Previous 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.

Judy Shepard, Human Rights Advocate, Anti-Hate Crimes Activist, Author and Mother of Matthew Shepard

Judy Shepard
  • When: March 27, 2019, at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Concert Hall (building G), Sanford/Lake Mary Campus
  • Topic: The Legacy of Matthew Shepard

Judy Shepard draws from personal tragedy to promote a greater understanding of LGBTQ issues and empower audiences to embrace human dignity and diversity through outreach and advocacy in their own communities.

In 1998, Shepard lost her son Matthew to a murder motivated by anti-gay hate that shocked and captivated the nation. Turning tragedy into a crusade for justice, this leading voice in the LGBTQ rights movement has since established The Matthew Shepard Foundation to carry on her son’s legacy. Later, she spearheaded The Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded the federal hate-crime law to include crimes based on gender and sexual orientation.

The author of the bestseller, The Meaning of Matthew, Judy Shepard offers an intimate look at how her life and the entire fight for equal rights changed when her son was killed. With a name now synonymous with activism and equal rights, Shepard leaves an indelible imprint with her words, compassion and raw honesty as she urges audiences to make their schools and communities safer for everyone, regardless of race, sex, religion, or gender identity and/or expression.

The presentation will conclude with a Q&A period. A reception and book signing will immediately follow the presentation.

Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science,
Harvard University

Naomi Oreskes
Photo by Kayana Szm
  • When: Jan. 30, 2019, at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Concert Hall (building G), Sanford/Lake Mary Campus
  • Topic: Defeating the Merchants of Doubt: Where Do We Go from Here?

Dr. Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of earth and planetary sciences. She arrived at Harvard in 2013 after spending 15 years as professor of history and science studies at the University of California, San Diego, and adjunct professor of geosciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Professor Oreskes’s research focuses on the earth and environmental sciences, with a particular interest in understanding scientific consensus and dissent. 

Her 2004 essay, The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change, (Science 306: 1686) has been widely cited, both in the United States and abroad, including in the Royal Society’s publication, A Guide to Facts and Fictions about Climate Change, in the Academy Award-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, and in Ian McEwan’s novel, Solar. Her opinion pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Times (London), Nature, Science,The New Statesman, Frankfurter Allgemeine and elsewhere. Her 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global warming, co-authored with Erik M. Conway, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and received the 2011 Watson-Davis Prize from the History of Science Society.

Merchants of Doubt tells the controversial story of how scientists and scientific advisers, politics and industry, ran campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Dr. Oreskes will discuss the ongoing debates and how we work toward defeating the “merchants of doubt.”

The presentation will conclude with a Q&A period. A reception and book signing will immediately follow the presentation.

Ross Douthat, The New York Times Op-ed Columnist and Author

Ross Douthat
  • When: Nov. 1, 2018, at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Concert Hall (building G), Sanford/Lake Mary Campus
  • Topic: Can the Republican Party Keep the Working Class?

Ross Douthat joined The New York Times as an op-ed columnist in April 2009. His column appears every Wednesday and Sunday. Previously, he was a senior editor at The Atlantic and a blogger for theatlantic.com.

Douthat is the author of Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, published in 2012, and Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (2005), and a co-author, with Reihan Salam, of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream (2008). He is the film critic for National Review.

He lives with his wife and daughters in Washington.

In their book, Douthat and Salam, two of the Right's rising thinkers, challenged conventional wisdom and called upon the GOP to focus on the interests and needs of working-class voters. Douthat will discuss the current state of Republican politics and provide an updated viewpoint on how they can maintain popular support.

The presentation will conclude with a Q&A period. A reception and book signing will immediately follow the presentation.

Ryan Sallans, Transgender Speaker, Author and Advocate

Ryan Sallans
  • Date: March 28, 2018
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: Scouting the Unknown
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series

Ryan Sallans, a professionally trained sexuality educator, shared the story of his transition from female to male with an intermixing of humor and intricate clinical details surrounding the transition process, while exploring the intersections of identity as his identities changed. Sallans also is a public speaker, consultant and author. He specializes in leading conversation regarding health care, campus inclusion and workplace issues impacting the transgender and LGBTQ communities. He has conducted over a thousand presentation and training sessions to diverse audiences, and is the lead subject matter expert and scriptwriter for e-learning courses used around the nation to train health-care professionals and staff. Sallans has appeared in the documentary, Gender Rebel, on MTV's LOGO network and on Larry King Live, Ricki: The New Ricki Lake Show, Trisha, NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook and HuffPost Live. He participated in a Q&A period, reception and book signing following his presentation.

