Jill Bolte Tayler delivers Tate Distinguished Lecture Feb. 23

Jill Bolte TaylorNeuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, who wrote the bestselling story of her own recovery from a massive stroke, will give the next lecture in SMU’s 2009-10 Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Feb. 23. Taylor will present the Jones Day Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

A doctor who specialized in the postmortem investigation of the human brain as related to schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses, Dr. Taylor serves as president of the Greater Bloomington (Indiana) Affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She also serves as the national spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Harvard Brain Bank) located at McLean Hospital.

In 1996, Dr. Taylor experienced an arteriovenous malformation, a rare form of stroke. Within four hours, she could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of her life. After major brain surgery to remove a golf ball-sized blood clot, it took 8 years for her to successfully rebuild her brain from the inside out.

In 2008, she published a book about her recovery and the insights she gained into the workings of her brain. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey became a New York Times bestseller, and that year TIME magazine chose Dr. Taylor as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

The evening lecture is sold out. Dr. Taylor will answer questions from SMU community members and local high school students in the Turner Construction Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.

Visit the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series homepage

Three experts discuss 21st-century Russia in Tate Lecture Jan. 19

Ian Bremmer, Stephen Hadley and Claire ShipmanThree experts in international politics and 21st-century Russia will discuss the future of U.S. relations in the post-Soviet world as part of SMU’s 2009-10 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Jan. 19.

Former national security adviser Stephen Hadley, World Policy Institute fellow Ian Bremmer and television network correspondent Claire Shipman will present the Gregg and Molly Engles Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Hadley served as national security adviser for President George W. Bush from 2005-09. In that role, he was the principal White House foreign policy adviser and directed the National Security Council staff.

Bremmer is an expert on U.S. foreign policy, states in transition and global political risk. He is founder and president of Eurasia Group, the world’s leading political risk consultancy, which works with more than 200 financial, corporate and government clients on six continents. His six books include The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall, selected by The Economist as one of the best books of 2006.

Shipman joined ABC’s “Good Morning America” as senior national correspondent in 2001. She also contributes to other ABC News programs. She spent five years working at CNN’s Moscow Bureau, where her reporting won several awards.

Hadley, Bremmer and Shipman will answer questions from SMU community members and local high school students in the Turner Construction Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 19 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to all faculty, staff and students.

Visit the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series website

Journalists tackle global issues at Tate Student Forum

Thomas Friedman, Fareed Zakaria and David Gergen at SMU's Tate Lecture Series Student ForumThree leading journalists discussed the environment, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other global challenges during SMU’s Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Turner Construction Student Forum Sept. 8.

Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and author of books including The Post-American World, also addressed the challenges of personal politics when asked whether he considers himself a centrist.

“I find that when people ask what team they’re going to support, they end up with: ‘That answer has to be right because my team is always right,'” he said. “I think that’s fundamentally intellectually dishonest. What you should be asking is: ‘What is the right answer?’ The one thing I’ve learned through a not-so-long career is that you’re always better off saying what you believe and standing exactly where you think you should be.”

Zakaria participated in the discussion with Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times and author of books including Hot, Flat, and Crowded; and David Gergen, senior political analyst for CNN, editor-at-large of U.S. News & World Report and former White House adviser.

Under the link below are highlights of their question-and-answer session with SMU and area high school students at Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

The three also gave the Linda and Mitch Hart Lecture at McFarlin Auditorium as part of the Tate Lecture Series. In addition, Zakaria presented the Hart Global Leaders Forum on Sept. 9.

The next Tate Distinguished Lecture features U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas and will take place Sept. 30.

Watch videos of the lectures video
Read more about Zakaria’s Hart Global Leaders Forum presentation
Visit the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series website

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Journalist Nicholas Kristof delivers Tate Lecture March 3

nicholas-kristof-200.jpgPulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof will discuss his reporting on some of the world’s most difficult stories in SMU’s 2008-09 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series March 3. The lecture takes place at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Kristof, who has written for the Times since 1984, covered the 2000 presidential campaign and has written on subjects ranging from economics to 21st-century sex slavery. In 1990 he and his wife, fellow Times reporter Sheryl WuDunn, became the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement. Kristof won a second Pulitzer in 2006 for his commentary on the genocide in Darfur.

Since 2006, The New York Times has sponsored a “Win a Trip With Nicholas Kristof” contest, in which both students and teachers apply for the chance to travel and report with the columnist. A documentary of the 2007 trip, “Reporter,” premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in January, where it was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize. This year’s contest winners will join Kristof on a journey to Africa.

In addition, Kristof will participate in the Turner Construction/Wachovia Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Doors open at 4 p.m., and the entire SMU community is invited.

