St. John’s Department of Student Life is bringing back their lecture series this year, with a number of high profile speakers coming to both the Queens and Staten Island campuses.
The theme of the lecture series is “Global Citizenship: Our Responsibility.” The lectures will cover issues the world is facing and encourage students to take action.
James Salnave, associate dean for Student Development in the Department of Student Life, says that this theme is a follow-up from last year’s more political series. “Last year was inspired by the election, so this year, now that we have this person in office, we’re looking at what comes next,” he said.
Salnave and other members of Student Life worked with members of the Provost’s office, Multicultural Affairs and other departments to get the best speakers available for the series.
According to Salnave, it is the co-sponsorships between these departments and the two campuses that is going to make the series even more successful than last year.
The series on the Queens campus will begin on Sept. 24 with Richard Leakey, a renowned environmentalist and paleoanthropologist. He will be discussing the climate situation and its effect on the planet.
In October, Barry Lewis, Mitch Albom and Majora Carter will be speaking on various topics to appeal to all students of the University.
Lewis will discuss the diversity of New York, particularly its distinct neighborhoods, which he has studied for several years.
He has spent years exploring and writing about the neighborhoods of New York, developing a deeper understanding of the issues that impact those who live there.Albom, best-selling author of such books as The Five People You Meet in Heaven and Tuesdays with Morrie, will be speaking on the Queens Campus in October.
His lecture, titled “Have a Little Faith: The True Story of a Last Request,” will tie into his latest book about the importance of having faith in humanity.
Albom addresses the things that unite people and how there is potential in everyone. The lecture will be held on Oct. 8 at Belson Stadium.
Carter will be speaking about the latest initiative to help end poverty, the creation of more “green-collar jobs.”
Carter has worked for the past few years to bring green-collar jobs to the impoverished areas of New York City. She has successfully created programs in the Bronx that train and place green-collar workers.One of the pioneers of this particular field, Carter will explain why it is important to push environmental incentives in destitute neighborhoods because of the possibility for more jobs.
On Nov. 9, Nicholas Kristof, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, will be speaking on the difficulties women are facing today.
Half the Sky, Kristof’s new book, will be the center of his lecture. In the book, Kristof encourages society to view women who have suffered injustices as an inspiration.
The last speaker for the fall semester will be E. Benjamin Skinner. He will lecture on the realities of human trafficking and how it is a global problem.
Skinner has traveled around the world going undercover to investigate the world of human trafficking and show society what is hiding beneath its surface.
Many students have already expressed interest in attending the lecture series.Diana Morelli, a junior, plans to attend at least two of the events.
“I’m really looking forward to Mitch Albom, but the other speakers sound just as interesting,” said Morelli.
“The topics are all really important issues that we as students tend to forget about.”The series will pick up again in the spring with Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea on Jan. 26.
Mortenson, a philanthropist, has built schools in the Middle East and been involved with trying to bring peace to that region.
All of the events in the academic lecture series are RSVP only. Students can RSVP by logging into St. John’s Central.