Topics

20th and 21st Century Virginia Politics (Speaker: John Milliken)

The evolution of Virginia politics and demographics from the rural-dominated, white-controlled society and government of the first half of the 20th Century to today’s robust multi-cultural economy and politics.

John G. Milliken 


A Holocaust Story and the Mothers of Maria (Speaker: Harold Geller)

The speaker will recount a holocaust story as told to him by the late Dr. Maria Dworzecka. It is a story of a little girl separated from her parents by the Nazis. Alone on the curb of a square in Poland, Maria was taken in by a woman who was witness to the parental separation. The speaker will recount what was told about her experiences during the war as a Jewish child in hiding, adopted by a Christian family and raised as their own during Nazi occupation. The town was eventually liberated by the Russians. Maria found her way to the USA after completing doctoral studies in physics.

Harold Geller


A New Look at Famous Biblical Curses and Blessings: Do They Apply Today? (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

The current political climate seems to be filled with threats and sometimes near-apocalyptic warnings. Stephen Ruth finds them very similar to some of the biblical writings. The Bible’s major and minor prophets feature curses, threats, and fierce complaints against Israel’s enemies, as well as stern commentaries aimed at the people of Israel themselves. The Torah has examples of horrific threats against those who do not obey God’s commands. At times Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher and the Book of Revelation frequently has threatening messages—and St. Paul’s epistles have elements that are quite severe. Currently, some page-one stories about the artificial intelligence, dark web, revenge porn, deep fake, and ransomware might remind a reader of passages in Isaiah, Ezekiel, or Jeremiah. But the Bible is also filled with some of the most beautiful and hopeful blessings and prophecies to be found anywhere in literature. This class will balance some of the harsh Bible elements with incomparably uplifting passages about dry bones living again, light overpowering darkness, love overcoming hate, and many others. No previous knowledge is needed, and the instructor promises that nearly all of these passages—happy and sad—will be familiar, even though their biblical origins might be surprising.

Steve Ruth


A Strong Leader is a Kind Leader (Speaker: Philip Wilkerson)

“Clear is Kind”-Brene Brown. When we look at leaders, we envision strong, confident and capable people who lead others but how often do we examine the impact of kindness on a person’s leadership capabilities? In the presentation we will discuss the impact kindness has on a person who is trying to motivate and inspire others to reach their full potential.

Philip Wilkerson


Acting Shakespeare (not available August – October, 2024) (Speaker: Edward Gero)

A freewheeling discussion of the actor’s life working on the great plays of Shakespeare, based on 25 years of experience.

Edward Gero (not available August – October, 2024)


Aging in Place: Do Not Blame the House (Speaker: Patrice Winter)

Easy to do modifications to more complex suggestions will be addressed for better aging in place. We will also address how to work with changes in sight, balance and physical abilities that may come with aging and how you can make your house work for you

Patrice Winter


Aging Well (Speaker: Patrice Winter)

Aging well is not a spectator sport. Be an active participant in your healthy future. We will address the strategies on how to do this with flare. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes you can move freely in.

Patrice Winter


AI (Artificial Intelligence) after ChatGPT (Unavailable through November, 2024) (Speaker: Amarda Shehu)

AI technologies are fundamentally transforming our daily lives. They promise to transform the workplace, shift labor markets, redefine economies. How did we get here, and where are we going? This talk will first provide an overview of AI, its history, and its accomplishment. Then, it will focus on specific AI technologies that are changing our daily experiences, including new ethics-centered questions we are starting to ask. What does the future hold? What we do we expect? An attempt will be made to start a conversation on what opportunities and dangers loom in the horizon of our digital society.

Amarda Shehu (Unavailable through November, 2024)


Alien Phonology: Science or Fiction? (Speaker: Steven Weinberger)

How do science fiction languages differ from real human language? What is it that makes the aliens on Star Trek sound alien?

Steven Weinberger


America and the World: The Challenge of Foreign Policy (Speaker: Edward Rhodes)

Since its founding, the United States has wrestled with the challenge of creating a foreign policy that would protect the American people and the American republic, and be true to America’s values, without destroying America as a democratic republic. This conversation explores the historical and intellectual roots of American foreign policy — from Washington’s “Farewell Address” and the Monroe Doctrine through the self-confident imperialism of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson’s war to “make the world safe for democracy” to today’s debates over American military intervention and the war on terror.

Edward Rhodes


Ancient Greek Philosophy (Speaker: Rose Cherubin)

A general introduction to Greek philosophy, discussing major figures and their ideas, questions, concerns, and writings. Specific philosophers and issues could be presented, including Plato, Aristotle, and Pythagoras. Areas of discussion include foundations of science, ethics, political theory, cosmology, justice.

Rose Cherubin


Andean Markets (Speaker: Linda Seligmann)

Speaker will address the markets of the Peruvian Andes, with special attention to gender relationships and the impacts of neoliberal economic policies, tourism, and decentralization. Addresses intersection of informal and formal economies.

Linda Seligmann


Andes, Quinoa (Speaker: Linda Seligmann)

Speaker will discuss the impact of global demand for quinoa on the culture, development, and agrarian lives of Quechua quinoa cultivators in the Andes.

Linda Seligmann


Apocalyptic Beliefs (Speaker: Mary McCutcheon)

Studying other cultures helps to understand the social forces that lead to apocalyptic and related messianic, prophetic, and millenarian religious beliefs. Are these forces present in our society today?

Mary McCutcheon


Application of Math Modeling in the Airline Industry (Speaker: Karla Hoffman)

This talk explains how mathematical and economic modeling is used in almost every aspect of an airline’s operations, including scheduling, pricing, facility location and layout, and capital investments and will also highlight recent FAA activities in handling congestion at the busiest airports.

Karla Hoffman


Appreciative Inquiry for Organizational Change and Development (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

Most approaches to understanding organizations are embedded in a “problem solving” paradigm. This deficiency model of organizations calls for the development of techniques and tools to accurately identify and diagnose problems. In contrast to this clinical focus, appreciative inquiry focuses on what works in an organization. By exploring events when people are at their best, appreciative inquiry identifies the core values and finds ways to build on them to enhance organizational sustainability. This talk will introduce the audience to the basic tenets of appreciative inquiry and help them gain the experience of using it in various organizational setting. He will also share from his experience of having conducted many AI engagements in public, private, nonprofit, and international organizations.

Tojo Thatchenkery


Appreciative Intelligence®: Develop Leadership, Transform Difficult Conversations, and Discover Common Ground (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

Appreciative Intelligence is the ability to see the generative potential in any situation and to actualize it. It is a leadership skillset that will enable you to step into conflict mindfully, and to transform difficult conversations into positive outcomes. As a leader by improving your Appreciative Intelligence you will have expanded abilities to reframe conflict situations and help move affected parties to a common ground. While challenging projects and difficult conversations will always be there, your approach to dealing with them will be more mindful, transforming conflict into opportunities to create better understanding, gain mutual respect, and create shared goals.

Tojo Thatchenkery


Artificial Intelligence (AI) Nightmare Scenarios: Summoning the Demons? (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

Some may think of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in terms of Boston Dynamics’ Robot dog, Spot or of software that can defeat the very best human player in Go or Jeopardy. This course is about a much more sinister and serious aspect of AI, the various “nightmare scenarios” that are appearing regularly in the technical literature and sometimes in the daily news.  These scenarios take many forms, possibly the most familiar being the use of “killer robots” and other military applications where the battlefield, and military strategy are dominated by AI applications. Thought leaders as varied as physicist Stephen Hawking and entrepreneur Elon Musk have vehemently warned about the potential dangers of this situation, which Musk referred to as “summoning the demons”.

There are many other worrisome scenarios, like the prospect of AI causing massive global job dislocation and unemployment as more and more jobs are automated.  The benefits and dangers of super intelligent surveillance systems, encouraged in some nations like China, but legally restrained in some large metropolitan cities in the free world, like San Francisco, are often in the news. MIT researchers have found that some of the highly sophisticated facial recognition platforms are ethnically biased, an interesting and important research issue. And the increasing cleverness of “deep fake” technology makes it possible for a seemingly authentic video from a world leader to be completely fabricated by an enemy. And there are increasing risks associated with AI-generated decision-making algorithms in fields from medicine to insurance to the stock market. Funds run by these algorithms currently account for 60% of stock trading activity, according to The Economist.

In this lecture we will examine the ideas of the best-known thought leaders on these topics, and also have plenty of discussion among ourselves about this crucial topic.

Steve Ruth


Artificial intelligence: Blessing or Curse? (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

This talk provides an up-to-date review of the extraordinary characteristics of this new human capability. Questions abound. Will generative languages like ChatGPT foster greater productivity, deeper insights, or chaos? How will the growing availability of AI technologies impact democratic governance, invite repressive practices, or undermine the rule of law? Will AI open up technology opportunities previously unavailable to liberal arts graduates? Will new autonomous, AI-directed weapon systems distort battlefield outcomes? Which jobs are most susceptible to be replaced by AI interfaces? What are the latest statistics on the actual productivity advantages of AI in the workplace? Does AI have the potential to develop super intelligence which can threaten civilization? Will competing chatbots cause chaotic versions of reality through misinformation? By the time this course is presented there will be countless new questions. The speaker will bring up all the latest developments, challenges and opportunities.

Steve Ruth


Auction Use by the Federal Government (Speaker: Karla Hoffman)

A variety of government agencies use various auction strategies to both buy and sell goods and services. This talk will discuss auction designs and their uses within the federal government.

Karla Hoffman


Back to Basics: Strengthening Speaking Skills for a Professional Performance (Speaker: Susie Tomasovic)

Whether one is in the boardroom or the classroom, delivery skills are essential to get the message across to an audience. The goal is to instill key principles of delivery and organization to effectively develop and polish public communication in a business environment, whether an interview, a committee report, or networking.

Susan (Susie) Tomasovic


Balance: Shuffle Now, Fall Later (Speaker: Patrice Winter)

Have you fallen twice in the past year? You could be a ‘fall risk’. Falling is not something that just ‘old people’ do. Balance often needs to be worked with and improved on throughout this journey called life. The older we get the harder we fall. If you are over 20, this session has your name on it.

Patrice Winter


Basics of Conflict Resolution (Speaker: Richard Rubenstein)

How are potentially violent social conflicts recognized and dealt with? What’s the difference between ending and resolving a conflict? Does it matter if a conflict is resolved or not?

Richard Rubenstein


Biblical Villains and Villainesses (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

Biblical villains and villainesses:  This talk reviews some of the notable bad characters in the Old and New Testaments, including Cain, Jezebel, Athalea, Nebuchadnezzar, King Herod, and many others.

Steve Ruth


Black Dance: Housing the Past and the Present (Speaker: Lawrence Jackson)

Colonialism brought an end to authentic African dance. Lawrence M. Jackson, Associate Professor of Dance at George Mason University, who in 2011 co-authored and edited a special edition on Black dance in the Journal of Pan African Studies, explains how Black dance keeps those African cultural traditions alive and is an affirmation of identity and independence.

Lawrence M. Jackson


Boosting Teacher Effectiveness through Performance (Speaker: Susie Tomasovic)

Given the challenges facing public education today, using enhanced performance skills in the classroom may produce students who exhibit better attention, interest, and response. Teacher enthusiasm is a pedagogical necessity, and the communicative style of a teacher can have an affect on the degree to which students learn.

Susan (Susie) Tomasovic


Border Security (not available until June 2025) (Speaker: Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera)

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera (not available until June 2025)


Brexit, Climate Change, FinTech (Speaker: Paolo Saguato)

Financial markets have been challenged by new disrupting forces and events. My research has explored how these disrupting events are changing the way markets operate and how policymakers are responding.

Paolo Saguato


Building your Business Performance Dashboard Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (1-hour minimum presentation) (Speaker: George Siragusa)

Upon completion of this talk, you should be able to:

See what business dashboards look like;
Understand why a “scorecard” is important;
Become familiar with the principles that guide your first dashboard draft;
Know how to get started and begin building a dashboard for your business;
Decide on a group of simple but important key metrics;
See what software is available making scorecard development easier;
Use metrics with your business team and establish your own stewardship and reporting process;
See some recommended frequencies to consider or refreshing and reporting your key metrics;
See how insights from your Business Dashboard can make a significant impact on your business performance;
See the range of positive actions you can take based on the dashboard metrics and insights.

