Campus News

Signature Lectures bring thought leaders to campus

Renowned authors, scholars, artists and leaders from a wide range of fields will visit the University of Georgia this fall as part of the Signature Lecture series.

“This fall’s Signature Lectures bring us national and international expertise in history, science, business ethics, art history, journalism and food security, among other topics,” said Meg Amstutz, associate provost for academic programs. “Through this lecture series, students and members of the community can explore important topics of our time, both familiar and new.”

Signature Lectures are designated at the beginning of each semester by the Office of Academic Programs to highlight campus talks by speakers noted for their broad, multidisciplinary appeal and compelling bodies of work. Many of the lectures are supported by endowments, while others honor notable figures and milestones in the university’s history.

All Signature Lectures are free and open to the public. For more information and updates on Signature Lectures, see

Carol Berkin

Carol Berkin, Presidential Professor of History Emerita at Baruch College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York
Constitution Day Lecture: “Born in Crisis: The Emergence in the 1790s of an American Identity”
Sept. 17, 1:30 p.m., Chapel

Berkin is an American historian and author specializing in the role of women in American Colonial history. She has worked as a consultant on several PBS and History Channel documentaries, including “Scottsboro Boys,” which was nominated for a best documentary Academy Award in 2000.

Sponsored by the School of Public and International Affairs and the American Founding Group.

Sushil Prasad

Sushil Prasad, professor at Georgia State University and program director at the National Science Foundation
“Innovations in NSF Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Research Workforce Development and Education Programs”
Oct. 12, 3:30 p.m., Boyd Graduate Studies Research Center, Room 328

Prasad is a professor of computer science at Georgia State University and director of the Distributed and Mobile Systems Lab. He has carried out theoretical as well as experimental research in parallel and distributed computing, resulting in more than 140 refereed publications, several patent applications, and about $6 million in external research funds.

Sponsored by the department of computer science.

Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor, analyst, host and reporter, ESPN
Terry Leadership Speaker Series
Oct. 17, 10:10 a.m., Chapel

A former UGA basketball and volleyball player, Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2009 and earned a Master of Business Administration in 2013.Taylor is in her sixth season as an analyst, host and reporter for ESPN.

Sponsored by the Institute for Leadership Advancement.

Andrea Wulf

Andrea Wulf, New York Times best-selling author
Gregory Distinguished History Lecture: “The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World”
Oct. 18, 4 p.m., Chapel

Wulf is an award-winning author of five acclaimed books, including the New York Times best-selling “Founding Gardeners” and “The Invention of Nature.”

Sponsored by the department of history.

David Lubin

David Lubin, Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art, Wake Forest University
“Oh Say Can You See: American Art, Propaganda, and the First World War”
Oct. 18, 5:30 p.m., Georgia Museum of Art, M. Smith Griffith Auditorium

Lubin has lectured at colleges, universities, medical schools and art museums throughout the U.S., Europe, China and Australia. His book “Shooting Kennedy: JFK and the Culture of Images” won the Smithsonian Institution’s Charles Eldredge Prize for distinguished scholarship in American art. His latest book is “Grand Illusions: American Art and the First World War.”

Co-sponsored by the Georgia Museum of Art and the College of Environment and Design.

Rebecca Rutstein

Rebecca Rutstein, artist, and Samantha Joye, UGA Athletic Association Professor of Arts and Sciences
“Expeditions, Experiments and the Ocean: Arts and Sciences at Sea”
Nov. 2, 9 a.m., Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel, Mahler Hall

Rutstein, the university’s Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding, is an artist whose work spans painting, sculpture, installation and public art and explores abstraction inspired by science, data and maps.

Joye’s research aims to discover, document, resolve and understand complex feedbacks that drive elemental cycling in coastal and open ocean environments. She led assessment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico immediately following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout and is director of the Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf research consortium.

Sponsored by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.

Sharon Deem

Sharon Deem, director of the Institute for Conservation Medicine at the St. Louis Zoo
“One Health in the Age of the Anthropocene”
Nov. 5, 2 p.m., Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources Building 2, Room 100

From wild forest elephants in Gabon and maned wolves in Bolivia to giant tortoises on the Galapagos Islands, Deem has built a career connecting the health of wildlife to people through One Health, an approach that recognizes that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment. She is an award-winning epidemiologist, wildlife veterinarian and conservationist.

Sponsored by the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Ann Tenbrunsel

Ann E. Tenbrunsel, David E. Gallo Professor of Business Ethics at the University of Notre Dame
Ethics Week Lecture: “Blind Spots: Why We Aren’t as Ethical as We Think We Are”
Nov. 7, 2:30 p.m., Chapel

Tenbrunsel’s research interests focus on the psychology of ethical decision making, examining why employees, leaders and students behave unethically, despite their best intentions to behave to the contrary. She is the author, co-author or co-editor of six books on this topic—including “Blind Spots” (with Max Bazerman), “Behavioral Ethics: Shaping an Emerging Field” (with David De Cremer), “Codes of Conduct: Behavioral Research into Business Ethics” (with David Messick)—and over 50 research articles and chapters.

Sponsored by the Office of the President, Terry College of Business and School of Law.

Robert Paarlberg

Robert Paarlberg, adjunct professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and an associate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
D.W. Brooks Lecture: “Foodies vs. Aggies: Compromise for a New Food System”
Nov. 8, 3:30 p.m., Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel, Mahler Hall

Paarlberg specializes in understanding the space where public policy intersects with food security and human health. He has recently been a member of the Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the National Research Council and a consultant to the National Intelligence Council, USAID, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, IFPRI, the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sponsored by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Marina Walker Guevara

Marina Walker Guevara, deputy director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
McGill Lecture: “Trust, Technology and Teamwork Can Reveal a Global Truth”
Nov. 8, 4 p.m., Journalism Building, Studio 100

Walker Guevara is deputy director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a network of reporters in 80 countries who collaborate on stories of global concern. She has managed the two largest collaborations of reporters in journalism’s history: the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers, which involved hundreds of journalists and media partners using technology to unravel stories of public interest from terabytes of leaked financial data. Her work has won and shared more than 40 national and international awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting.

Sponsored by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Nirav Merchant

Nirav Merchant, director of the University of Arizona Data Science Institute
Georgia Informatics Institutes Lecture: “Learning (for All of Us) in the Machine Learning Era”
Nov. 30, 1 p.m., Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel, Masters Hall

Merchant is co-principal investigator for the National Science Foundation’s CyVerse, a national scale cyberinfrastructure for life sciences headquartered at the University of Arizona. Over the last two decades, his research has been directed toward developing scalable platforms for supporting open science and open innovation, with an emphasis on improving research productivity for geographically distributed interdisciplinary teams.

Sponsored by the Georgia Informatics Institutes for Research and Education and the Institute of Bioinformatics.

Requests for accommodations for those with disabilities should be made as soon as possible but at least seven days prior to the scheduled lecture. Contact Katie Fite in the Office of Academic Programs at 706-542-0383 or at to request accommodations.