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Lectures & Conferences


Prominent scholars, experts, and journalists from around the world were among those who came to Central to speak on subjects ranging from the role of Rwandan women seeking peace in their nation to non-violent resistance for social justice.

Media mogul Steve Forbes delivered the Robert C. Vance Distinguished Lecture and talked about the US monetary policy. The chairman and CEO of Forbes, Inc., and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine called the topic “boring” but one of vital importance. “You should think of monetary policy as you would an automobile … you can have a magnificent vehicle, but if you don’t have sufficient fuel, you’re going to stall. Too much fuel, you flood the engine. Just the right amount, you have a chance to move ahead,” he told the audience.

The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program celebrated its 20th anniversary with a three-day conference. The annual June Baker Higgins Gender Studies Conference featured discussions and presentations on topics affecting young women. Gail Collins, New York Times columnist and first woman to be appointed editor of the Times' editorial page, gave the keynote address and signed copies of her latest book, When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present.

Two other notable journalists came to campus. The School of Business sponsored Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and (then) Israel Bureau Chief for the New York Times Ethan Bronner who shared his insights on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. The Journalism program invited Megan Stack, Los Angeles Times Moscow Bureau Chief, to share her experiences as a foreign correspondent.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, Central hosted the Rwandan Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya who presented a talk on “The Role of Rwandan Women in Peace Building and Social Reconstruction after the Crisis.”

As part of the International Studies Lecture Series, Chilean native Marjorie Agosín, professor of Spanish at Wellesley College talked about the oppressive government of General Augusto Pinochet and Elmina Kulasic, executive director of the Bosniak American Advisory Council in Washington, DC shared her story of survival in a Bosnian concentration camp.

The two-day International Academic Conference focused on “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Pathways to Peace” and highlighted the potential that research and scholarship has for contributing to a peaceful resolution in the Middle East.

Hassan Abbas, the Quaid-i-Azam Professor at Columbia University’s South Asia Institute, shared his insights on the “Geopolitics, Militancy and Crisis in Pakistan and Afghanistan” as part of the Middle East Studies Lecture Series.

Kenya and US Relations was the focus of Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya Peter Ogego. His visit to Central was sponsored by the Center for Africana Studies.

During Black History Month, a number of cultural and educational events were featured including the “DeWolf Family Burden” lecture. Sponsored by the MOSAIC Center, Thomas DeWolf discussed his family’s history trading alcohol and weaponry for African captives from 1769 to 1820.

The Black Inventor Exhibit and Latino Heritage Museum, a traveling multimedia presentation, made a visit to CCSU. The exhibits showcase famous Black and Latino inventors and their respective inventions in the fields of science, aerospace, communication, health care, agriculture, transportation and engineering.

Hillel hosted the “When Humanity Fails: A Holocaust Exhibit” in the Media Collections Room at the Elihu Burritt Library in April. Several events were held in conjunction with the exhibit, including a discussion on “Holocaust Days of Remembrance— Stories of Freedom” and a panel discussion featuring (from left to right) Ben Cooper, a US veteran and liberator of Dachau; Professor Avinoam Patt of the Greenberg Center; and Ruth Fishman, a Holocaust survivor. 

Islam Awareness Week A screening of the documentary film “30 Days: Muslims and America,” directed by Morgan Spurlock, was followed by a discussion on Islam in America. In order to educate Central students about the culture and religion of Islam, a booth, titled “What Is Islam?,” was set up in the Student Center. A performance by Boonaa Mohammed (above) titled “Inspirational Memoirs of a Muslim Poet” was a highlight of the week. An accomplished slam poet, playwright, and shortstory author, Mohammed frequently heads writing workshops and seminars on social justice.

The Peace Studies program sponsored a visit to campus by Hardy Merriman, a senior advisor to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict in Washington, DC, tof g speak on nonviolent movements in the modern world. The Peace Studies program hosted Randy Kehler for a lecture on “A Life of Non-violent Resistance.” Kehler is a noted pacifist and vocal advocate for social justice. His family’s refusal to pay war-supporting federal income taxes, and the resulting struggle with the IRS, is the subject of the documentary An Act of Conscience, directed by Robbie Leppzer.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences hosted a Teichmuller Theory International Workshop. Eight national and international speakers, including CCSU’s Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences Roger Vogeler, presented on various topics relating to the geometrical theory.
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