Speaker Series Past Speakers

Speaker Series Past Speakers

DNC official to discuss voting

Donna Brazile

As Election Day quickly approached, veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile spoke on campus about the importance of voting.

Brazile’s political career began when she was 9-years-old as she worked to successfully elect a city council candidate who promised to build a playground in her native New Orleans. Through her passion for political progress and four decades of state and local campaigns, Brazile worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 to 2000, when she became the first African American to manage a presidential campaign.

Joining Brazile was Karen Smith Coates, who will speak about the importance of involvement in the state government. Coates, who graduated from BU in 1985, is chief of staff and chief counsel in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and director of legislative affairs in the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus. A graduate of Penn State Dickinson School of Law, Coates is the first female chief of staff to the speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, which is the highest position in the State House.

CNN commentator to headline Sankofa Conference

Marc Lamont Hill

As one of the leading intellectual voices in the country and a popular BET News and CNN personality, Marc Lamont Hill was the featured speaker of Bloomsburg University’s annual Sankofa Conference. Hill led a discussion in the KUB Ballroom, kicking off the daylong conference. Hill’s visit is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Hill spoke to the conference’s theme “Celebrating the past while embracing the future,” using his personal journey as a college drop-out through graduate school to becoming one of the leading intellectual voices in the country.

Hill, a Philadelphia native and Morehouse College distinguished professor, is the host of BET News and a political contributor for CNN. He is also the former host of the nationally syndicated television show Our World With Black Enterprise and the inaugural host of Huff Post Live, as well as a former political contributor to Fox News Channel.

Purple Heart recipient shares story of courage

The word “conquer” has taken on a new meaning for Bryan Anderson, a former U.S. Army sergeant. During his service in the Iraq War, it meant taking down the enemy. After losing both legs and an arm as the Iraq War’s fourth triple amputee from a roadside explosive, what he had to conquer got a bit more personal.

Anderson detailed his story of courage, hope and determination during the presentation, “No Turning Back,” at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Haas Center for the Arts. The program was sponsored by BU’s Disability Advisory Committee.

“Bryan's message is one of perseverance and hope,” said Bob Heckrote of BU’s Office of Military Services and Veterans Resources and a member of BU’s Disability Advisory Committee. “His message is pertinent to more people than just military members or individuals who are disabled. It’s a global message to inspire motivation. We hope his message might give people strength to keep fighting or at the least to appreciate what they have in life.”

Scholar discusses economic inequality

Gregory Mankiw

Economics scholar N. Gregory Mankiw, who was appointed chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers by former President George W. Bush, came to Bloomsburg University as a guest speaker for the Department of Economics.

Mankiw discussed “The Rise in Economic Inequality: Causes and Cures."

A professor of economics at Harvard University, Mankiw teaches macroeconomics, microeconomics, statistics, and principles of economics. In addition to serving as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, he was a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Congressional Budget Office, and member of the Educational Testing Service’s test development committee for the advanced placement exam in economics.

Along with his two textbooks, “Principles of Economics,” which sold more than 1 million copies in 20 languages, and “Macroeconomics,” Mankiw has published articles in the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, and public forums, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and Fortune. Mankiw received his Bachelor of Arts in economics in 1980 at Princeton University and earned his doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984. His research includes work on price adjustment, consumer behavior, financial markets, monetary and fiscal policy, and economic growth.

Civil Rights activist headlines MLK Jr. celebration

Myrlie Evers

Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain Mississippi civil rights activist Medgar Evers, continued her late husband’s advocacy for civic engagement and social justice as the keynote speaker of Bloomsburg University’s 21st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration in February at Carver Hall’s Kenneth S. Gross Auditorium. Evers-Williams, former chair of the NAACP, discussed “Tomorrow’s Leaders: Their Voices, Our Journey." Her visit was held in collaboration with Bloomsburg University’s year-long 175th anniversary celebration, co-sponsored by the Multicultural Center and 175th Anniversary Committee.

Evers-Williams has become a symbol of courage and perseverance in the march toward social justice. She worked for more than three decades to seek justice for the murder of her husband, who was gunned down in their driveway by a white supremacist on June 12, 1963, just hours after President John F. Kennedy’s famed civil rights address. A year ago, she delivered the invocation at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Stephen A. Smith delivers motivating message

Bloomsburg University Speaker Series

ESPN multimedia personality Stephen A. Smith led students down “The Road to Great Leadership” in February as part of BU’s annual Sankofa Conference.

Smith delivered an energetic and motivational lecture about leadership and its impact on personal success. He specifically talked about goal-setting, motivation, tough decision-making and inspiration. Smith hosts “The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show” on ESPN Radio New York 98.7 FM and is a featured columnist for ESPNNY.com. He is a regular on “ESPN First Take,” where he appears with Skip Bayless.

Civil Rights scholar preaches power of education

Bloomsburg University Speaker Series

Terrance Roberts — one of the Little Rock Nine, the nine African-American students who volunteered to attend Little Rock Central High School in 1957 in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education — discussed his life experience and lessons learned. After Little Rock’s high schools were closed the following school year, Roberts completed his senior year at Los Angeles High School. He went on to CSULA, UCLA and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where in 1976 he earned his Ph.D. in Psychology. He was on the faculty of Antioch University and now runs a private psychology practice right here in Pasadena.

He is, by all accounts, a remarkable man, quiet but impressive. He wrote a book, “Lessons from Little Rock,” a memoir that offers Roberts’ perspective on our nation’s fitful march towards racial equality, sketches of the other members of the Nine, a portrait of his life before it took the stage of history, and more. He is said to both speak and write with precision, insight, humor and vision.