Speaker Series 2012-13

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 Speaker Series, supported by the Student Activity Fee, the Division of Student Affairs and the Harriet Behrend Ninow Memorial Lecture Series Fund.  These events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

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


Congress to Campus: Civility in Politics and the 2012 Elections
September 17, 2012, 7:30 PM
Reed Auditorium

The former lawmakers – Richard Stallings, an Idaho Democrat, and Steven Kuykendall, a California Republican – will share their experiences as candidates and office-holders and will suggest ways to restore courtesy and respect to our ongoing political discussions.


Adam Lashinsky
Sr. Editor at Large, Fortune Magazine and Commentator for Fox News Channel
October 18, 2012, 7:30 PM
Burke 180

Adam Lashinsky is a well-respected business journalist and commentator with special expertise in finance and technology. An insider to Silicon Valley, he knows what’s really going on in high-tech and has written in-depth articles on Apple, Google, eBay, Hewlett-Packard and Intel. He also has a clear-headed, New York perspective on Wall Street, and has covered hedge funds, venture capital, private equity and the post-Katrina economic recovery of New Orleans. Lashinsky is editor at large for Fortune magazine and has extremely broad experience in both broadcast and print media. He is a weekly panelist on the Fox News Channel’s program Cavuto on Business and appears frequently throughout the week on other Fox News and Fox Business Network programs.  His new book, Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired — and Secretive — Company Really Works, was released in January 2012 to high acclaim.


The Buried Life
Celebrity Globe-Trotters Asking What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?
November 15, 2012, 7:30 PM
McGarvey Commons

The Buried Life (TBL) originated in 2006 when four now-twenty-something’s – Ben Nemtin, Dave Lingwood, Duncan Penn and Jonnie Penn – set out in an old RV to complete a list of “100 Things We Want To Do Before We Die,” and help out strangers along the way accomplish something their own lists.  By 2008, after three years of pursuing their list, building an online community and funding it through sponsorship and working extra jobs, TBL had people from more than 139 countries participating on their website, without any promotion or marketing.   In mid-2008, MTV helped the team check off #53: Make a TV Show, by capturing the four in a reality show.  In 2012, the group accomplished another goal on their list with the release of their New York Times best-selling book What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?


Chef Jeff Henderson
New York Times Best-Selling Author and America's Most Inspirational Culinary Star
January 23, 2013, 7:30 PM
McGarvey Commons

Chef Jeff Henderson is an award-winning chef, motivational speaker, New York Times best-selling author, and Food Network television personality. Henderson captivates audiences across the country with his triumphant story of change and the power of potential.  Henderson grew up on the tough streets of Central LA and San Diego. By the time he was 19, he was running a $35,000 a week drug operation. At 24, Henderson was arrested and sent to prison, where he spent the next ten years behind bars. It was while incarcerated that he discovered a passion for cooking and committed himself to turning his life around.  His story was first told in the New York Times best-selling memoir, Cooked: My Journey from the Streets to the Stove.  Today, Henderson is the Food Network personality behind The Chef Jeff Project, which takes six at-risk young adults and commits to turning their lives around by putting them to work for his catering company, Posh Urban Cuisine, and providing them with the knowledge, skills, and ultimately, the opportunity for a new life with a culinary career.


Peter Annin 
Author of "The Great Lakes Water War"
February 18, 2013
McGarvey Commons

The Erie region sits atop the planet's largest reserve of fresh surface water.  How much - if any - of this precious resource do we want to share with our less hydrologically-fortunate neighbors?  Author Peter Annin will discuss growing pressures to divert Great Lakes' water to urban sprawls in the drier southern and western regions of the country.
Annin currently is managing director of the University of Notre Dame's Environmental Change Initiative, which studies the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use and climate change and their synergistic impacts on our nation's water resources.  In a decade spent as a correspondent at Newsweek, he covered domestic terrorism and the radical right, including the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City and the Branch Davidian standoff outside Waco, Texas, in addition to environmental topics.


Kohl Crecelius
CEO & Co-founder of Krochet Kids intl.
March 20, 2013, 7:30 PM
Burke 180

Social entrepreneur Kohl Crecelius and his team of close friends, Travis, Stewart, and Adam, are on a mission to revolutionize what it means to do business and to do good. As college students in 2007, they founded Krochet Kids intl. (KKi) – a non-profit lifestyle brand focused on empowering communities and engaging customers to make a sustainable impact on global poverty. KKi is a leader in producing and selling products made in Africa.  Featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, KKi employs more than 100 people in Northern Uganda through the production of their handmade headwear and fashion accessories and have recently started a new program in Peru. Now spanning three continents, their work connects the producer with the customer through a hand-signed label that accompanies every product.  Krochet Kids have been featured in the New York Times Magazine, Outside, and in a nationally broadcast Bing commercial and have partnerships with major retailers like Nordstrom and Volcom.


Performance Poet and Best-Selling Novelist Author of Push - the Inspiration for the Academy Award-Winning Movie Precious
April 4, 2013
McGarvey Commons

Famed in the worlds of literature, poetry, and literacy—and an extraordinary public speaker—Sapphire is first and foremost a poet and performer.  Sapphire’s New York Times bestselling novel, Push, about an illiterate, brutalized Harlem teenager, was made into an Academy Award-winning major motion film, and won the Book-of-the-Month Club Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association's First Novelist Award, and in Great Britain, the Mind Book of the Year Award. Push was named by The Village Voice as one of the top twenty-five books of 1996 and by TIMEOUT New York as one of the top ten books of 1996. Push was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work of Fiction.  Sapphire’s presentation, poetry, novel, and the film, all speak to issues of overcoming adversity and empowerment.