Distinguished Lecture Series

Past Speakers

2019-20 SPEAKERS

Sunni Brown

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Sunni BrownSunni Brown is author of The Doodle Revolution. She’s known for her large-scale, live content visualizations, and she is also the leader of the Doodle Revolution – a growing effort to debunk the myth that doodling is a distraction. Using common sense, experience, and neuroscience, Sunni is proving that to doodle is to ignite your whole mind. Her consultancy, BrightSpot I.D., specializes in visual thinking and information design. She was trained in graphic facilitation at the Grove Consultants International, a San Francisco-based company that pioneered the use of large-scale visuals in business settings. Sunni co-founded VizThink Austin, which under her leadership grew to be the nation's largest visual thinking community.


2018-19 SPEAKERS

Rita Colwell
Monday, March 25, 2019
& Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Dr. Rita ColwellProfessor Rita Colwell is a leader in the field of bioinformatics, most notably in understanding microbiomes and the application of this knowledge to human health as well as the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Her notable career bridges the disciplines of microbiology, ecology, infectious disease, public health, and computer as well as satellite technology.

Colwell is a Distinguished University Professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, senior advisor and chairman emeritus at Canon U.S. Life Sciences, Inc., as well as president and CEO of CosmosID, Inc.

Elaine McMillion Sheldon
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Elaine SheldonElaine McMillion Sheldon is an Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker based in West Virginia. Her work explores universal stories of identity, roots, survival, resilience, and hope. Sheldon is the director of "Heroin(e)," a Netflix Original Documentary short that follows three women fighting the opioid crisis in Huntington, West Virginia. "Heroin(e)" was nominated for a 2018 Academy Award.

Sheldon's debut feature documentary, "Recovery Boys," documents the lives of four men working to transform their lives after years of addiction. The film is also a Netflix Original Documentary and will be screened for lecture attendees.

2017-18 SPEAKERS

Laurie Garduque
Monday, April 16, 2018

Laurie GarduqueLaurie Garduque is the Justice Reform Director at the MacArthur Foundation and will discuss the role of philanthropy in social change through this unique and powerful program. Her remarks will be followed by a questions and answers session directed to a panel featuring Dr. Garduque, Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, and representatives of the Lucas County Safety + Justice Challenge team - notably Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada and Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Gene Zmuda. The event is co-sponsored by The University of Toledo College of Law.

Shamila Chaudhary
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Shamila ChaudharyShamila Chaudhary is a foreign-policy analyst and photographer based in Washington, D.C. Chaudhary will discuss the role of the U.S. in the world and its connection to the social and economic landscapes of life within the United States. She'll address the many transformations underway in American identity and culture as they relate to politics, the humanities, law, and international affairs.

Chaudhary is the Senior Advisor to Dean Vali Nasr at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies and is a senior South Asia fellow at New America. She previously worked at the White House as Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan on the National Security Council (2010-2011) and focused on these issues while at the U.S. State Department for a few years prior to that.

 John Quiñones
Thursday, September 21, 2017

John QuinonesCombining his compelling life story with a peerless grit to achieve the Latino-American dream, longtime "ABC News" personality John Quiñones has emerged as one of the most inspiring speakers in world. A lifetime of "never taking no for an answer" has taken Quiñones from migrant farm work and poverty to more than 30 years at ABC and the anchor desks of "20/20" and "Primetime."

Quiñones delivers a powerful message of believing in one's self, never giving up, and doing the right thing. As host and creator of "What Would You Do?," the highly-rated hidden camera news magazine show, Quiñones has become the face of doing the right thing to millions.

2016-17 SPEAKERS

Alex Sheen
Thursday, February 16, 2017

Alex SheenFounder of the "because I said I would" social movement, Alex Sheen established his nonprofit dedicated to bettering humanity through promises made and kept. Sparked by the loss of his father, Sheen and his organization send "promise cards" to anyone anywhere in the world at no cost. Truly honoring commitment, he once walked over 240 miles across the entire state of Ohio in 10 days to fulfill a promise. In just two years, "because I said I would" has sent over 3.15 million promise cards to over 153 different countries. The promises written on these cards have made headlines around the world.

His charitable projects and awareness campaigns have been featured on "ABC World News with Diane Sawyer," CNN, "The Today Show," NPR, The Los Angeles Times, and many other programs.