Dr. Michael Kimmel, Author and Sociologist

Dr. Michael Kimmel
  • Date: Feb. 6, 2018
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series

Dr. Michael Kimmel is a world-renowned author, sociologist, global expert and thought leader in gender equity issues, having provided insight to various organizations around the world. He also is founder of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University in New York. A tireless advocate of engaging men to support gender equality, Dr. Kimmel has lectured at more than 300 colleges, universities, and high schools. He has delivered the International Women’s Day annual lecture at the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Council of Europe. He has also worked with the Ministers for Gender Equality of Norway, Denmark and Sweden in developing programs for boys and men. During his presentation, Dr. Kimmel spoke on various topics, including maleness, the importance of engaging males to support gender equality and "a new stage of development" among young people related to the transition from adolescence to adulthood, expounding on his best-selling book Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. He consults widely with corporations, NGOs, and public-sector organizations on gender equity issues. Dr. Kimmel was called “the world’s most prominent male feminist” in The Guardian newspaper in London. He participated in a Q&A period, reception and book signing following his presentation.

Dr. Naomi Wolf, Feminist and Author

Naomi Wolf
  • Date: Oct. 4, 2017
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: Feminism: Next Up, the Millennial Ways
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series

Naomi Wolf, is one of world’s most influential feminists and bestselling author of The Beauty Myth. She teaches public presentation to Rhodes Scholars and was a visiting lecturer at Stony Brook University. Dr. Wolf has written eight bestselling works of nonfiction, including Give Me Liberty, which includes effective tools for citizens to promote civic engagement and create sustainable democracy, and the iTunes bestseller, Vagina: A New Biography. The End of America, her New York Times bestseller, is a call to preserve liberty and democracy, winning the 2008 Nautilus Silver Award for social change and activism. Dr. Wolf also writes columns and blog posts for Project Syndicate, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Wall St. Journal. She is the co-founder of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership and The American Freedom Campaign. Dr. Wolf presented the topic “Feminism: Next Up, the Millennial Way,” exploring the way millennials are making the feminist movement their own outside the stereotypes and assumptions of the past, and discussing how they can keep their movement and energy from being sidelined into more superficial issues as the basic fights remain ahead. She participated in a Q&A period and reception following her presentation.

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, Astrophysicist, Educator, Humanitarian

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi
  • Date: April 5, 2017
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: Reach for the Stars, No Matter What the Odds
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, a regular on Discovery Network, Science Channel and National Geographic, is a world renowned astrophysicist, teacher, inventor and humanitarian. He grew up in impoverished Mississippi and the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans with many of his “role models” involved in the worlds of drugs and crime. Nicknamed “The Gangsta Nerd” many years ago, Dr. Oluseyi embraces this identity as it speaks to his past, present and future, as someone who believes in the power of passion and dreams. Currently, Dr. Oluseyi has five degrees, 80 publications including books, scientific and technology publications, more than 11 patents and has received several fellowships, honors and awards. Dr. Oluseyi’s mission is to pass on knowledge, process and results to the next generation, along the way dispelling the myth of what it takes to be a scientist. In his presentation, he shared his story and his exciting work with the 100 Year Starship Project to help lay the groundwork for the first human mission to a nearby planetary system. Dr. Oluseyi participated in a Q&A period and reception following his presentation.

Sandra Cisneros, Author, Poet

Sandra Cisneros
  • Date: Oct. 3, 2016
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: Readings from A House of My Own
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series, Seminole State's Department of Humanities, History & Modern Languages and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Best known for her debut novel, The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros is internationally known for her poetry and fiction. She has earned several awards for her work, including the MacArthur Fellowship, two National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships and a Texas Medal of the Arts. Cisneros is founder of Los MacArturos (the Latino MacArthur Fellows), the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. Cisneros participated in a book signing and reception following her presentation.

Van Jones, Professor, Pundit, Author

Van Jones
  • Date: Sept. 14, 2016
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: Election 2016 – Protest & Politics in the Age of Twitter
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series

Van Jones has unique insight into America’s turbulent political scene. He has worked closely with political players at all levels – and across the spectrum. On the left, he has been allied with everyone from Richard Branson to movements, such as Black Lives Matter. On the right, he has campaigned to win criminal justice reform alongside Newt Gingrich and Koch Industries. Former President George W. Bush signed his first legislative proposal, the Green Jobs Act. Then President Obama appointed him to be special advisor on green jobs. Most recently, Jones was "on the ground" in Ferguson, Charleston and Selma (for the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march there). Jones, a civil rights leader, former Obama White House advisor and CNN political correspondent, is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream. Jones was named one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2009 and one of Fast Company's 12 Most Creative Minds on Earth. He also is the founder and president of Dream Corps, an incubator, platform and home for world-changing initiatives that empower the most vulnerable in our society. Jones participated in a book signing and reception following his presentation.

Temple Grandin, Professor, Author, Autism Activist

Temple Grandin
Photo by Rosalie Winard
  • Date: April 6, 2016
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series

When Temple Grandin was born in 1947, autism had only just been named. Today it is more prevalent than ever, with one in 88 children diagnosed on the spectrum. Weaving her own experience with remarkable new discoveries, Temple Grandin – one of the most respected and beloved voices in the field – spoke to attendees on the topic of autism, bringing her singular perspective to a thrilling journey into the heart of the autism revolution. Grandin was listed on Time magazine's 2010 list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and she was the subject of an Emmy-winning HBO original film starring Claire Danes. Grandin participated in a book signing and reception following her presentation.

