Recordings of Convocations

  • 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."

  • Created 13 February 2009; Published 18 February 2009
    Convocation: Tyrone Hayes

    Tyrone Hayes is a biologist and herpetologist who knows that scientific breakthroughs don’t begin and end in the laboratory. They also come from the field. Which is why, more often than not, Hayes can be found wet, muddy, and knee-deep in a swamp at 2 a.m., the time when the frogs come out. Associate professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, Hayes’ primary research focuses on the role of environmental factors on growth and development in amphibians. His studies have revealed how synthetic chemicals (such as the pesticide atrazine which is frequently used in Minnesota) interact with hormones in a variety of ways to alter developmental responses. As these studies also help predict effects in other wildlife and humans, Hayes’ findings reveal a crucial new link between conservation and health. The title of his presentation was "From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads and Men".

  • Created 6 February 2009; Published 13 February 2009
    Convocation: Mark Anthony Neal

    Mark Anthony Neal jokes that if you "Google" the term "black male feminist," his name will invariably show up near the top of the search results. His work, and life, are dedicated to challenging sexism and misogyny. Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University, Neal teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in black popular culture, black masculinity and hip hop aesthetics. A nationally recognized scholar, Neal has been examining issues of race, gender and sexuality for more than a decade. His book Soul Babies examines black popular culture since the end of the civil rights movement. Two of his books, What the Music Said and Songs in the Key of Black Life, examine the ties between black music and culture in the post-civil rights movement. The title of his presentation was "Barack Obama and the Era of the New Black Man."

  • Created 30 January 2009; Published 10 February 2009
    Convocation: David McMillen

    David McMillen is the External Affairs Liaison with the National Archives and Records Administration, where he is also Director of Congressional Relations. He has advised members of Congress on a broad range of information policy issues including the Freedom of Information Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Presidential Records Act, the Privacy Act, the confidentiality of information collected by the government on individuals and businesses, and the laws governing the operation of the National Archives and Records Administration. McMillen previously worked at the U.S. Census Bureau, and has a flair for making the imperative of the Census accessible and engaging. He has a current and historical perspective on how the Census has functioned as an orderly revolution in the distribution of power. The upcoming Census will again be a hot issue, as it will be outrageously expensive to conduct, and the political ownership and status of subgroup populations will continue to be contested. The title of his presentation was "Revolution is in the Air: The American Census."

  • Created 23 January 2009; Published 10 February 2009
    Convocation: Doug Blackmon

    Doug Blackmon is the Wall Street Journal’s bureau chief in Atlanta. Over the past 20 years, he has written extensively about the American quandary of race, exploring the integration of schools during his childhood in a Mississippi Delta farm town, lost episodes of the Civil Rights movement, and, repeatedly, the dilemma of how a contemporary society should grapple with a troubled past. Many of his stories in The Wall Street Journal have explored the interplay of wealth, corporate conduct and racial segregation. In 2001, he revealed how U.S. Steel Corp. relied on forced black laborers in Alabama coal mines in the early 20th century. The article led to his first book, Slavery By Another Name, which broadly examines how a form of neoslavery thrived in the U.S. long after legal abolition. The title of his presentation was "A Persistent Past: Reckoning with Our Troubled Racial History in the Age of Obama."

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