Past Programs

Michael Snyder

Stanford University

Using Your Genome and Big Data to Manage Your Health

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

New technologies that determine DNA sequencing means we can now profile people over time to better predict and diagnose disease. Snyder will share his work in these new technologies and the power they hold to transform how we manage human health. A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Biology and the Health Studies Program. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Big Data.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Michael Snyder is the Stanford Ascherman Professor and chair of genetics and the director of the Center of Genomics and Personalized Medicine at Stanford University. Snyder received his Ph.D. training at the California Institute of Technology and carried out postdoctoral training at Stanford University. He is a leader in the field of functional genomics and proteomics, and one of the major participants of the ENCODE project. His laboratory study was the first to perform a large-scale functional genomics project in any organism, and has developed many technologies in genomics and proteomics. These including the development of proteome chips, high resolution tiling arrays for the entire human genome, methods for global mapping of transcription factor binding sites (ChIP-chip now replaced by ChIP-seq), paired end sequencing for mapping of structural variation in eukaryotes, de novo genome sequencing of genomes using high throughput technologies and RNA-Seq. These technologies have been used for characterizing genomes, proteomes and regulatory networks. Seminal findings from the Snyder laboratory include the discovery that much more of the human genome is transcribed and contains regulatory information than was previously appreciated, and a high diversity of transcription factor binding occurs both between and within species. He has also combined different state-of–the-art “omics” technologies to perform the first longitudinal detailed integrative personal omics profile (iPOP) of person and used this to assess disease risk and monitor disease states for personalized medicine. He is a cofounder of several biotechnology companies, including Protometrix (now part of Life Technologies), Affomix (now part of Illumina), Excelix, and Personalis, and he presently serves on the board of a number of companies.

Video of the Lecture


Jonathan Albright

Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University

The Shadow of “Fake News”

Thursday, November 9, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Albright will explore the emerging arms race in how “fake news” is being used to target and track individuals and the implications this has for media, the tech industries, and democracy itself.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Writing Program and Student Senate.  It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Big Data.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Jonathan Albright is the research director at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism and a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. His work focuses on the analysis of socially-mediated news events, misinformation/propaganda, and trending topics, applying an exploratory, mixed-methods, and data-driven approach. He is a co-author of the Pew Internet report, “The Future of Free Speech, Trolls, Anonymity and Fake News Online.”  Albright’s work uncovering and mapping the news ecosystem has been featured in The Washington Post, The Guardian, Fortune, and cited in The New Yorker, AP Technology, BuzzFeed, Fox Business, Quartz, and the BBC. He holds an M.S. from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, and a Ph.D from The University of Auckland. He is an alumnus of the Oxford Internet Institute’s Summer Doctoral Programme, a past participant at the University of Amsterdam’s Digital Methods Initiative, and has worked for Yahoo, Google, and McClatchy.

Video of the Lecture

The Opioid Epidemic in Central Pennsylvania

Monday, November 6, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.


Jack Carroll (moderator), Cumberland-Perry Drug and Alcohol Commission
Carrie DeLone, Holy Spirit-Geisinger
David Freed, Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office
Duane Nieves, Holy Spirit EMS
Kristen Varner, The RASE Project

Watch Live

This panel will address the current opioid epidemic in Central Pennsylvania, focusing both on the situation we face now and plans and opportunities for ending this significant problem.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology, the Program in Policy Studies, the Health Studies Program and the Wellness Center.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Jack Carroll is the executive director of the Cumberland-Perry Drug & Alcohol Commission.  The Commission is responsible for managing public funded substance abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment services for residents of Cumberland and Perry Counties.  Carroll has worked in several different capacities within the drug and alcohol field since his graduation from Penn State in 1976.

Carrie L. DeLone, M.D joined Geisinger Health System as the medical director of the Holy Spirit Medical Group in 2015.  DeLone is responsible for overseeing clinical operations at Holy Spirit Medical Group’s physician practices, leading process improvement and innovation-based activities, establishing long-range objectives, and monitoring financial performance. She also serves as a liaison with community and governing authorities.  She  served as Pennsylvania’s Physician General during the Corbett administration. In that role, DeLone advised the governor and the health secretary on all medical and public health-related issues. Prior to that, DeLone served as physician advisor for Holy Spirit and has more than 20 years of clinical experience. “Holy Spirit’s culture of personalized quality patient care coupled with Geisinger’s innovation is enhancing health care in our community,” says Dr. DeLone. She believes it is important to encourage patients to become active healthcare decision makers. “Ensuring that patients are getting the best care possible and supporting individuals when they are vulnerable is the most important goal we can have as a health care system.” Board certified in internal medicine, Dr. DeLone completed both a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in physiology before graduating from Temple University School of Medicine. She is certified by the American Academy of Coding Professionals.