Sarah Susanka, Architect, Thought Leader, Author of the Not So Big Series

Sarah Susanka
Photo by taylortazphoto.com
  • Date: Feb. 24, 2016
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: Not So Big Living: A New Way of Being in the World
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series

Sarah Susanka spoke with attendees about her Not So Big Life philosophy. The philosophy is one that, on the surface, looks very much like the life you're already living. But your orientation to what you do and how you do it, as well as what it all means, is entirely different. The secret to a more balanced life lies in letting go of obligations that no longer serve their purpose, as well as becoming more aware of how your thoughts shape the world around you. Susanka participated in a book signing and reception following her presentation.

Keith Boykin, Author, Broadcaster, Commentator

Keith Boykin
  • Date: Feb. 3, 2016
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: Being Black & Gay in America
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Office of Student Life, the Black Faculty & Staff Association and Unity Gay Straight Alliance

Keith Boykin, best-selling author of "One More River to Cross: Black and Gay in America," spoke to attendees about the issues concerning race and sexuality in the United States. Boykin, currently a contributor for CNBC and a commentator for MSNBC, has appeared on a number of prominent national media programs, including Anderson Cooper 360, The O'Reilly Factor, The Tyra Banks Show and The Tom Joyner Morning Show. He has published four books, each nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.

Clint Van Zandt, Author, FBI Profiler and Hostage Negotiator

Clint Van Zandt
  • Date: Oct. 14, 2015
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: Reading a Crime Scene Like a Book: The Real "CSI"
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series

Former FBI Profiler Clint Van Zandt reviewed the history of crime scene investigations and, through case studies, showed how these techniques are applied to solve crimes. He also discussed the history of modern-day crime scene investigations and how today's criminal investigators "read" a crime scene to develop a profile of the criminal. He used real-life situations and crime scenes will be used to illustrate the points investigators need to know to solve such cases. Van Zandt is author of two books, "Dynamic Processes of Crisis Negotiation" and "Facing Down Evil: Life on the Edge as an FBI Hostage Negotiator."

Julia "Butterfly" Hill, Author, Activist and Poet

Julia Hill
  • Date: April 15, 2015
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: What's Your Tree: Having a Life of Purpose, Passion and Power
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series

Julia "Butterfly" Hill, author, activist and poet, discussed how you can make a difference in your world. She shared her experience of spending 738 days in the branches of a 1,000-year-old redwood tree in protest of the destruction of the world's last remaining ancient forest. The protest drew international attention and resulted in an agreement that provided permanent protection for the tree. She participated in a book signing and reception following her presentation.

Guy Hoffman, Professor and Roboticist

Guy Hoffman
  • Date: Feb. 5, 2015
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: Living, Jamming and Jelling with Robots
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series

Guy Hoffman, assistant professor in the School of Communication at IDC Herzliya, Israel and co-director of the IDC Media Innovation Lab, shared his academic research, which investigates human-robot interaction, collaboration and learning. The aim of his research is integrating robots into people's daily lives. He participated in a reception following his presentation.

Steve Pemberton, Child Advocate, Chief Diversity Officer and Divisional VP for Walgreens

Steve Penburton
  • Date: Oct. 23, 2014
  • Location: Sanford/Lake Mary Campus Fine Arts Concert Hall
  • Topic: A Chance in the World
  • Sponsor: Seminole State College Speaker Series

Steve Pemberton discussed his memoir, "A Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home," which chronicles his difficult path through foster care and his determined search for his family. He participated in a reception and book signing following his presentation

Bill Belleville, Enviromental Writer and Documentary Filmmaker

Bill Belleville
  • 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."

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

Dr. Bernice King
  • 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.

"Judge Alex" Ferrer and Orlando Attorney Diana Tennis

Ferrer and 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.

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

Nikki Giovanni
  • 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.

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

Bill Ivey
  • 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.

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

Dr. Ken Crews
  • 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.

Koko Tanimoto Kondo, Hiroshima Survivor and Peace Activist

Koko Kondo
  • 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."

Clifton Taulbert, Pulitzer Prize-Nominated Author

Clifton Taulbert
  • 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?"

Gary Schoeniger, Entrepreneur

Gary Schoeniger
  • 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?"

Billy Collins, Poet Laureate

Billy Collins
  • 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.

Tom Hayden, 1960s Activist

Tom Hayden
  • 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.

Woodie King Jr., Theater Director

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.

Ian Cheney, Documentary Filmmaker

Ian Cheney
  • 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.

Daniel Ellsberg, Author and Lecturer

Daniel Ellsberg
  • 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.

Ron Soodalter, Author

Ron Soodalter
  • 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.

Mathew Staver, Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman

Mathew Staver
  • 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.

Bobby Seale, Civil Rights Activist

Bobby Seale
  • 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.

Norm Lewis, Broadway Performer and Seminole State Alumnus

Norm Lewis
  • 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.

Jay Blake, NHRA Team Owner

Jay Blake
  • 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.

Roger Newman, Pulitzer Prize Finalist

Roger Newman
  • 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.

Robin Lippincott, Novelist and Seminole State Alumnus

Robin Lippincott
  • 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.

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