George Siragusa


Cancel Culture as a New Social Conflict: Reputation Management Lessons (Speaker: Sergei Samoilenko)

Reputation management has become more complicated in the context of new ethics. This presentation addresses an ongoing social conflict represented in cancel culture and moral outrage campaigns. The presentation illustrates new ways to counter reputational crises through pre-emptive inoculation and image repair strategies whether it be scientific arguments or attacks on individuals or organizations.

Sergei A. Samoilenko


Celtic Drawing (Remote Speaking Engagements Preferred) (Speaker: Laura McCloskey)

Drawing workshops that feature a background lecture on Celtic art traditions, with time for instruction on how to create Celtic-inspired drawings based on Pictish, Northumbrian, and medieval Irish stone carving, metalwork, and manuscripts. (Attendees would need to have their own preferred drawing instruments, paper, a compass, and a protractor.)

Laura McCloskey (Remote Speaking Engagements Preferred)


Civil Death, Incarceration, and Their Effects in the United States (Speaker: Patricia Maulden)

Mass conviction, mass incarceration, and mass disenfranchisement currently deprive millions of Americans of civil and voting rights. Civil death, while initially framed as related to a crime or infraction of law, continues to follow the formerly incarcerated to the grave. This presentation examines the backstory of these policies, the historic racial implications, interpretations of human value, and expansion of incarceration practices and policies over time. In addition to outlining the economic, social, and political systems that continue these policies, the discussion also highlights the enormous human, social, economic, and political costs on individuals, families, and communities.

Patricia A. Maulden


Civil Rights in Biblical Times: What Was It Like Then and Does Anything from That Era Apply Today? (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

Many of us look to the Bible to justify our views on the rights of women, minorities, immigrants, persons with disabilities, etc., as well as finding models for good and bad management of cities, towns, and countries, plus tax policy, land management, and many more issues. This talk spans two millennia of biblical themes from the patriarchs (and a few matriarchs) all the way through the time of Jesus, examining the way laws and general practice affected the rich and the poor, men and women, free people and slaves, civil and uncivil societies. It will compare those times to the present day in the context of many of the issues that are on the front burner of current national policy considerations. Many famous biblical figures and their influence on various themes will be included: the daughters of Zelophehad, Mary Magdalene, and St. Paul on women’s rights; Joshua, Solomon, and Cyrus on nation building; Moses, Jesus, and St. Peter on slavery; Moses and St. Paul on homosexuality, and dozens more. There will be extensive citations from biblical sources as well as perspectives from commentators, such as Josephus, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, Raymond Brown, Martin Buber, Teilhard de Chardin, and others. No previous familiarity with the Old or New Testament is needed.

Steve Ruth


Civil War Memorials in Washington, DC (no speaking engagements through August 2024) (Speaker: Meredith Lair)

This talk considers the design and origins of key Civil War memorials in the Washington, DC, metro area, as well as contemporary debates over their meaning and removal.

Meredith Lair (no speaking engagements through August 2024))


Classroom Communication (Speaker: Don Boileau)

Features the concept of defining the teacher as a manager of a communication environment and the resulting consequences. (Good for school workshops, in-service training, and teacher groups.)

Don Boileau


Climate Change: Good Science and Lousy Politics (Speaker: Robert Ehrlich)

In this talk I show that the science behind climate change is very solid, the politics and policies intended to address it are, in many cases, very questionable. Instead, we will see that the climate change problem can best be addressed through a wider combination of approaches than normally considered, many of which could garner political support across the red-blue divide.

Robert Ehrlich (no evening engagements)


Climate Change: Preparing for the New Normal in Virginia (Speaker: Jim Kinter)

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” This old saying neglects the fact that all of us are inadvertently doing something about the weather – we are changing it. The reality of global climate change is now undeniable and the likelihood is high that human activities have caused the majority of the changes observed in the past half-century. The citizens and businesses of Virginia are not exempt from the changes Earth will experience during the rest of this century – there will be a new normal and we all need to prepare for it. Knowing where, when, and by how much climate will change in the Commonwealth, and where and how to exploit natural resources, are critically important aspects of planning and preparing for changes that are decades in the making. Dr. Kinter will describe Mason research that is focused on these questions, emphasizing what we have learned about predicting future weather and climate in the mid-Atlantic region and what remains to be done to advance our understanding to actionable predictions.

Jim Kinter


College Access (Speaker: Lewis Forrest II)

Topics: Well-Being, student transition, retention, and engagement.

Lewis E. Forrest, II


Communicating Evolution (Speaker: Mary McCutcheon)

It does no good to argue with people who don’t believe evolution. But since it is the foundation of modern biology and represents constructive critical thought in science, it is useful to know how to teach evolution without confrontation. This is not so much a lecture as a discussion.

Mary McCutcheon


Communicating with Congress (Speaker: David Rehr)

Learn how to effectively communicate with Congress. Rehr is the author of The Congressional Communications Report, Landmark research on communication methods and preferences of congressional offices, they’re staff and those working to influence them. Find out where Congress goes for information, what why rely on, what they actually use, and how you can use this information to help you cut through the information clutter faced.

David K. Rehr


Computational Sciences: The Third Pillar of Empirical Science (Speaker: Rainald Lohner)

For hundreds of years, empirical sciences as we know them today were based on either direct measurement of objects (or scaled models) or on simple analytic solutions of partial differential equations. The advent of supercomputers in the 1980s added a third option: computational sciences. The talk explores the origin, outlook and consequences of this third pillar of the empirical sciences.

Rainald Lohner


Computers and Communication (Speaker: Star Muir)

A closer look at social and individual aspects of the computer revolution, focusing on communication skills, distance learning, and the variety of social issues surrounding the Internet.

Star Muir


Computing in Science and Society (Speaker: Rainald Lohner)

Computing is now so ubiquitous that we tend to forget the profound consequences it is having in science and society. The talk explores the advent and evolution of computing in science and society, and attempts to predict future developments.

Rainald Lohner


Could Einstein Have Been Wrong? (Speaker: Robert Ehrlich)

Einstein in his theory of relativity claimed that faster-than-light speeds are impossible. But some physicists are no longer so sure about that notion. This talk will take a look about what faster-than-light speeds imply, and the evidence as to whether faster-than-light particles might actually exist.

Robert Ehrlich (no evening engagements)


Crazy Ideas in Science (Speaker: Robert Ehrlich)

In this talk I consider how crazy ideas can sometimes lead to great scientific advances, and even cause us to re-examine the nature of science itself. This light-hearted talk will also serve as a template for some creative and humorous uses of PowerPoint that can add interest to your own presentations.

Robert Ehrlich (no evening engagements)


Creating the Triple Bottom Line for Businesses: Reframing Sustainability Practices for Strategic Advantage in Your Organization (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

Sustainability has become a widely held value in many walks of life and has generated new hopes for citizen involvement. It is now possible to do one’s part in creating a sustainable value as well as influence public policy that may mandate various “green” initiatives. Based on his recent book- Positive Design and Appreciative Construction: From Sustainable Development to Sustainable Value (2010)-, Dr. Thatchenkery will share practical ways for reframing various organizational challenges as opportunities for sustainability. He will share examples and lessons learned from businesses and nonprofit organizations that have embraced the sustainability as a core operational value through reframing. He will also demonstrate tools that may help the audience become active participants in creating sustainable value in their professional lives.

Tojo Thatchenkery


Creationism (Speaker: Mary McCutcheon)

Why do so many people embrace creationism and reject evolution? What are their arguments and how does creationism promote community, address concerns about education and the rearing of good children, and the perceived dangerous consequences of evolutionary thinking?

Mary McCutcheon


Crime and Public Policy (Speaker: Amy Murphy)

Amy Murphy


Criminal Justice Reform: Understanding the Root of the Problem and the Cost of the Cure (Speaker: John Villanueva)

How did the police – sworn to protect and serve their communities – come to be seen as an occupying force by disadvantaged communities throughout America? Why have they lost the faith and confidence of the communities they serve? What needs to be done to turn the tide and restore the profession of policing and the trust of the communities they serve? These are the questions that will be addressed factually, without bias, and with an eye on elevating the profession and serving the community.

John Villanueva


Critical Race Theory: What Is All The Controversy About? (Speaker: Richard Rubenstein)

Critical race theory is an approach to issues of race, social structure, and history that has caused intense disagreement among analysts and activists of various political schools. This talk describes the doctrine analyzes the sources of disagreement about it, and suggests ways of resolving the conflict.

Richard Rubenstein


Critically Assessing Public Information (Speaker: Star Muir)

Offers a critical perspective on assessing and processing the vast amount of information that comes to us through public channels. Explores ways to understand and evaluate messages constructed to influence public behavior.

Star Muir


Current Events (not available until September, 2025) (Speaker: Justin Gest)

Immigration, Demographic Change, Populism, Nativism, Backlash, Minority Politics, Islam, Identity Politics, Brexit, White Working Class Voters, United States, Europe, Middle East, Policy Communication

Justin Gest (not available until September, 2025)


Defining the role of Health Informatics (Speaker: Matthew Hicks)

  • Describe the role and benefits of health informatics in the delivery of quality patient-centered care.
  • Discuss professional health care provider responsibilities for safeguarding confidential client information, including HIPAA regulations.
  • Explain possible consequences for breaches in privacy and confidentiality.
  • Discuss professional responsibilities in the use of social health care technology or media as it relates to relationships with patients, colleagues, and employers.

Matthew Hicks


Demographic Change and the Transformation of US Politics (Speaker: Mark Rozell)

How demographic change in the US is transforming our politics and the competitiveness of the two parties.

Mark J. Rozell


Developing Your Appreciative Intelligence® for Innovation and Leadership (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

Describe the new concept of Appreciative Intelligence developed by author Tojo Thatchenkery and is featured in the popular book, Appreciative Intelligence: Seeing the Mighty Oak in the Acorn.  It is a unique competitive advantage possessed by exceptional leaders and innovators. Adding to the model of multiple intelligences developed by Howard Gardner, Appreciative Intelligence provides a new answer to what enables successful people to dream up extraordinary ideas, why other stakeholders join them, and how they triumph despite various challenges. Thatchenkery will demonstrate the three components of Appreciative Intelligence (reframing, appreciating, and envisioning) and participants will learn how to apply them in their work settings. They may also learn how to assess and develop their own or others’ Appreciative Intelligence and how to bring out the best from others in difficult situations.  Lessons learned from leaders who have demonstrated a high level of Appreciative Intelligence will also be shared. See www.appreciativeintelligence.com for more information.

Tojo Thatchenkery


Developing Your Personal Brand and Using LinkedIn to Network with Others (Speaker: Philip Wilkerson)

How you conduct yourself online is crucial in expanding your digital network and connecting you to far and vast opportunities. As professionals, we are leaders within our communities, and our work in service is marketable to employers. In this session, you will learn how to build your brand online through LinkedIn and techniques to help you translate your experiences with the world.

Philip Wilkerson


Dialogue & Facilitative Leadership (Speaker: Patricia Maulden)

Facilitative leadership focuses on individual and group reflections, understandings, and needs, and has the potential to be transformational. Radical acceptance as the wisdom of not making a bad situation worse by curbing the ego and keeping clear and focused is difficult but fundamental to effective leadership. Through listening to understand, asking questions when disagreements occur, backing the individual ego out of the discussion, and honoring individual positions, leaders become competent in understanding conflict dynamics  and reducing negative responses. As these dynamics occur and continue positive, coherent group organization and communication can develop and be maintained. Dialogue (not debate or force) can be integral to recognizing multiple views, human dignity, and creating a place where leadership works with constituencies and groups rather than against them.

Patricia A. Maulden


Diet and Obesity (Speaker: Lawrence Cheskin)

Dr. Cheskin will talk about how diet and nutrition affect obesity.

Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD


Different Styles of Leadership (Speaker: Philip Wilkerson)

Leadership comes in all different types of forms. During this presentation, we will discuss the different types of leadership and how to be an effective leader based on your style.

Philip Wilkerson


Disaster Behavioral Health (Speaker: Molly Davis)

The increasing number of disasters are related to a variety of different behavioral issues.  Workshops help prepare for and prevent negative reactions to the experience of disasters.  Psychological first aid and training of volunteers for disasters can help in preparation for events.