David J. Freed is serving his third full term as Cumberland County district attorney following his re-election in 2015. He has served as district attorney since December 28, 2005.  Prior to taking over as district attorney, he served as first assistant district attorney for five years, handling a caseload including homicides, violent felonies, complex drug transactions and arson cases.  He previously served as an assistant district attorney in Cumberland County and a deputy prosecutor in York County. Freed has also worked in the private practice of law concentrating on insurance defense litigation.  He graduated from Camp Hill High School, received his B.A., cum laude, from Washington and Lee University and his J.D. from the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law.  Freed lectures frequently on various law enforcement topics including Victims Rights and Services, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Trial Advocacy.  He has lectured for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute and the National College of District Attorneys.  He is a member of the National District Attorneys Association where he serves on the national Legislative Committee, Past President of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute.   He is former chair of the PDAA Education and Training Committee and current chair of the PDAA Communications Committee. In February, 2013, Mr. Freed received the Champion for Children Award from Fight Crime Invest in Kids Pennsylvania. Freed lives in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania with his wife Amy and children Thomas, Elizabeth and Natalie.  He is a past president of the Lion Foundation and a youth sports coach.


Duane Nieves has been a career paramedic since 1987. Throughout those years, he has served in the positions of staff paramedic, field supervisor, EMS continuing education coordinator, assistant chief and currently as director of field operations & chief at Holy Spirit EMS, A Geisinger Affiliate in Camp Hill, PA. Duane also serves as adjunct faculty for Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) EMS Programs, is a member of the Academic Advisory Committee for the HACC Paramedic Program, is president of Cumberland County EMS Council, and represents EMS on the Cumberland County Community Opiate Overdose Prevention Coalition. Since passage of PA ACT 139 of 2014, Duane has provided the required EMS agency oversight to Cumberland County Law Enforcement Agencies who elect to participate in the administration of Naloxone to patients believed to be suffering from opioid-related drug overdoses. Duane recently received recognition for this work in the form of two awards. In December, 2016 he received the “Exceptional Civilian Service Award” from the Cumberland County Chiefs of Police Association and in June, 2017, the “2017 Champions for Better Health – Community Impact Award” from Partnership for Better Health.

Kristin Varner, director of Carlisle programs, training, and advocacy of The Rase Project, received her B.A. from Shippensburg University in August 2000. Prior to joining The RASE Project, she worked as an assistant for the television station, WHTM ABC 27 in Harrisburg, PA. She was appointed to the Citizens Advisory Committee for Cumberland County Children & Youth in 2013 to serve as a representative of the recovery community. As an active member of the recovery community, Varner volunteers on several communities based committees such as The Substance Abuse & Prevention Coalition, The Local Housing Options Team and Committee Woman for Swatara Township. Recently she accepted a position as a board member of Carlisle CARES. She is also a member of Cumberland County Opiate Overdose Coalition (COOP). Currently, Kristin oversees all Carlisle RASE Programs, facilitates the RASE educational trainings, maintains the “In My Own Words Speaker’s Bureau” and is the responsible for all RASE advocacy efforts.

Related Links

Faces and Voices of Recovery
Get Naloxone Now
Cumberland-Perry Drug & Alcohol Commission 
Cumberland County Community Opiate Overdose Prevention Coalition
Cumberland County Medication Take Back Boxes
PA Dept. of Drug & Alcohol Programs Opioid/Heroin Overdose Reversal
Not One More
Cumberland-Perry Family Resources
The Harbor
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

Video of the Panel Discussion

Sean Sherman

Founder, The Sioux Chef

The Evolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America

Friday, November 3, 2017
Stern Center, Great Room, 4:30 p.m.

Committed to revitalizing Native American cuisine, Sherman will share his  research uncovering the foundations of the Indigenous food systems. There will be a book sale and signing following the presentation.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the the Office of Dean & Provost – Neil Weissman, the Center for Sustainability Education, the Department of Anthropology & Archaeology, American Studies, Environmental Studies, and the Food Studies Program.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, has been cooking in Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana for the last 27 years.  In the last few years, his main culinary focus has been on the revitalizing of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary context.  Sean has studied on his own extensively to determine the foundations of these food systems which include the knowledge of Native American farming techniques, wild food usage and harvesting, land stewardship, salt and sugar making, hunting and fishing, food preservation, Native American migrational histories, elemental cooking techniques, and Native culture and history in general to gain a full understanding of bringing back a sense of Native American cuisine to today’s world.  In 2014, he opened the business titled, The Sioux Chef as a caterer and food educator to the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area.  In 2015 in partnership with the Little Earth Community of United Tribes in Minneapolis, he and his business partner Dana Thompson designed and opened the Tatanka Truck, which features pre-contact foods of the Dakota and Minnesota territories.  Chef Sean and his vision of modern indigenous foods have been featured in many articles and radio shows, along with dinners at the James Beard Foundation in Milan and also Slow Foods Indigenous Terra Madre in India.  The Sioux Chef team continues with their mission statement to help educate and make indigenous foods more accessible to as many communities as possible.

