Speakers

Seminole State College presents speakers representing diverse views and interests, as well as panel discussions of topics in the news. This page features previous speakers who have given presentations at the College. All of these events are free for currently enrolled Seminole State students and to the community. For a list of upcoming speakers and events, please check the College Events Calendar.

 

Bill Belleville, Enviromental Writer and Documentary Filmmaker

  • Date: April 11, 2014
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: "Celebrating the Wild Side of Florida: Portals into Nature, Culture, and Sense of Place"
  • Sponsors: Seminole State Biology Department and the Florida Humanities Council; co-sponsored by the Office of Student Life, Seminole State Library and Read to Succeed

Bill Belleville, Sanford-based author and filmmaker, discussed Florida's diverse ecosystem and participated in a book signing following his presentation. The event, which was funded by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, was part of the College's 2014 Biology Colloquium series titled "The Environment Around Us."  

Bill Belleville

Dr. Bernice King, CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change

  • Date: March 19, 2014
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: "Raising the Standard: A Look Forward"
  • Sponsors: Seminole State College Speaker Series, Office of Student Life and Read to Succeed, Seminole State's Quality Enhancement Plan

Dr. King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and CEO of the King Center, spoke about nonviolence and social change and participated in a book signing following her speech. Dr. King's appearance was the main event of Seminole State's monthlong Choose Nonviolence campaign in March.

Dr. Bernice King

"Judge Alex" Ferrer and Orlando Attorney Diana Tennis

  • Date: Sept. 27, 2013
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Automotive Showroom
  • Topic: "The Zimmerman Trial Unplugged"
  • Sponsors: Legal Studies Program Law for Lunch Bunch and the Seminole State Mock Trial Club

Ferrer, retired judge and arbiter on Fox's "Judge Alex," and Tennis, of the Law Office of Diana M. Tennis, P.A., shared their insights and professional perspectives on the strategies, decisions and surprising moments of one of Seminole County's most publicized trials.

Ferrer and Tennis

Nikki Giovanni, Award-Winning Author, Poet, Activist and Educator

  • Date: Sept. 5, 2013
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: "Poetry: A Mirror or a Window"
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series and Read to Succeed, Seminole State's Quality Enhancement Plan

Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech and author of more than 30 books, read from her works and answered questions.

Nikki Giovanni

Bill Ivey, Arts Advocate and Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts

  • Date: Jan. 29, 2013
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: "The Importance of the Arts"
  • Sponsor: Arts and Communication Department; co-sponsored by the Humanities Department and Academic Affairs

Ivey, author of "Arts Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights," discussed the importance of the arts to society.

Bill Ivey

Dr. Ken Crews, Founding Director of the Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia University

  • Date: Sept. 28, 2012
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Multipurpose Room
  • Topic: "What Copyright Means to You"
  • Sponsor: Seminole State Library

Dr. Crews conducted two interactive forums about recent developments in fair use and how they apply to higher education.

Dr. Ken Crews

Koko Tanimoto Kondo, Hiroshima Survivor and Peace Activist

  • Date: Sept. 20, 2012
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: "Surviving and Enduring"
  • Sponsor: Seminole State Humanities Department in conjunction with the University of Central Florida's Global Perspectives Office

Kondo discussed her life as a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and talked about her father, Kiyoshi Tanimoto, one of the six people profiled in John  Hersey's book "Hiroshima."

Koko  Kondo

Clifton Taulbert, Pulitzer Prize-Nominated Author

  • Date: May 3, 2012
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: The entrepreneurial mindset
  • Sponsor: Center for Economic Development and Workforce Central Florida

Taulbert and Gary Schoeniger discussed the power of an entrepreneurial mindset, as described in their book "Who Owns the Ice House?"

Clifton Taulbert

Gary Schoeniger, Entrepreneur

  • Date: May 3, 2012
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: The entrepreneurial mindset
  • Sponsor: Center for Economic Development and Workforce Central Florida

Schoeniger and Gary Taulbert discussed the power of an entrepreneurial mindset, as described in their book "Who Owns the Ice House?"

Gary Schoeniger

Billy Collins, Poet Laureate

  • Date: March 27, 2012
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Multipurpose Room
  • Topic: Tuesday Voices special event
  • Sponsor: English Department and Seminole State College Library

Collins, Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001-03, spoke as part of Tuesday Voices, Seminole State’s open-mic poetry reading series. Collins read from his works and answered questions.

Billy Collins

Tom Hayden, 1960s Activist

  • Date: March 15, 2012
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Concert Hall
  • Topic: President Obama and Lessons of the Sixties
  • Sponsor: Humanities Department and the Art & Phyllis Grindle Honors Institute

Hayden spoke as part of the College’s Living History Series. He has spent more than 50 years as a social and political activist, including 18 years in the California Legislature. He was the primary author of the Port Huron Statement, the 1962 manifesto that launched Students for a Democratic Society.

