2014-2015 Academic Speakers

Dr. Eric Harris: The Rise of Electronics Recycling in the U.S. –the business, the politics, and key challenges for a maturing market

Eric Harris

Eric Harris is the Associate Counsel & Director of Government and International Affairs at ISRI, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. He has held this position since 2005. In this capacity, Mr. Harris develops and advocates recycling policy for international, federal and state levels of government. He provides legal counsel, compliance, and membership service. Key areas include: international trade, electronics recycling, air and climate change, solid and hazardous wastes, the Basel and OECD Conventions, export controls, and legal issues involving lobbying disclosure, political action, ethics and arbitration. Prior to coming to ISRI, Mr. Harris provided legislative counsel for US Senator Max Baucus from Montana. He received his law degree at the University of Montana and his LLM in International Environmental Law from the George Washington University in Washington DC.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry." ISRI represents more than 1,700 companies in 21 chapters nationwide that process, broker, and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, ISRI provides education, advocacy, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the US economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. For more information about ISRI, please visit www.isri.org.

Date: October 9th: Watkins: 7:30

Dr. Vincent Sherry: Bare Death: The Failing Sacrifice of the Great War

Vincent Sherry

Vincent Sherry is Howard Nemerov Professor in the Humanities and Professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis. He teaches and writes about modernist literatures in English. His books include The Uncommon Tongue: The Poetry and Criticism of Geoffrey Hill (1987), The Radical Modernism of Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis (1993), James Joyce: ULYSSES (1995, 2nd ed. 2004), The Great War and the Language of Modernism (2003), and, forthcoming in November 2014, Modernism and the Reinvention of Decadence. He has edited the Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the First World War and is Editor of the forthcoming Cambridge History of Modernism. He is currently working on A Literary History of the European War of 1914-1918.

Date: October 24th: Humanities Auditorium: 6:00PM

Paul McEwan: The Birth of a Nation, Racism, and the Nature of Cinema: 100 Years of Controversy

Paul McEwan

Paul McEwan is Associate Professor of Media & Communication and Director of Film Studies at Muhlenberg College. He is the author of a forthcoming volume on The Birth of a Nation in the BFI Classics series, as well as articles and essays on the film that have appeared in Film History and Cinema Journal. He is also the author of an article on the legacy of Griffith's Intolerance for the forthcoming Companion to D.W. Griffith and other books and essays on Canadian cinema and film pedagogy.

Date: November 5th: Humanities Auditorium: 7:30PM





Dr. Stan Dunagan: Groundwater Use and the Proliferation of Agricultural Irrigation in west Tennessee: Is it time to panic?

Stan Dunagan

Dr. Stan Dunagan is a 2014 Cunningham Outstanding Teacher/Scholar Award winner and an Associate Professor of Geology in the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences, and Natural Resources. He grew up in Martin and received his B.S. in Geoscience from the UT Martin in 1993. In 1998, he received a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where his research focused on the ancient wetlands and lakes associated with the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation in Colorado. He taught geology at UTK (1997-1998), UTM (1998), and at Austin Peay State University (1999-2002) before rejoining the faculty at UTM in a tenure track position in 2006. An avid traveller, he has been to 27 countries on 5 continents and to 48 states; he has also co-led travel study opportunities for more than 50 students to places such as Belize, Mexico, Colorado, Puerto Rico and the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Dunagan’s more recent research has focused on sedimentation rates in Reelfoot Lake and growth of irrigation systems in west Tennessee.

Date: November 20th: Humanities Auditorium: 7:30

Dr. Mark Updegrove: LBJ and America's Promise

Mark Updegrove

Mark K. Updegrove became Director of the LBJ Library in October 2009. He is an author, publisher, lecturer and journalist who has served as U.S. publisher of Newsweek, president of Time Canada, and manager of Time Los Angeles. In addition to his responsibilities at the LBJ Library, Updegrove is an analyst for ABC News and a contributing editor for PARADE Magazine. Updegrove has authored three books relating to the American Presidency: Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency (2012), Baptism By Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis (2009), and Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House (2006). He has written for American Heritage, The Nation, National Geographic, Parade, Texas Monthly, and TIME and has conducted exclusive interviews with five U.S. Presidents.

