Seminole State announces 2018-19 Speaker Series

Saturday, October 20, 2018
Written by: Tyrone Law

Seminole State College of Florida has announced the lineup for its 2018-19 Speaker Series, which will include three well-known presenters, Ross Douthat, Dr. Naomi Oreskes and Judy Shepard. The series kicks off in November at the College’s Sanford/Lake Mary Campus. All events will begin at 7 p.m. in the Concert Hall (building G). 

Ross Douthat, Nov. 1

Ross Douthat, author, blogger and “New York Times” op-ed columnist will open the Speaker Series on Nov. 1. Douthat will discuss the current state of Republican politics and provide an updated viewpoint on how the party can maintain popular support.

Douthat is the author of Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics,” and “Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class.”  He also co-authored, with Reihan Salam, “Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.”

Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Jan. 30

The College will host Dr. Naomi Oreskes, professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University on Jan. 30.

Dr. Oreskes is one of the world’s most influential voices on climate change advocacy and an award-winning author of “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.” She will present the topic, “Defeating the Merchants of Doubt: Where Do We Go from Here?”

In her presentation, Dr. Oreskes will examine corporate-financed efforts to confuse and bring about public skepticism regarding scientific research surrounding topics like climate change. She will also speak on the ongoing debates and how to work toward defeating the “merchants of doubt.”

Judy Shepard, March 27

Judy Shepard, leading LGBTQ activist, human rights advocate and president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation will conclude the 2018-19 Speaker Series on March 27.

Shepherd and her husband, David, established the Matthew Shepard Foundation to honor the legacy of their 21-year-old son, Matthew, who was murdered as a result of anti-gay hate in 1998. She also spearheaded the Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded the federal hate-crime law to include crimes based on gender and sexual orientation. 

Shepard, best-selling author of “The Meaning of Matthew,” will present the theme of equal rights for all, as she shares what people can do as individuals and communities to make this world a more accepting place for everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation. Her presentation is co-sponsored by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of Seminole State’s yearlong commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, which many believe sparked the present-day LGBTQ civil rights movement in the U.S.

All presentations will conclude with a Q&A period, with a reception and book signing immediately following in the Student Center (building C) at Seminole State’s Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.

Seminole State’s Speaker Series is co-sponsored by CFE Federal Credit Union. All Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The views expressed by speakers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Seminole State College of Florida, its Board of Trustees, employees, students, alumni or partners.

For more information, please visit the Speaker Series website. For a list of events at Seminole State, please visit the Newsroom calendar

About Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves nearly 30,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A comprehensive college, Seminole State has awarded more than 100,000 credentials, from bachelor's degrees to high school diplomas, and offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs designed for success. For more about the college, visit, like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter: @seminolestate.  #SSC #GoStateGoFar