2018 Public Lectures

Heidi G. Elmendorf, Ph.D.
Georgetown University
Monday, October 30, 2017, 3:30 p.m.
Kayser Auditorium, Hankamer Academic Center

“The Moral Relativism of Microbes: To Be or Not To Be Virulent”
As humans, we tend to think simplistically about microbes, anthropomorphizing them as either “bad guys,” the germs that cause disease, or as “good guys,” the single-celled organisms benefitting us and our world through their metabolic processes. The reality of microbes’ relationship with humans is, in Facebook parlance, “complicated,” fully embodying the spectrum from friend to foe. Indeed, the same microbe can be fickle about its virulence within a single human host, choosing to enhance the host’s life in one moment then threatening to endanger its life in the next. In this talk, we’ll explore how a better understanding of the dynamics between microbes and their human hosts offers lessons for us from the very basics of evolutionary biology to applications for medicine and human health.


Neil K. Garg, Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 5:30 p.m.
Baylor Science Building B.110

“How Organic Chemistry Became One of UCLA’s Most Popular Classes”
Organic chemistry has a bad reputation, despite having a tremendous impact on our everyday lives. It has remained a notorious “weed-out” class for decades – striking fear in the hearts of students – and has long been viewed as a gatekeeper course for those interested in pursuing a career in medicine. In this presentation, California’s Professor of the Year, Neil Garg, will examine the underlying teaching philosophies that have now transformed organic chemistry into one of the most popular classes on the UCLA campus.  Educational initiatives, including organic chemistry music videos and online tutorials, will be discussed.


Clinton O. Longenecker, Ph.D.
The University of Toledo
Monday, October 23, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, Room 240

"Career Success and Survival in the 21st Century: The Mandate for Life-long Learning"
Are YOU prepared? Open up a newspaper, periodical, or publication in any discipline and you will see dramatic evidence that every organization and workplace is undergoing unprecedented levels of change and transformation. American workers find themselves at “ground zero” being impacted by these dynamic changes driven by technological and scientific breakthroughs, demographic trends and a global marketplace.
This interactive presentation will focus on the changing nature of work, its impact on our lives, and how each of us can increase our personal performance and improve our career trajectory.  This discussion will be based on the “Career Imperatives” that have emerged from a diversified sample of over 10,000 professionals offering very pragmatic and proven lessons that each of us can immediately apply to both our personal and work lives.