Date: February 26th: Watkins: 7:30

Dr. Pamela Thomas: International Year of Soils: Issues of Soil and Society

Dr. Pamela Thomas

Pam Thomas is an Associate Director in the Soil Science Division with USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), headquartered in Washington, DC, since January 2014. In her current position, Pam is responsible for program management for the Soil Science Division. Dr. Thomas has been a soil scientist with USDA-NRCS since 2000 holding positions in state offices in Virginia (2000-2006) and South Carolina (2006-2014). Prior to joining NRCS, Pam was a soil scientist with the Virginia Tech Soil Survey program in the Tidewater area from 1987 to 1992. From 1992 to 2000, Pam served as coordinator of the Virginia Tech soil survey laboratories in addition to conducting research in soil genesis and interpretations and teaching undergraduate soils courses.


Pam is a native of West Virginia and co-owns a 180-acre farm with her brother and sister in their home county of Monroe. She received three degrees from Virginia Tech; a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy-Soil Science option in 1983, a Master of Science degree in Agronomy-Soil Mapping and Interpretation in 1987, and a Ph.D. in Soil Genesis, Mineralogy, and Interpretations in 1998.

Date: March 25th: Watkins: 7:30

Dr. Hugh Gorman: Welcome to the Anthropocene!: A Social History of the Nitrogen Cycle and the Challenge of Sustainability

Hugh Gorman

Hugh Gorman, professor of environmental history and policy at Michigan Technological University, studies historical interactions involving technological innovation, uses of the environment, and systems of governance. His goal is to use history to inform policy discussions triggered by technological change, especially change that alters human relationships with the environment. Originally trained as an engineer, he quickly discovered that what intrigued him most were historical questions involving the development of complex technological systems. Why did such systems—transportation systems, communication systems, energy systems—develop in the direction that they have and not in some other way? What choices influenced their paths of development and what were the consequences of those choices on our relationships with each other and the environment? Eventually he found his way to Carnegie Mellon University’s Policy and History Ph.D. program, where he found others interested in such questions. He has since examined the history of a wide variety of socio-technological systems, ranging from various sectors of the petroleum industry and the electric power industry to local patterns of water supply and disposal. His most recent book, “The Story of N: A Social History of the Nitrogen Cycle and the Challenge of Sustainability,” focuses on the societal choices associated with one of the most important innovations of the twentieth century, the industrial fixation of nitrogen, and on what those choices can teach us. At Michigan Tech, where he has been a faculty member since 1996, he serves as the director of graduate programs for the Department of Social Sciences, which includes Ph.D. programs in Environmental and Energy Policy and in Industrial Heritage and Archeology. He also teaches courses in the history of technology, science, policy, and the environment.

Date: April 9th: Watkins: 7:30

Mr. Steve Wiley: Lessons in Leadership: A Transformational Journey from Gettysburg

Steve Wiley

Steven B. Wiley is a proven entrepreneur, author, and highly acclaimed speaker who has influenced and entertained tens of thousands of top executives from around the world. Without exception, Steve Wiley receives the highest ratings possible from his audiences and his manner of presenting leadership development and leadership insights have received high praises. His business experience includes the founding of three companies: two international franchise organizations and a national chain of fleet management centers. He has successfully negotiated multi-million dollar funding agreements for his own companies with some of the top venture capital organizations in the world. Steve continues to bring a wealth of knowledge in the areas of leadership development, marketing, negotiation, sales and business development. His lucrative and varied high-ticket consultative selling and negotiating experience began over twenty years ago and includes tens of millions of dollars in the sales of companies, divisions, hardgoods, and services. His strong leadership ability has earned him recognition in top publications including Venture Magazine, USA Today, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Steve’s speaking experience includes three years as National Spokesperson for the Quaker Oats/Pritikin Longevity Centers for whom he has been featured in television commercials and advertisements in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and New York Times. Over the past ten years, he has conducted thousands of seminars on negotiation, sales leadership and wellness for numerous public and private sector organizations at conferences across the country. He is the President of The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg and the founder of the Institute’s Communicating with Executive Presence program as well as their Transformational Journey from Gettysburg leadership development experience.

Date: April 20th: Watkins: 7:30

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