Daymond John
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Daymond JohnEntrepreneurial in every sense of the word, Daymond John has come a long way from taking out a $100,000 mortgage on his mother's house and moving his operation into the basement. John is CEO and Founder of FUBU, a much-celebrated global lifestyle brand, and a pioneer in the fashion industry with over $6 billion in product sales. He is a decorated entrepreneur, having received over 35 awards including the Brandweek Marketer of the Year, Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, and Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year New York Award.

His marketing strategies and ability to build successful brands has made him an influential consultant and motivational speaker today. His marketing firm Shark Branding offers advice on communicating to consumers through innovative means and connects brands with the world's top celebrities for everything from endorsements to product extensions. In 2009, he joined the cast of the popular ABC entrepreneurial business show "Shark Tank."

2015-16 SPEAKERS

Ann Bancroft
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Ann BancroftAmong the world's preeminent polar explorers, Ann Bancroft is a globally recognized leader dedicated to inspiring women, girls, and audiences around the world to unleash the power of their dreams. Bancroft uses her roles as an explorer, educator, and public speaker to share stories of how she fulfilled her dreams of outdoor adventure. With fellow teacher and explorer Liv Arnesen, she 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 trek across 1,717 miles. She also led the American Women's Expedition to the South Pole - a 67-day expedition across 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. Bancroft 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.

Steve Wozniak
Monday, February 1, 2016
Steve WozniakSilicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Steve Wozniak has shaped the computing industry with his design of Apple's first line of products, the Apple I and II, as well as 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.

For his achievements at Apple, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America's leading innovators. In 2000, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, Economy + Employment. Wozniak currently serves as Chief Scientist for Fusion-io and is involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools as well as stressing hands-on learning and encouraging creativity for students.

Travis Tygart
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Travis TygartTravis Tygart became the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s CEO in 2007. In his twelve years at USADA, he has also served as the Director of Legal Affairs and as Senior Managing Director & General Counsel. 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. He has has injected a passion into the fight against doping, including reaching out to America's Olympic athletes and embracing them as part of the solution.

Tygart has been recognized by "Sports Illustrated" as one of the "50 Most Powerful People in Sports," by "Time 100" as one of the most influential people in the world for 2013, one of the "World's Most Influential Sports Personalities" by "Inside Sport," and one of the "Colorado Lawyers of the Year" by "Law Week Colorado." A lawyer by training, Tygart has published papers and law review articles on topics such as Title IX, antitrust issues, and doping in sports.

Richard Russo
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Richard RussoRichard 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 accolades and comparisons to Sinclair Lewis and Sherwood Anderson - whom also wrote about small towns of their generation. Russo attended the University of Arizona, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and later a doctorate in Literature.

He realized while working on his dissertation that writing fiction appealed to him more than did literary criticism and academic writing, and so he stayed on to earn an M.F.A. Five years later, he published his first novel, "Mohawk. " Russo has taught creative writing at various universities, but following the success of "Nobody's Fool" and its 1994 film adaptation, he began writing full-time. So far, there has been only one exception to this theme of small-town life - his 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.

Robin Chase
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Robin ChaseRobin Chase is a transportation entrepreneur. She is co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest car sharing company in the world; Buzzcar, a peer-to-peer car sharing 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 boards of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship for the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Boston Mayor's Wireless Task Force. Chase lectures often, is frequently featured in major media, and has received awards in innovation, design, and environment. This includes being named among the "Time 100" "Most Influential People" list, the "Fast Company" list of "Fast 50 Innovators," and the "Business Week" list of "Top 10 Designers."

2014-15 SPEAKERS

Brian Kennedy
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Brian Kennedy
Brian Kennedy has been president, director, and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art since 2010. From 2005-2010, Kennedy was director of Dartmouth College's Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire, which has one of the largest and finest art collections at an American college or university. Prior to coming to the United States, Kennedy spent eight years as assistant director of the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (1989-1997) and seven years as director of the National Gallery of Australia (1997-2004) in Canberra.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Kennedy studied Art History and History at University College in Dublin, earning bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. A strategic thinker and collaborative leader, he has overseen the development of a strategic plan for the TMA, integrated it strongly into the community, and developed a nationally recognized initiative to promote visual literacy.

Paul Begala
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Paul Begala
Prominent political operative Paul Begala serves as a commentator for CNN, where he is part of the team that won an Emmy for its coverage of the 2006 elections and a Peabody Award for its coverage of the 2008 presidential election. In the 2012 campaign, he was a senior adviser for Priorities USA Action Super PAC. Begala served as counselor to President Bill Clinton in the White House and was one of Clinton's closest aides.