Molly Davis


Discover Mason: A guide to Mason’s Services and Resources for the Community (Speaker: Traci Kendall)

An overview on how to navigate George Mason University from a non-student perspective. Includes programs, services, and resources available to the residential and business community. Whether you’re an established business, an entrepreneur seeking assistance, a parent looking for summer camps for your kids, or an organization in need of conference space or a speaker, George Mason University has opportunities for everyone.

Traci Kendall


Discovering Common Ground in Challenging Situations (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

As a professional you may have been facing challenging situations that require your constant attention. You find yourselves doing more with fewer resources. You have come to the realization that many of these challenges can be effectively addressed if you can find a common ground among the stakeholders which includes your colleagues and supervisors as well. This talk is designed to introduce you to a new approach in discovering common ground and resolving conflict-laden situations. It will sharpen your Appreciative Intelligence to help you and others discover a common ground that may exist in challenging situations but difficult to recognize initially. You will develop your capacity for reframing by learning to look for agreements and possibilities instead of differences and constraints in typical conflicts. For more information, please visit www.appreciativeintelligence.com

Tojo Thatchenkery


Divided We Stand (Speaker: Bill Schneider)

Students sometimes ask, “Is this the most divided the U.S. has ever been?’’ I remind them that we did once have a civil war where three quarters of a million Americans died during that terrible time, most from disease or starvation. But I add, this is the most divided the U.S. has been since the Civil War. How did this happen? I trace the country’s political divide back to the 1960s, when divisions over values began to replace divisions over interests. Interests (like business versus labor) can be negotiated and compromised. Values (right versus wrong) cannot. Is there any way to resolve the division short of another civil war?

Bill Schneider


Drug Trafficking (not available until June 2025) (Speaker: Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera)

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera (not available until June 2025)


Economics of the Arts (Speaker: Tyler Cowen)

A study on whether commercialization is good or bad for the arts, and how fame is produced in modern societies.

Tyler Cowen


Education Policy (Speaker: Matthew Steinberg)

Dr. Steinberg’s research addresses issues of educational significance at the intersection of the economics of education and education policy, including: teacher evaluation and human capital; urban school reform; school discipline and safety; and school finance. His work aims to inform local and national policy discussions on the impact of education policies and practices on the distribution of teacher effectiveness and the educational outcomes of students, particularly the most disadvantaged among the population. To do so, he matches rigorous econometric methods with rich administrative data to produce empirical evidence that answers fundamentally important education policy questions. Dr. Steinberg’s research has appeared in leading education and economics journals, including the American Journal of Education, Economics of Education Review, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Education Finance and Policy, Educational Researcher, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Public Economics, National Tax Journal, and Regional Science and Urban Economics. Dr. Steinberg’s research has also appeared in policy and practice publications that reach district, state, and national policymakers and school leaders, including Cityscape, Education Next and The State Education Standard.

Matthew Steinberg


Effective Nonprofit leadership (Speaker: David Rehr)

What traits do nonprofit leaders need to be exceptional in their carers. Rehr, author of “8 Traits of an Exceptional Association CEO,” will provide concrete steps on how nonprofit leaders can be effective and grow to be exceptional. He will talk about steps that can be taken to create a healthy and productive culture, advance diversity and inclusion, and what nonprofit board members look for in their nonprofit leadership.

David K. Rehr


Elections and Voting in America (Speaker: Jennifer Victor)

This presentation describes the current state of affairs in U.S. elections, and includes three sections. First, drawing on sights from leading political theorists, I dispel myths about what democracy is, why it’s valuable, and the role that voting and elections play in democratic states. Second, we take a look at the practice of voting. why do people choose to vote, or not? What purpose does voting serve? How can ensure integrity and security in election administration, while also guaranteeing broad suffrage protections? How vulnerable are U.S. voting practices to delegitimizing threats? Finally, what are the most effective actions citizens can take to protect their voting rights and ensure free and fair elections? The lecture is non-partisan and based on state of the art social scientific literature elections and voting.

Jennifer N. Victor


Emerging Infectious Diseases (Speaker: Amira Roess)

Dr. Roess can address the following aspects of emerging infectious diseases: Disparities, Coronaviruses, Breastfeeding, Microbiome, One Health, Food Borne Illness, Antimicrobial Resistance.

Amira Roess


Entrepreneurship (Speaker: Paula Sorrell)

Launching a technical company, market exploration, customer discovery.

Paula Sorrell


Exploring the Many Sources of Innovation (1-hour minimum presentation) (Speaker: George Siragusa)

Explore how and where business opportunities start and examine a framework for determining which technological innovations create real value.

George Siragusa


Extreme Heat in Cities: Drivers and Solutions (Speaker: Luis Ortiz)

A brief overview on the topic of extreme heat and its various drivers at the local and regional scale. The speaker will show the special case of cities and how they modify local climates to impact extreme heat, as well as discuss urban scale solutions and how they reduce the impacts of heat and energy burdens associated with cooling indoor spaces.

Luis Ortiz


Failure of Leadership (Speaker: John Villanueva)

Lesson learned in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. A soldier’s analysis of the justifications, mistakes, miscalculations, and combat operations that characterized America’s longest wars.

John Villanueva


Familiar Apocalyptic Themes: Modern Speculations about Famous Biblical Threats and Curses (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

The Bible is filled with apocalyptic material. The writings of the major and minor prophets feature curses, threats, and fierce complaints against Israel’s enemies, as well as stern commentaries aimed at the people of Israel themselves. The Torah has examples of horrific threats against those who do not obey God’s commands. Similarly, the New Testament is replete with apocalyptic statements. At times Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher; the Book of Revelation is rife with threatening messages, and St. Paul’s epistles are equally severe. Does any of the Biblical material seem familiar today? We will first review the most significant examples of apocalyptic themes and then look at some modern examples. For example, Elon Musk used the term “summoning the demons” to describe his concern that artificial intelligence could possibly lead to unpreventable wars between nations. Stephen Hawking and other scientists have expressed similar fears. Currently, some page-one stories about the dark web, revenge porn, deep fake, and ransomware might remind a reader of passages in Isaiah, Ezekiel, or Jeremiah. There will be time for discussion and speculation.

Steve Ruth


Fitness/Health/Leadership (Speaker: Ethan Carter)

As a growing professional I like to discuss the ups and downs of living from a personal level. Each person chooses their own path and “exercises” decision making along the way. Each decision has consequences (good/bad) and that is just part of life. When most think of me, they think of the physical aspects of exercise, but exercise begins in the mind. One must make a choice to participate and then physically go out and participate. From there, one must develop discipline in doing the appropriate things to meet their health related objectives/goals.

Life is the same way. One must develop discipline, make decisions, set objectives/goals, and then move forward. Just like in exercise, our bodies will respond differently based on who you are as an individual. Not everyone is the same. Thus one must be comfortable with themselves, their limits, and decisions. In all, life truly is an exercise of the mind, body, and soul for as long as we live.

How will you run that race of life?

Ethan Carter


Foreign Accent (Speaker: Steven Weinberger)

A discussion on why and how adults typically have a foreign accent in their speech when they learn a new language after childhood, how native listeners judge this accent, and the ways in which the non-natives try to lose the accent.

Steven Weinberger


Foreign Intelligence (Speaker: Robert Deitz)

How does the U.S. conduct foreign intelligence.

Robert L. Deitz


Foreign Policy (Speaker: Richard Kauzlarich)

Ambassador Kauzlarich can address any number of topics regarding foreign policy, the former Soviet Union, the Balkans, international energy and economic issues, energy transition and sustainability, role of US local governments in international relations, human rights, conflict resolution and peacemaking, and humanitarian aid.

Richard Kauzlarich


Forty Years of Exploration of the Surface of Mars (Speaker: Harold Geller)

On the 20th day of August, 1975, the Viking 1 spacecraft was launched into space towards Mars. On the 19th day of June, 1976, the Viking 1 spacecraft reached the planet Mars. The Viking 1 Lander was to set down on the surface of Mars for the bicentennial celebration in the USA. Unfortunately, due to the ruggedness of the original chosen landing site, the Viking 1 Lander did not land on the surface of Mars until July 20th, which marked the 7th anniversary since the landing on the Moon. The robotic arm of the Viking 1 Lander malfunctioned, and, in spite of an onboard computer with only 64K of RAM, the computer was re-programmed to extend the robotic arm so that on the 28th of July, 1976, we reached out and touched the surface of Mars. We discuss the exploration of the surface of Mars from the Viking mission in 1976 to the current Curiosity rover on Mars; and, the part it all played in my own life on Earth.

Harold Geller


From Idea to Impact: Navigating the Entrepreneurial Journey (Speaker: Christina Wellner)

In today’s fast-paced world, entrepreneurship has emerged as a beacon of opportunity, offering a pathway for innovative thinkers to create meaningful change and shape the future. For college students brimming with ambition and creativity, the entrepreneurial journey beckons with promise and possibility.

But amidst the excitement lies a maze of challenges, uncertainties, and tough decisions. How does one transform a bold idea into a thriving venture? What are the essential skills and mindsets needed to succeed in the competitive landscape of entrepreneurship? And perhaps most importantly, how can aspiring entrepreneurs navigate the highs and lows of the journey while staying true to their vision?

In this dynamic and engaging talk, we dive deep into the heart of entrepreneurship, exploring the key principles, strategies, and insights that can turn dreams into reality. Drawing from real-world experiences and cutting-edge research, we uncover the secrets to entrepreneurial success and illuminate the path forward for aspiring changemakers.

From identifying market opportunities to crafting compelling business plans, from building resilient teams to navigating the funding landscape, this talk equips college students with the tools and mindset needed to thrive as entrepreneurs. Whether you’re a budding innovator with a passion for disruption or simply curious about the world of startups, join us as we embark on an inspiring journey from idea to impact.

Dr. Christina Wellner


From Side Hustle to Success: Transform Your Small Business with Corporate Strategy (Speaker: Sean Spence)

Whether you’re running a lemonade stand or a start-up law firm, learn how corporate finance and strategy principles can take your business to the next level. Gain insights into maximizing profits, managing risks, and creating long-term growth.

Sean A. Spence


Gentrification in Washington, DC (Speaker: Johanna Bockman)

Gentrification and its impact on inequalities and democratic participation in Washington, DC. From the 1940s to the present.

Johanna Bockman


George Mason the Man (Speaker: Tom Moncure)

Biographical with emphasis on his strength of character and central role in forming this government. Can readily tailor to audience interests and time constraints.

Tom Moncure


George Mason University Capital Project Highlights (Speaker: Alex Iszard)

An overview into the near term development for the campuses of George Mason University.

Alex Iszard


Globalization (Speaker: Johanna Bockman)

An overview of the major global trends and debates in the areas of politics, economics, society and culture.

Johanna Bockman


Government Policies in Biblical Times (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

Government policies in biblical times.  Human rights, gender equity, inheritance rights, etc.  This talk examines governmental issues in Bible times with respect to topics that are in today’s news, like civil rights, gender equity, limits of governmental authority, and many others.

Steve Ruth


Health Policy (Speaker: Alison Cuellar)

Health Care Reform. Professor Alison Cuellar can address the following topics regarding health care reform: private health insurance, employer provided health insurance, medicare, medicaid, mental health and substance abuse treatment., telehealth

Alison Cuellar


Health Workforce Shortages (Speaker: P.J. Maddox)

As America ages in place and its demand for health services increases, so does the shortage of qualified health professionals. The speaker does presentations on the causes and consequences of workforce shortages and what can be done about them.

P.J. Maddox


Healthy Desk Mechanics: Get Fit While You Sit (Speaker: Patrice Winter)

We spend so much of our life in a seated position (deskwork, driving a car, entertainment [movies, TV, sporting events]). Neck and back pain is rampant in the US. Our bodies are designed for movement. This session will address stretches, exercise and posture tips to avoid becoming a statistic.

Patrice Winter


Hiawatha in History, Legend and Poetry (Speaker: Mary McCutcheon)

Most of us know about Hiawatha from Longfellow’s long poem. But there was a historic Hiawatha as well as Iroquois legends embellishing this person’s career. How did Longfellow come to pick Hiawatha for his poem?

