Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty

The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues is establishing a series of programmatic events dedicated to the theme of leadership in an age of uncertainty. This initiative is grounded on the reality that today’s generation of Dickinson students confronts a large number of intractable political, economic, and social problems: terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, environmental pollution, global warming, a sustainable energy policy, the ongoing financial crisis, the federal deficit, the amount of public and private debt, the health care crisis, along with issues regarding race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, as well as technology and privacy. These issues and problems directly or indirectly pose challenges to the College and the local community that may in time require fundamental changes in institutions, values, and practices across the public, private, and non-profit sectors of American society. How Dickinsonians respond to these challenges presents us with an opportunity for reflection on the meaning of leadership in the contemporary world. This series is partially supported by a fund created by Betty R. ’58 and Dan Churchill.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 – “Joseph Priestley Award Celebration Lecture”

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium – 7 p.m.

Joseph Priestley Award Celebration Lecture

Opening the Infrared Treasure Chest with the James Webb Space Telescope

John C. Mather, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

The James Webb Space Telescope, launched in 2021, is NASA’s largest and most powerful space science telescope. Peering back in time, it probes the cosmos to uncover the history of the universe from the Big Bang to alien planet formation and beyond. 100 times more powerful than the celebrated Hubble Space Telescope, Webb can detect the heat signature of a bumblebee at the Earth-Moon distance.

The Joseph Priestley Award recipient is chosen by a different science department each year. The Department of Physics & Astronomy selected this year’s recipient. The event is supported by the Priestley Fund and is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of biology, chemistry, earth sciences, environmental studies, mathematics & computer science, psychology, and physics & astronomy and the Churchill Fund.  It is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

John Mather headshotDr. John C. Mather is a senior astrophysicist and is the senior project scientist for the James Read more

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Poster for Journalism in Conflict programAnita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m

Livestream Link

Journalism in Conflict: Reporting from Ukraine and Beyond

Anthony Borden, Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Borden will discuss the work of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR), whose mission is to “empower local voices to drive change in countries in conflict, crisis, and transition.” He will discuss the role of IWPR and local journalists in the fight against hate speech and propaganda, and consider the importance of reliable information and public debate in global conflict zones, like Ukraine.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Military Science.  It is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Topic overview written by Natalia Fedorczak ’24

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Anthony Borden headshotAnthony Borden is the founder of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR). He was editor of the highly regarded IWPR magazine War Report from 1991-98 and was commended for the “Best Online Journalism Service” in the 1999 NetMedia journalism awards, for IWPR’s reporting on the Kosovo crisis. He has worked with the UK’s Department for International Development assessing media programs in post-communist countries. Read more

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Poster for Political Prisoners eventAnita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

Political Prisoners and Free Speech in Cuba

Jorge Olivera Castillo, City of Asylum     

Nancy Alfaya Hernandez, Activist & Artist

Castillo will discuss censorship in Cuba and share his experiences working both in government media and against it. He began to write literature as a political prisoner in Cuba’s Guantanamo Prison in 2003. He will speak about his experience in prison and solitary confinement. After the Ladies in White protest movement organized for release of Black Spring prisoners, he was released in 2004. He and his wife, Nancy Alfaya Hernandez, continued to work as activists for freedom and democracy in Cuba while facing repression from the political police. Castillo will give information about activists and artists working to bring freedom to Cubans and the risks they face. He will share about his new writings, including a book based on his experiences as a veteran of the Angolan Civil War at 19 years old. In addition, Castillo will read political poems in Spanish with English subtitles.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of Spanish & Portuguese studies; and Latin American, Latinx & Caribbean studies.

Read more

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

 

Sliding Earth: Arctic Indigenous Cryo-Worlds, Environmental Risks and Human-Non-Human Collaborations

Olga Ulturgasheva                              Sayan Ulturgashev

University of Manchester                        Choreographer 

Accounts of dramatic environmental change offered by Arctic Indigenous communities and international climate scientists have recently pointed to a profound sense of unpredictability generated by the rapidly disappearing cryosphere. There are reports of the unprecedented extinction of ice-dependent worlds and of increasing likelihood for thousands of towns and villages to be threatened by rising sea levels and loss of the sea ice. All of the above will only intensify in the course of the next couple of decades, with methane released by rapidly thawing permafrost. The continuous and rapacious extraction of subsurface resources makes it increasingly clear that an ice-free Arctic is no longer located in the distant future but is lurking just around the corner. This lecture will examine the ways Arctic/Siberian Indigenous communities respond to unpredictable climate events and the knowledge, strategies, and human-non-human collaborations they draw from to face environmental calamities.

