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Previous Speakers

Hill Harper


Hill Harper is an award-winning actor, bestselling author, and philanthropist. Mr. Harper starred on the CBS TV drama CSI: NY and most recently, the spy drama Covert Affairs. He is founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, dedicated to empowering underserved youth through mentorship, scholarship, and grant programs. 

Harper earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, a Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School, a master’s degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Mayim Bialik Dr. Mayim Hoya Bialik is best known for her lead role in the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as for her portrayal of the young Bette Midler in "Beaches." She has also appeared in Woody Allen's "Don't Drink the Water" and HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. 

Bialik received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish Studies from UCLA in 2000 and earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2007 from UCLA.

  John Kleber  Dr. John Kleber, editor of The Kentucky Encyclopedia, and McConnell Center Fellow at the University of Louisville, presented “Blood, Buses and Beyond the Stars: 125 Years of Morehead State History” discussing the impact of MSU on the region and Commonwealth.
  Nell Painter  Dr. Nell Painter, Edwards Professor of American History Emerita at Princeton University, artist, and author of The History of White People, Creating Black Americans, and Southern History Across the Color Line, presented “Art and Truth in African-American History.”
  Claire Renzetti  Dr. Claire Renzetti, Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair in the Center for Research on Violence Against Women, and Professor of Sociology at the University of Kentucky, presented “Thy Will Be Done: Transcendent Motivation and the Fight Against Human Trafficking.”
  Brooks Jackson  Brooks Jackson, author and former CNN correspondent, was the first speaker in the Presidential Lecture Series. In support of the First Year Seminar theme, “Fact or Fiction,” Jackson discussed his book, unSPUN: Finding Facts in a World of [Disinformation].

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