Academic Speaker Series

Spring 2016 Academic Speaker Series

The Landmark College Speaker Series' mission is to promote the intellectual environment of the College and to facilitate discussion of important issues in the community. Free and open to the public, these events are held on Mondays at 7 p.m. in the Brooks M. O’Brien Auditorium, located in the East Academic Building of Landmark College, unless otherwise noted.

The 2015-16 Academic Speaker Series is sponsored in part by GPI Construction, Green Mountain Tent Rentals, and The Richards Group.

February 8: "Rapping with the Professor" with Professor Lyrical
February 29: "Vermont Vision for a Multicultural Future" with Curtiss Reed, Jr.
March 28: "Making Meaningful Mischief" with The Yes Men
April 11: The Boreal Forest in a Time of Change" with Dr. Brian Young

Headshot of Professor Lyrical"Rapping with the Professor: The process of self-betterment, and redefining your own identity”
Professor Lyrical
Monday, February 8, 7 p.m.
Greenhoe Theater, Fine Arts Building

Watch the Video

As an award-winning rapper and full-time teaching professor of mathematics, Professor Lyrical will discuss (via rapping live and doing spoken-word poetry) how he has taken two seemingly very different career choices and blended them into one unique career. Lyrical will explain how he uses the positive aspects of Hip Hop culture to empower himself and his students to advocate for socioeconomic change, while providing tangible examples of how others can do the same.

Professor Lyrical holds a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He also has completed the academic coursework for his Doctorate in Higher Education at Northeastern University, and he successfully defended his thesis on "Increasing STEM Degree Attainment among Underrepresented Populations" in 2015. Professor Lyrical's album and book, both titled "PUT ‘EM ALL TO SHAME," are physically packaged together into what Lyrical calls "the world's first albook," or album-book.

Curtiss Reed sitting outside on bench“Vermont Vision for a Multicultural Future”
Curtiss Reed
Monday, February 29, 7 p.m.
Brooks M. O’Brien Auditorium, East Academic Building

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Curtiss Reed, Jr., will chronicle how Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity is leading the nation’s most rural and least racially diverse state to become the epicenter of inclusive and equitable thought and practice in the United States through its Vermont Vision for a Multicultural Future initiative. Vermont Partnership recently completed year eleven of the anticipated 40-year initiative.

Reed serves as executive director of Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity. He has spent his life fighting to create institutional and governmental structures that recognize, value, support, nurture, and provide justice for those individuals outside the insular realities of the majority. His journey began as a child in St. Louis fighting Jim Crow racism, followed by two decades of social and economic justice work in international arenas.  For the past 14 years, his work has focused on Vermont. Throughout he has tried to be humble, gracious, compassionate, and skillful in the use of inquiry as a subversive activity.

"Making Meaningful Mischief" 
The Yes Men
Monday, March 28, 7 p.m.
Greenhoe Theatre, Fine Arts Building

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The Yes Men are Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, two guys who couldn’t hold down a job until they became representatives of Exxon, Halliburton, Dow Chemical, and the U.S. federal government. As the Yes Men, they use humor, truth, and lunacy to bring media attention to the crimes of their unwilling employers.

Armed with nothing but quick wits and thrift store suits, the Yes Men impersonate big-time corporate criminals to draw attention to their crimes against humanity and the environment. Their outrageous satirical interventions at business events, on the internet, on television, and in the streets form the basis of two award-winning feature documentaries, The Yes Men and The Yes Men Fix the World. Their latest feature documentary, The Yes Men Are Revolting, adds to their hit list some of the biggest climate criminals. Their work has been shown in the Whitney Biennial, among other venues, and has received numerous awards. Bichlbaum and Bonnano are the founders of the Yes Lab and the Action Switchboard, an online platform for generating real-life direct actions in the service of social movements. Sponsored in part by Evil Twin Booking Agency.

Brian Young sitting outdoors in front of mountains with husky dog“The Boreal Forest in a Time of Change”
Dr. Brian Young
Monday, April 11, 7 p.m.
Brooks M. O’Brien Auditorium, East Academic Building

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The boreal forest is the world’s largest biome and is currently undergoing major transformations due to climate change. All aspects of boreal forest ecosystem function are likely to be affected. Using the Alaskan boreal forest as a model, Dr. Brian Young will discuss the changes in the forest due to these rising temperatures in terms of production, diversity, wildfires, and insect outbreaks. He will present scenarios on what the future may hold for the region.

Dr. Young realized his love of science while receiving his B.S. in Biology at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon.  He became a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, working with villagers on natural resource management. He next worked as a high school science teacher in Colorado, Egypt, and Alaska. At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, he earned an M.S. in Biology, with a focus on the chemical defense compounds of aspen trees, and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Sustainability, focusing on the diversity of boreal forests. Recent projects include investigating post-harvest reforestation dynamics, reshaping reforestation guidelines with the Alaska Division of Forestry, and revitalizing archival forest inventory data with the U.S. Forest Service.

Past Speakers

Below are videos of some of our past speakers. You can view the full list of past Academic Speakers and watch videos of their talks here.

Dr. Temple Grandin, Dave Cole, and More: Selected Videos of Past Speakers

Dr. Temple Grandin on Different Kinds of Minds An Evening on the Great Northern Express with author Howard Frank Mosher Virginia Prescott, host of NHPR's Word of Mouth, on Listening Beneath the Noise LC alumnus Dave Cole on Craft and Craftmanship in Contemporary Art