Following the lecture, students participating in Dickinson’s Ballet Certificate Program will perform an excerpt of Eveny Melody by Sayan Ulturgashev, Indigenous ballet dancer and choreographer.

The event is sponsored by the Read more

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Poster for Katrina Briddell's eventStern Great Room, 7 p.m.

Livestream Link

Can You Still Have Fun? In Search of “The Good Life” in a Broken World

Katrina Jurgill Briddell ’01, Head of Social Impact & Community Investment at The Hershey Company

How do we live life with intention and with wonder and delight–while witnessing the injustice, darkness, division, and pain in the world?  What does it mean to balance responsibility to our family, community, and world while prioritizing joy, fun, growth, and our own experience of life? Katrina Jurgill Briddell ’01 will be the first to tell you she does not have all the answers, but she will share how her life was shaped by sitting with these questions and engaging with them along the way.  In this session, she explores lessons from her personal and professional journey—from her time studying Spanish and Religion at Dickinson to her work today in social impact and sustainability—and how an evolving vision of “the Good Life” has served as a guide on her path through life.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Studies. This program is part of the Good Life Series  and Read more

Thursday, September 15, 2022 – Winfield C. Cook Constitution Day Conversation

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Video of the Presentation is Available on House Divided’s YouTube Channel

Constitution Day Conversation

The Past and Future of the Political Supreme Court

Rachel Shelden                             John E. Jones III

Penn State University                       Dickinson

To commemorate Constitution Day in 2022, Dickinson College will feature President John E. Jones III, a retired federal judge, in a wide-ranging constitutional conversation with noted political historian Rachel Shelden. Jones and Shelden will help put several of the current bitter controversies over democratic elections, abortion, and judicial partisanship into revealing historical context.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the House Divided Project. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biographies

Rachel Shelton PhotoRachel Shelden is an associate professor at Penn State University and the director of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center. Her work centers on the long U.S. Civil War era with a focus on politics, culture, slavery, constitutionalism, and law. Her first book, Washington Brotherhood: Politics, Social Life, and the Coming of the Civil War, examines how the social lives of federal politicians in Washington created a political fraternity that left
Read more

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Poster for Respiratory Health DisparitiesAllison Great Hall, 7 p.m.

Respiratory Health Disparities: Asthma as a Case Study

Juan Carlos Celedón P’19, P’22, Niels K. Jerne Professor of Pediatrics; Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Human Genetics; and Division Chief of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh

Respiratory health disparities are significant differences in respiratory health that are closely linked to racial ancestry, social, economic, and/or environmental differences. In the United States, racial/ethnic minorities bear a disproportionate burden of respiratory diseases such as asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, occupational lung diseases, COVID-19, and tuberculosis. Disparities in respiratory health are largely explained by unequal exposure to environmental risk factors such as tobacco use, air pollution, occupational hazards, and infectious agents. Such environmental injustice is ultimately due to structural and social determinants of health that must be addressed to achieve health equity. This lecture will first provide an overview of known and potential risk factors for asthma, focusing on psychosocial stressors such as exposure to violence and violence-related distress and their impact on biology through epigenetics and regulation of gene expression. This will be followed by a review of the need for a multipronged approach to eliminate respiratory health disparities and achieve health equity.

This program Read more

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 – (Joseph Priestley Award Celebration Lecture)

Poster to advertise Priestley Lecture with Luis von AhnAnita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 5 p.m.

 

Joseph Priestley Award Celebration Lecture

How Duolingo Uses AI to Assess, Engage and Teach Better

Luis von Ahn, Co-Founder and CEO of Duolingo

Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. With over half a billion exercises completed every day, we have the largest dataset of people learning languages ever amassed. In this talk, I will describe all the different ways in which we use AI to improve how well we teach and how to keep our learners engaged.

