Topics: Administrative, Speakers, Student Affairs, College of Communication Information and Media, Sustainability/Environment

February 13, 2012

Author Richard Longworth and pioneering educator Geoffrey Canada head the list of prominent speakers visiting Ball State University this spring.
Longworth is senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and author of "Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism." Canada was featured in the documentary "Waiting for Superman" and is known for his innovative educational initiative, the Harlem Children's Zone.
Their appearances are part of Ball State's Excellence in Leadership Speaker Series. Presentations by Canada and Longworth should create awareness and educate both Ball State students and the Muncie community on local, regional and global issues, said Mitch Isaacs, Ball State's associate director of student life.
"Students' understanding of globalization is typically limited and often influenced by external thinkers and authors," he said. "Globalization has impacted the entire Midwest, and the themes of our project will resonate with a broad audience."
Isaacs pointed out that Canada's appearance links with improving access to education, a key initiative for the Muncie Action Plan (MAP).
The focus of "Caught in the Middle" is a campus-community effort to foster discussion about Longworth's ideas. Ball State's Office of Student Life is coordinating "Caught in the Middle" events with MAP, Lead East Central Indiana and the Muncie Public Library along with other community partners.
Longworth will discuss the impact of globalization on the American Midwest at 7:30 p.m. March 26 in Pruis Hall. He also will speak at 2:30 p.m. March 27 at the Ivy Tech Patterson Building and 6:30 p.m. March 27 at Minnetrista.
Longworth, a veteran reporter with the Chicago Tribune, will explore the new realities of life in the heartland, from the manufacturing collapse that has crippled the Midwest to the biofuels revolution that may save it, and from the school districts struggling with new immigrants to the Iowa meatpacking towns that can't survive without them.
He also will host discussions on the subject in the community the week of March 22-29. For a complete schedule, go to
"Leadership is Only as Great as Those Around You" is the topic of Canada's presentation, set for 7:30 p.m. April 4 in Emens Auditorium.
In his 20-plus years with Harlem Children's Zone Inc., Canada has become nationally recognized for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem and as a passionate advocate for education reform.
As usual, all of the events are free and open to the public.
Digital marketer, digital researcher head Letterman Series
Media researcher Jennings Bryant and digital marketer Brad Lautenbach will come to campus in the coming weeks as part of the David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecture and Workshop Series.
Named for the university's most prominent alumnus, CBS "Late Show" host David Letterman, the lecture series began in 2009. Ball State hosts major business, media and academic figures for important discussions about the latest issues arising in communication and emerging media.

"Why'd I Just Watch That? Lessons from Entertainment Theory" is the topic of Bryant's presentation, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 29 in Pruis Hall. 

Bryant is a respected and prolific researcher of media effects and entertainment theory. He has written or edited 26 scholarly books or textbooks, has authored more than 65 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has written more than 75 chapters published in edited scholarly books.
Lautenbach will discuss "Applied Storytelling: Lessons from the Road between New Media and Old" at 7:30 p.m. March 20 in Pruis Hall. 

He is a co-founder and the head of product and marketing for Rexly, an online platform that leverages behavioral data and the social graph to make informed marketing recommendations.
Advocate to give Bracken Lecture
Urban revitalization strategist Majora Carter is will give the Bracken Environmental Lecture March 19 at 7:30 p.m. in Emens Auditorium. Her address, "Home(town) Security," is part of the university's Greening of the Campus IX: Building Pedagogy.
Carter is an economic consultant, Peabody Award winning radio host and environmental-equality advocate from the South Bronx, part of New York City. She founded the nonprofit environmental justice solutions corporation Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) before entering the private sector. Since leaving SSBx, Carter has been president of a private, for-profit "green" economic consulting firm, Majora Carter Group. In the June 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine, Carter was listed as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business.