Mary McCutcheon


High Fidelity Modeling of Pathogen Movement, Transmission and Mitigation in the Built Environment (Speaker: Rainald Lohner)

The recent Covid-19 pandemic has led to a thorough review of current ventilation systems in the built environment. The talk gives overview of high-fidelity modeling of pathogen propagation, transmission and mitigation. Starting from the current understanding of pathogen, and in particular virus transmission and mitigation, the required physical and numerical models are derived and proper simulation tools for flow, pathogens and UV radiation are shown. Thereafter, the motion of pedestrians, as well as proper ways to couple computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and computational crowd dynamics (CCD) to enable high-fidelity pathogen transmission and infection simulations is treated. Numerous examples are given, among them sneezing scenarios in hospitals, lecture rooms, subway cars and airplane cabins.

Rainald Lohner


Highways, Land Use, Transit and Transportation Policy, Planning & Finance (Speaker: Jonathan Gifford)

Transportation funding, finance, the Interstate Highway System, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), transportation and land use, technological standardization, and information systems strategic planning, infrastructure banks, secondary road policy, transportation planning and urban development, environmental impact, and decision making.

Jonathan Gifford


History, Lessons and Legacies of the Vietnam War (no speaking engagements through August 2024) (Speaker: Meredith Lair)

This talk considers how the Vietnam War remains influential in contemporary American life.

Meredith Lair (no speaking engagements through August 2024))


How Did Face Masks Become a Partisan Symbol? (And Other Questions You Didn’t Learn in School) (Speaker: Jennifer Victor)

In this brief lecture, I draw on political science findings about political parties, partisan identity, human psychology, and media to help explain everyday political events in the context of political science. The lecture begins with a summary of cutting edge social science results that help explain the current state of affairs in American politics. Then I apply these findings to specific events, such as: how did wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus become a political statement? The event allows for audience members to pose their own questions about politics and current events and ask me to provide social science context “on the spot.” Discussions are aimed at being non-partisan, scientifically informed, and focused on explanation over advocacy of any kind.

Jennifer N. Victor


How Do You Choreograph a Dance? (Speaker: Susan Shields)

Discussion of the craft and artistry and happy coincidence in making a dance.

Susan Shields


How Do You Listen to Sermons? (Speaker: Don Boileau)

Provides different approaches to help people focus on the message in a sermon by being aware of good listening skills and how to adapt one’s interest in the topic to the sermon process.

Don Boileau


How to Run an Effective Meeting (Speaker: Don Boileau)

Can cover a variety of needed areas within the topic area: a) how to plan an agenda, b) how to stick to the agenda, c) how to use parliamentary procedure to focus on issues, and when NOT to use parliamentary procedure, and d) how to evaluate a meeting.

Don Boileau


Human Trafficking (not available until June 2025) (Speaker: Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera)

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera (not available until June 2025)


Humility: The Forgotten Virtue (Speaker: June Tangney)

Humility is not simply modesty or low self-esteem.  It is a complex virtue that invites creativity and collaboration.

June Tangney


Ibsen and the Birth of Modern Drama (Speaker: Rick Davis)

A look at the revolution in drama launched by Henrik Ibsen, one of the giant figures of European letters in the late 19th century.

Rick Davis


Immigrant Families (Speaker: Colleen Vesely)

This topic focuses on immigration trends in the US and the experiences of immigrant families, especially in terms of parenting and education. Strategies for understanding and working with immigrant families across a number of sectors will be offered.

Colleen Vesely


Immigration (not available until June 2025) (Speaker: Gaudalupe Correa-Cabrera)

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera (not available until June 2025)


Impact of Operations Research on U.S. Industry (Speaker: Karla Hoffman)

The field of operations research, and its development of analytics tool that transform “big data” into useful information for management decision making is transforming the way companies perform. This talk will illustrate how the field has impacted the transformation of many companies and how the field is continuing to change with the advent of cloud computing, one-to-one marketing, machine learning and the development of the field of advanced analytics (prescriptive analytics).

Karla Hoffman


Impact Performance in a Media World (Speaker: Susie Tomasovic)

Whether announcing on the radio, delivering television news, or acting in a film or documentary, the human voice and body are your tools to inform and persuade in broadcast performance. Techniques are introduced and skills practiced regarding how to improve vocal (paralanguage) and physical (nonverbal) delivery elements to more effectively communicate messages in a performance setting.

Susan (Susie) Tomasovic


Implementing Policy/Practice Reform in U.S. Corrections Agencies (Speaker: Danielle Rudes)

As organizations move scientific, scholarly research into work environments, our knowledge of implementation processes grows. However, scholars still know little about how managers and staff acquire knowledge about evidence-based or evidence-informed practices (EBPs/EIPs), how much they understand them and how they are used. This study examines how organizational actors understand, negotiate and implement reforms including EBPs in community corrections agencies (adult and juvenile probation/parole within federal, state and local systems). Using data from over 1000 hours of qualitative observations of and interviews with 114+ community corrections senior and middle managers and street-level staff in adult and juvenile probation/parole and problem solving courts this project extends current scholarship by combining focusing explicitly on definitions, sources, understandings and uses of scientific and scholarly research for practice and policy decisions. It also expands existing data by analyzing in-depth, follow up interviews with community corrections workers to elicit detailed narratives specifically about how community corrections managers and staff: 1) define EBPs; 2) seek/gather information regarding EBPs, 3)understand EBPs and their role in their agency, and 4) adapt/adopt EBPs to fit within existing agency policies and practices. Ultimately, this research will enhance existing knowledge about the implementation, dissemination, translation and sustainability of reforms within community supervision settings.

Danielle S. Rudes


Influencing Congress (Speaker: David Rehr)

How Congress is influenced by citizens and interest groups. The topic includes: ● How does Congress receive information? ● Where do Members and staff look for information? ● How do activist citizens leverage relationships with elected officials? ● Which special interest organizations exercise their power well? Which do not achieve results? ● What advocacy tools are generally used? ● What does the future hold for advocacy and how will changes impact our constitutional rights?

David K. Rehr


International Food Assistance, Food Security, and National Security (Speaker: Phil Thomas)

Food Insecurity is one of the most critical problems confronting the global community in the Twenty-First Century. Despite numerous national and international efforts over the past 60 years, its elimination remains elusive due to a complex array of environmental and human factors. Despite the existence an adequate supply of food to feed the global population at this time, the absence of effective governance and political will at a national and global level is perhaps the most significant obstacle to achieving resilient, sustainable, and environmentally appropriate food security for the entire global population. Today over 800 million people are chronically malnourished while millions more are suffering from acute malnutrition. A growing number of national conflicts, COVID-19, and an escalating climate crisis have created a perfect storm and placed global food insecurity at a crucial tipping point. Hunger is number one on the list of global society’s top 10 health risks. It kills more people than AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis combined. Missing out on essential nutrients in 1000 days from conception to a child’s second birthday translates into irreversible damage to cognitive and physical development. The intensifying global food security crisis significantly affects the poor, elderly, racial minorities, and small farmers throughout the globe who are on the verge of starvation daily. Elimination of global hunger demands improving national and global governance by making it more inclusive, participatory, transparent, and accountable. Dedicated leadership, multi-institution and grass roots commitment, and broad based political will are crucial to eliminating global hunger and ultimately achieving the UN goal of zero hunger in our lifetime. In the final analysis, without food security there is no national security.

Phil Thomas


Irish History, Art, and Literature (Remote Speaking Engagements Preferred) (Speaker: Laura McCloskey)

Ms. McCoskey would be delighted to present on any topic of Irish history from the medieval period to the present. Her primary focus is in art history and its connections to the society and overall culture of Ireland and its people. Her specialty is medieval manuscript illumination (e.g. The Book of Kells) with a secondary specialty in the work of poet William Butler Yeats.

Laura McCloskey (Remote Speaking Engagements Preferred)


Is That Really in the Bible? (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

Nearly everybody has a favorite event or story from the Bible. Ruth has collected dozens of them for the class, each with a very different spin than may be customary. The lecture will address love stories in Genesis, and great curses in Deuteronomy, the stories of Deborah and Hannah—two great heroines—will be covered. Several stories about Jesus, from his teachings about the wealthy to his complicated genealogy, will be discussed, as well as Mary Magdalene’s special role in Jesus’s ministry. We’ll also cover Paul’s advice on taxes, slaves, wives, and much more. Each week we will review at least a dozen examples, including many suggested by members of the class. Some may say, “Is that really in the Bible?” It will be interesting and fun to review these stories from a different perspective.

Steve Ruth


Japanese Art (Remote Speaking Engagements Preferred) (Speaker: Laura McCloskey)

I have taught courses on Japanese art for several years and I would be glad to present on any topic relating to Japanese art history. I have a particular interest in presenting on the art and traditions of Zen Buddhism, but I am open to any topic.

Laura McCloskey (Remote Speaking Engagements Preferred)


Joint Health: You Rest, You Rust (Speaker: Patrice Winter)

Our bodies are designed for movement. Our bodies begin aging as soon as we stop growing in our early 20s. Learn about joints. What is normal, what is not? How can we assist joint health through movement, posture and exercise? We will begin from where you are now physically. If you have limited motion in a joint(s), need an assistive device or have no physical complaints and want to stay that way, this talk is for you.

Patrice Winter


Latin American Film (Speaker: Lisa Rabin)

Professor Rabin can lecture on Latin American film of the twentieth century, including the “New Cinema” of the 1960s-1980s. She can also lecture on the 20th-century history of US educational documentaries for global education projects in and outside of the traditional classroom.

Lisa Rabin


Leadership (Speaker: Rob Holder)

My Leadership experience encapsulated through my presentation is designed to provide a thorough understanding of leadership applications across a multitude of sectors (Business, Government, Non-government, Military and Non-profit). Through the use of personal case studies, I will break down the various aspects of leadership under numerous contexts and situations. I will apply the Strengths Based Leadership principles and Positive Psychology which allows the audience to gain a true and complete understanding of the type of leader they may be and how to best use their talents and strengths in numerous leadership situations. After this presentation you will seek to grow out of your “comfort zone” and take on new challenges that best compliment those hidden yet to be discovered leadership traits. The presentation is high energy and very interactive. Come prepared to uncover the LEADER within you.

Questions central to the investigation of leader

ship will include:

What is the difference between Leaders and Leadership?
What are the key elements of Leadership?
What is the purpose of Leadership?
Start with the Why of Leadership?
What influences Leaders?
How do gender, culture, power, and authority relate to Leadership?

Rob Holder


Leadership Skills through Volunteering and Internships (Speaker: Philip Wilkerson)

There are intangible skills that can be learned through experiences such as internships and volunteering. This presentation will discuss those skills and how citizens should seek out opportunities to serve to enhance professional skills.

Philip Wilkerson


Leading Change through the Power of Appreciative Intelligence® (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

This talk is designed to develop your ability to reframe and perceive the generative potential in challenging situations and to engage in purposive action to transform the potential to positive outcomes.  Most of our leaders today are engaged in continuous problem solving and crisis management. Over a period of time, the firefighting mind-set inhibits whatever Appreciative Intelligence (www.appreciativeintelligence.com) that they may have had and traps them to a path of a single-trajectory problem solving style. Opportunities for innovation and creativity might have been lost. As leaders they end up spending most of their time attending to what is urgent as opposed to what is important. This talk will help the audience develop their leadership for creating positive change by making use of their Appreciative Intelligence.  They will learn various tools that they can use to reframe typical challenges in their organizational context and sharpen their leadership skills.

Tojo Thatchenkery


Leveraging Knowledge Management for Strategic Change (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

Managing tacit knowledge is a core competency as well as a challenge for high intellectual capital-oriented organizations. Professionals in such organizations are mindful of the turbulence in the environment and are constantly dealing with knowledge saturation and complexity. Over the years they must have developed a refined tacit understanding of what works and what does not. They may be willing to share this organization- specific knowledge with others as well as learn from one another. Based on the learning from his books- Appreciative Inquiry and Knowledge Management (2007) and Appreciative Sharing of Knowledge: Leveraging Knowledge Management for Strategic Change (2005)- Dr. Thatchenkery will introduce the participants to a new methodology for knowledge management. The approach is highly customized for each organization where participants will be asked to consider instances when true knowledge sharing may have occurred and propose an outline to sustain an effective KM process. For more information, please visit www.appreciativeintelligence.com

Tojo Thatchenkery


Leveraging Social Capital for Professional Growth and Success (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

The objective of this talk is to help Asian Americans leverage their human and social capital for enhancing their career advancement and professional growth. This unique seminar is offered by Dr. Tojo Thatchenkery, a consultant and researcher specializing in Asian American career advancement issues in corporate America. Based on the latest research evidences contained in his new book- Making the Invisible Visible: Understanding the Leadership Contributions of Asian Minorities in the Workplace (2011)-, and interviews with hundreds of Asian Americans in Fortune 500 companies and federal agencies, this talk will help you understand the interaction between your ethnicity, perceptions and expectations held by others about you, and ways to work through the resulting complexities. Asian Americans are known to have more difficulty in converting human capital to social capital compared to other ethnic groups. They use impression management styles that are significantly different from Caucasian Americans and least likely to lead to career advancement. Offered in an experiential style, the talk will help you address these issues and become aware of the different ways human capital is transformed into social capital and the importance of enhancing the latter.