Video of the Lecture

Paul Offit

Pediatrician and Expert on Vaccines, Immunology and Virology

The Vaccine-Autism Controversy

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

How have scientists, the media, and the public dealt with the question of whether vaccines cause autism? A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics & Astronomy and the Health Studies Program.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Paul A. Offit, MD is the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as well as the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and a professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a recipient of many awards including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland Medical School, the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America, and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. Offit has published more than 160 papers in medical and scientific journals in the areas of rotavirus-specific immune responses and vaccine safety. He is also the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq, recommended for universal use in infants by the CDC; for this achievement Offit received the Luigi Mastroianni and William Osler Awards from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the Charles Mérieux Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases; and was honored by Bill and Melinda Gates during the launch of their Foundation’s Living Proof Project for global health. In 2009, Offit received the President’s Certificate for Outstanding Service from the American Academy of Pediatrics. In 2011, he received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Biologics Industry Organization (BIO), the David E. Rogers Award from the American Association of Medical Colleges, the Odyssey Award from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2012, Offit received the Distinguished Medical Achievement Award from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Drexel Medicine Prize in Translational Medicine fro the Drexel University College of Medicine. In 2013, he received the Maxwell Finland award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the Distinguished Alumnus award from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the Innovators in Health Award from the Group Health Foundation. In 2015, Offit won the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2016, he won the Franklin Founder Award from the city of Philadelphia, The Porter Prize from the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal, and the Jonathan E. Rhoads Medal for Distinguished Service to Medicine from the American Philosophical Society.

Offit was a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is a founding advisory board member of the Autism Science Foundation and the Foundation for Vaccine Research. He is also the author of six medical narratives: The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to Today’s Growing Vaccine Crisis (Yale University Press, 2005), Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases (HarperCollins, 2007), for which he won an award from the American Medical Writers Association, Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure (Columbia University Press, 2008), Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All (Basic Books, 2011), which was selected by Kirkus Reviews and Booklist as one of the best non-fiction books of the year, Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine (HarperCollins, 2013), which won the Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking from the Center for Skeptical Inquiry and was selected by National Public Radio as one of the best books of 2013, and Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine (Basic Books, 2015), selected by the New York Times Book Review as an “Editor’s Choice” book in April 2015. Offit has also written Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong (National Geographic Press/Random House, April 2017) and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Science and Health (manuscript in preparation). In 2017, he also became a weekly columnist for The Daily Beast.

Video of the Lecture

Franklyn Schaefer – “Wesley Lecturer”

Pastor, Activist and Author

Wesley Lecture

An Indictment of the United Methodist Anti-Gay Doctrine

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

Does the United Methodist anti-gay doctrine violate John Wesley’s “do-no-harm” rule? Testimonies of queer church members and an analysis of a study by the American Psychology Association strongly suggest that it does.

This lecture is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Center for Service, Spirituality and Social Justice with special thanks to the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church and co-sponsored by the Department of Religion, the Division of Student Life and the Office of LGBTQ Services. It is also co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund and part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Rev. Franklyn Schaefer is a United Methodist pastor, chaplain and author (Defrocked, 2014). He and his wife immigrated from Germany in 1990. After obtaining a master’s of divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary (1996) and following ordination as an elder (1998), he served two church appointments in Pennsylvania. In between appointments, he obtained a clinical pastoral education degree from Penn State University while working as a resident chaplain at Hershey Medical Center. (2001-2002). In a highly publicized United Methodist Church trial he was defrocked in 2013 for officiating at his son’s same-sex wedding after refusing to denounce gay marriage rights. He was reinstated on an appeal in June 2014, a ruling that was upheld by the Church’s highest Court in October 2014. Schaefer has became a national advocate for human rights while also pioneering the University U.M. Church restart in Isla Vista, California.

The Wesley Lecture
The Wesley Lecture grows out of the historical relationship between Dickinson College and the Methodist Church, a relationship that has its roots in the 19th century. The lecture highlights contemporary conversations and controversies in faith communities and in higher education about the importance and role of community, commitment, and service for the education of the citizen-scholar.

