September 12, 2008

Usi Core Speaker Series Set

By MARK WILSON Courier & Press staff writer 464-7417 or [email protected]

Presidential politics, Cuban jazz, physics and the question of evolution versus intelligent design might seem disconnected, but there is a common theme.

They are all part of the University of Southern Indiana's upcoming Core Curriculum Speaker Series. The series will feature lectures by Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard; physicist, English professor and author Alan Lightman; and Brown University biology professor Kenneth R. Miller.

There also will be a concert by Grammy-winning jazz musician Paquito D'Rivera and a large-screen outdoor viewing of the Sept. 26 presidential debate between senators John McCain and Barack Obama.

The lectures and events are open to the public as well as students, said Mark Krahling, USI's core curriculum director.

This year's speakers will continue a recent shift in the series' emphasis toward attracting more nationally recognized participants to speak

about timely issues.

With the upcoming presidential election in November, several of the series events will focus on that theme. Last year, university officials combined their resources to offer one single, large event - a dual presentation by nationally known columnists and political commentators Mark Shields and William Kristol - that was well- attended by both students and the public.

"I see this as an important part of what universities can be doing for the public," Krahling said.

Planned events include:

n Sept. 17, Constitution Day Lecture: "Presidential Elections as a Test of the Constitution," by Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, 7 p.m. Kleymeyer Auditorium, Liberal Arts Center

n Sept. 26, Debate-A-Palooza: USI will host the event as part of the national Debate Watch program sponsored by the Commission for Presidential Debates. The outdoor viewing will be in the Quadrangle, using two jumbo screens. Participants are invited to bring blankets, chairs and picnic items. The event begins at 6 p.m. with live music. The debate begins at 8. If it rains, the event will be in the Health Professions Center.

n Oct. 10, Performance by Paquito D'Rivera: The Havana, Cuba, native is a multiple Grammy-winning jazz musician and composer who plays clarinet and saxophone. The performance, at 2 p.m. in Forum I, Wright Administration Building, is presented in cooperation with the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra.

n Oct. 23, Lecture by Alan Lightman: The MIT physicist, English professor and author of "Einstein's Dreams" is a featured author in "This I Believe," used in this year's USI Bonding Through Books and Evansville's One Book One Community programs. Program begins at 7 p.m. in Carter Hall, University Center.

n Feb. 17, Lecture by Kenneth R. Miller: In 2005, Miller, professor of biology at Brown University, testified in Kitzmiller et al vs. Dover (Pennsylvania) Area School District on the question of whether intelligent design is a religious belief or a scientific theory.

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