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James Smart

Genetics and Goulash: My adventures on leave in Hungary 2016-2017

September 27th, 2017 at 6:00 PM in the Humanities Auditorium


John Geer

Dr. Smart is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UTM. Originally from the Vancouver, B.C. area, he received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Simon Fraser University. He then joined Carl Bauer'€™s lab at Indiana University Bloomington as a post-doctoral fellow where he studied the transcriptional regulation of hem genes in Rhodobacter capsulatus. Dr. Smart then joined the faculty at UTM where he teaches a variety of courses including microbiology and molecular biology. His work has been published in the Journal of Molecular Biology, Photosynthetica, the European Molecular Biology Organization Journal, and the Journal of Bacteriology.



Luca Bonomi

Music and songs: A new idea of soundtracks in Italian cinema 1950s-1960s

October 3rd, 2017 at 6:00 PM in Watkins Auditorium in the Boling University Center


Luca Bonomi

Luca Bonomi is president of the Società Dante Alighieri, a language school in Siena, Italy. From 1999 to the present, Bonomi has traveled abroad extensively in promoting the school, making annual trips to Japan, as a guest of the Associazione Italo-Giapponese and Società Dante Alighieri in Tokyo; to Korea'€™s Centro di Studi Italiani in Seoul; to the U.S., as a guest of numerous universities and cultural organizations; as well as to Norway, Sweden, and Slovenia. In this capacity, he has held conferences on the history of Italian opera, with particular focus on the pre-Romantic, Romantic, and Verista periods. Since his association with the school began, the National Assembly of the Società Dante Alighieri elected him Revisore dei Conti (of cial auditor) for a second consecutive term (2006), he organized the LXXVI International Congress of the Società Dante Alighieri, entitled Dante e la nascita dell'€™Uomo del Rinascimento (Dante and the Birth of the Renaissance Man) (2003), he was unanimously elected president of the Società Dante Alighieri, Comitato di Siena (2001), he served as director of studies (1998), he was elected secretary of the Società Dante Alighieri, Comitato di Siena, and worked alongside the society'€™s president, Giulio Accattatis, in directing the school'€™s operations (1996), he assumed administrative responsibilities, with the specific task of promoting the school'€™s cultural activities abroad (1994), and he began teaching courses in Italian language, culture, opera, and the history of Italian cinema (1987). In 1995, he published an Italian grammar book, I perché della Grammatica italiana. Bonomi taught the history of cinema at the UNI-TRE (Università per la Terza età) of Grossetto andcollaborated with the Maggio Fiorentino and other Tuscan institutions to offer Italian linguistic training for lyric singers in preparation for performances with the opera companies of Florence and Siena (1986'€“89). He received a degree in music andtheatre from the University of Rome '€œLa Sapienza.'€ His thesis regarded the use of music in the films of Luchino Visconti, and he received a PhD in teaching Italian language and culture to foreigners at the University of Perugio in 1993.


Vejas Liulevicius


October 26th, 2017 at 7:00 PM in Watkins Auditorium in the Boling University Center


Vejas Liulevicius

Dr. Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius is Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at the University of Tennessee Knoxville and Director of the Center for the Study of War and Society. A native of Chicago, IL, he earned his B.A. from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Liulevicius served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. His awards and honors include the University of Tennessee's Excellence in Teaching Award and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. Dr. Liulevicius has published numerous articles and two books: War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity, and German Occupation in World War I and The German Myth of the East, 1800 to the Present. He also has recorded seven taped lecture courses with The Great Courses company, on topics that include the First World War, dictatorships, espionage, exploration, and the history of Eastern Europe. For more info see: this page.


Viet Cuong

Viet Cuong Residency Concert

November 18th, 2017 at 5:30 PM (Short intro, concert starts at 6:00 PM) in the Blankenship Auditorium in the Fine Arts Building


Viet Cuong

Called “alluring” and “wildly inventive” by The New York Times, Viet Cuong’s music has been performed on six continents by a number of leading soloists and ensembles including the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Sō Percussion, JACK Quartet, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Albany Symphony, Gregory Oakes, and Mimi Stillman, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Aspen Music Festival, International Double Reed Society Conference, US Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, Midwest Clinic, and CBDNA conferences. Viet’s awards include the ASCAP Morton Gould Award, Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Award, Theodore Presser Foundation Music Award, Cortona Prize, Walter Beeler Memorial Prize, Boston Guitarfest Competition, Dolce Suono Ensemble Competition, and Prix d’Été Competition. He also received honorable mentions in the Harvey Gaul Memorial Competition and two consecutive ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prizes. Viet has held artist residencies at Yaddo, Ucross, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and was a scholarship student at the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab, Copland House’s CULTIVATE Institute, and the Aspen and Bowdoin music festivals. He is currently a Naumburg and Roger Sessions Doctoral Fellow at Princeton, and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Peabody Conservatory


Kesley Gibson

Shark Ecology Studies in the 21st Century: Satellite Tracking Provides Insights to the Apex Marine Predator

