Recordings of Convocations

  • Created 6 November 2009; Published 10 November 2009
    Convocation: Luci Tapahonso

    Luci Tapahonso is an award-winning Navajo poet and short story author. Navajo was her first language but she learned English before starting school at the Navajo Methodist Mission in Farmington, New Mexico. She majored in English at the University of New Mexico, as an undergraduate and a graduate student, and is now Professor of English at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she teaches Poetry Writing and American Indian Literature. She is the author of three children’s books and five books of poetry. She structures prose and poetry that are mixtures of family stories, Navajo culture and legendary tales. Utilizing many of the same storytelling techniques used by many Native American writers, she highlights aspects of her life that are important to her and has shaped the woman she is today. Unlike most Native American writers, however, Tapahonso’s writing is a translation from original work she has created in her tribe’s native tongue. Her work includes original songs and chants designed for performance. For this reason, her English work is strongly rhythmic and uses syntactical structures unusual in English language poetry. The title of her presentation was "A Radiant Curve: Stories and Poems."

  • Created 30 October 2009; Published 28 October 2009
    Convocation: Jonathan Morduch

    Jonathan Morduch is Professor of Public Policy and Economics at New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. His research focuses on international development, poverty and financial access. He is the Managing Director of the Financial Access Initiative, a research consortium of leading development economists that aims to expand access to financial services for low-income individuals in developing countries. He has been chair of the United Nations Committee on Poverty Statistics and a member of the U.N. Advisors Group on Inclusive Financial Sectors. He has served as an advisor to the United Nations, World Economic Forum, Pro Mujer, and the Grameen Foundation. He is a member of the editorial boards of the World Bank Economic Review, Journal of Economic Perspectives, and Journal of Globalization and Development. Co-author of The Economics of Microfinance and Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day, Morduch has taught on the Economics faculty at Harvard University, and has held fellowships or visiting positions at Stanford, Princeton, and the University of Tokyo. The title of his presentation was "How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day."

  • Created 23 October 2009; Published 28 October 2009
    Convocation: John Harris '85

    John Harris (Carleton Class of 1985) stumbled into journalism during his freshman year at Carleton when a friend asked him to write a couple of articles for The Carletonian. He did, and the effect was instantaneous. Suddenly, he was certain what he wanted to do in life. For more than two decades, Harris worked for the Washington Post, serving as White House reporter. In an effort to break the traditional journalism mold, in 2006 he co-founded The Politico (print newspaper) and where he now serves as editor-in-chief. The title of his presentation was "Barack Obama v. the Freak Show: Politics and Media on the Wild Frontier."

  • Created 16 October 2009; Published 28 October 2009
    Convocation: Mark Bauerlein

    Mark Bauerlein is Professor of English at Emory University where he has taught since 1989, with a two-and-a-half year break in 2003-05 to serve as the Director, Office of Research and Analysis, at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversaw studies about culture and American life. He earned his doctorate in English at UCLA in 1988. His publications include Whitman and the American Idiom (1991), Literary Criticism: An Autopsy (1997), The Pragmatic Mind: Explorations in the Psychology of Belief (1997), Negrophobia: A Race Riot in Atlanta, 1906 (2001), Civil Rights Chronicle: The African American Struggle for Freedom (2003), and A Handbook of Literary Terms (2004). Apart from his scholarly work, he publishes in popular periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Post, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. His latest book attracted national buzz even in advance of its publication. Bauerlein’s provocative, deeply researched book finds ignorance in abundance and the Internet an all too enticing web of social networking that further insulates youth from their intellectual development. He contends that the technology that was supposed to make young adults more astute, diversify their tastes, and improve their minds had the opposite effect. The title of the book, and the title of his presentation, is "The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future."

  • Created 2 October 2009; Published 28 October 2009
    Convocation: Drew Miller '81

    Drew Miller (Carleton Class of 1981) brings locally grown talent with a global reputation. His Minneapolis-based band Boiled in Lead have for over 26 years been innovators in bringing folk music kicking and screaming to rock audiences (and rock music to screaming folk audiences!) Performing on fiddle, guitars, bass and percussion, the players improvise freely yet stay in sync, playing a vital mix of original and traditional material—a blend of Irish folk, American folk rock, and world music. The group and the individual musicians have won over 20 Minnesota Music Awards, and toured throughout the United States and in Europe. The convocation presentation of lecture-and-demonstration was followed in the evening with a public concert.