Video of the Lecture

Erica Frankenberg

Pennsylvania State University

Contemporary School Segregation

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Racial and economic segregation is rising, unraveling many of the gains of the civil rights era, as students of color become the majority of enrollment in public schools. Professor Frankenberg describes the benefits of integrated schools, contemporary trends in public school enrollment, and what should be done to further integration in schools and communities.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity, the Program in Policy Studies, the Departments of Education and Sociology, and the Churchill Fund. It was initiated by the Clarke Forum Student Project Managers and is part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Erica Frankenberg is an associate professor of education and demography at the Pennsylvania State University, and co-director of the Center for Education and Civil Rights. Her research interests focus on racial desegregation and inequality in K-12 schools, school choice & segregation, and the connections between school segregation and other metropolitan policies particularly in suburban communities. Prior to joining the Penn State faculty, she was the research and policy director for the Initiative on School Integration at the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA.  Her recently published books are School Integration Matters: Research-Based Strategies to advance Equity (with Liliana Garces & Megan Hopkins, from Teachers College Press); Educational Delusions? Why Choice Can Deepen Inequality and How to Make it Fair (with Gary Orfield, from University of California Press); The Resegregation of Suburban Schools: A Hidden Crisis in American Education (with Gary Orfield, from the Harvard Education Press); and Integrating Schools in a Changing society: New Policies and Legal Options for a Multiracial Generation (with Elizabeth DeBray, from the University of North Carolina Press). She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles in leading education policy journals, law reviews, and housing journals as well as writing for policy and practitioner publications. She has also served as an expert witness in a number of desegregation cases and has assisted local districts in the design or implementation of integration plans. She received her doctorate in education policy from Harvard University, her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, and is a proud graduate of the public schools of Mobile, Alabama.

Video of the Lecture

danah boyd

Founder and President, Data & Society

Fairness and Accountability in Algorithmic Culture

Monday, October 23, 2017 
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Data-driven and algorithmic systems increasingly underpin many decision-making systems, shaping where law enforcement are stationed and what news you are shown on social media. In this talk, boyd will unpack some of the unique cultural challenges presented by “big data” and machine learning, raising critical questions about fairness and accountability.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science and Student Senate. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Big Data.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

danah boyd is the founder and president of Data & Society, a research institute focused on understanding the role of data-driven technologies in society. She is also a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and a visiting professor at New York University. Her research is focused on addressing social and cultural inequities by understanding the relationship between technology and society. Her most recent books – It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens and Participatory Culture in a Networked Age – examine the intersection of everyday practices and social media. She is a 2011 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a director of both Crisis Text Line and Social Science Research Council, and a trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Brown University, a master’s degree from the MIT Media Lab, and a Ph.D in information from the University of California, Berkeley.

Video of the Lecture

Damián Sainz

Cuban Filmmaker

Imagining Cuba: Emerging Documentary Filmmaking within Social Change

Thursday, October 19, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Sainz explores the struggles of the emerging generation of documentary filmmakers in contemporary Cuba.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of Spanish & Portuguese; Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies; Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies; Film Studies; the Women’s & Gender Resource Center; and First Year Seminars.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Damián Sainz  graduated from the University of Arts, Havana, Cuba with a degree in media arts and from the EICTV (International Film and Television School of San Antonio de los Baños) with a degree in documentary direction. Sainz also studied at the Mel Oppenheim Film School in Montreal, Canada and at the Cinema Department at HEAD Genève, Switzerland. Sainz has worked as director, editor and producer in documentary films in Cuba, Canada, Switzerland and Spain and has collaborated with visual arts projects like Galeria Continua, Inventario at the Ludwig Foundation and online project Docuselfie. His short documentary films, focused on LGBTQ culture in the island and Cuban youth, have been selected and awarded in several international film festivals like Havana Film Festival, Fribourg in Switzerland, FICUNAM in Mexico, DocumentaMadrid in Spain and FICU in Uruguay. Sainz teaches documentary cinema at the EICTV in San Antonio de los Baños, The Ludwig Foundation in Cuba and at the Cinema Program of Altos de Chavón in Dominican Republic. He lives and works as an independent filmmaker in Havana, Cuba.

Related Links

Video of the Lecture

Republican Politics Today

Thursday, October 5, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Watch Live


Reneé Amoore, Republican Party of Pennsylvania
Robert Borden ’91, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Brandon Ferrance, Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans
Jim Gerlach ’77, Business-Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC)
David O’Connell (moderator), Dickinson College

Drawing from state and national politics, this panel will explore who identifies as and what it means to be a Republican today. Particular attention will be paid to the definitions of conservatism and the challenges Republicans face in Pennsylvania as a swing state, adding context to political debates on Dickinson’s campus.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Division of Student Life, the Departments of American Studies and Psychology and the Program in Policy Studies.  This program was also initiated by the Clarke Forum Student Project Managers.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Reneé Amoore is a longtime advocate of clinically-appropriate and cost effective alternatives to expensive healthcare, and began her foray into the medical field as a registered nurse with training at Harlem Hospital School of Nursing. Earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Antioch University, Amoore catapulted from a career in nursing, to supervisor of a hospital program, and VP and COO of a social service organization.
In 1996 Amoore started her own company, which today consists of three divisions under the parent corporation, The Amoore Group (TAG).  The divisions of TAG provide diverse services, such as: PR/ marketing, government relations, health care consulting, job creation, education, workplace diversity, and early intervention/allied health services.

