Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellows Series Is Underway

On Oct. 20, UC Irvine began its yearly Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellows Series, during which the school will host an array of learned speakers from around the country.
The speakers will be giving presentations at various locations around UCI until May. Kicking off this year’s series was Veronica Tennant, a world-renowned ballet dancer and filmmaker who spoke about her experiences in the National Ballet of Canada and about the process of translating dance performances to the screen.
Future fellows will speak on topics from performing arts to civil rights in order to appeal to UCI’s academic diversity.
‘One of the purposes of the program is to bring as wide a variety of academic disciplines in intellectual fields as possible to the campus,’ said Michael Clark, the vice provost for academic planning.
Speakers for the series are nominated and the nominations are considered by the UCI administration, including representatives from the UCI faculty and staff. The chancellor ultimately approves the selections.
Students and staff can look forward to hearing from Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to be awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. She is credited with bringing many democratic developments to Kenya. The Greenbelt Movement, which she created in 1977, is responsible for planting nearly 30 million trees across the country of Kenya. She will speak on the importance of the environment and why it is the continuing language of humanity on March 20 in the Humanities Instructional Building.
On May 24, in the Beckman Center Auditorium, celebrated robotics engineer Marvin Minsky, who helped to create much of the artificial intelligence of today will speak about the influence of technology in the future.
Other presenters will focus on race-related issues in America. Willaim Julius Wilson, past president of the American Sociological Association, will speak about his latest book, ‘The Bridge Over the Racial Divide: Rising Inequality and Coalition Politics.’ He has received many awards for his writing, and will bring his message to UCI on May 11 in the Beckman Center Auditorium.
UCI will also host Mary Frances Berry, an honored civil rights activist who received the NAACP’s Roy Wilkins Award. She will speak on Feb. 16 in the Crystal Cove Auditorium about the history of civil rights and its continuing impact on American society.
As in previous years, the sixth Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellows Series will have speakers learned in law, because of UCI’s desire to develop a law school.
Jagdish Bhagwati, an economics and law professor at Columbia University, will fill this spot by appearing on April 27 in the Social Science Lecture Hall. He is a member of the United Nations and works on Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Advisory Group. He is a follower of globalization, and will bring his views on the importance of globalization to our society to UCI.