The Joseph Priestley Award recipient is chosen by a different science department each year. The Department of Mathematics & Computer Science have selected this year’s recipient. The event is supported by the College’s Priestley Fund and is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of biology, chemistry, earth sciences, environmental studies, mathematics & computer science, psychology, and physics & astronomy and the Churchill Fund.  It is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Topic overview written by Logan Cort ’22

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Headshot of Luis von AhnLuis von Ahn is an entrepreneur and former computer science professor at Read more

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

War Peace Justice Event Poster**Due to a temporary change in COVID-19 protocols at Dickinson College, this event will be livestreamed only. Questions can be posed using the Live Chat feature on YouTube livestream. Please join the event using this link:

 

Part of the J. Sherwood McGinnis Jr. War, Peace, and Justice Symposium

Transforming Conflict: Rethinking War, Peace, and Justice

Danielle Conway, Penn State Dickinson Law

James Dubik (moderator), Institute for the Study of War

Margee Ensign, American University of Nigeria (former president of Dickinson College)

Andrew Wolff, Dickinson College

This panel discussion will address three essential questions: What is the nature and purpose of war? What is peace? And what is justice? This program is the prelude event to the J. Sherwood McGinnis Jr. War, Peace, and Justice Symposium scheduled for Fall 2022. The symposium will explore the complex interrelationships between war, peace, and justice. Of central concern is the question, “What outcomes do you, the American people, expect from the expenditure of national blood and treasure during conflict?”

The J. Sherwood McGinnis Jr. War, Peace, and Justice Symposium is being developed in partnership with the Association of the U.S. Army, the Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce, the Cumberland County Read more

Wednesday, February 23, 2022 – Constitution Day Program

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

 

Winfield C. Cook Constitution Day Program

Democracy Stress Test: Analysis of Attempts to Overturn the 2020 Election Results

Mary McCord, Keep Our Republic

David Thornburgh, Committee of Seventy

Jonathan Winer, Keep Our Republic

Although Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential Election by 306 to 232 votes in the Electoral College (and by 7 million in the popular vote), Donald Trump refused to acknowledge the result and instead led an unprecedented onslaught of legal challenges in state and federal courts with an array of claims of voter fraud and conspiracy. When the court challenges failed, President Trump continued to seek ways to overturn the election results. These efforts culminated in the assault on Congress on January 6th, one of the most serious threats ever to our democracy. Our democracy prevailed, but weaknesses were exposed. In this program our panelists will discuss some of these weaknesses and how we might address them moving forward.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Law & Policy Program.

The initial impetus for this evening’s program was offered by Keep Our Republic, a non-profit organization whose mission Read more

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Presidential Dialogues Poster scaledAnita Tuvin Schlecther Auditorium (ATS), 7 p.m.

Presidential Dialogues: Lessons in Leadership

John E. Jones III ’77 P’11, interim president, Dickinson College

William G. Durden ’71,  president emeritus, Dickinson College

Dickinson produces leaders who impact their communities and effect positive change. Each one of those leaders has a story to tell and valuable lessons to share. This semester, interim President John E. Jones III ’77, P’11, is kicking off Presidential Dialogues, a discussion series that will highlight and share these distinctive stories and lessons from Dickinsonians at various stages in their career journeys. During each dialogue, President Jones will interview  an alumni leader to learn about their journey, their experiences, and how Dickinson has shaped their lives.

During this dialogue, Interim President Jones will converse with President Emeritus William G. Durden ’71, focusing on the power of leadership to transform organizations and shape the future.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Office of the President. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biographies

John Jones headshotJohn E. Jones III ’77 P’11 became interim president of Dickinson on July 1. He is slated to Read more

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium (ATS), 7 p.m.

