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Vernon L. Pack Distinguished Lecture Series

The Vernon L. Pack Distinguished Lecture and Scholar in Residence program was established in 2002 through a generous gift from alumnus Vernon L. Pack, a 1950 graduate of the University. A distinguished lecturer visits campus to address important current issues that will allow the Otterbein community to reflect on ethical, spiritual and social issues. In alternate years, an esteemed scholar is invited to campus to reside for up to one academic year in order to provide an educational enrichment experience for Otterbein students.

2016 Vernon L. Pack Distinguished Lecturer

Award-winning investigative journalist, author, and syndicated columnist Amy Goodman will join Otterbein in the spring of 2016 as the Vernon L. Pack Distinguished Lecturer. Ms. Goodman serves as host of Democracy Now!, airing on more than 800 public television and radio stations worldwide. She is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” The Independent of London called Goodman and Democracy Now! “an inspiration,” and pulsemedia.com has placed her at the top of their 20 Top Global Media Figures list.

Goodman is a 1998 recipient of the George Polk Award for the radio documentary she co-produced, “Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship,” which exposed the oil company's role in the killing of two Nigerian villagers on May 28, 1998. The piece also won the Golden Reel for Best National Documentary from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Goodman has also won numerous awards for another radio documentary she co-produced, “MASSACRE: The Story of East Timor,” including the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton, the Armstrong Award, the Radio/Television News Directors Award, as well as awards from AP, UPI, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting .

The author of four New York Times bestsellers, Goodman’s latest book, Breaking the Sound Barrier, proves the power of independent journalism in the struggle for a better world. She has co-authored, with brother and journalist David Goodman, three other bestsellers: Standing Up to the MadnessStatic, and The Exception to the Rulers.

Ms. Goodman will be on Otterbein’s campus on Monday and Tuesday, February 22-23, 2016. She will give a public address on the role of independent media in promoting social change, peace and justice on Monday evening in Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall. On Tuesday, Goodman will visit with targeted small groups of Otterbein students and faculty.

Previous Lectures

  • 2002 - Doris Kerns Goodwin, acclaimed historian and Pulitzer Prize in history winner for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.

  • 2004 - Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and host of CNN's international affairs program Fareed Zakaria GPS.

  • 2005 - Alan Lightman, noted physicist and critically acclaimed author of Einstein's Dreams.

  • 2008 - Ed Begley, Jr., actor and environmentalist.

  • 2010 – Dee Dee Myers, White House press secretary under President Clinton from 1993-1994, political analyst and commentator, and author of Why Women Should Rule the World. Myers is an expert on the issues facing women in Washington and in leadership positions of all kinds.

  • 2012 – Dr. Steven Pinker, Harvard University professor, best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize finalist. He has been listed on TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in The World” and Foreign Policy magazine's list of “The World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals.”

  • 2014 - Sir Salman Rushdie, one of the most celebrated authors of our time. He penned a handful of classic novels, influenced a generation of writers, and received a Queen’s Knighthood for “services to literature.” He stands as both a pop culture icon and one of the most thought-provoking proponents for free speech today. His novels include Midnight's Children, The Satanic VersesThe Moor's Last SighThe Ground Beneath Her Feet and The Enchantress of Florence.

Distinguished Scholars in Residence

  • 2003 - Dr. Valentine Moghadam, a professor born in Iran, who conducts research regarding development, social change, and gender in the Middle East, North Africa, and Afghanistan.

  • 2005- Lois Raimondo, an internationally-known photojournalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist nominee for her work on the New York City Mitchell Lama housing project for New York Newsday.

  • 2007 - Wande Abimbola, President of the International Congress of Orisa Tradition and Culture, and world-renowned expert on Ifa, a West African sacred divinatory and literary system.

  • 2009 - Dr. Richard Alley, an acclaimed geologist who conducts research on environmental issues including abrupt climate changes, glaciers, ice sheet collapse and sea level change. 

  • 2011 - Harrell Fletcher, renowned visual and conceptual artist and recipient of the 2005 Alpert Award in Visual Arts.

  • 2013 - Dr. Robert Fefferman, acclaimed mathematician in the field of harmonic analysis and its applications to elliptic partial differential equations and its relationship to probability theory. 

  • 2015 – Bonny Norton, Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia, Her highly cited book, Identity and Language Learning (2000/2013) has introduced novel conceptions of identity to the field of language education

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Miguel Martinez-Saenz
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Jeff Ankrom
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Kristi North

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Gretchen Sasfy

Special Projects Assistant
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