power of their dreams. Bancroft uses her various roles as an explorer, educator and public speaker to share stories of how she fulfilled her dreams of outdoor adventure and help inspire global audiences to pursue their own dreams. Bancroft´s teamwork and leadership skills, severely tested during her polar expeditions, provide her with opportunities to shatter female stereotypes.

The tenacity and courage that define her character have earned Bancroft worldwide recognition as one of today´s most influential role models for women and girls. She has been named among Glamour magazine's “Women of the Year” (2001); featured in the book Remarkable Women of the Twentieth Century (1998); inducted into the National Women´s Hall of Fame; named Ms. Magazine’s Woman of the Year; and honored with numerous other awards for her accomplishments.

With fellow teacher and explorer Liv Arnesen, Ann co-owns Bancroft Arnesen Explore, which organizes global expeditions.  In 2001, the two became the first women in history to sail and ski across Antarctica´s landmass, completing a 94-day, 1,717-mile trek.

Bancroft also led the American Women´s Expedition to the South Pole, a 67-day expedition of 660 miles on skis by four women, earning the distinction of being the first woman in history to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles. She also led the first American women´s east-to-west crossing of Greenland, and dog sledded 1,000 miles from the Northwest Territories in Canada to the North Pole as the only female member of the Steger International Polar Expedition — the first known woman in history to cross the ice to the North Pole.

Follow Bancroft on her current expedition: Access Water:  A journey from hope to action.

Last Updated: 1/5/16