Bigham poster scaledRadically Reimagining Admissions for Racial Equity

Marie Bigham, founder and executive director of ACCEPT (Admissions Community Cultivating
Equity & Peace Today)

Bigham, founder of ACCEPT & co-host of Hack the Gates (a research-to-practice partnership), will discuss grassroots efforts to rethink and redesign the path to postsecondary education. Bigham will also explore how the pandemic changed (or didn’t change) college admissions.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Office of Admissions. It is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Topic overview written by Amanda Sowah ’22

Biography

headshot scaledMarie Bigham is the founder and executive director of ACCEPT (Admissions Community Cultivating Equity & Peace Today), an advocacy group and community that centers racial justice in the college admissions process and profession. Recently named a “Global Game Changer” by Facebook, Bigham is a national leader in college admission redesign and reform. In 2018, ACCEPT received the Excellence in Education Award from the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, awarded to “those who use their prominence to advance equity and access in education.”  Bigham’s lifelong commitment to racial justice has informed her Read more

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

FINAL Pres Dialogues Poster scaledPresidential Dialogues: Lessons in Leadership

John E. Jones III ’77 P’11, interim president, Dickinson College

Joanne Adebayo ’21, partnership marketing coordinator, L.L.Bean

Dickinson produces leaders who impact their communities and effect positive change. Each one of those leaders has a story to tell and valuable lessons to share. This semester, interim President John E. Jones III ’77, P’11, is kicking off Presidential Dialogues, a discussion series that will highlight and share these distinctive stories and lessons from Dickinsonians at various stages in their career journeys.

During this dialogue, President Jones will sit down with Joanne Adebayo ’21, partnership marketing coordinator at L.L.Bean, to discuss her preparation and how Dickinson continues to shape her future and leadership goals.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Office of the President. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Topic Overview Written by Bao Tran ’23

Biographies

John Jones headshotJohn E. Jones III ’77 P’11 became interim president of Dickinson on July 1. He is slated to serve a two-year term. Jones previously served as chair of Dickinson’s board of trustees and Read more

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Ortiz PosterVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

 

“Las Madres de Berks”- Using Public Art and Filmmaking to Fight Family Detention

Michelle Angela Ortiz, visual artist, skilled muralist, community arts educator and filmmaker

“Las Madres de Berks” documentary shares the testimonials of four mothers that were detained for two years with their children at The Berks County Residential Center, a family prison in Pennsylvania. Berks is the oldest of the three permanent family prisons for immigrant families in the country. Despite being held up as a “model” by proponents of immigrant detention, the center has amassed a record of human rights violations.

Award-winning visual artist, Michelle Angela Ortiz created the “Las Madres de Berks” documentary, as part of her “Familias Separadas” public art project which amplifies the stories of families affected by detention and deportation in the United States. Ortiz’s main community partner, the Shut Down Berks Coalition has been fighting to close down the Berks family prison for years.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and cosponsored by the Center for Civic Learning & Action, the Women’s & Gender Resource Center and the departments of Spanish & Portuguese and women’s, gender & sexuality Read more

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Lubchenco IGVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

 

Joseph Priestley Award Celebration Lecture

How to Use the Planet Without Using It Up

Jane Lubchenco,  Oregon State University

Environmental science provides valuable insights into timely solutions to urgent, global challenges.  It is possible to address climate change, loss of biodiversity, food provisioning, and inequities, but only with integrated, holistic approaches.  Knowledge, coupled with engagement of civil society and leaders from business, faith, youth, and governments, provides hope for the future.

The Joseph Priestley Award recipient is chosen by a different science department each year. The Department of Environmental Studies has selected this year’s recipient. The event is supported by the College’s Priestley Fund and is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of biology, chemistry, earth sciences, environmental studies, mathematics & computer science, psychology, and physics & astronomy and the Churchill Fund.  It is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Topic overview written by Logan Cort ’22.

Biography

The Honorable Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor at Oregon State University, is a marine ecologist with expertise in the ocean, climate change, and interactions between the environment and Read more

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Hightower FB PosterVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

 

From McDonald’s to Google

Kelsey Hightower, Google

As a self taught engineer, Hightower honed his tech skills at the peak of the open source movement, which led to the democratization of software, and created pathways into tech for a new generation of aspiring computer professionals. In this session Hightower will explore his journey into tech and how he became one of the most respected people in cloud computing. Attendees will walk away from this session inspired by their own uniqueness and understand how to leverage technology to help shape the world they want to live in.