An active participant in shaping her community, Amoore was the first African American elected to the Upper Merion School District, where she served as the board’s vice president for four years. In 1992, she was elected to Pennsylvania’s Republican State Committee and became its deputy chair in 1996.

In 2004 she became the first female and African American to chair a Pennsylvania delegation to the Republican National Convention.  She also did role call at the 2000 Republican National Convention.  At the 2008 Republican National Convention she was a keynote speaker.  She has raised money for national, state and local candidates for the Republican Party.  She is a Republican strategist for Fox News, CNN and local Philadelphia stations.  She currently has a radio show, “Real Clear”.

She is also currently involved with the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber Executive Committee, CMS, Women Against MS, Take the Lead Event Committee, Vision 2020, and the Pennsylvania New Majority Council, while also serving as a Drexel University trustee, a member of Drexel University’s executive board, member of the Main Line board of governors, Main Line Health, member of the Urban Affairs Coalition and the chair of the Joint Board at Saints Memorial Baptist Church.

The Elevator of Achievement: Determination Requires a Choice, is a book written by Amoore in which she demonstrates how women can move up the corporate ladder by shaping their own attitudes about success, prejudice, oppression, equality, business, and leadership.

Robert Borden ’91 is the deputy staff director of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform under Chairman Trey Gowdy. He has served on Capitol Hill for more than 20 years. He was the director of oversight for Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leaders Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy. In that capacity, he coordinated the oversight and investigative activities of House committees. Borden has also served as the general counsel of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and before that the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. In addition, he served as counsel to the select committees that investigated the Benghazi terrorist attacks and the response to Hurricane Katrina.

Borden graduated from Dickinson College in 1991 and from American University’s Washington College of Law in 1994. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and his two daughters.

Brandon Ferrance is the chairman of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, he is also currently serving on the executive committee of the Cumberland County Republican Committee as a vice chairman and the Credentials Committee of the College Republican National Committee. In the past he founded and chaired the Luzerne County Teenage Republicans, served as Northeast Central Caucus representative for the Pennsylvania Teenage Republicans, served as co-chairman, vice chairman, and secretary for the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, as well as working on numerous campaigns across the Commonwealth. He was recently named to PoliticsPA’s 30 Under 30 list as one of Pennsylvania’s 2016 Rising Stars. Raised in Luzerne County, he now resides in Cumberland County and attends school at Shippensburg University where he majors in political science.

Former U.S. Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-PA) serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Business-Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC).

He joins BIPAC following an extensive career in public service and the private sector. Rep. Gerlach served Pennsylvania’s Sixth Congressional District for 12 years where he most recently served on the House Ways and Means Committee and its Subcommittees on Health and Select Revenue. In the 113th Congress he was also the lead Republican on the Ways and Means Manufacturing Working Group. During his six terms in the House, from 2002-2014, Rep. Gerlach also served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Financial Services Committee, and the Small Business Committee.

National publications, including National Journal and Roll Call, have recognized Rep. Gerlach’s strong record as an independent voice. He is no stranger to difficult campaigns. The 6th District was ranked as the most competitive district in the nation between 2002 and 2008, according to a University of Minnesota survey.

Prior to his tenure with the U.S. Congress, Rep. Gerlach also served four years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and eight years in the Pennsylvania Senate. This public service was preceded by 10 years of private law practice in the Commonwealth.
Throughout his career, Jim has always stood for free enterprise. Gerlach was repeatedly named a “Guardian of Small Business” while serving the citizens of Pennsylvania as a state legislator and a Member of the U.S. Congress. While in Congress, he received perfect scores from BIPAC’s Outline for Prosperity, received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise award, and gained support from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

Active in his community, Gerlach served as a member of the board of directors of the Brandywine Health Foundation, as well as a member of the board of directors of MECA (Mission for Educating Children with Autism), the board of trustees of Dickinson College, the Chester County Agricultural Development Council, the West Brandywine Township Zoning Hearing Board, and the board of directors of the Brandywine Hospital.

oconneld OConnell DavidDavid O’Connell (moderator) is an assistant professor of political science at Dickinson College. His research interests include the presidency and religion and American politics. O’Connell’s research has been published in Presidential Studies Quarterly, and his first book, God Wills It: Presidents and the Political Use of Religion, was recently re-released in paperback. Professor O’Connell is a frequent media commentator on American politics, having appeared on C-SPAN, ABC27, CBS21, FOX43, WGAL 8 and WITF, and he has been interviewed by print outlets ranging from CNN to The Christian Science Monitor to the Associated Press. Professor O’Connell received his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, and holds a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Video of the Panel Discussion

