Not Just Another Adoption Story – Erin Kiernan

Thursday, 01 Sep 2016 at 7:30pm – Great Hall, Memorial Union
Erin Kiernan is coanchor of the WHO Channel 13 evening news team and an advocate for adoption and adoptive parents' rights. Kiernan, who grew up in western Nebraska, became pregnant at age 16 and chose adoption for her son, who is now in his twenties and remains an important part of her life. Last fall she and her husband, Michael Kiernan, made public their eight-year struggle to start a family of their own, a process that involved multiple rounds of artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization and an unfulfilled adoption plan. The experience prompted her to help spearhead a bill in the Iowa legislature that would guarantee an adoptive parent the same maternity leave as a birth mother. Today, Erin and Michael are the proud parents of a nearly-one-year-old son, and Erin shares openly her unique perspective on parenthood.

Thursday, 8 Sep 2016

Recovering Lost Gospels: Ancient Christianities and Modern Faiths - André Gagné
6:00 PM – 1148 Gerdin Business Building - André Gagné is an associate professor of theological studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and cohosts the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, a program dedicated to issues surrounding religion, history, culture and science. His areas of expertise include the history and methods of biblical interpretation, the New Testament Gospels, and Gnosticism and the Nag Hammadi Library. Gagne is preparing a critical edition, translation and commentary of the Gospel of Thomas for the Coptic Nag Hammadi Library project at Laval University in Quebec City. He holds a BTh and MA from the University of Montreal and a joint doctorate at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) and the University of Montreal.

Incognito: On Race, Identity and Self Discovery - Michael Fosberg
7:00 PM – Great Hall, Memorial Union - Michael Fosberg grew up in a white working-class family outside of Chicago, raised by his biological mother and adoptive father. When he was in his early thirties his parents divorced, inspiring him to track down his biological father. During a phone call, Michael learned "a couple of things I'm sure your mother never told you:" first, that his father had not forgotten him and, second, that he is African American. This life-changing event led to a remarkable journey of self-discovery. Fosberg uses his autobiographical play, Incognito, to probe his past, his family's reaction, and our country's difficulty in understanding and discussing identity, race, and heritage. The unique presentation is followed by a discussion about the meaning of race and identity and the importance of embracing diversity.

Monday, 12 Sep 2016

Too Creative for Science? - Ahna Skop
7:00 PM – Sun Room, Memorial Union - Ahna Skop is geneticist, artist and a winner of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. She is also nationally known for using art to inform her scientific work on the mechanisms of cell division (cytokinesis) to understand human diseases, such as cancer and age-related disorders. Skop is an associate professor in genetics at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her science and art have been featured by Apple and Science, and her work can be seen in the main entrance of the Genetics/Biotechnology Center building on the UW-Madison campus. For the past fifteen years she has organized an annual Worm Art Show for the International C. elegans Meeting.

How Capitalism Will Save Us - Steve Forbes
8:00 PM – Great Hall, Memorial Union - Steve Forbes is chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, whose flagship publication is the nation’s leading business magazine. Forbes, combined with Forbes Asia, Forbes Europe, and the company’s licensee editions, reaches a worldwide audience of more than 5 million readers, and Forbes.com has become a destination site for senior business decision-makers and investors. Steve Forbes is the author or coauthor of several books, including most recently Reviving America. A widely respected economic prognosticator, he is the only writer to have won the Crystal Owl Award four times, a prize given to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts proved most accurate. 
In 1996 and 2000, he campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination with a platform that included a flat tax, medical savings accounts, and a new Social Security system for working Americans.

Tuesday, 13 Sep 2016

Mindfulness & Mental Health - Doug Gentile
5:30 PM – Great Hall, Memorial Union - Douglas Gentile is a research scientist and professor of psychology at Iowa State. He also studies how the practice of mindfulness can help people become more resilient and manage stress. His presentation focuses on mindfulness as a tool for promoting well-being and relaxation as well as instruction on techniques and exercises. Part of the Mental Health Expo A resource fair with local mental health and substance abuse professionals will be held in the adjoining South Ballroom beginning at 4:30pm.

Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom - Marti MacGibbon
6:30 PM – Great Hall, Memorial Union - Marti MacGibbon is a certified addiction treatment professional, trafficking survivor, and standup comic. A remarkable speaker and storyteller, she shares simple, effective strategies that anyone can use to overcome adversity, get back on track, reduce stress, and cultivate a sense of humor. MacGibbon speaks from personal experience. She hit rock bottom in every possible way as a hard-core drug addict and was trafficked to Tokyo and held prisoner by Japanese organized crime. As an empowered survivor and advocate, MacGibbon has spoken at the White House and the U.S. Department of State and written a memoir, Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom. Part of the Mental Health Expo A resource fair with local mental health and substance abuse professionals will be held in the adjoining South Ballroom beginning at 4:30pm.

Wednesday, 14 Sep 2016

Philosophy Reinvented for Social Media: First as Tragedy, Then as Tweet - Eric Jarosinski
6:00 PM – Alliant-Lee Liu Auditorium, Howe Hall - Inspired by the philosophical aphorisms of Nietzsche and Adorno, Eric Jarosinski has reinvented short-form philosophy for a world doomed to distraction on social media. A self-described #FailedIntellectual, Jarosinski is a former professor of German studies and recently left academia to devote himself to his post as founding editor of the hugely popular @NeinQuarterly. The online "Compendium of Utopian Negation" uses Twitter to explore the critical and comic potential of German language, literature, and philosophy. Jarosinski recently published his first book, Nein. A Manifesto. He discusses with great humor and wit the potential and limitations of adapting traditional modes of philosophical thought to a new technology with its own complex language, codes, and conventions. His visit is part of the "Germany Meets the U.S." Campus Weeks at ISU supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Information Center. Part of the Technology, Globalization and Culture Series

Thursday, 15 Sep 2016

A Wild Life - Cheryl Strayed
7:00 PM – Stephens Auditorium - No tickets - General admission seating - Doors open at 6:15 Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. The book and 2014 movie adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon recounts how at age 22, shattered by her mother's death and the end of her young marriage, Strayed decides to confront her emotional pain by trekking more than 1,000 miles from the Mojave Desert to the Oregon-Washington border. Now in her forties, Strayed is the cohost with Steve Almond of Dear Sugar Radio, an advice podcast for the lost, lonely and heartsick produced by WBUR Radio. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University. Her other books include the advice essay collection Tiny Beautiful Things and the novel Torch. She is also a regular columnist for the New York Time Book Review.

Monday, 19 Sep 2016

Lectures Program Event Being Planned
7:00 PM – Sun Room, Memorial Union - Part of Latino Heritage Month. Speaker to be announced.