The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and cosponsored by the departments of mathematics and computer science, and biology, the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity, the Inclusivity in STEM Planning Committee, and the Churchill Fund. This program is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Topic overview by Rebecca Fox ’22

Biography

Kelsey Hightower is a principal engineer at Google working on Google’s Cloud Platform. He has helped develop and refine many Google Cloud Products including Google’s Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Functions, and Read more

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Duprex Facebook PosterVirtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

 

@10queues and 10 Questions in Virology

Paul Duprex – Center for Vaccine Research, University of Pittsburgh

In early January 2020, a group of people in Wuhan, China who were suffering from pneumonia, were found to be infected with a novel coronavirus – what soon after would be termed SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19. By the end of 2020, the United States had approved two novel vaccines for use against this virus. Additional vaccines likely will be approved soon. The astonishing speed in developing effective vaccines was noted as the 2020 Breakthrough of the Year by Science magazine. During this conversation-led presentation with David Kushner, associate professor of biology, information about the vaccines, how they work, why it is important to be vaccinated, and whether or not we need to be concerned about new viral variants are among the topics that will be discussed.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of mathematics & computer science, biology, the Program in Policy Studies, and the Health Studies Program. This program is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Read more

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Virtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.

 

Addressing Hate in PA Chad Dion Lassiter Executive Director PHRCCombating American Racism In The Era of Trump: Towards a Pedagogy of Justice

Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW, National Expert on Race Relations & Executive Director of Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

This conversation will explore ways that students, teachers and social change agents can work towards dismantling American Racism.  Additionally, dialogue will also consist of how white racism, white violence and whiteness are threatening the fabric of the democracy. In the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. W.E.B. Dubois, Lassiter will aim to highlight how all humanity can work towards themes of justice. This discussion-led presentation will be moderated by Amer Ahmed, interim executive director for the Office of Equity & Inclusivity and chief diversity officer.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund . It is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in a an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Topic overview written by Logan Cort ’22

Biography

cbbcfdf imageChad Dion Lassiter is a national expert in the field of American race relations. Lassiter has worked on race, peace, and poverty-related issues in The United States of America, Africa, Canada, Haiti, Israel, and Read more

Thursday, September 17, 2020 – Constitution Day Address

Kendi Poster Fall scaledVirtual Program on YouTube Live, 7 p.m.

** Members of the Dickinson community will be able to view the recording of this program on our website here:  Audio/Video tab, Lectures for Campus-Only

Winfield C. Cook Constitution Day Address

How to Be an Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi

National Book Award-winning Historian and Author of How to Be an Antiracist

When the first Black president headed into the White House, Americans were imagining their nation as colorblind and went so far as to call it post-racial. According to Kendi, since the 2016 election, people are awakening and seeing racial reality for the first time. With opened minds, people are actively trying to understand racism. In this lecture, Kendi will shift the discussion from how not to be racist, to how to be an antiracist. He will share his own racist ideas and how he overcame them. He will provide direction to people and institutions who want more than just band-aid programs, but actual antiracist action that will build an antiracist America. This discussion-led presentation will be moderated by Vincent Stephens, director of Dickinson’s Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity.

The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and Read more

David McCormick

How Mentors Can Shape Your Future  A Conversation with a Global LeaderBridgewater Associates

* We are conducting this event virtually. It was previously postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Mentors Can Shape Your Future: A Conversation with a Global Leader

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – 7 p.m.
Live Stream Event

Dickinson College President Margee Ensign and U.S. District Judge John E. Jones will converse with Bridgewater Associates CEO David McCormick (Bridgewater Associates manages approximately $160 billion in global investments). They will discuss the importance of mentorship and the role mentors can play in developing leadership skills.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Office of the President.  It is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biographies

David McCormick scaledDavid McCormick is the CEO of the global investment firm Bridgewater Associates, responsible for overseeing the firm’s strategy, governance, and business operations. McCormick joined Bridgewater in 2009 and previously served as the firm’s president, before becoming Co-CEO in 2017 and the CEO in 2020.

Before joining Bridgewater, McCormick was the U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs in the George W. Bush Administration during the global financial crisis. Prior to that, he served in senior posts on the National Security Read more