Tom Hayden

Woodie King Jr., Theater Director

    • Date: Feb. 5, 2012
    • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Theatre
    • Topic: The intersection of language, music and history in "The Piano Lesson"
    • Sponsor: The Arts and Communications Department
      Black theater icon Woodie King Jr. directed Seminole State College's production of August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson," which was staged Feb. 3-5 and 9-12. The renowned founder and producing director of New Federal Theatre in New York City has worked with some of the world's best actors, including Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington and Phylicia Rashad, as well as the late Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.
      Woodie King Jr., theater director

      Ian Cheney, Documentary Filmmaker

      • Date: March 2, 2011
      • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Concert Hall
      • Topic: Sustainability
      • Sponsor: Student Activities and the Career Development Center
      Filmmaker and eco-activist Ian Cheney showed his film “The Greening of Southie,” about Boston’s first residential “green” structure, the Macallen Building. He discussed how it united a tight-knit, working-class community and spurred construction workers and environmentalists to think about the city of the future. After the collegewide screening of the film, Cheney gave a presentation and answered questions.
      Ian Cheney

      Daniel Ellsberg, Author and Lecturer

      • Date: Feb. 17, 2011
      • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Concert Hall
      • Topic: Government secrecy
      • Sponsors: Humanities Department and Student Activities
      Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst who copied and leaked to the media the top-secret “Pentagon Papers” -- documenting decision-making in relation to the Vietnam War -- discussed his own experience as well as the WikiLeaks controversy, and held a question-and-answer session.
      Daniel Ellsberg

      Ron Soodalter, Author

      • Date: Nov. 16, 2010
      • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Multipurpose Room
      • Topic: Human trafficking
      • Sponsor: The Art & Phyllis Grindle Honors Institute
      Ron Soodalter, author of “The Slave Next Door” and numerous magazine articles, spoke about the reality of human trafficking and slavery in the United States.
      Ron Soodalter

      Mathew Staver, Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman

      • Date: Sept. 15, 2010
      • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Concert Hall
      • Topic: Constitutional privacy
      • Sponsors: Seminole State's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and the Legal Studies Program's Law for Lunch Bunch
      Mathew Staver, dean of Liberty University’s School of Law, discussed the separation of church and state; the fourth, fifth and sixth amendments; and privacy rights.
      Mathew Staver

      Bobby Seale, Civil Rights Activist

      • Date: March 24, 2010
      • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Gymnasium
      • Topic: Activism
      • Sponsors: Social Science and Humanities departments; the Office of Diversity and Equity, Student Government Association, and the Art & Phyllis Grindle Honors Institute.
      Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panthers, discussed his days as a '60s political activist and his more recent efforts on behalf of people combating social injustice.
      Bobby Seale

      Norm Lewis, Broadway Performer and Seminole State Alumnus

      • Date: Jan. 14, 2010
      • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Building
      • Topic: Auditions
      • Sponsor: Instrumental Music Program
      During a three-hour master class, Seminole State alumnus Norm Lewis coached music students in the art of auditioning for a musical theater production. Lewis closed the evening with a concert in the Concert Hall as part of Heritage Jubilee, a celebration of African-American achievement.
      Norm Lewis

      Jay Blake, NHRA Team Owner

      • Date: Nov. 25, 2008
      • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus CFADA Professional Automotive Training Center
      • Topic: Overcoming obstacles to success
      • Sponsor: Automotive Technology Program
      Jay Blake, blind crew chief and owner of the National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) Permatex Follow a Dream race team, spoke to automotive students about overcoming obstacles and pursuing their goals through teamwork, persistence and optimism.
      Jay Blake

      Roger Newman, Pulitzer Prize Finalist

      • Date: Jan. 23, 2008
      • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Concert Hall
      • Topic: Civil liberties, surveillance and terrorism
      • Sponsor: Faculty Institute
      Newman, biographer of Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, won the Scribes Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography. He discussed freedom and technology in a time of crisis against the commands of the Constitution.
      Roger Newman

      Robin Lippincott, Novelist and Seminole State Alumnus

      • Date: Nov. 29, 2007
      • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Multipurpose Room
      • Topic: Readings from his novel “In the Meantime”
      • Sponsor: English Department
      Robin Lippincott, who says he discovered his love for writing at Seminole State, read from “In the Meantime,” his novel about the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. His work has appeared in “The Paris Review,” “Fence,” “The New York Times Book Review,” “The Literary Review” and many other journals and anthologies.
      Robin Lippincott

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