Tojo Thatchenkery


Lives in Ruins: Life in the Archaeological Site of Chichén Itzá (Speaker: Lisa Breglia)

While millions of international tourists a year visit the World Heritage site of Chichén Itzá in southern Mexico and eagerly bask in its ancient wonder, few people appreciate the contemporary significance of the archaeological site. Using archival and ethnographic research, I discuss 1) how modern science and modern Maya people came to view this “ancient Maya” site, 2) the role of the heritage site in contemporary community life, and 3) the heated debates over who has the rights to benefit from the enormous incomes that such “wonders of the world” generate from international tourism.

Lisa Breglia


Local and Regional Small Business and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (Speaker: Jody Keenan)

A presentation about the entrepreneurial ecosystem landscape to include opportunities, challenges and resources.

Jody Keenan


Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places – The Search for Life in the Universe (Speaker: Harold Geller)

In recent days there has been much talk about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in the universe. However, where are we looking and why do we look where we look, is often overlooked in the media and on the internet. We will discuss the search for life in the universe and reveal the techniques and rationale of looking for life in all the right places; in our Solar System, in our Milky Way Galaxy, and in our universe. Carl Sagan once said that “somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” There are those who argue that the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe will be the greatest discovery of them all.

Harold Geller


Looking for Public Policy Solutions? Some Lessons from the Bible (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

Are there useful lessons from the Bible to help economists manage inflation? How about political insights? Can we learn from the ancient kings and prophets, matriarchs and patriarchs about how to govern properly? What about the countless issues that are on page one every day such as: artificial intelligence, revenge porn, misinformation, political intrigue, agriculture policy, taxation, and a score of others? This course takes direct aim at linking the Bible with current events today. It includes management advice to Solomon from his father-in-law; agricultural policy in ancient Egypt under Joseph’s guidance; King Josiah’s response to an unfavorable report unearthed unexpectedly; St. Paul’s perspective on slavery, women’s rights and celibacy; Mary Magdalene on giving financial support to a controversial movement; and of course, the teachings of Jesus on division of wealth, rights of the poor and the indigent, and dozens more. No Bible knowledge is expected.

Steve Ruth


Lyme Disease (Speaker: Don Boileau)

Dr. Boileau, as having had Lyme Disease, will be joined by his wife, a member of the National Capital Lyme Disease Board of Directors, to cover the presence, testing, and prevention methods relevant to people in the DMV area.

Don Boileau


Management in Health Care (Speaker: Ana Stoehr)

The evolving management requirements in today’s health care.

Ana Stoehr


Managing Technostress (Speaker: Star Muir)

Our fast-paced world, with information bombarding us from computers, cell phones, media advertisements, spam and other sources, can overload and stress out our lives. This presentation identifies some of the impacts of information overload, and addresses different strategies for coping with these and other pressures in our rapid-fire mediated environment.

Star Muir


Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech (Speaker: Don Boileau)

This speech is one of the greatest speeches in US History because of its structure, word selection, and message. Even though many of the word choices are different today King’s use of metaphor and imagery reflect the needs of the time. It was an opportunity that maybe only King could have the necessary ethos to respond.

Don Boileau


Mathematics and Music (Speaker: Ilhan Izmirli)

From a purely computational point of view, there are several well-known applications of mathematics in music from basic arithmetic (to study such fundamental elements of music such as tempo and meter), to the golden ratio and Fibonacci numbers (to determine the number of notes in subsections of longer works), to Fourier series (to understand the nature of harmonics), and to logarithmic scales (used in some tuning systems). Indeed, problems associated with tuning also gives us an opportunity to investigate the concept of rational approximations to irrational numbers as well as provide us with an application of group theory.

However, modern dodecaphonic compositions make more profound use of theoretical mathematics, which expedites the incorporation of set theory, abstract algebra, number theory, and probability and statistics into music. In this talk, we intend to focus on some of these deeper relationships between mathematics and music.

Ilhan Izmirli


Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Rodney M. Davis (USMC) (Speaker: John Hollis)

My new book, “Sgt. Rodney M. Davis: The Making of a Hero,” is a factual account of the life, death and enduring legacy of Macon, Georgia’s lone Medal of Honor recipient following that fateful afternoon in Vietnam’s Que Son Valley in which his company of 200 Marines desperately tried to withstand an onslaught by an NVA force estimated to have 2,500 men during one of the nastiest fights of the entire Vietnam War.

A member of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Davis served as a right guide in 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company. His platoon listed 48 men at the start of Operation Swift, including two machine gunners, a two-man sniper team and a forward artillery observer. Just 11 remained by the time major combat operations concluded on Sept. 6, the rest either having been killed or wounded seriously enough to warrant a medevac out. Of those 11, eight later received Purple Hearts for gunshot and/or shrapnel wounds suffered during combat.

The time of his death in 1967 was one of the most volatile in U.S. domestic history, with Davis and other African-Americans ironically still being denied at home the very liberties they were fighting to defend thousands of miles away in Southeast Asia. More than 150 U.S. cities experienced costly and equally-as-destructive race riots that summer, and Jim Crow remained the law of the land in Davis’ hometown of Macon, Georgia as America slipped closer to anarchy than at any time since the Civil War.

That Davis still chose to jump onto an enemy grenade at the critical moment and sacrifice his own life for the lives of five fellow Marines who just happened to be white speaks volumes about Davis, his principles and his unflinching courage even in the face of certain death. It takes a special man to fight for a country that has denied him full rights as a citizen, a more extraordinary one still to willingly lay down his own life for that country.

Davis, however, didn’t care about color. The Marines sharing that trench with him were ALL his brothers, and he was no stranger to looking out after his own after coming of age in the Jim Crow South. Color had always been a contentious issue there, but it had no place along Vietnam’s frontlines, where each man depended on one another for survival no matter their race. Davis would do anything for the four siblings with whom he grew up, and would do no less for his new Marine brothers in Vietnam. He died as nobly as he lived.

Davis is one of only 88 African-Americans ever awarded the Medal of Honor and is honored at both the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, VA and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

John Hollis


Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners in Our Schools: Toward a Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (Speaker: Rebecca Fox)

This talk will present an overview of our rapidly changing demographics and provide information about the salient research supporting second language acquisition, and the importance of the intersection of critical social justice with second language acquisition. By understanding some major points about second language acquisition, parents and policy makers will be equipped to make the informed decisions that promote a culturally and linguistically supportive pedagogy. This knowledge will also help to dispel some of the principle misconceptions about how students best acquire English for success in today’s schools.

Rebecca Fox, Ph.D.


Mentorship is Essential to Professional and Personal Growth (Speaker: Philip Wilkerson)

This presentation will include:

  • How to establish a new mentorship relationship (how to do outreach to a prospective mentor)
  • How to vet whether you and your new mentor vibe or have the same values
  • How to establish a long term plan for the mentorship relationship and set goals
  • How to maintain the mentorship relationship
  • How to conclude or end a mentorship relationship

Philip Wilkerson


Mexico-U.S. Relations (not available until June 2025) (Speaker: Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera)

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera (not available until June 2025)


Micromobility (Speaker: Mohan Venigalla)

The role of bikeshare and e-scooters in shaping urban mobility.

Mohan Venigalla


Mindful Leadership for Innovation (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

If you were to analyze the top 50 of the over 1,000 leadership books published during the last five years you will find that there isn’t a single approach to leadership that will work in every situation. Ironically, many of them contradict one another. But, is there a mindset or attitude about being a leader that might work for us irrespective of our industry or specialty? I believe there is and I call it the mindful leadership. Mindful leadership does not ask us to locate ourselves in a quadrant, follow ten strategies, or practice seven steps.  It merely asks us to pay attention and notice what’s around us. The ancient Buddhist practice of paying full attention to the present moment intentionally and non-judgmentally holds significant promise for developing leadership and creating innovation without strife and stress. Mindfulness enables us to recognize simple, practical responses to difficult innovation challenges rather than reacting out of habit. However, being aware is not an easy mental state to be in for most of us. It takes practice to engage with openness and see new possibilities for innovation. Being open to experiences without judging is an act of appreciation. This talk will explore the rather paradoxical task of merely paying attention to accentuate our awareness of the socially constructed nature of organizational reality and to feel comfortable to act with simplicity, empathy, and conviction. Examples from companies such as Google, Target, and General Mills that have developed mindful leadership programs will be shared.

Tojo Thatchenkery


Mission and Money: Using Corporate Strategy to Strengthen Your Small Church or Non-Profit (Speaker: Sean Spence)

Discover how strategic planning and financial tools typically used by businesses can enhance the reach and impact of your faith-based organization or non-profit. Learn how to optimize resources, attract funding, and achieve sustainable growth while staying true to your mission.

Sean A. Spence


My Year with Rothko (not available August – October, 2024) (Speaker: Edward Gero)

An in depth look at the research, rehearsals and production of playing Mark Rothko in the first American production of John Logan’s Tony Award winning play RED, directed by Tony Award winning director Robert Falls which opened in Chicago and transferred to Washington’s Arena Stage. An inside look at the creating of character and the making of theater and understanding the work of one of America’s most influential painter of the 20th Century.

Edward Gero (not available August – October, 2024)


Myths, Archetypes, Campbell and Jung: An Actor’s Tools in Creating Arc of Character (not available August – October, 2024) (Speaker: Edward Gero)

The processes and approaches to “becoming a character” for performance are myriad and can be even mysterious. Actor and professor, Edward Gero, explores an approach to interpreting and creating character inspired by Jungian archetypes and mythical storytelling patterns identified by Joseph Campbell in his seminal work “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” Tracing his process in his performances in King Lear and portraying The Bastard in Shakespeare’s King John, as well as his current preparations for the title role of Sweeney Todd, Professor Gero will discuss his personal approach to mining, identifying and incorporating mythical and archetypal patterns from the text that speak to audiences in both conscious and unconscious ways.

Edward Gero (not available August – October, 2024)


New Approaches to Treatment During Incarceration (Speaker: June Tangney)

New research provides a framework for more constructive treatment approaches to break the cycle of crime.

June Tangney


New Topics in Political Conflict in the USA (Speaker: Charles Davidson)

The nature of domestic political conflict in the United States has changed gradually in the past 25 years, demonstrating more rigid characteristics of polarization, combativeness, and identity-basis. The candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump and the fallout over the election of Joe Biden and the COVID-19 pandemic have crystalized conflict in ways that have been rarely witnessed in America. This intractability poses both a threat to the future of the democratic process and our progress as a nation and demands new ways of conflict resolution strategy and practice.

Charles E. Davidson, Ph.D.


Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century (Speaker: Harold Geller)

This talk addresses the issues associated with the use of nuclear energy, including nuclear power generation for electrical energy and nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are among the most dangerous military threats facing humanity. Nuclear waste is considered one of the most fearsome long-term risks to life on Earth. The talk also addresses the many ethical challenges posed by nuclear energy.

Harold Geller


Nuclear Power: Is it Green? (Speaker: Robert Ehrlich)

A discussion of the past, present and future of nuclear power, and its contribution to our quest for clean energy.

Robert Ehrlich (no evening engagements)


Organized Crime (not available until June 2025) (Speaker: Gaudalupe Correa-Cabrera)

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera (not available until June 2025)


Origins of Philosophy in Ancient Greece (Speaker: Rose Cherubin)

In seventh century B.C.E. Greece, an investigation arose that was so unusual that a new word, philosophic, was invented. This talk focuses on how philosophia differed from other ways of thinking, how it was similar, and the importance of its influence. The influences of neighboring civilizations such as Egypt, Persia, and Babylon are explored.

Rose Cherubin


Partnering with Mason, Where Do I Start? (Speaker: Mercedes Price)

We understand that navigating a large public research university can be confusing, and it is often difficult to figure out where to start. A company may want to start an endowed scholarship, contribute corporate philanthropic dollars to the College of Visual Performing Arts, or put their name on a building. How do they know who to talk to? What if they just want to “get to know” Mason?

The Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) team was formed to help corporations and foundations answer these questions and find an easy path into Mason. We are interested in learning from our partners what they would like to accomplish with a Mason partnership, and determine what we need to do in order to accomplish those goals. No two partnerships are the same, and we want to work with organizations on a model that is mutually beneficial.

Mercedes Price


Personal Safety Risk Management (Speaker: Molly Davis)

The workplace is an increasingly risky place. While it is impossible to eliminate the risk, it is possible to manage the risk. This workshop provides information to human service professionals and health care personnel on specific strategies who work with the public or specialized populations with greater risk for violence.

Molly Davis


Peru, Indigenous Populations, Conflict (Speaker: Linda Seligmann)

Speaker will discuss current and past conditions and livelihoods of Quechua-speaking indigenous peoples in Peru.

Linda Seligmann


Philosophy of Mathematics (Speaker: Ilhan Izmirli)

The philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that explores the foundation that is, the structural nature of mathematics and its implications.

After a concise review of its historical development, we will briefly touch on the various schools of philosophy of mathematics such as formalism, intuitionism, logicism, Platonism, conventionalism, constructivism, empiricism, and quasi-empiricism. Our goal is to focus on the social constructivist approach to the philosophy of mathematics, which interprets mathematics primarily as a social construct that is, as a product of culture that is subject to correction and change.

Ilhan Izmirli


Polarization’s Children: Political Socialization in the Age of Hatred (Speaker: Jeremy Mayer)

This is part of an ongoing research project looking at whether polarized parents pass along their hatred to their children. It is derived from a proprietary data set of 1,048 pairs of parents and middle school children.

Jeremy Mayer


Political Tribalism in America: Causes and Cures (Speaker: Richard Rubenstein)

Why do political conflicts in America increasingly resemble ethnic, religious, and nationalist struggles that have been fought out violently in many other nations. How can the threat of civil violence in our own country be averted?

Richard Rubenstein


Positivity at Work (Speaker: Philip Wilkerson)

During this session, we will discuss how my George Mason University Career Services staff and I incorporate positivity and well-being into our jobs. Well-Being is a full team initiative in our office and I am the self-proclaimed co-captain of positivity in my office along with my colleague Christie Michals. We try to be our full selves to work and to make sure we are happy. Happier workers are more efficient, motivated, driven, and productive workers.

Philip Wilkerson


Poverty, Inequality, and Conflict (Speaker: Richard Rubenstein)

How do poverty and inequality generate violent conflict even in a wealthy nation like the U.S.A.? What can be done to alter or eliminate the root causes of crime, structural violence, and war? This lecture brings the insights of conflict analysis and resolution to bear on an increasingly critical domestic problem.

Richard Rubenstein


Power of Visualization for Long-Term Goal-Setting (Speaker: Philip Wilkerson)

Science has proven that visualization will increase the likelihood of achieving your long term goals. During this presentation, we will explore your long-term goals and the micro-steps necessary to complete them.

Philip Wilkerson


Powerful Bible Women — Models for Today? (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

Today, when women’s rights are at the forefront of public policy debates, it may be surprising to learn that some very powerful role models from thousands of years ago can be found in the Bible. The daughters of Zelophehad talked back to Moses about inheritance rights (and won). Achsah successfully demanded that her husband and father-in-law provide more desirable land than was offered. Deborah had to goad a reluctant Barak into battle (and won). There are dozens of examples in the Bible of heroic women, and we will meet them all. In addition, we will encounter some of the tough women who were not so nice, like Jezebel and her daughter Athalia, who was the only queen ever to rule in pre-exilic Israel. Many of these women could easily be spokespersons for speaking truth to power, like Bathsheba, Tamar, Esther, Hannah, Huldah, Jael, Judith, Shiphrah and Puah, Sheerah, two Sarahs, Susanna, Vashti, Zipporah, and others. New Testament women include Mary Magdalene and her friends who, among others, supported Jesus spiritually and financially.

Steve Ruth


Praxis in Peacemaking and Peacebuilding (Speaker: Charles Davidson)

Peacemaking and Peacebuilding the world over necessitate the blending of scholarship and practice. Known as Praxis, this combination illuminates paths forward in a variety of situations from the world’s war torn countries to conflict at home. Charles Davidson will reflect on his time in the field of peacemaking in war torn countries and talk about how lessons in peacemaking Praxis can be used in any conflict.

Charles E. Davidson, Ph.D.


Prayer in America— an important part of our history, or a distraction? (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

James P. Moore’s book, “One Nation Under God,” is an amazing source of insight and understanding into the role of prayer starting at the very beginning of the American experience. A summary of Moore’s book states that it “brings together the country’s hymns, patriotic anthems, arts, and literature as a framework for telling the story of the innermost thoughts of the people who shaped United States we know today.” Beginning with Native Americans “One Nation Under God” traces the prayer lives of Quakers, Shakers, Muslims, Catholics, and Jews, from the earliest days of the United States through the advent of cyberspace, the aftermath of 9/11 and later presidential elections. It probes the approach to prayer by such diverse individuals as Benjamin Franklin, Elvis Presley, Frank Lloyd Wright, Martha Graham, J.C. Penney, Mary Pickford, Cesar Chavez, PT Barnum, Jackie Robinson, and Christopher Columbus it includes every president of the United States as well as American farmers, clergy, immigrants, industrialists, minor sports heroes and scientists.” This talk will take the audience on a trip across centuries of American history, focused almost entirely on prayer. In case that sounds boring, the speaker guarantees that there will be abundant surprises, not just about the many historical personalities that will be examined, but also about the amazing ways that prayer has solidified the country, particularly in times of serious trouble. An example is Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer” which his publishers were unwilling to release because of its explosive political ramifications. We will examine dozens of these examples of the importance and the relevance of prayer, including FDR’s famous note to the Allied troops before the Normandy landings.

Steve Ruth


Prevent, Reinforce, and Teach (Speaker: Christan Coogle)

Dr. Coogle will provide a seminar to support educators and parents who have the goal of decreasing challenging behaviors and increasing more desirable behaviors. Dr. Coogle will focus on how to prevent challenging behavior, identify the function of challenging behaviors, and how to teach more appropriate or desired behaviors. Opportunities will be provided for discussion and questions.

Christan Coogle


Quiet Leadership: Discovering the New Strategic Advantage and the Hidden Talent in Your Organization (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

“A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind,” wrote Nelson Mandela in his autobiography. In the United States, leadership is closely connected to charisma and visibility. If you are not visible, you are not a leader. In many other parts of the world, especially in Asian cultures, leadership is not about being visible. It is the opposite: quietly doing your work and assuming that rewards will come. Can tacit assumptions about leadership lead to different outcomes regarding who occupies top leadership positions in corporate America and other organizations? What is the reason that despite founding one fourth of firms in the Silicon Valley during the technology boom, Asian Americans are still perceived as not “leadership material?” The evidence suggests that Asian Americans, a mere five percent of the U.S population has contributed a significantly high proportion of entrepreneurs and innovators. But they practice a form of quiet or invisible leadership because of an unconscious, deep rooted cultural assumption that leadership is about enabling and empowering, not about bringing attention to oneself and shining. Based on Dr. Thatchenkery’s new book on this topic the talk will highlight the leadership contributions of Asian Americans in organizational settings. It will show that empowering such invisible leaders can create meaningful and positive change in organizations.

Tojo Thatchenkery


Quiet Leadership: Valuing Different Ways of Leading and Creating Innovation (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

Based on his brand new book on invisible leadership (2011), Dr. Thatchenkery will show that the time has come to value quiet leadership again. Most of our understanding of leadership comes from research and theories developed in the United States. The assumption is that leaders are highly charismatic and very visible. However, genuine leadership is not about charisma or visibility. A significant amount of real accomplishments in organizations are made possible by “quiet leaders,” those who complete their tasks with commitment and often go above and beyond the call of duty, without seeking or receiving visibility. Such leaders create innovation and new products because they are good in creating positive synergy in teams as well as valuing others. Empowering such “invisible leaders” can create meaningful and positive change in your organization. Smart organizations must embrace a global view of leadership which values multiple styles and cultural practices. The talk will share approaches and tools to recognize, grow, and sustain quiet leadership. Examples will be shared from highly innovative organizations such as Apple and Google where invisible or quiet leadership has played a key part in their growth and success.

Tojo Thatchenkery


Religion and Conflict in the USA (Speaker: Charles Davidson)

Religious conflict in the United States is partially the result of the perceived loss of the “culture wars” by the religious right. Rooted in the fundamentalist/modernist split, this conflict is especially catalyzed by the perceived necessity of the religious right to preserve their identity. What has transpired is a new blend of religion and politics that is reshaping the identities of both conservative politics and the religious/evangelical right.

Charles E. Davidson, Ph.D.


Religious Conflicts and Their Resolution (Speaker: Richard Rubenstein)

Why do religious conflicts sometimes become lethal? What is causing the current spread of violent religious conflicts worldwide? What can be done to resolve these conflicts?

Richard Rubenstein


Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Speaker: Harold Geller)

This talk addresses the scientific and social concepts associated with renewable and non-renewable energy and the environment. It will provide an overview of the physical concept of energy as well as the scientific thoughts and processes. The talk examines both the non-renewable and renewable sources of energy in use today alongside the viable alternatives for the future and concludes with a study of energy conservation and how the use of energy on this planet has a synergism with the issues of pollution and climate change.

Harold Geller


Renewable Energy, Nuclear Energy and Climate Change (Speaker: Robert Ehrlich)

This talk considers the impetus to move away from fossil fuels and towards greater usage of renewable energy. It also considers the advantages and problems associated with renewable energy, a possible future for nuclear energy, and the best science-informed policy with regard to our energy future.

Robert Ehrlich (no evening engagements)


Russia’s War on Ukraine: Origins and Update (Speaker: Steven Barnes)

On February 24, 2022, drawing upon a variety of demonstrably false historical analogies, Vladimir Putin ordered a mass invasion of Ukraine, extending a war that had been ongoing since 2014. Ukrainians have suffered horrific crimes at the hands of the Russian invader, but Ukraine has inspired the world through its remarkable resistance and resilience. How can an understanding of history help us make sense of this earthshaking event?

What is Ukraine and how did it come to be the object of Putin’s violent obsession? How do Ukraine’s history and culture help us understand the rise of this nation and their resistance and resilience? What historical analogies are appropriate to our understanding of this war? In this lecture and discussion, Professor Steven Barnes will explore the historical origins of Russia’s war on Ukraine and provide an update on the most recent developments and potentialities for the future.

Steven Barnes (Note: For in-person engagements, speaker needs to wear a mask.)


Scaling Scalia (not available August – October, 2024) (Speaker: Edward Gero)

An in depth discussion of the preparation and performance of Justice Antonin Scalia in John Strand’s world premiere political drama The Originalist. An inside look at creating the character of one the most polarizing and influential Supreme Court Justice’s in the history of the Court.

Edward Gero (not available August – October, 2024)


Scientific Racism: Is this an Oxymoron? (Speaker: Mary McCutcheon)

Despite efforts by anthropologists and biologists to temper the application of race labeling, it continues to thrive. What’s wrong and what’s right with the concept of race? Why does our society crave race categories? How do people confuse the recent use of DNA-based labeling systems with the scientific reality of race?

Mary McCutcheon


Seeing Bible Stories Through a Theatrical Lens (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

Some may remember the famous movie portrayals of Samson by Victor Mature and Moses by Charlton Heston; thrilling stories from the Bible transferred to the silver screen. This course will cover dozens of stories that didn’t quite make it for full Hollywood treatment yet are so thrilling and poignant that they deserve box office status. Achsah, daughter of Caleb, at great personal risk, boldly demanded a better dowry—and got it. Elijah, all alone against the 450 priests of Baal, in a stunning moment, won his bet in a thunderous winner-take-all scene. In Acts, Paul works an amazing miracle in Malta. In a death-defying moment Queen Esther risks everything as she challenges the evil Haman. Nearing the end of his life, King David is warned that his son Adonijah has already superseded him as king—can he turn things around? In Judges, the great Deborah sees her people about to be conquered. What can a woman do? Hollywood likes happy endings, and, surprisingly, the Book of Job ends joyfully. And there are so many lesser known but fascinating accounts like this in the Old Testament and the New Testament, each fully capable of entertaining theater audiences today. Several Jesus stories will also be included, of course, ones that have particularly powerful cinematic values.

