Penn State Berks Fall 2023 Arts & Lecture Series
The Penn State Berks Arts & Lecture Series, which brings world-renowned researchers and popular figures to campus, is sponsored by the Office of Campus Life and funded by the Student Initiated Fee. Past presenters have included environmentalist E.O. Wilson, anthropologist Donald Johanson, author Rebecca Walker, political commentator Paul Begala, television personalities from Mythbusters, anthropologist Wade Davis, actor and activist Mike Farrell, and educator Joe Clark, whose life is the basis for Lean on Me.
For questions or more information about the Arts & Lecture series, contact the Penn State Berks Student Affairs Office at [email protected].
The following events are free and open to the public and will take place in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium unless otherwise noted.
Magical Connections featuring Brian Miller*
Wednesday, August 30
Everyone wants to feel heard, understood, and valued. Sure, we live in a divisive age, but the real problem is that we tend to treat interactions as transactions. Yet when we feel truly seen by our colleagues and leaders, we become deeply connected with ourselves, our organization, and our mission. That’s why, to build world-class teams and become truly exceptional leaders, we need to learn and understand perspectives that are different from our own.
Brian Miller is a magician turned author, speaker, and consultant on human connection, whose TEDx talk “How to Magically Connect with Anyone” has been viewed 3.5 million times. He is the author of personal success book Three New People, and his podcast Beyond Networking cracked the Top 200 under ‘Careers’ on Apple Music.
The End of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” featuring Eric Alva
Wednesday, October 11
Retired Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva shares his powerful story of coming out as a gay man in the armed forces as well as his ardent advocacy for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
The first American soldier injured in the Iraq War, Alva was hailed as an American hero. While he lost his leg in combat, his spirit remained stronger than ever and, ppon retirement, he came out as gay. As a former spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, he played an instrumental role in the repeal of the military’s "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gay, lesbian and bisexual service members, working with members of Congress to end the discriminatory practice.
Get Out and the Third Golden Age of Horror featuring Dr. Kendall Philips
Tuesday, October 17
Dr. Kendall Philips is a Penn State graduate and instructor at Syracuse University with research focusing on controversies and conflicts related to topics including public memory, popular film, and popular culture. During this lecture, Dr. Philips will discuss the resurgence in popularity of horror, paying specific attention to Jordan Peele’s important and celebrated film, “Get Out”.
The Truth About Halloween featuring Dr. E. Michele Ramsey, Dr. Cheryl Nicholas, and Erica Pulaski
Tuesday, October 24
5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
What does Halloween mean to you? Costumes, candy, and trick or treating? Hayrides, haunted houses, and horror stories? Maybe it's devil worship and evil things that go bump in the night. Many people do not know the truth about Halloween, and the local and campus communities are invited to join us to learn more about the truths and myths of this holiday
The Extended Mind: Thinking Outside Your Brain featuring Annie Murphy Paul
Common Reading Week Keynote Speaker
Wednesday, November 1
"Use your head," is what we tell ourselves when facing a tricky problem or tackling a difficult project. But a growing body of research indicates that we’ve got it exactly backwards. What we need to do, says science writer Annie Murphy Paul, is think outside the brain.
A host of extra-neural resources — the feelings and movements of our bodies, the physical spaces in which we learn and work, and the minds of those around us — can help us focus more intently, comprehend more deeply, and create more imaginatively. In this presentation, Paul will explore the research behind this exciting new vision of human ability, exploring the findings of neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, psychologists, and examining the practices of students, educators, and leaders who are already reaping the benefits of thinking outside the brain.
Self Love & Empowerment featuring Autumn Rose Williams
Monday, November 6
Autumn Rose Miskweminanocauq (Raspberry Star Woman) Williams was born and raised on the Shinnecock Reservation in Southampton, New York. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor of science in Mass Communications and a minor in Business. Being immersed in her culture from birth has given her pride in her Black and Indigenous heritage, which is the foundation for the work she does today. Following college, she was crowned Miss Native American USA 2017-18 and began yet another journey to learn more about her people. Being Miss Teen Shinnecock, attending college, and being Miss Native American USA were important growing periods of her life that allowed her to learn about the world and people around her as well as look within. With 14 years of public speaking and six years of public relations experience, Williams continues to educate and bring awareness to the topics that are dear to her, such as Afro-Indigenous culture, social justice awareness, body positivity and mental health.
Curating Lasting Connections featuring Emily A. Branch*
Wednesday, December 6
Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room
Emily A. Branch is a local entrepreneur, philanthropist, and advocate for the arts. Explore opportunities locally in the arts and learn about Branch's journey from college professor to starting her own public relations company, Cage Free Design. Branch has traveled the globe and now calls Berks County home. She returned to Pennsylvania right when the Goggleworks Center for the Arts was opening and used that opportunity to launch her career in the arts locally. In this presentation, Branch will examine how being flexible and a bit daring can pay off in finding balance in work and life.
* These events are only open to Penn State Berks students.