Raquel Cepeda

Journalist, Critic, Filmmaker, and Autobiographer

Remixing the American Dream

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

The American Dream, Cepeda argues, is a pipedream for some and a birthright for others. Challenging the absurdity of the black-white national conversation about the American dream, Cepeda offers a working and accessible revision to suit generations of Americans, like her, who have been pushed to the margins.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Women’s & Gender Resource Center, the Popel Shaw Center for Ethnicity & Race, the Division of Student Life, and the Departments of Spanish & Portuguese, English, and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Born in Harlem to Dominican parents, award-winning journalist, cultural activist, podcaster, and documentary filmmaker Raquel Cepeda is the author of Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina. Equal parts memoir about Cepeda’s coming of age in New York City and Santo Domingo, and detective story chronicling her year-long journey to discover the truth about her ancestry, the book also looks at what it means to be Latinx today. Cepeda’s latest documentary Some Girls, produced by Henry Chalfant and Sam Pollard, focuses on a group of troubled Latina teens from a Bronx-based side prevention program who are transformed by an exploration of their roots via the use of ancestral DNA testing, followed by a treat to the seat of the Americas. Cepeda is currently in production on her next documentary and currently writing East of Broadway, a story about one community in New York as soon through the lives of several of its inhabitants. She lives with her husband, Sacha Jenkins, a filmmaker, musician, and creative agency partner, her daughter, 20, and five-year-old son in New York City, “…concrete jungle where dreams are made of [and] there’s nothin’ you can’t do…”

Peterson Toscano

Theatrical Performance Artist

Everything is Connected

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Connecting contemporary issues to his own bizarre personal experiences, literature, science, and even the odd Bible story, Peterson Toscano takes his audience on an off-beat mental mind trip. A shapeshifter, he transforms right before your eyes into a whole cast of comic characters who explore the serious worlds of gender, sexuality, privilege, religion, and environmental justice.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainability Education, the Office of LGBTQ Services, the Center for Service, Spirituality and Social Justice, the Women’s and Gender Resource Center, the Department of Religion, the Department of Theatre & Dance, and the Churchill Fund. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Drawing on comedy, storytelling, and history, Peterson Toscano creates original content for the stage and the Internet that inspires curiosity about climate change. Peterson’s unique personal journey led him into performance art. After spending 17 years and over $30,000 on three continents attempting to de-gay himself through gay conversion therapy, he came to his senses and came out a quirky queer Quaker concerned with human rights and comedy. His university presentations reveal the interconnectedness of power, privilege, justice, and coffee beans. Some of his presentations include, Transfigurations—Transgressing Gender in the Bible, Does This Apocalypse Make Me Look Fat? and Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House

Video of the Presentation

Richard Alley – “Joseph Priestley Award Recipient”

Pennsylvania State University

Joseph Priestley Award Celebration Lecture

The Good News on Energy, Environment and Our Future

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Watch Live

Humans have burned trees, whales, and now fossil fuels far faster than they grew back, enjoying the energy but suffering the environmental impacts and then shortages. Now, we are the first generation that can build a sustainable energy system, improving the economy, employment, environment, ethics, and national security.

The Joseph Priestley Award recipient is chosen by a different science department each year. The Department of Earth Sciences has selected this year’s recipient. The event is supported by the College’s Priestley Fund and is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of biology, chemistry, earth sciences, environmental studies, mathematics & computer science, psychology, and physics & astronomy.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Richard Alley (Ph.D. 1987, Geology, Wisconsin) is Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences at Penn State.  He studies the great ice sheets to help predict future changes in climate and sea level, and has conducted three field seasons in Antarctica, eight in Greenland, and three in Alaska.  He has been honored for research (including election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Foreign Membership in the Royal Society), teaching, and service.  Alley participated in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), and has provided requested advice to numerous government officials in multiple administrations including a U.S. vice president, the President’s science advisor, and committees and individual members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  He has authored or coauthored over 290 refereed scientific papers.  He was presenter for the PBS TV miniseries on climate and energy Earth: The Operators’ Manual, and author of the book.  His popular account of climate change and ice cores, The Two-Mile Time Machine, was Phi Beta Kappa’s science book of the year.  Alley is happily married with two grown daughters, two stay-at-home cats, a bicycle, and a pair of soccer cleats.

Related Link

Penn State Course: EARTH 104 – Energy and the Environment

Joseph Priestley Lecture
The Priestley Award is presented by Dickinson College in memory of Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen, to a distinguished scientist whose work has contributed to the welfare of humanity. The Priestley Award, first presented in 1952, recognizes outstanding achievement and contribution to our understanding of science and the world.

