Speaker Series 2010-11

Each year Penn State Behrend hosts a number of nationally recognized and accomplished individuals from a wide range of professions, industries and areas of expertise for its annual Speakers Series, supported by the Student Activity Fee, the Division of Student Affairs and the Harriet Behrend Ninow Memorial Lecture Series Fund.

For more information contact the Office of Student Activities at 814-898-6171.


September 23, 2010:
Bill Cowher, Super Bowl-Winning Former Steelers Head Coach

October 5, 2010:
Terry Jones, Founder of Travelocity.com, Chairman of Kayak.com and e-Commerce Pioneer

January 20, 2011:
Betty Nguyen, CBS Morning News Anchor

March 24, 2011:
Randy Cohen, Humorist and Emmy Award-Winning Writer

April 20, 2011:
Jerome Ringo, Senior Executive for Global Strategies with Green Port and Pioneering Environmentalist



CowherSeptember 23, 2010, 7:30 p.m. Junker Center

Bill Cowher

Super Bowl-Winning Former Steelers Head Coach

“Blueprint for a Winning Team”

Whether it’s football, life, or a business, Bill Cowher believes that everyone should be instilled with three critical points. Everyone needs the right game plan, the right people and environment surrounding them, and the right approach to achieve all your goals. Cowher overcame adversity and many obstacles to win 161 games as he compiled the right game plan, molded the right players, surrounded himself with the right coaches, and had the attitude and mindset to envision victory every day he stepped on the field.

In 2007, Cowher joined CBS Sports to bring his experience, knowledge and passion for the game as an analyst for the Network’s NFL studio show, THE NFL TODAY. Bill Cowher led the Steelers to their first Super Bowl title in 26 years in 2005. He was the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL before stepping down following the 2006 season after 15 years with the Steelers. Cowher's Steelers teams earned 10 post-season berths, captured eight division titles, advanced to six AFC Championship games, made two Super Bowls appearances, and won one Super Bowl title.





October 5, 7:30 p.m., Burke Center 180

Terry Jones

Founder of Travelocity.com and Chairman of Kayak.com and e-Commerce Pioneer

Terry Jones is on the cutting edge of innovation and change. As founder of Travelocity.com, chairman of Kayak.com, and Chief Information Officer at American Airlines/Sabre, Jones has a proven track record of leading companies whose innovations have changed an industry. For the last five years through his consulting practice, as a board member and as a venture capitalist, Jones has been helping companies use the tools and techniques he’s developed to keep up with this rapidly changing world.

In the 70s Jones helped create one the of the fastest growing business travel companies ever formed. In the 80s and 90s Jones led product development, programming and operations at American Airlines SABRE, the computer system that became a Harvard case study on automating your customers. And then in 1996 he founded Travelocity.com and took it from a team of 10 to a multi-billion dollar public company. But he didn’t stop there, after leaving Travelocity he became chairman of Kayak.com, a completely different travel site that in three years is the size of Priceline.



NguyenJanuary 20, 7:30 p.m., McGarvey Commons

Betty Nguyen

CBS Morning News Anchor

Betty Nguyen is a CBS News correspondent and the anchor of CBS Morning News. Prior to joining CBS, she served as the anchor of the weekend edition of CNN Newsroom. In 2008, Nguyen went undercover in Myanmar, one of the world's most secretive countries. Her series of exclusive reports exposed how villages still lacked aid two months after Cyclone Nargis killed more than 85,000 people. She traveled to Africa in 2007 to cover the presidential elections in Sierra Leone, the political and economic crises in Zimbabwe, and apartheid-era prosecutions in South Africa.

In September 2005, Nguyen reported from the Houston Astrodome, where thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees were seeking shelter from the devastation. That same month, she went on assignment in her birth country of Vietnam to cover the deadly flooding caused by annual monsoons.

Most recently, Nguyen reported from both Houston and Galveston as Hurricane Ike slammed into Texas, killing dozens in several states. She also reported on Pope Benedict XVI's historic trip to the United States. She provided live coverage as the pope celebrated Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, performed a blessing at Ground Zero, and concluded his trip with a Mass at Yankee Stadium.

Nguyen has anchored during several breaking news events, including the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2005, and the London bombing attacks in July 2005. She also anchored portions of CNN's coverage of the tsunami disaster in South Asia, the Iraqi elections in January 2005, and the June 2004 handover of sovereignty to Iraq.

Before joining CNN, Nguyen was an anchor at KTVT in Dallas. While at the CBS affiliate, she covered numerous breaking news events including the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York. In 2003, she won a regional Emmy award for "Outstanding Noon Newscast," was named a Great Women of Texas Honoree and won the Legacy of Women Award.



CohenMarch 24, 7:30 p.m., Burke Center 180

Randy Cohen

Humorist and Emmy Award-Winning Writer

Randy Cohen was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He attended graduate school at the California Institute of the Arts as a music major studying composition. He is unable to account for either of these circumstances. His first professional work was writing humor pieces, essays, and stories for newspapers and magazines (he New York Times, the New Yorker, Harpers, the Atlantic, Young Love Comics). A collection of these pieces, Diary of a Flying Man, was published by Knopf. For several years, he wrote "The News Quiz," a regular column of topical comedy, for Slate, the on-line magazine.

His first television work was writing for Late Night With David Letterman, where his segments included Monkey Cam, Late Night in Tokyo, the 360˚ Rotation Show, and The Overdub Show. He won three Emmys for his work on the program. He fourth Emmy was for his writing on TV Nation where he also served as coexecutive producer. He received a fifth Emmy as a result of a clerical error, and he kept it. He was the head writer on The Rosie O’Donnell Show for the start-up and the first six months of shows, where he also co- wrote the theme music. Most recently, his play The Punishing Blow: An Illustrated Lecture Delivered by Order of the Orange County Criminal Court, was produced in New York. Currently, he writes "The Ethicist" a weekly column for the New York Times Magazine that also appears in 40 papers in the US and Canada, as well as “Moral of the Story” for the Times online.



RingoApril 20, 7:30 p.m., McGarvey Commons

Jerome Ringo

Senior Executive for Global Strategies with Green Port and Pioneering Environmentalist

Jerome Ringo became national president of the Apollo Alliance in 2005, working diligently as a dedicated champion of environmental justice and a vocal advocate of clean energy. His firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced came from working for more than 20 years in Louisiana’s petrochemical industry. His career includes years in drilling and offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as process operations in the refining industry. Over ten years was spent as an active union member working with fellow members to secure a safe work environment and quality jobs for employees.

In 1996, Ringo was elected to serve on the National Wildlife Federation board of directors. In 2005, Ringo became the chair of the board, making him the first African American to head a major conservation organization. Ringo was a delegate to the United States’ 1998 Global Warming Treaty Negotiations in Kyoto, Japan, and represented the National Wildlife Federation at the COP 15 talks in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ringo also served as a representative at the United Nations’ Conference on Sustainable Development in 1999.

Ringo appeared in the Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. He has also co-authored Diversity and the Future of the U.S. Environmental Movement (published 2007), and The Green Festival Reader (published 2008.)