Seminars & lectures

National Affairs Series: The Dark Side of Big Data - Cathy O'Neil

September 11, 2018
7 p.m.
Great Hall, Memorial Union

Cathy O'Neil is a mathematician, data scientist, and the author of Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. She will discuss the unintended negative consequences of using big data, including how so-called "objective" black-box algorithms have the potential to reinforce human bias in everything from sentencing to hiring workers. O'Neil began her career in academia before moving to the private sector, where she worked as a hedge-fund analyst during the credit crisis and then as a data scientist in the New York start-up scene. She writes regularly for Bloomberg View about algorithms, and in 2017 she founded the consulting firm ORCAA to audit algorithms for racial, gender, and economic inequality.


Latina Memories: A Chilean Human Rights Perspective - Marjorie Agosin

September 17, 2018
7 p.m.
Sun Room, Memorial Union

Marjorie Agosin is an author, poet, and human rights activist known for her outspokenness for women's rights in Chile. Agosin was raised in Chile by Jewish parents, and her writings demonstrate a unique blending of Jewish and South American cultures. Her family moved to the United States to escape the horrors of the Pinochet takeover. Both her scholarship and her creative work focus on social justice, feminism, and remembrance. Agosin's many awards include the Pura Belpre Award for I Lived on Butterfly Hill; the Letras de Oro Prize for her poetry, and a United Nations Leadership Award for Human Rights. She is currently a professor of Spanish at Wellesley College.


Mental Illness, Tragedy and Transformation: The Mark Becker Story - Joan and David Becker

September 25, 2018
7 p.m.
Great Hall, Memorial Union

The Story County Mental Health Resource Fair will precede the lecture, 6-7 p.m. in the South Ballroom - Joan and Dave Becker share their family's story about their son Mark and the experience they had coping with his paranoid schizophrenia. They hope it will help other families, caregivers, and professionals understand how they can make a difference in moving forward and improving our mental health system. The Beckers spent years visiting doctors, pleading with state mental health services, and trying to get their son help for what was finally diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia just three days before the unthinkable happened in their rural community of Parkersburg.


Pease Family Scholar in Kinesiology - James Rimmer

September 27, 2018
8 p.m.
Sun Room, Memorial Union

James Rimmer has been developing and directing physical activity and health promotion programs for people with disabilities for more than 30 years. He is the inaugural Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair of Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and director of the Lakeshore Foundation/UAB Collaborative. Rimmer is on the NIH National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research advisory board. He also serves on several national advisory boards in rehabilitation engineering and is currently a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Health Disparities Advisory Committee. In 2014, he became the first researcher with a focus on the fitness of people with disabilities to be named to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Science Board.


Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair Lecture Series: A Hollywood Career in Costume Design - Black Panther's Ruth Carter

October 9, 2018
7 p.m.
Stephens Auditorium, Iowa State Center

Ruth Carter is the Oscar-nominated costume designer who conceptualized and created more than 1,000 costumes for the world of Wakanda for Marvel's Black Panther. Carter has worked in the industry for more than three decades and is credited in over 40 films. She earned Academy Award nominations for Best Costume Design for Spike Lee's Malcolm X and Steven Spielberg's Amistad as well as a 2016 Emmy Nomination for Roots. Carter has worked with Spike Lee on 14 films, beginning with School Daze and including Do the Right Thing, and is well known for her work on period ensemble films like Lee Daniels' The Butler and Ava Duvernay's Selma.


George M. Beal Distinguished Lecture in Rural Sociology: Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Meat Processing Industry - Phil Howard

October 10, 2018
7 p.m.
Sun Room, Memorial Union

Phil Howard is an associate professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University and the author of Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat? His research is focused on consolidation in food systems - from farming and processing to distribution and consumption, and he is also widely recognized for pictorial representations of food and agricultural data. He will discuss how government subsidies have played a role in increasing the power of the three largest meat processors worldwide and share data visualizations of changes in the industry's economic concentration.


Norman Borlaug Lecture - The 2018 World Food Prize Laureates: Lawrence Haddad and David Nabarro

October 15, 2018
8 p.m.
Great Hall, Memorial Union

A reception and student poster display will precede the lecture from 7-8 p.m. in the South Ballroom, Memorial Union. Posters will address world food issues and are submitted by undergraduate and graduate students - Join a conversation with the 2018 World Food Prize Laureates about their work promoting child and maternal nutrition in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. Lawrence Haddad and David Nabarro have been recognized for their efforts to persuade government and private sector development leaders to make child nutrition an urgent priority after prices of wheat, maize, and rice nearly doubled in 2007-08, triggering a food crisis that had particularly dire consequences for new mothers and children under the age of two. Lawrence Haddad is the executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and a pioneer in food policy research. He served as head of the Institute of Development Studies in the United Kingdom from 2004 to 2014 and subsequently co-chaired the Global Nutrition Report. David Nabarro had a long career at the United Nations before retiring last year. He led the UN High Level Task Force on Global Food Security (2008-14), served as coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement (2010-14), worked as the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Sustainable Development and Climate Change, and beginning in 2015 served as Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change.


Where Are All the Black People? - Ericka Hart

October 16, 2018
7 p.m.
Great Hall, Memorial Union

Ericka Hart is an activist and sexuality educator, and is currently an adjunct at Columbia University's School of Social Work. Diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer at the age of 28, Hart realized that neither her identity as a queer black non-binary femme nor her sex life as a survivor, was featured prominently in her treatment. She will share her unique perspective on challenging anti-blackness and the importance of addressing sexual expression and human health at their intersections with race, gender, chronic illness, and disability. Hart has a Master's of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University and has taught sexuality education for elementary aged youth to adults across New York City for 10 years.


Where Are All the Black People? - Ericka Hart

October 16, 2018
7 p.m.
Great Hall, Memorial Union

Ericka Hart is an activist and sexuality educator, and is currently an adjunct at Columbia University's School of Social Work. Diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer at the age of 28, Hart realized that neither her identity as a queer black non-binary femme nor her sex life as a survivor, was featured prominently in her treatment. She will share her unique perspective on challenging anti-blackness and the importance of addressing sexual expression and human health at their intersections with race, gender, chronic illness, and disability. Hart has a Master's of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University and has taught sexuality education for elementary aged youth to adults across New York City for 10 years.