January 30th, 2018 at 6:00 PM in the Watkins Auditorium


Kesley Gibson

Kesley Gibson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Kesley's research focus involves migratory patterns and artificial reef habitat use of fisheries species in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, including Red Snapper, King Mackerel, Cobia, and multiple shark species. She recently appeared in "The Lost Cage" episode of Discovery Channel's popular Shark Week 2017. She earned her M.S. in Environmental Science in 2015 from Troy University where, as the ALFA Research Fellow, she studied federally threatened freshwater mollusks and their sensitivity to various toxicants lacking U.S. EPA Water Quality Criteria. Kesley received her B.S. in Biology in 2012 at the University of Tennessee at Martin where she studied the evolutionary relationships within the Millipede suborder Spirobolidea.



Temple Grandin

Developing Individuals Who Have Different Kinds of Minds

February 13th, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Skyhawk Fieldhouse


Temple Grandin

Dr. Grandin is a designer of livestock handling facilities and a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College and her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University. Dr. Grandin received her Ph.D in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in 1989. Today she teaches courses on livestock behaviour and facility design at Colorado State University and consults with the livestock industry on facility design, livestock handling, and animal welfare. She has appeared on television shows such as 20/20, 48 Hours, CNN Larry King Live, PrimeTime Live, 60 Minutes, the Today Show, and many shows in other countries. She has been featured in People Magazine, the New York Times, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Time Magazine, the New York Times book review, and Discover magazine. In 2010, Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people. Interviews with Dr. Grandin have been broadcast on National Public Radio and she has a 2010 TED Lecture titled "The World Needs ALL Kinds of Minds." She has also authored over 400 articles in both scientific journals and livestock periodicals on animal handling, welfare, and facility design. She is the author of "Thinking in Pictures", "Livestock Handling and Transport," "Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals," and "Humane Livestock Handling." Her books "Animals in Translation" and "Animals Make Us Human" were both on the New York Times best seller list. "Animals Make Us Human" was also on the Canadian best seller list. Her life story has also been made into an HBO movie titled "Temple Grandin, staring Claire Danes," which won seven Emmy awards and a Golden Globe. The movie shows her life as a teenager and how she started her career. In 2016 she received the Meritorious award from the OIE World Organization for Animal Health in Paris, France for her work on developing animal welfare guidelines. This same year she was also inducted into The American Academy of Arts and Sciences



Bobby Seale


February 22nd, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Watkins Auditorium





Carolyn Cocca

Underrepresented and Underdressed: Female Superheroes in Popular Culture

March 15th, 2018 at 6:00 PM in the Watkins Auditorium


Carolyn Cocca

Carolyn Cocca is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics, Economics, and Law at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, USA. She is the author of Jailbait: The Politics of Statutory Rape Laws in the United States and various articles and book chapters about gender and superheroes. She recently published Superwomen: Gender, Power, and Representation, winner of the 2017 Eisner Award in the Best Academic/Scholarly Work category and 2017 Prose Awards Honorable Mention, Media & Cultural Studies.



Paula Gale and Curtis Kunkel

Applications of Differential Equations

April 9th, 2018 at 6:00 PM in the Watkins Auditorium


Paula Gale

Dr. Paula Gale is Professor of Soil Science in the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences and Natural Resources. She earned her PhD in Soil Biochemistry at the University of Arkansas and worked as a postdoc in the Wetland Biogeochemistry laboratory at the University of Florida. Her research interests include biogeochemical cycling of nutrients in wetlands and croplands as related to ecosystem functions and water quality. Dr. Gale advises students in the environmental and agricultural sciences, helps develop analytical capabilities for the AGN department and coaches the Soil Judging team. She is an assistant director of Honors Programs and coordinates the Fellows Research Program within the AGN department.


Curtis Kunkel

Dr. Curtis Kunkel is a Professor of Mathematics and is in his 11th year at UTM. He earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Baylor University in 2007 specializing in Boundary Value Problems for Ordinary Differential and Difference Equations. Prior to this, he earned his M.S. in Mathematics from Baylor University in 2005 and his B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Minnesota Morris in 2003. He is married to Barbara, a lecturer for UTM, and they have a four-year-old daughter, Raven.



Silas House

Readings from his Current Novels

April 19, 2018 at 7:30 PM in the Paul Meek Library


Carolyn Cocca

Silas House is the nationally bestselling author of six novels, including Southernmost, to be published in June 2018, as well as a book of creative nonfiction and three plays. House's writing frequently appears in The New York Times and he has been published in Oxford American, Newsday, Sojourners, and many other publications. He is a former commentator for NPR's "All Things Considered". House has been awarded three honorary doctorates and many other honors, including the EB White Award, the Nautilus Award, the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Hobson Medal for Literature, and others. House serves on the faculty at the MFA in Creative Writing at Spalding University and as the NEH Chair of Appalachian Studies at Berea College. In 2017 he was invited to join the Fellowship of Southern Writers.


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