  • Created 14 September 2009; Published 15 September 2009
    Opening Convocation: Gary Nabhan

    Gary Paul Nabhan, PhD, is an Arab-American writer, lecturer, food and farming advocate, rural lifeways folklorist, and conservationist who has been called the "father of the local food movement." His Opening Convocation address was titled "Renewing America's Food Traditions."

    Gary Nabhan has authored more than twenty books on natural and cultural history, conservation, and sustainable agriculture. In addition, he has lectured at universities in Mexico, Lebanon, Peru, Oman, Guatemala, and Italy, including Slow Food’s University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo. For his literary work and his grassroots conservation and community-based ethnobiology projects, Nabhan has been honored with the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing, a MacArthur Genius Fellowship, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Conservation Biology, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Pew Fellowship in Conservation and Environment, and a Quivira Coalition award for excellence in science that contributes to “the radical center.”

    Dr. Nabhan recently accepted a tenured professorship as a Research Social Scientist based at the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona, his alma mater.

  • Created 29 May 2009; Published 5 June 2009
    Honors Convocation: Anne E. Patrick

    The Honors Convocation is held each year on the last Friday of spring term to recognize faculty and students for their accomplishments and their service to the community. This year's address was delivered by Anne E. Patrick, William H. Laird Professor of Religion and the Liberal Arts. Professor Patrick received her bachelor’s degree from Medaille College, and earned a master’s degree from the University of Maryland and a PhD from the University of Chicago. Her special interests are in the areas of religion and literature, and Christian feminist theology and ethics. A past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, Professor Patrick was also a founding vice-president of the International Network of Societies for Catholic Theology. She is the author of numerous articles and reviews, and the book Liberating Conscience: Feminist Explorations in Catholic Moral Theology. She is now completing another volume, Conscience in Context: Vocation, Virtue, and History. The title of her convocation address was "On Being Unfinished (De Imperfectione)."

  • Created 8 May 2009; Published 14 May 2009
    Convocation: Edmund Pellegrino

    Edmund Pellegrino has played a central role in shaping the fields of bioethics and the philosophy of medicine. His writings encompass original explorations of the healing relationship, the need to place humanism in the medical curriculum, the nature of the patient's good, and the importance of a virtue-based normative ethics for health care. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, he has authored or co-authored twenty books and is the founding editor of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Pellegrino is Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Medical Ethics at the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical Center. In 2004, he was named to the International Bioethics Committee of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which is the only advisory body within the United Nations system to engage in reflection on the ethical implications of advances in life sciences. He also serves as Chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics. The title of his presentation was "The Moral Foundation of Medical Practice."

  • Created 1 May 2009; Published 5 May 2009
    Convocation: Kip Fulbeck

    Kip Fulbeck is an award-winning artist, slam poet and filmmaker. He is the author of Permanence: Tattoo Portraits, Part Asian, 100% Hapa, and Paper Bullets: A Fictional Autobiography, as well as the director of a dozen short films including Banana Split and Lilo & Me. Fulbeck has been featured on CNN, MTV, and PBS, and has performed and exhibited in over 20 countries. He speaks nationwide on identity, multiraciality and pop culture, mixing together spoken word, stand-up comedy, political activism and personal stories. A challenging and inspirational teacher, Fulbeck is a professor of art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has been named an Outstanding Faculty Member four times. He is also an avid surfer, guitar player, motorcycle rider, ocean lifeguard, and pug enthusiast. A complete overachiever despite being only half Chinese, Kip is also a nationally-ranked Masters swimmer. The title of his presentation was "What Are You? The Changing Face of America."

  • Created 24 April 2009; Published 5 May 2009
    Convocation: Robert Oden III

    Robert Oden III is a Senior Commercialisation Manager at EcoSecurities, one of the world's leading companies in the business of originating, developing and trading carbon credits. The last 10 years has seen EcoSecurities involved in the development of many of the global carbon market’s most important milestones, including developing the world’s first Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project to be registered under the Kyoto Protocol, and the first to be issued with carbon credits. Today, the company is working on over 400 projects in 36 countries using 18 different technologies, with the potential to generate more than 142 million carbon credits. A 1993 graduate of Harvard University and the son of Carleton president Robert Oden Jr., Oden's presentation was titled "The Business (?) of Saving the Planet (??)."