Begala is now an affiliated Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University and has also taught at The University of Texas as well as the University of Georgia. He is a member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors and of the University of Georgia Board of Visitors. Along with his partner, James Carville, and GOP strategist Karl Rove, Begala was a 2012 inductee to the American Association of Political Consultants' Hall of Fame.

Crystal Bowersox
Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Crystal BowersoxCrystal Bowersox is an American singer, songwriter, and actress who was the runner-up on the ninth season of the smash hit "American Idol." She was the first female finalist in three years. The Ohio native's debut album, "Farmer's Daughter," was released in December 2010. Bowersox released her second album, "All That for This," in March 2013. In 2011, she starred in an episode of "Body of Proof" and in the previous year was nominated for an award in the female reality/variety star category at the Teen Choice Awards.

Karl Rove
Monday, September 15, 2014
Karl RoveAmong the nation's best-known political strategists, Karl Rove served as a senior advisor to President George W. Bush for seven years and after leading Bush's election campaigns in 2000 and 2004. Rove served as Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004-2007, overseeing the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs. He was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and coordinated the White House policy-making process.

Rove writes a weekly op-ed for The Wall Street Journal and is the author of The New York Times best-seller, "Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight." He has written for various publications, including The Daily Beast, Financial Times, Forbes, FoxNews.com, HumanEvents.com, The Times, The Washington Post, and The Weekly Standard.

2013-14 SPEAKERS

Michael Crow
Monday, March 10, 2014
Michael CrowMichael Crow, the sixteenth president of Arizona State University, is guiding the transformation of ASU into one of the nation’s leading public metropolitan research universities. In doing so, he is combining academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic, and maximum societal impact — a model he designed known as the "New American University." Under his leadership, ASU established major transdisciplinary research initiatives and witnessed an unprecedented academic infrastructure expansion, the tripling of research expenditures, and the attainment of record levels of diversity.

Crow was previously executive vice provost of Columbia University. An adviser to the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, and Energy on matters of science and technology policy, he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as the National Academy of Public Administration, and has published on science and technology policy as well as the design of knowledge enterprises.

Richard Rumelt
Tuesday, January 13, 2014
Richard Rumelt
Richard Rumelt maintains a multifaceted career in teaching, research, and consulting - with the focus on competitive advantage and strategy, industry dynamics, as well as overall management. The Harry and Elsa Kunin Professor of Business and Society at UCLA Anderson School of Management, he was voted one of the world’s "Top 50 Business Thinkers" by the Thinkers50 program sponsored by the "Harvard Business Review."

Rumelt is the author of "Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters," a finalist for the 2011 Financial Times & Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. He was on the faculty of Harvard Business School and INSEAD, The Business School for the World, where he headed the Corporate Renewal Initiative. He was a founding member and served as president of the Strategic Management Society, which represents some 3,000 members from more than 80 countries.

James Carville
Monday, November 18, 2013
James CarvilleJames Carville is one of America’s best-known political consultants, notoriety earned not least for his role in helping Bill Clinton win the U.S. presidency in 1992. His long list of electoral successes includes wins in gubernatorial and senatorial races in the United States as well as global runs that include leading Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to his 1999 victory there.

A best-selling author, Carville's titles include "All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President" (with wife Mary Matalin), "40 More Years: How the Democrats will Rule the Next Generation" (2009), and his most recent The New York Times best-seller, "It’s the Middle Class, Stupid!," co-authored with Stan Greenberg - with whom he founded Democracy Corps, an independent polling nonprofit. A frequent CNN political commentator and contributor, Carville also serves as a Professor of Practice at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Sal Khan
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Sal KhanFounder of the Khan Academy, Sal Khan established a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy's self-pacing software and instructional materials is the world's most-used library of Web-based educational videos: more than 3,000 offerings on their YouTube channel used by 4.2 million students per month.

A former hedge fund analyst with degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, Khan is the author of "The One World School House: Education Reimagined," published in 2012 to immediate accolades from innovators as varied as filmmaker George Lucas and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. In the opinion of Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates, "Sal Khan’s vision and energy for how technology could fundamentally transform education is contagious. He’s a true pioneer in integrating technology and learning."

Last Updated: 6/27/22