Steve Ruth


Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece: Philosophy, Poetry, Drama (Speaker: Rose Cherubin)

What if the leaders in politics, business, science, and the military had spent their youth as “eye candy,” escorts, and “sugar babies” (young people admired and sexualized for their looks, and often rewarded for sexual favors or dates)? What if the second most powerful person in the country, the top advisor and speechwriter to the President, could not vote and had no right to own property or bring a legal case? This was the situation in ancient Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, and we can trace aspects of this back to Homer three centuries earlier. Today we might find some features of this picture paradoxical: the fact that a person was expected to be cute and dumb at first and then was supposed to become an intelligent and responsible leader; the fact that a community would think it acceptable for another person to be a top political advisor yet prohibit this person from voting and bringing a legal case. Indeed, even at the time some people found these inconsistencies troubling, and suggested alternatives – some of which influenced modern political and social thought. By reflecting on the peculiarities of the ancient Greeks’ ideas about sex and gender, we can gain some perspective on our own.

Rose Cherubin


Shame and Guilt: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly (Speaker: June Tangney)

Shame and guilt are moral emotions that can be useful in fostering moral behavior. I discuss ways in which to minimize the destructive aspects of these human emotions.

June Tangney


So What is Intercultural Communication? (Speaker: Don Boileau)

In the current globalization people frequently meet other people from different cultures. This presentation covers some of the basic principles and vocabulary to help us understand why what we said is not what is heard by a person from the other culture.

Don Boileau


Social Security and Retirement Policy (Speaker: Sita Slavov)

Professor Slavov can cover a variety of topics related to retirement and Social Security (ranging from policy options to individual decisions about when to claim benefits) depending on the audience interests. Her area of research is retirement policy. Her talk can be aimed at people approaching Social Security eligibility age, with some research findings that can help them think through their options, or aimed at a general audience, educating them on what’s going on with Social Security and any reform options.

Sita Slavov


Socialism (Speaker: Johanna Bockman)

I would discuss socialism in Eastern Europe, as well as global socialist movements, such as that of Yugoslavia. I could also discuss postsocialism and current notions of socialism.

Johanna Bockman


Speaking Truth to Power: The Thunderous Messages of the Hebrew Prophets and What They Mean Today (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

In all of literature there are few parallels to the soaring rhetoric and poetry of the Hebrew prophets. They speak to us clearly today after almost three millennia: Amos in 800 BC crying seeking help for the poor and the disenfranchised (“let justice flow like a river”); Hosea comparing his country to a prostitute; Isaiah and Micah seeking to turn swords into plowshares; Ezekiel’s “dry bones” commentary of hope and recovery; and dozens more familiar examples. The prophets didn’t ask for the job, but accomplished it with great zeal and persuasiveness. Jesus and St. Paul quoted them often and the prophets’ messages are used (and misused) in today’s political debates frequently.  The lecture will also describe the settings and situations which caused these messages to be proclaimed, against kings and nobles, the rich and the entitled–the haves of that time– in favor of the poor and the sick, the dispossessed, the aliens the refugees—the have nots.

We will cover prophetic themes which are still alive today: sharing the wealth of nations, protection for immigrants and resident aliens, punishment of the corrupt; equity in taxation; promises of victory to the just and many more.  No religious background or affiliation is required.

Steve Ruth


Sports Industry, NCAA, Sport Governance, Olympics, Sport Management, Sport Diplomacy and Coaching (Speaker: Craig Esherick)

Willing to talk about the sports industry, sports management program at Mason, college athletics, professional sports, youth sports, Sport Diplomacy, the coaching profession, the Olympics, basketball and basketball coaching.

Craig Esherick


Sports Management and Coaching Education (Speaker: Robert Baker)

Addressing the management of sport business enterprises; sport diplomacy and development; various segments of the sport industry including school-based and professional sport; coaching and/or sport management education; sport leadership; impacts of sport; and/or any issues of interest in sport management and coaching.

Robert Baker


Strategies for Thriving in a Changing Environment (Speaker: Tojo Thatchenkery)

Continuous innovation in information technology had led to unprecedented efficiencies at work. However, in an environment of economic crises and downsizing the same technology that helps you do things more efficiently also sets up expectations for accomplishing more with fewer resources. You are overwhelmed by the demands on your job, experience stress, and recognize the need to develop coping strategies to stay resilient, effective and healthy. Dr. Thatchenkery will introduce you to new developments on how to reframe and embrace change with a positive mindset as opposed to resisting and fearing it. You will also learn new ways of thinking about stress and develop resilience.

Tojo Thatchenkery


Supporting Educator’s Use of Best Practice (Speaker: Christan Coogle)

Dr. Coogle will provide a step by step process which can be embedded within teacher’s everyday activities and routines to support the attainment of individualized education program goals. Dr. Coogle will share step by step information and provide opportunities for questions and discussion.

Christan Coogle


Supporting Parents to Enhance Their Child’s Development (Speaker: Christan Coogle)

Dr. Coogle will provide a step by step process which can be embedded within everyday activities and routines to support their child’s development. This is particularly useful for families who have a child with a developmental delay or disability; however, is best practice for all children. Dr. Coogle will share step by step information and provide opportunities for questions and discussion.

Christan Coogle


Sustainable and Accountable Family Engagement in Education (Speaker: Colleen Vesely)

This topic focuses on strengths-based family engagement for equity in education. First, the six principles of family engagement and their connection with equitable outcomes will be discussed. Second, how family engagement can be considered at individual levels of accountability and responsibility (i.e., individual teachers, individual schools), as well as at systems-level (i.e., school systems, local government, etc.). Third, strategies and examples for transforming individual- and systems-level family engagement will be offered.

Colleen Vesely


Tachyons: Messengers from the Future? (Speaker: Robert Ehrlich)

Einstein claimed that faster-than-light (FTL) speeds are impossible, but some physicists are no longer so sure about that notion. Hypothetical subatomic particles that travel at FTL speed are known as tachyons. In this talk we consider how tachyons might be used to send messages back to the past, and how the existence of tachyons can be settled in an experiment.

Robert Ehrlich (no evening engagements)


Teacher Professional Development (Speaker: Betsy DeMulder)

A discussion of ways teachers can develop the skills to enhance their relationships with students, become more effective reflective practitioners, and create vibrant professional learning communities in their schools.

Betsy DeMulder


Teaching Introductory Statistics (Speaker: Ilhan Izmirli)

In this talk, we will discuss the generally accepted set of recommendations for introductory statistics classes. Following a 1992 paper by Cobb, we will argue that an introductory statistics course should be designed to emphasize statistical thinking over routine computations and to make students realize that
• Decisions must be based on evidence (data); it is dangerous to act on assumptions not supported by evidence
• It is difficult and time-consuming to formulate problems and to get data of good quality
• Variability is ubiquitous; it is the essence of statistics
• Variability can be measured and quantified by considering randomness and distributions, fit and residual, mathematical models for patterns, and diagnostics.

We will conclude our talk by introducing the 2003 research funded by the American Statistical Association (ASA), namely, the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) for the purpose of developing both K-12 and introductory college courses.

Ilhan Izmirli


Teaching Writing and Using Writing to Learn (Speaker: Don Gallehr)

As director of the Northern Virginia Writing Project from 1978 to 2011, I’ve been involved with improving the teaching of writing in area schools, public and private K-University. This talk is intended for teachers, parents and educators interested in improving writing in their institutions.

Don Gallehr


Technology Commercialization (Speaker: Paula Sorrell)

Getting a new research product to market.

Paula Sorrell


The American Theater at a Crossroads: Which Way to Turn? (Speaker: Rick Davis)

A look at the American professional theater in its various expressions, from Broadway to the nonprofit regional theater, as it copes with unprecedented challenges from the pandemic to Black Lives Matter to economic uncertainty.  A glance at history (how we got here) will be followed by an exploration of the changing environment for theater and all the arts as we look ahead, focusing on opportunities as well as obstacles.

Rick Davis


The Art of Choreography (Speaker: Susan Shields)

Uses lecture, video, and/or live performance to look at dance.

Susan Shields


The Beautiful and the Just: Inquiry, Justice, and Value in Alain Locke and Aristotle (Speaker: Rose Cherubin)

Alain Locke was a 20th-century African American philosopher, Chair of the Philosophy Department at Howard University, and a guiding force behind the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s. His work in philosophy, politics, education, and arts criticism was guided by the notion of culture as a goal. To see this we must look to his roots in classical Greek philosophy. “Culture,” in Locke’s sense, is an engagement of self-expression and intellect, valuable for its own sake and for the sake of understanding. This recalls Aristotle’s account of theoria (contemplation) and its objects, the kala (beautiful or noble things). Culture for Locke can transform both lives and social orders. It is not aimed solely at gains within the status quo, and is always self-critical and investigative. Self-expression for Locke requires an interrogation of presuppositions about the world, one’s place in it, and what should be. This reintroduces the question of what a life and a society should be for. Locke’s conception of culture thus addresses deficiencies in current discussions of the relationships between education, democracy, and social justice.

Rose Cherubin


The Disaster/Emergency Preparedness of Professional Nurses (Speaker: P.J. Maddox)

As the U.S. is challenged to increase local capacity to improve disaster/emergency preparedness, professional nurses (the back bone of the U.S. health system) and the front line of first receivers are critical.

P.J. Maddox


The Effects of HIPAA on Privacy and Security (Speaker: Matthew Hicks)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is federal legislation that addresses issues ranging from health insurance coverage to national standard identifiers for healthcare providers. The portions that are important for our purposes are those that deal with protecting the privacy (confidentiality) and security (safeguarding) of health data, which HIPAA calls Protected Health Information or PHI. The presentation will discuss how HIPAA Privacy and Security affects patients and the medical community.

Matthew Hicks


The Great Facade: How Surveillance Capitalism Almost Toppled the World’s Greatest Democracy and the European Union (Speaker: John Villanueva)

We’ve all witnessed the changes in public and personal discourse and civility since the 2016 presidential election. Unfortunately, it seems as if the country is plunging into a downward spiral, and the death of reason is inevitable.  How did we get here?  Together, we will examine the intersections and impacts of foreign and domestic influence operations, conspiracy theories, political malpractice, and social media on the nation’s mental health and well-being.  We will also discuss what can and should be done to shield the nation from the harmful effects of misinformation, disinformation, and revisionist history.

John Villanueva


The Ladies Mason – George’s Two Anns (Speaker: Tom Moncure)

An examination of the two women most closely associated with George Mason–his mother and wife–whose historical reputations would have been highly regarded but for their association with the “unknown” founder.

Tom Moncure


The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask (Not available until September 2024) (Speaker: Heba El-Shazli)

Dr. El-Shazli can speak on the current state of affairs in MENA countries and their governments; international relations between MENA countries and the West; Arab literature and culture as a way to understand their politics; Islam and Politics; Labor Migration issues in MENA; and the Arab Uprisings – reasons and impact.

Heba F. El-Shazli (Not available until September 2024)


The Only Way to End the Risk of Nuclear War (Speaker: Robert Ehrlich)

100 seconds to midnight is the current setting of the “doomsday clock,” which shows how close we now are to nuclear war — closer than we have ever been. This talk is from a speaker who has studied the nuclear issue for years, and who believes there is only one way can avoid nuclear war.

 

Robert Ehrlich (no evening engagements)


The Origins of Putinism in 1990s Russia (Speaker: Steven Barnes)

Professor Barnes offers a deep dive into the consequences of the end of the Soviet Union in 1990s Russia and how the culture shock, chaos, economic pain, and violence of that era of “transition.” from Communism to so-called freedom, capitalism, and democracy help explain the origins of Putinism and the popularity of Vladimir Putin in contemporary Russia.

Steven Barnes (Note: For in-person engagements, speaker needs to wear a mask.)


The Public Health Impacts of Gender-based Violence against Women (Speaker: Jhumka Gupta)

What are the public health impacts of gender-based violence against women? How can we research gender-based violence against women? What are promising intervention approaches to both reduce gender-based violence against women?

