Dean/Gingrich Debate Highlights 2009-2010 University Speaker Series



Aug. 25, 2009 – Southeast Missouri State University’s 2009-2010 Speaker Series will bring several well-known people to Cape Girardeau to share their stories and expertise. 

Aron Ralston kicks off the Speaker Series at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 in Academic Hall Auditorium.  Ralston, who is an experienced hiker, was faced with a near-death experience while hiking in Blue John Canyon in Utah. An 800-pound boulder came loose, pinning Ralston’s right arm and wrist against the canyon wall. He came to the conclusion that his only way of survival was to amputate his right arm. Ralston will tell of his experience of being trapped, facing death and then being forced to do something so horrific for his own survival. This event is free and open to the public.

At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean and former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich will debate health care reform in a program titled “Health Care Today.”  This event will be held in the Show Me Center. Tickets are $8 for the public and admittance at the door is free to Southeast faculty, staff and students with a Redhawks I.D. Tickets are currently on sale and may be purchased at the Show Me Center Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at or charge by phone at (573) 651-5000.

The Speaker Series will continue when the inspiration for the film, “The Pursuit of Happyness,” Christopher Gardner, will present the keynote address at the Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner Jan. 20 at the Show Me Center. Gardner is the owner and chief executive officer of the brokerage firm Gardner Rich LLC. with offices in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Gardner will discuss the keys to overcoming obstacles and challenges in life, which has helped him become a successful entrepreneur and an active philanthropist. For ticket information, call (573) 651-2524 or e-mail

Next in the series will be Mike Rowe, the creator and executive producer of Discovery Channel’s Emmy nominated series “Dirty Jobs,” who will speak at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 in the Show Me Center. Mike will discuss his work with his charitable organization, the mikeroweWORKS foundation, which raises money to support the trades.  He will also discuss his experiences traveling the country apprenticing at hundreds of “dirty” jobs that are less than ideal in every industry and state.  Tickets are $8 for the public and admittance at the door will be free to Southeast faculty, staff and students with a Redhawks I.D. Tickets will be on sale by Nov. 2 and will be available for purchase at the Show Me Center Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at or charge by phone at (573) 651-5000.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, the host of the radio program “Loveline” and star of the VH1 show, “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,” will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 in Academic Auditorium. Pinsky is a practicing medical doctor and is board certified in addiction medicine. He is currently the service director of the Chemical Dependency Program/Residential Treatment Center at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, Calif., a staff member at Huntington Memorial Hospital, and continues to operate a private practice and is assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the Keck USC School of Medicine. This event is free and open to the public.

The Rev. Marcia Dyson, hailed as one of the nation’s foremost religious figures, spiritual writers and noted civic-social activists, and her husband, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, a best-selling author, scholar and cultural critic, are scheduled to speak during Black History Month in February. A date has not yet been set. For ticket information, call (573) 651-2524 or e-mail

Lyah Beth LeFlore, a bestselling author, will speak at Southeast on

March 24. A time and location have not yet been announced. For ticket information, call (573) 651-2524 or e-mail LeFlore has been featured in The New York Times, Essence Magazine, Ebony, Jet, and Entertainment Weekly; also on CNN and BET.   Television producer credits include:  “New York Undercover” (FOX), “Midnight Mac starring Bernie Mac” (HBO), and “Grown Ups” (UPN).  She has worked at Nickelodeon, Uptown Entertainment/Universal, Wolf Films/Universal and Alan Haymon Productions.  Books include the coauthored, Cosmopolitan Girls; the Essence bestseller Last Night A DJ Saved My Life;  the New York Times bestseller and Essence bestseller, I Got Your Back:  A Father and Son Keep It Real About Love, Fatherhood, Family, and Friendship – a collaboration with Grammy Award father and son, Eddie and Gerald Levert; and Wildflowers.   I Got Your Back was a finalist for the Essence Literary Awards and the NAACP Image Awards.  LeFlore also wrote the CD liner notes for The O’Jays’ “The Essential O’Jays: Giving The People What They Want” and Usher’s “Here I Stand.”   This fall she will introduce her hot new teen series The Come Up, illustrated by D.L. Warfield (Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster).  The first book is The World Is Mine.  LeFlore is a native of St. Louis and holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications media from Stephens College.

The 2009-2010 University Speaker Series will come to a close April 20 when Southeast Missouri State University and the Global Strategy Institute of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) host the third annual CSIS Regional Conference. This half-day seminar that will address how significant social, economic, environmental, and political issues will impact the United States and its role as a global citizen in the next 20 years.

The conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall in the Cultural Arts Center at Southeast’s River Campus. The conference will bring together key CSIS scholars and a group of Southeast students who participated in an intensive spring break week-in-residence at CSIS — a nonpartisan and nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based think tank established in 1962.

Keynoting the

April 20 conference will be Dr. Erik Peterson, CSIS senior vice president and director of the Global Strategy Institute. As director of the Global Strategy Institute, Peterson heads the Seven Revolutions Initiative, an internationally recognized effort to identify and forecast global trends out to the year 2025 and beyond. Peterson also holds the William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis at CSIS. For his contributions to the Center, he received the 2006–2007 CSIS Trustees Award. Before joining CSIS, he was director of research at Kissinger Associates.