Penn State Berks Fall 2022 Arts & Lecture Series
Animal Adventures and Ed Laquidara
August 26, 2022 – 6:00 PM
Perkins Lawn, Under the Tent
Ed Laquidara (PhD in Zoology) curator of Animal Adventures and Head Speaker and Animal Handler for EdLaquidara.com, is a passionate wildlife conservationist and educator. He has been rescuing exotic animals for over 35 years. Ed and his team deliver hundreds of lectures and seminars each year to private organizations, corporations, science centers, museums, public & private schools, universities, colleges as well as many other venues. Ed’s two favorite presentations were when he was being recognized and invited as the keynote speaker at the National Science Awards and the Youth Leadership Summit.
Ed is recognized as a leading Crocodilian Biologist, a Herpetologist (Specialist in Amphibians and Reptiles) and holds a PHD in Zoology. He is highly sought after by professional and state organizations to teach animal control and environmental control officers how to safely capture and handle wild and extreme animals. Ed brings his animals to the stage and welcome you to learn more about them!
Shaquem Griffin – NFL’s First One-Handed Player
September 20, 2022 – 7:00 PM
Shaquem Griffin was born just minutes after his twin, Shaquill. Both boys went on to become remarkable athletes in high school and college at the University of Central Florida (UCF), and both play in the NFL after being drafted by the same team—but Shaquem did it all with just one hand.
At birth, Shaquem experienced a rare condition called amniotic band syndrome and his hand ultimately had to be amputated when he was four years old. His family refused to treat him any differently than his brother, and from the time he could say the words, his motto has been, “please don’t tell me what I can’t do.”
Shaquem’s collegiate accomplishments include first-team All-American Athletic Conference linebacker, AAC Defensive Player of the Year, National Champion and Peach Bowl MVP. After a historic performance at the NFL Combine, he was selected as a linebacker by Seattle, playing for the Seahawks from 2018 – 2020. His most memorable on-the-field highlight was sacking current NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers during the playoffs in 2020. He signed with the Miami Dolphins for the 2021 season.
Shaquem’s story is captured in the Emmy award-winning short film NFL 360: I am Shaquem Griffin and in the biography Inseparable: How Family and Sacrifice Forged a Path to the NFL
Javier Avila – Latino Forum
October 14, 2022 – 10:00 AM
Author. Professor. Inspiration. Javier Ávila’s distinguished career began in the Caribbean, where he taught English at the University of Puerto Rico for eight years. He moved to Pennsylvania and became a beloved educator at Northampton Community College. His extraordinary work with students earned him the 2015 Pennsylvania Professor of the Year Award sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
In addition to his accomplishments in academia, Ávila is a renowned poet and novelist whose literary excellence propelled him to international recognition. His bestselling novel Different became an award-winning motion picture entitled Miente, which was screened in over a dozen countries. His poetry books The Symmetry of Time and The Dead Man’s Position earned him prestigious awards by the Pen Club and The Puerto Rico Institute of Culture, respectively. Other books—Broken Glass on the Carpet, The Professor in Ruins, and The Oldest Profession—cemented his reputation as a celebrated writer. Ávila’s books have been part of university curricula for years. He frequently visits colleges to discuss his work, motivating students to become better readers and writers. Audiences praise Ávila’s recent work for being a powerful voice for Latinos in the U.S.
The high-octane, poignant, and hilarious one-man show The Trouble with My Name consolidates Ávila’s talents as a poet and professor. It is a tour-de-force that will make audiences laugh, cry, and embrace the autobiographical journey of a man who moves between cultures to provide a fascinating perspective of American Latinos who struggle to dispel misconceptions about their identity and place in the world. The Trouble with My Name examines the issues of language, race, and social justice in an eye-opening performance where Ávila engages the audience as he tells the story of his life and reads poetry that illustrates what it means to be the American of the future. Ávila’s show breaks barriers and embraces the diversity of a nation whose history is rich and colorful. The message transcends boundaries of race, ethnicity, and geography. It is a show not to be missed.
October 20, 2022 – 7:00 PM
Joe Szimhart is an artist, author, lecturer, mental health professional and specialist in cult information, intervention, and education. A Cult Information Specialist provides consultation, education, research, and non-coercive intervention that addresses controversial groups, cults, psychotherapies, or relationships that apply undue influence through manipulation and thought reform techniques.
The Truth about Halloween
October 25, 2022 – 7:00 PM
What does Halloween mean to you? Costumes, candy, and trick or treating? Hayrides, haunted houses, and horror stories? Maybe its devil worship and evil things that go bump in the night. Many of you may not know the truth about Halloween. Join us to learn more about the myths of this holiday. Presented by Dr. Cheryl Nicholas, Erica Pulaski, and Dr. Michele Ramsey.
Dr. Scott Glassman – Common Read Speaker
November 2, 2022 – 12:15 PM
Dr. Glassman is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania and the director of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program at PCOM. His seven-week positive psychology program, A Happier You®, has been featured on SiriusXM, NPR, and CBS News as a syndicated feature. He is the author of the book A Happier You: A Seven-Week Program to Transform Negative Thinking into Positivity and Resilience from New Harbinger Publications.
Dr. Glassman is also a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and a consultant for the Family Medicine department at PCOM, assisting with the integration of behavioral health in primary care. He trains DO students in patient-centered communication and has developed patient-centered medical home initiatives at PCOM that foster collaboration between counseling and psychology students and healthcare professionals.
Dr. Glassman has been a speaker and trainer at many national and regional organizations, including the American Psychological Association, Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance. He is a periodic contributor to the Health Section of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
In addition to positive psychology, his areas of interest include primary care psychology, cognitive behavioral approaches, group dynamics, and recovery-oriented models of care.
Matika Wilbur - Visual Storyteller from The Swinomish and Tulalip Peoples of Coastal Washington
November 2, 2022 – 7:00 PM
Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) is one of the nation’s leading photographers, based in the Pacific Northwest. She earned her BFA from Brooks Institute of Photography where she double majored in Advertising and Digital Imaging. Her most recent endeavor, Project 562, has brought Matika to over 300 tribal nations dispersed throughout 40 U.S. states where she has taken thousands of portraits, and collected hundreds of contemporary narratives from the breadth of Indian Country all in the pursuit of one goal: To Change The Way We See Native America.