CUNY Lecture Series

Master Disaster

August 6, 2015 | Baruch College, CUNY Lecture Series

In the Coast Guard, Richard Larrabee oversaw the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the search for JFK Jr. after the Kennedy prince crashed his plane. He joined the Port Authority and was in 1 WTC on 9/11 and was port commerce director when Hurricane Sandy hit. “Always take advantage of a good crisis” to effect change, he tells a Baruch College audience.

O’Keefe’s Origins

July 23, 2015 | City College, CUNY Lecture Series

In his 2015 commencement address to City College grads, Nobel Laureate Dr. John O’Keefe fondly recalled his college years when he first began exploring connections between philosophy and neuroscience. “I don’t think my story is unique. I’m just a good example of City College’s gift to youth and to the nation,” O’Keefe said.

Knock on Wood

June 24, 2015 | Baruch College, CUNY Lecture Series

Hedge fund manager and activist investor Whitney Tilson thought Lumber Liquidators’ profit margins were was too high. Tilson tells an audience at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business how his suspicions led him to accuse the company of using cheap Chinese lumber containing potentially unsafe levels of formaldehyde.

John O’Keefe on Inner Workings of the Brain

June 12, 2015 | City College, CUNY Lecture Series

Nobel Laureate and City College alum John O’Keefe traces historic findings on the hippocampus and human memory to his recent research on the brain’s cognitive map. O’Keefe, along with two other scientists, won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering an inner GPS in the brain that helps navigate surroundings. His engaging, and often humorous, discussion marked the inaugural Professor Sharon Cosloy-Edward Blank Family Distinguished Scientist Lecture at City College.

Blood for Blood

June 12, 2015 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center

A few years after the Armenian genocide of 1915-16, several ex-leaders of the former Ottoman Empire met sudden violent deaths at the hands of assassins. Armenian-American actor Eric Bogosian tells the real-life cloak-and-dagger story behind these little-known historical events.

Bash Back

June 10, 2015 | CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY Lecture Series

The LGBT movement has won some battles, but “victory blindness” threatens these gains, Michelangelo Signorile argues in “It’s Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia and Winning True Equality.” Signorile talks about his ideas for the movement to stay on the offensive —- including bashing gay bashers — with journalist Dan Savage.

Gen. Colin Powell: “We are a Nation of Nations”

May 29, 2015 | City College, CUNY Lecture Series

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told grads of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership that immigration reform should be “an essential feature” of the upcoming political season. He also urged graduates to get involved in their communities, saying, “If you want to save the world, just start by saving one kid.”

Austerity as Policy — a Wolf at the Door

April 27, 2015 | CUNY Lecture Series, Hunter College

Andrew J. Polsky, professor of political science at Hunter College, sits down with Mark Blyth, author of Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea, for a conversation about some of today’s most urgent economic policy questions. Calling austerity in the U.S., “a problem too big to fill,” Blyth, an economics professor at Brown University, makes a strong case for why the turn to austerity, the policy of reducing domestic wages and prices to restore competitiveness and balance the budget, hasn’t worked.

Ken Burns, Geoffrey Ward at Roosevelt House

April 1, 2015 | CUNY Lecture Series, Hunter College

Filmmaker Ken Burns explains what drew him to the lives of Franklin, Eleanor and Theodore Roosevelt, and why their stories are so relevant today. “We found that they were so contemporary. They speak to the central questions of our time,” including notions of human rights, fairness and public service. Burns was joined by Geoffrey Ward, co-creator of the acclaimed PBS seven-part documentary, “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.”

Struggling for the Rights of the Disenfranchised

March 9, 2015 | CUNY Lecture Series

In his powerful new memoir, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Montgomery-based Equal Rights Initiative, reflects on his lifelong struggle to protect the rights of the disenfranchised, while helping to free scores of others who were unfairly imprisoned. Speaking at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House, Stevenson noted that young often tell him “they don’t expect to be free or alive by the time they are 21.”