Video of the Lecture

Alexander Heffner – “Constitution Day Address Lecturer”

Journalist, Writer and Civic Educator

Winfield C. Cook Constitution Day Address

Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age

Monday, September 18, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.


Heffner will discuss the millennial citizen, the space of old and new media, and the character of contemporary political discourse. How can we restore faith in democracy?

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and Penn State’s Dickinson Law and co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Division of Student Life and the Churchill Fund. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Alexander Heffner is the host of The Open Mind on PBS. He has covered American politics, civic life and Millennials since the 2008 presidential campaign. His work has been profiled in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Variety, Medium, and on NBC News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, CNN, BBC and NY1, among other media outlets. His essays, reviews and op-eds have appeared in TIME, Reuters, RealClearPolitics, NYT’s Room for Debate, The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe, among other publications. He has lectured, participated in and moderated panels at the Newseum, National Constitution Center, FDR Library and Museum, Center for Information and Bubble Studies, Institute of Applied Politics, Center for Telecommunication and Law, Brian Lamb School of Communication, Graduate School of Political Management, University of San Diego, University of Notre Dame, University of New Mexico, University of South Florida, Simpson College and Skidmore College, among other institutions of learning. He was the political director for WHRB 95.3 FM and host of The Political Arena.  A native New Yorker, he is a graduate of Andover and Harvard.

Winfield C. Cook Constitution Day Address
The annual address is endowed through the generosity of Winfield C. Cook, former Dickinson Trustee. Each year the Clarke Forum invites a prominent public figure to campus to speak on a contemporary issue related to the Constitution. The event celebrates the signing of the United States Constitution and commemorates Dickinson’s connection to that document, through John Dickinson’s participation as an original signer. Previous speakers have included Kenneth Starr, Ira Glasser, Lowell Weicker, Marjorie Rendell, Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff and Kimberlé Crenshaw.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz – “Morgan Lecturer”

American historian, writer and feminist

Morgan Lecture

The Genocidal Foundation of the United States

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Dunbar-Ortiz will provide a history of settler colonialism and genocidal war that she argues forms the foundation of the United States. A book sale and signing will follow the presentation.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Morgan Lecture Fund and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund. It is  also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma.  As a veteran of the Sixties revolution, she has been involved in movements against the Vietnam War and imperialism, union organizing, and was one of the founders of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the late 1960s. Since 1973, she has worked with Indigenous communities for sovereignty and land rights and helped build the international Indigenous movement. With a doctorate in History, she professor emerita at California State University East Bay, and author of numerous scholarly Indigenous related books and articles, including Roots of Resistance:  A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico and The Great Sioux Nation, as well as a memoir trilogy and the award-winning book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Her book, Unloaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, will be published in January, and a book challenging the concept of the United States as “a nation of immigrants” will appear in 2019.

Morgan Lectureship
The Morgan Lectureship was endowed by the board of trustees in 1992, in grateful appreciation for the distinguished service of James Henry Morgan of the Class of 1878, professor of Greek, dean, and president of the College. The lectureship brings to campus a scholar in residence to meet informally with individuals and class groups, and to deliver the Morgan Lecture on topics in the social sciences and humanities. Recent scholars have been Jorge Luis Borges, Francis Fukuyama, Michael Ignatieff, Samantha Power, Art Spiegelman, Sandra Steingraber, Kay Redfield Jamison, Patricia Hill Collins, Winona LaDuke and Lila Abu-Lughod.

Video of the Lecture

Breaking Issue: North Korea Today

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.


Jina Kim, Dickinson College
Richard Lacquement,  U.S. Army War College
Jeff McCausland, Dickinson College
Douglas Stuart (moderator), Dickinson College

Link to Live Stream

This panel of experts will share their ideas regarding the current North Korean political situation, including such perspectives as the relationship between North Korea and South Korea, tactics to control the nuclear threat, and U.S. policy.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of Political Science, International Studies and East Asian Studies.

Biographies (provided by the panelists)

Jina E. Kim is visiting assistant professor of East Asian Studies with a focus on modern Korean history, literature, and media. Her research and teaching areas include Korea under Japanese colonial rule, transnational Asian studies, Korean diaspora, and Korean War, all of which pay close attention to the history of North Korea and North Korean relations with its East Asian neighbors. Her writings on these topics have appeared in Journal of Korean Studies, Review of Korean Studies, and Harvard Asia Quarterly, among others.