Learn more about the remaining Tate season and the Student Forum series for the community at smu.edu/tate.

More on the 2009 “Win a Trip With Nicholas Kristof” competition
Read an SMU Forum report on Kristof’s April 2007 campus visit

Science and technology leaders discuss U.S. challenges, opportunities

Charles M. Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering, at SMUThe greatest challenges affecting U.S. science and technology leadership – and the greatest opportunities for success – lie in the areas of energy, climate change, healthcare and education, the presidents of the National Academies told students at SMU April 1.

Speaking at the Turner Construction Student Forum, Ralph J. Cicerone, Harvey V. Fineberg and Charles M. Vest said they had come to SMU “to instill a greater sense of urgency in all of you about the importance of (maintaining) leadership in science, medicine and engineering in this country.” The three were on campus as part of SMU’s 2007-08 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences and chair of the National Research Council. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The National Academies bring together committees of experts in scientific and technological areas to advise the federal government and the public on critical national issues. (Right, Charles Vest at the Turner Construction Student Forum, photo courtesy of The Daily Campus.)

Read more from SMU News.
Watch a video of the discussion.

Bob and Lee Woodruff discuss how lives can change “In an Instant”

Bob Woodruff at SMUJust weeks after journalist Bob Woodruff (right) was named co-anchor of ABC’s “World News Tonight,” he suffered a traumatic brain injury from a roadside bomb explosion while covering the war in Iraq. He and his wife, Lee, discussed his injury, recovery and the challenges he continues to face Mar. 4 at the Turner Construction Student Forum. They are co-authors of the best-selling book In An Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing. Read more. (Photography by Mike Fuentes.)

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Martin Sheen talks about art and life

Martin Sheen at SMUMartin Sheen described himself as someone who “grew up with a picket sign in my hand and a desire for some measure of justice” to an overflow audience of SMU and high school students at the Turner Construction Student Forum Feb. 5. The actor and activist visited SMU to speak in the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

“I never was comfortable unless I was at least a little bit uncomfortable,” Sheen added. “There’s nothing worse than peer pressure, even for old guys like me. We don’t want to be outside the community. We want to be loved. We want to be accepted. We never really take responsibility for ourselves or get to know ourselves…. So I’ve always, always tried to be uncomfortable.” Read more.

Watch Martin Sheen on video. video

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Aerospace pioneers discuss the future of manned space flight at Student Forum

Dick RutanAt one point during the Turner Construction Student Forum Nov. 6, test pilot Dick Rutan (left) asked a question of the attendees: “How many of you think Albert Einstein was right when he said it was not possible to fly faster than the speed of light? …If you raised your hand, then shame on you. When I was your age, they were saying the same thing about the speed of sound, and guess what happened?

“You’re young, and you have tools that can do things no one can yet imagine,” Rutan added. “You will do great things if you don’t talk yourself out of trying, if you start looking at barriers as opportunities for greatness.”

Brian BinnieRutan and fellow pilot Brian Binnie (right), whose exploits have helped open outer space to future commercial travel, fielded questions from students from throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area about everything from the challenges of manned space flight to managing a creative team. They visited the University to speak in the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. Read more from SMU News.

Tate Lecture Series welcomes pioneering pilots Nov. 6

rutan-binnie-200.jpgTest pilots Dick Rutan and Brian Binnie, whose exploits have helped open outer space to commercial travel, land at SMU for the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series at 8 p.m. Nov. 6 in McFarlin Auditorium. They will speak in place of Dick’s brother, aerospace engineer Burt Rutan, who for medical reasons is unable to attend.

Dick Rutan was the pilot of Voyager, which in December 1986 set the record for a non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world. He made the trip in 9 days, 3 minutes and 44 seconds – a mark that stands to this day. Brian Binnie completed the first and last powered flights of SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 was the first manned spacecraft to exceed an altitude of 328,000 feet twice within the span of a 14-day period. Both pilots work with Burt Rutan’s company, Scaled Composites, LLC, an aerospace and specialty composites development company located in Mojave, California.

Rutan and Binnie will answer questions from SMU and local high school students in the Turner Construction Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 6 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Faculty and staff members are invited to attend. Learn more at smu.edu/tate.

Tune In: Business analyst Marcus Buckingham at Student Forum

Marcus BuckinghamTo succeed in today’s workplace, employees must have very clear ideas about their own strengths and weaknesses, said pioneering researcher and best-selling author Marcus Buckingham during the Turner Construction Student Forum Oct. 16. Unfortunately, he continued, “Most of us are just rubbish at it. The most popular answer in job interviews to the question ‘What are your strengths?’ is ‘I like working with people,’ or ‘I’m a people person’ – with no mention of which people or what you’re doing with these people.” Read the Q&A and watch the video. video