  • Created 17 April 2009; Published 5 May 2009
    Convocation: Doug Lansky

    Doug Lansky is an adventurer, award-winning author, and world-travel expert. After working the copying machine at Late Night with David Letterman, Spy Magazine, and The New Yorker during college, Lansky rejected life as a professional intern and hit the road. After two and a half years working his way around the planet—picking bananas in Israel, snowmobile guiding in the Alps, selling carpets in Morocco, and hitching on yachts—a car accident in Thailand brought him home. Six months later, Lansky was back on the road, but this time with a nationally syndicated travel column that grew to reach over 10 million readers in 40 major newspapers. Lansky seeks to help others avoid the pitfalls on the road less traveled and adapt an inquisitive travel mindset. He imparted lessons learned while backpacking through more than 100 countries in his presentation titled "Get Lost."

  • Created 10 April 2009; Published 15 April 2009
    Convocation: Daryl Davis

    Daryl Davis, a Grammy Award winning blues and R&B pianist, took an extraordinary journey into the heart of one of America’s most fanatical institutions – the Ku Klux Klan. Driven by the need to understand those who, without ever having met him, hated him because of the color of his skin, Daryl decided to seek out the roots of racism. Davis met Roger Kelly, Imperial Wizard of the Invincible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and began to explore the Klan, gaining real insight into its workings and members’ minds. This quest into the heart of ignorance and hatred gave Davis a ray of hope for harmony between races. Davis believes that after decades of violence and hatred, racism can be overcome as we get to know one another on a social basis, not under a cover of darkness. The author of the acclaimed book Klan-Destine Relationships, Davis seeks to empower others to confront their own prejudices and overcome their fears, establishing a common ground to help forge peace even with the most unlikely adversaries. The title of his presentation was "A Black Man's Odyssey into the Ku Klux Klan."

  • Created 3 April 2009; Published 8 April 2009
    Convocation: Craig Rennebohm '67

    Craig Rennebohm walks a regular route through downtown Seattle, seeking out those who are most vulnerable; those whose confusion or fear makes it hard to seek or accept assistance; those whose illness makes them feel isolated, unworthy, and hopeless. Rennebohm is there for the person who is seriously disturbed and uncertain about where or how to find aid. Working tenderly, he builds trust, helps find shelter and care, and continues to walk alongside as each person makes their way toward a new and stable life. In 1987, Rennebohm founded the Mental Health Chaplaincy in Seattle which, under his leadership, has grown to serve families, create mental health ministries in local congregations, and advocate for an effective and readily accessible community mental health system. His pioneering work with the homeless mentally ill community is known around the U.S. and overseas. The title of his presentation was "Recovering Human Neighborhood: From the Street to Systemic Change."

  • Created 27 February 2009; Published 5 March 2009
    Convocation: Kent Wommack

    Kent Wommack has worked since 1982 for The Nature Conservancy, and is often credited with changing the scale of conservation projects in this country by leading some of the Conservancy's largest, most complex and innovative projects. The world's leading conservation organization, the Conservancy works around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Since its founding in 1951, they have protected more than 117 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide, and they operate more than 100 marine conservation projects in all 50 states and more than 30 countries. The success of the Conservancy is due to their science-based approach, aided by their more than 700 staff scientists. They pursue non-confrontational, pragmatic solutions to conservation challenges, partnering with indigenous communities, businesses, governments, multilateral institutions, and other non-profits. The title of his presentation was "Conservation as if Nature and People Both Mattered".

  • Created 20 February 2009; Published 2 March 2009
    Convocation: David Quammen

    David Quammen is a science journalist and nonfiction author. He travels on assignment for various magazines, usually to jungles, deserts, or swamps, and his accustomed beat is the world of field biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation. He currently holds the positions of Contributing Writer for National Geographic Magazine and Wallace Stegner Professor of Western American Studies at Montana State University. In his book The Reluctant Mr. Darwin, Quammen focuses careful attention on Charles Darwin, father of modern biology and source of an idea so radical its implications are still only imperfectly understood: evolution by natural selection. Quammen tracks the naturalist's life through the two decades following his epiphany that "natural selection" formed the basis of evolution, a time during which Darwin kept his explosive idea under wraps and pondered when and how to release it to the world. Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, Quammen’s presentation was titled "Charles Darwin Against Himself: Caution versus Honesty in the Life of a Reluctant Revolutionary."

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