Richard A. Lacquement Jr. is the dean of the School of Strategic Landpower at the U.S. Army War College. As dean he oversees senior-level military education programs for more than 1200 rising national security professionals annually. The most considerable programs he leads are the one-year resident education program and the two-year distance education program that both award graduates a Masters of Strategic Studies degree in addition to Army and joint professional military education credentials. Lacquement is a political scientist with a doctorate in international relations specializing in security studies. During more than 29 years of active service in the U.S. Army, he was a strategist and field artillery officer, to include combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Before his military retirement in 2013, he had many senior level assignments, to include with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command in Afghanistan, as chief of plans for U.S. Forces Korea, and in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.  He had tactical assignments in U.S. Army Airborne, Air Assault and Armored units and teaching assignments at the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval War College.  He is the author of the book Shaping American Military Capabilities after the Cold War and several articles and book chapters on national security, the Army, civil-military relations, post-war drawdowns, stability operations and counterinsurgency. He holds a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy, master’s degrees from the Naval War College and Army War College, and M.P.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University.

Jeff McCausland is the founder and CEO of Diamond6 Leadership and Strategy, LLC.  He is a visiting professor of International Security Affairs at Dickinson College and former dean of academics at the U.S. Army War College as well as distinguished visiting professor of research and Minerva chairholder.  McCausland is a retired U.S. Army Colonel, holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a West Point graduate.  His military assignments included: the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Army Staff; command of an artillery battalion during the Gulf War; dean of the Army War College; and director for Defense Policy and Arms Control, National Security Council Staff, the White House.  Since retiring from the military he has served as a chaired professor of Leadership at the U.S. Naval Academy and subsequently a visiting professor at the Penn State Graduate School of International Affairs prior to joining the Dickinson faculty.

McCausland is a national security consultant for CBS radio and television.  He has provided extensive analysis of American national security policy and the crisis in Korea for over fourteen years.  He is also a senior fellow at both the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the Naval Academy.  He has published and lectured broadly both in the United States and over twenty-five foreign countries on national security affairs, NATO, the wars in Afghanistan/Iraq, security in Asia, civil-military relations, and leadership development.

Douglas Stuart (moderator) is the first holder of the Stuart Chair in International Studies at Dickinson College.  He is also an adjunct research professor at the U.S. Army War College.  His research tends to focus on two topics: the history of, and proposals for reform of, the U.S. national security bureaucracy and U.S. foreign and security policies in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.  His writings on Asian security have appeared in several journals, including Asian Affairs, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, and the Korean Journal of Defense Analysis.

Video of the Lecture


H. Andrew Schwartz

Stony Brook University

The Power of Big Social Media Data

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Schwartz will focus on what large-scale social media data can reveal about the users generating it and how this is changing social science.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science and the Department of American Studies. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Big Data.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

H. Andrew Schwartz is an assistant professor of computer science at Stony Brook University (SUNY), where he runs the HLAB: Human Language Analysis Beings, and teaches courses in data science. His interdisciplinary research focuses on large and scalable language analyses for health and social sciences. Utilizing natural language processing and machine learning techniques he seeks to discover new behavioral and psychological factors of health and well-being as manifest through language in social media. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Central Florida in 2011 with research on acquiring lexical semantic knowledge from the Web, and he was previously a visiting assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania and lead research scientist for the World Well-Being Project, a multi-disciplinary team of computer, health, and social scientists seeking to measure and advance our understanding of human well-being using big data. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Wired, and The Washington Post.

Related Links

Personality, Gender, and Age in the Language of Social Media: The Open-Vocabulary Approach

Yelp Reviews Of Hospital Care Can Supplement And Inform Traditional Surveys Of The Patient Experience Of Care

Transparency and Trust — Online Patient Reviews of Physicians

Twitter Can Predict Rates of Coronary Heart Disease, According to Penn Research

Video of the Lecture

Lance Freeman

Columbia University

The End of the Ghetto? Gentrification in Black Neighborhoods 1980-2015

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

In the first decades of the 21st century gentrification has accelerated in black neighborhoods across a number of cities. This talk examines the prevalence of this trend, some possible causes and the implications for the Black Ghetto.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Black Student Union, the Departments of Political Science, Economics, and Sociology and the Program in Policy Studies. This is a Clarke Forum student project manager initiated  event.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Lance Freeman is a professor in the Urban Planning Program at Columbia University in New York City. His research focuses on affordable housing, gentrification, ethnic and racial stratification in housing markets, and the relationship between the built environment and well being. Freeman teaches courses on community development, housing policy and research methods.  He has also taught in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Delaware.  Prior to this, Freeman worked as a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, a leading social policy research firm in Washington D.C.  Freeman holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Freeman has published several articles in refereed journals on issues related to neighborhood change, urban poverty, housing policy, urban sprawl, the relationship between the built environment and public health and residential segregation.  He is also the author of the book There Goes the Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up (Temple University Press). Freeman also obtained extensive experience working with community development groups while working as a community development coordinator for the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development and as a research associate at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Freeman also has professional experience working as a city planner for the New York City Housing Authority, and as a budget analyst for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

Video of the Lecture