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TV host, authors, CFO to speak on campus

Spring Speaker Series will include topics of interest across genres.

Irene Spencer

7 p.m., Tuesday, March 15; Milner Library

Irene Spencer came from five generations of polygamy. As the second of 10 wives, she was the mother of 14 of her husband’s 58 children. Her story is chronicled in the book Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife, which provides an intimate look at the daily struggles Spencer faced as a plural wife. As she travels the country, interweaving humor as she shares the testimony of her former, unconventional lifestyle. Her story focuses on how individuals can find the strength, encouragement and self-empowerment to enable others to be the best they can be, no matter the circumstances. A book signing will follow her presentation.

Lorenzo Pace

7 p.m., Thursday, March 17; Milner Library

ISU alum Lorenzo Pace is an international artist and author known for his award-winning African American Heritage Children’s Book, Jalani and the Lock. Pace has created and installed a national monument in New York City, Triumph of the Human Spirit, to commemorate the oldest African American burial site in the U.S. As an artist, his work transcends race internationally through installation and performance. Pace recently had a major installation at the dedication of the first Contemporary Art Museum in China, The Sunshine Museum, in Beijing, China. A book signing will follow his presentation.

Dave Magers

2 p.m., Wednesday, March 30; Braden Auditorium

Dave Magers is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of COUNTRY Insurance. He has held the position since 2003. As CFO he is responsible for financial reporting and controls, investments, internal auditing, planning, risk management and administration at COUNTRY and its three alliance companies: Holyoke Mutual Insurance Company, Salem, Mass.; Middlesex Mutual Assurance Company, Middletown, Conn.; and Cotton States Insurance Group. His presentation is titled Winning with Integrity—The Importance of Principles in Achieving Success.

Shirin Yim Bridges

7 p.m., Thursday, April 7; Milner Library

Author Shirin Yim Bridges comes from a family of writers and artists. Her first book, Ruby’s Wish, was named one of the Best Children’s Books of 2002 by Publishers Weekly, and won the Ezra Jack Keats award for Best Writer in 2003. It is on several state reading lists, has been translated into six languages, and is now in its ninth edition.

Bridges is also the head goose at Goosebottom Books, a fledgling new press with a focus on fun nonfiction. Goosebottom Books launched their first series, The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Real Princesses, in October 2010. A second series, The Thinking Girl’s Treasury of Dastardly Dames, will be released in 2011. Bridges has lived in many countries around the world, including Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and England. She now lives in California.

A book signing will follow the presentation.

James McLurkin

7 p.m., Thursday, April 14; Brown Ballroom

Educator James McLurkin is an assistant professor at Rice University in the Department of Computer Science. His research focuses on developing distributed algorithms for multi-robot systems, which is software that produces complex group behaviors from the interactions of many simple individuals. McLurkin was the 2003 recipient of the Lemelson-MIT student prize for invention. He holds an S.B. in electrical engineering, as well as a minor in mechanical engineering from MIT; a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley; and a S.M. and Ph.D. in computer science from MIT. His presentation is titled Dances with Robots: The Story of One Engineer, 112 Little Robots, and the Toys, Insects, and Star Wars Movies that Made it all Possible. A book signing will follow his talk.

Jeff Corwin

Wednesday, April 20
3 p.m., Milner Library
7 p.m., Braden Auditorium

Jeff Corwin has worked for the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems around the globe. He is the host of a variety of popular television shows, including Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin Experience, Giant Monsters, Realm of the Yeti, Corwin’s Quest, Spring Watch USA, and King of the Jungle; Disney’s Going Wild with Jeff Corwin; Investigation Earth with the Discovery Networks; NBC’s Jeff Corwin Unleashed, which was nominated four times for an Emmy and earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Host; and the Travel Channel’s Into Alaska and Into the American West. For the Discovery Health Channel, Corwin hosted Pets and People, the Power of the Health Connection.

He will present 100 Heartbeats as a question and answer session on the main floor of Milner Library in the afternoon. During the evening he will present Living on the Edge, Amazing Relationships in the Natural World. A book signing will follow the presentation.