Jhumka Gupta


The Restoration of Character: A Primer for Leaders (Speaker: John Villanueva)

Politicians, police, and clergypersons are but a few of the professions wrought with scandal and corruption today. Everywhere we look, institutions and leaders are plunging into the abyss. Why? What we’re witnessing is the residue of moral and ethical decay and cowardice. It’s easy to think that things are too far gone to right the ship, but the reality is that we–especially those of us privileged enough to be called leaders–have the power to influence people, organizations, and society if we start with an inside out approach. The restoration of character is a catalyst for good in a world that’s lost its way.

John Villanueva


The Science of Climate Change (Speaker: Robert Ehrlich)

A simple description of the basic science of climate change. What is known for sure, and what is uncertain.

Robert Ehrlich (no evening engagements)


The Spanish Golden Age–a Dramatic Legacy (Speaker: Rick Davis)

Cervantes, Tirso de Molina, Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca and many more great writers define the “Siglo de Oro” or Golden Age in Spanish literature, a period spanning portions of the 16th and 17th centuries that coincides with Spain’s decline as a world power. This talk addresses Spanish views of love, honor, power, religion, and other lively issues as reflected in the dramas of the time, some of which are considered among the world’s masterpieces.

Rick Davis


The State of U.S. Democracy (Speaker: Jennifer Victor)

This presentation describes the state of democracy in contemporary American politics, through the lens of political science. Drawing on history, political philosophy, social psychology, and economic decision calculus, the presentation aims to achieve three goals. First, I identify the root causes of partisan polarization in the United States today, and dispel a number of myths about where it comes from. Second, I apply what science has learned from other successful and failed democracies around the globe and through history to assess the health of U.S. democratic institutions. Third, I use the scientific literature to talk about political reforms–those that might be helpful and those that might not–and what citizens can do to best protect American freedoms and rights. The presentation is non-partisan.

Jennifer N. Victor


The Threat to American Democracy and Civil Society: Understanding Influence Operations, Violent Extremism, and the Fractures Spawned by Political Partisanship (Speaker: John Villanueva)

On January 6, 2021, the United States Capitol was attacked by a violent mob in an attempt to disrupt an electoral vote count by a joint session of congress. The Capitol almost fell under the weight of this insurrection. Americans – stunned and frozen in front of their televisions and mobile devices – witnessed a failed coup attempt by right-wing extremists feasting on an endless buffet of foreign and domestic influence operations, toxic political partisanship, and revisionist history. How did so many people become radicalized? How did social media contribute to the radicalization process? What does this mean for the future of America? How do we recover from this attack on democracy? How do we bridge our differences? How do we protect future generations against the poisoning of the mind? These are the questions addressed in this presentation that includes a Q&A session.

 

John Villanueva


The World’s Oldest Game (Speaker: Robert Ehrlich)

Go, also known as Wei Qi, is an abstract strategy board game for two players in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. The game was invented in China more than 2,500 years ago and is believed to be the oldest board game continuously played to the present day. This talk will explain and demonstrate the basic game rules and strategies, and the useful lessons for everyday life.

Robert Ehrlich (no evening engagements)


Themes in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Sermons (Speaker: Don Boileau)

Most of our knowledge about MLK, Jr. is through his political speeches. This presentation focus on spiritual themes found in 8 of his sermons. While one can see many links to his political life, Dr. King was an ordained minister who started his career as a person who gave sermons.

Don Boileau


Things That Keep Me Up at Night: Technology’s Severest Challenges (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

If you are pretty much comfortable with today’s information technology world, this course is probably not for you. The instructor, who teaches technology policy at Mason, has collected several dozen of what he thinks are the scarier, more worrisome, and potentially game-changing topics in information technology that may be in our near-term and longterm future. Many are already major news stories while others are just about to break the surface. Here are some of the topics that will be covered: revenge porn, phishing, cyber bullying, disruption by virtual currencies, bots and scrapers, e-waste, cyber terrorism, fake news, skin gambling, weapons of math destruction, Jigsaw ransomware, doxing, twitterbots, Etherium, and many more. It’s not all bad news because there are solutions for each one of these challenges, and we will discuss how governments, individuals, businesses, and churches might be able to do in order to cope with them.

Steve Ruth


Transgender and Gender Expansive Children in Families and Schools (Speaker: Colleen Vesely)

This topic focuses on the experiences of trans and gender expansive children (children who identify or express their gender outside of the male/female gender binary) and offers strategies for adults (parents, teachers, couches) who work with gender expansive children to ensure affirming care. Resources for additional information and supports will be offered.

Colleen Vesely


Transnational and Transracial Adoption and the Changing Faces of American Families (Speaker: Linda Seligmann)

Speaker has completed major project on changing faces of American family. Will discuss multiple impacts of transnational and transracial adoption on family-making in the U.S. Seligmann’s book, Broken Links, Enduring Ties: American Adoption across Race, Class, and Nation (Stanford University Press, 2013) examines the experiences of families who have adopted from China, Russia, and those who have adopted African American children transracially in the U.S., including the experiences of the children themselves.

Linda Seligmann


Transportation and Air Quality (Speaker: Mohan Venigalla)

The role of transportation on regional air quality, mitigation and policy implications.

Mohan Venigalla


Transportation Planning (Speaker: Mohan Venigalla)

A discussion on issues related to short- and long-term transportation planning and highway capacity.

Mohan Venigalla


Transportation Public-Private Partnerships (P3) (Speaker: Jonathan Gifford)

Funding and procurement models, financing, renegotiation, case studies, legislation, policies, political issues, international P3s, US P3 market conditions, P3s experience in Virginia, economic rationale, government support, project arrangement, evaluation and risks.

Jonathan Gifford


Trauma Across the Life Course (Speaker: Molly Davis)

There is more discussion about the impact of trauma on children and families as well as trauma in older adults and long-term care settings.  Dr. Davis is an expert in trauma and helping address strategies to manage the impact of lifetime trauma.

Molly Davis


U.S. Immigration Today: Data and Policy (Speaker: James Witte)

Immigration is among the most significant and salient issues in America today. As Director of Mason’s Institute for Immigration Research (IIR), Dr. Witte provides audiences with a view on immigrants and immigration in line with the IIR’s mission: To produce valid, reliable, and objective multidisciplinary research on immigrants and immigration to the United States and to disseminate this information through peer-reviewed academic journals, as well as in print and digital formats that make this research easily accessible to policy-makers, the media, the business community, and the general public.

James Witte


UFOs: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Speaker: Harold Geller)

The concept of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), now called UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena), will be discussed in an historical context. UFO stories, will be presented from history. The current media hype about some recently released photographs will be reviewed within the context of historical examples, within a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes approach.

Harold Geller


Understanding Culture and Difference: A New Approach (Speaker: Molly Davis)

It is important to understand models that allow us to understand and be comfortable with difference. This speech will provide new strategies to understand differences and reduce our anxiety about being culturally competent.

Molly Davis


Understanding Digital Natives (Speaker: Star Muir)

Growing up with internet has changed the way youth and young adults learn, socialize, interact, and live their lives. This has inspired a growing literature about these new “digital natives,” about the “digital immigrants” that are teaching and raising them, and about the impact of these changes on brain development and habits of mind. This topic will feature discussion of characteristics of digital natives, identification of strategies for interacting with them, and exploration of how technology is changing the learning environment.

Star Muir


Understanding the Soviet Gulag, Understanding Stalinism (Speaker: Steven Barnes)

Professor Barnes offers an engaging reconsideration of the role of the Soviet Gulag in Stalin’s Soviet Union based on over two decades of research in formerly highly classified Soviet archives. His discussion raises important questions about the place of the concentration camp and mass detention in the modern world and engages in systematic comparison of the Gulag with the Nazi and other modern concentration camp systems to provide a fuller understanding of what Stalinism was, and what it was not.

Steven Barnes (Note: For in-person engagements, speaker needs to wear a mask.)


Urban and Metropolitan Affairs (Speaker: Jonathan Gifford)

Urban and metropolitan development, land use, urban sprawl.

Jonathan Gifford


Using Writing to Grieve the Loss of a Loved One (Speaker: Don Gallehr)

I learned how to using writing to grieve after the loss of my late wife. I wrote about us for two years and afterward was able to move on with my life, which is exactly what she would have wanted. In 2014 I published a book about her last 17 months called Finished Business.

Don Gallehr


Utopian Communities (Speaker: Mary McCutcheon)

We all dream of living in the perfect society. What is the history of utopianism and what kinds of experiments have there been in the U.S.? Why do a few succeed but most fail? What social conditions make people want to escape into a utopia?

Mary McCutcheon


Various Game Topics (Speaker: Daniel Greenberg)

As an instructor in the game design program, I’ve traveled to a number of events related to gaming around the country, delivering talks on game topics ranging from color-blindness and accessibility to opera in games. With a couple weeks’ notice, I can prepare a talk on a variety of subjects, including audiovisual components, as part of my studio, Winterion Game Studios.

Here are a few examples of previously delivered talks:
Transmediation of Games and Opera ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFBEeHfSBso )
Building Better Games Literacy ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWOvyALKX1I )
Sega Hardware Retrospective ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgt7STCLHuc )
Play is Practice ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_WhrJ79h-o )
Game Literacy Roundtable ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJMCNfdTBNc )
Lessons from Let’s Plays ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0H4mW8P1XY )

Daniel Greenberg


War and Peace in an Age of Empire: What About China? (Speaker: Richard Rubenstein)

The speaker’s 2010 book, “Reasons to Kill: Why Americans Choose War,” describes the arguments and images that persuade Americans to consent to wars. It looks as though many of those same propaganda techniques are being used to prepare Americans to accept a war with China. What is causing this and what can be done to prevent a violent war between empires?

Richard Rubenstein


War Memorials on the National Mall (no speaking engagements through August 2024) (Speaker: Meredith Lair)

Post-pandemic, I can do this as a walking tour on the National Mall. As a talk, I provide historical background about the development of various war memorials on the National Mall, as well as interpretation of their design and meaning in American culture.

Meredith Lair (no speaking engagements through August 2024))


What is a Planet? Mars, Pluto and Exoplanets as Examples (Speaker: Harold Geller)

A major topic on the internet today is the question of the definition of a planet. In 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) officially changed the definition of a planet. No longer was Pluto to be called a planet, but a dwarf planet. We will examine examples of objects inside and outside our solar system; addressing the issue as to whether or not they should be considered an example of a planet. We will review the definition of planet as laid out by the IAU in 2006. We will also address a newly proposed definition of a planet. This definition not only includes Pluto, but adds dozens more to the party of planets.

Harold Geller


What is the Political South? (Speaker: Mark Rozell)

Based on a research book project that examines the question of whether conventional definitions of the American South make any sense politically given the vast demographic and cultural shifts in the region. The presentation will explore how the South has fundamentally changed, creating entirely new challenges for the two major parties as they attempt to appeal to the region’s changing demographics.

Mark J. Rozell


What’s Ahead in Politics (Speaker: Bill Schneider)

All topics related to the current political scene.

Bill Schneider


Where Are the Time Travelers? (Speaker: Robert Ehrlich)

Einstein’s theory of relativity suggests that time travel might be possible. We consider why this is true, and how one might build a time machine. We also consider the paradoxes involved with time travel and how they might be resolved.

Robert Ehrlich (no evening engagements)


Who is this Lady? (Speaker: Tom Moncure)

Explanation of the symbolism represented in the Seal of Virginia.

Tom Moncure


Why College? (Speaker: Don Boileau)

Discusses how the total experience of college helps students learn how to learn, balance knowledge of the good life and good society, and develop a sense of right, wrong, truth, and beauty.

Don Boileau


Why Everyone Should Care About the Problem of the Healthcare Uninsured (Speaker: P.J. Maddox)

The number of health care uninsured continues to grow, adding to the problem of growing health care costs, public health problems and growing business sector personnel costs. This presentation outlines the causes and consequences of health uninsurance and what public and private sector options can be used to address this complex problem.

P.J. Maddox


Writing and Meditation (Speaker: Don Gallehr)

Meditation has long been considered an allied activity with writing. Both include focusing of the mind and a watching of inner speech. This talk also includes the use of secularized koans or word puzzles to tap the writer’s intuition to solve the more perplexing problems facing the writer.

Don Gallehr


Your Neighbor Next Door: How Intercultural Communication Helps One Understand Differences (Speaker: Don Boileau)

In most neighborhoods of Northern Virginia one finds residents of several cultures. This presentation presents several themes from intercultural communication to help people improved their understanding of how messages vary among cultures because of the ways we send and receive messages.

Don Boileau