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August 26, 2005

Lectures highlight survival, saviors, sensors

by Dan Kuester

The fall lecture series on campus starts Aug. 26 with a free, welcome-back concert by the Cedar Rapids-based band Towncrier at Reiman Gardens.

Highlighting this fall's lineup are a presentation by the real owner of the Hotel Rwanda, the annual Borlaug lecture and the fall Presidential University Lecture. Other lecture topics will include censorship, the constitution and Latinos in America.

The annual Borlaug Lecture, Oct. 17, will be presented by William Foege, an epidemiologist who was part of the successful campaign in the 1970s to eradicate smallpox. His talk is titled "Celebrating Science and its Applications." Foege has served as director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, executive director of the Task Force for Child Survival, executive director of the Carter Center, and Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

Movie-goers may remember Paul Rusesabagina (played by Don Cheadle) as the hotel manager in the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda. Rusesabagina saved 1,268 people during the 1994 genocide when nearly 1 million people were slaughtered in 100 days. Rusesabagina still works with charitable organizations aiding survivors of the Rwandan tragedy and has set up the Rusesabagina Foundation to help the relief effort. He will lecture Oct. 26.

On Nov. 29, Iowa State's Bruce Thompson will present the fall Presidential University Lecture. Thompson is the director of the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation, director of the Ames Laboratory Applied NDE Program, and a distinguished professor in the departments of materials science and engineering and aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics. His talk will be on the use of ultrasound waves to evaluate metals without altering or destroying the metal.

Barry Scheck, a member of the O.J. Simpson defense team, will present a lecture Oct. 3 titled "The Innocence Project: DNA and the Wrongly Convicted." Scheck is a law professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York City.

On Sept. 28, Judith Stern, distinguished professor at the University of California, Davis, and co-founder of the American Obesity Association, will talk about the obesity epidemic in the United States. Stern is the fall Helen LeBaron Hilton Chair in the College of Human Sciences.

The next day, one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the country and former candidate for governor of Iowa, Roxanne Conlin, will speak on advancing women's leadership.

The fall lecture series is online at


Highlights of this fall's Lectures Series will be the real owner of the Hotel Rwanda, the annual Borlaug lecture and the fall Presidential University Lecture.