the months of June, July, August and December; the first Friday in January and September, and after Thanksgiving.
Newcomers' Coffee (9/14) on the first Friday meeting of the month @ 9:30.
Friday, May 25, 2018, Dr. Beth Whitaker
Associate Professor | Political Science Honors Program Director
Department of Political Science and Public Adminstration
Peace vs. Justice: The International Court in Africa
Beth Elise Whitaker is associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research examines migration and security issues in Africa. With a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, she and several colleagues have built a dataset of rebel groups’ illicit funding sources (particularly natural resources and crime) and are exploring how different funding strategies influence conflict dynamics.
As a Fulbright Scholar in Kenya, she conducted research on U.S.-African counter-terrorism cooperation. She also has done extensive research on the politics of immigration in Africa, including the rise of anti-foreigner attitudes, comparative refugee policy, and the political engagement of diaspora communities. She has done fieldwork in Kenya (2005-2006, 2015, 2016), Tanzania (1996-1998, 2003), and Botswana (2005).
From 2010 to 2012, she served as chair of the African Politics Conference Group, a network of political scientists who study Africa. She worked previously at the Brookings Institution and the American Council on Education and has been a consultant for the U.S. Department of State, the Social Science Research Council, the United Nations Foundation, and Save the Children Fund.
Her articles appear in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, African Studies Review, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, International Migration Review, International Affairs,Third World Quarterly, and Journal of Refugee Studies, among others.
She received her Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
His research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, and his work has been published in leading academic journals, including International Organization, the Journal of Politics and the British Journal of Political Science. He is the author of the new book, Gambling and War: Risk, Reward, and Chance in International Conflict.Dr. Conrad has appeared in, and his research has been cited by, a variety of international media outlets, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Slate France, Salon, and Voice of America.
If you have suggestions, contact BG Metzler or Ruth McDevitt
Friday, September 21, 2018
Dr. Nancy Palermo Lietz
Obstetrician & Gynecologist
Thrive | Center for Personal Healthcare and Wellness
THRIVEis the passion of Dr. Amy Fletcher & Dr. Nancy Palermo Lietz to deliver a specialized, integrative healthcare center providing individuals with an alternative to the conventional options currently present in the Charlotte area. It is the physicians’ hope that the care received at the center will optimize physician-patient relationships in a personalized setting that affords an integrated approach to the health and wellness of each patient.
Nancy is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and has practiced in the Charlotte community over 22 years. She has managed thousands of patients of all ages and has frequently been awarded honors in Charlotte Magazine’s Top Doctors, Charlotte Business Journal’s Top Doctors, North Carolina Business Journals Top Doctors and Smarty Pants “Best OB GYN” for the past 3 years. Though she enjoyed providing care she felt conventional medicine was missing what was important and focused more on handing out prescriptions in the least amount of time. In this setting, she was unable to provide patients the time and personalization of care that they wanted. She also felt conventional care was missing key components of optimal health.
She was accepted into IFMs Certification program in Functional Medicine and has been lucky to study under physicians like Mark Hyman MD, Mark Houston MD and Joel Evans, MD. Functional Medicine looks at the root cause of disease and sets out to change outcomes by changing factors like diet, exercise, stress management and lifestyle factors to change the course of medical issues and ultimately prevent the development of chronic disease. Though this certification she has learned a preventative, personalized approach to care and hopes to incorporate this 21st century medicine into her care of patients.
Friday, September 28, 2018
Clayton Wilcox Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Clayton M. Wilcox became superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools on July 1, 2017. He came to the district from Washington County, Maryland, where he had been superintendent for nearly six years.
“I believe that our schools need to serve all kids well, regardless of their background, experiences or circumstance,” Dr. Wilcox says. “Great leadership, great teaching, big-picture literacy, a guaranteed and viable curriculum and great schools are the elements public education needs to meet the needs of our children.”
A native of Iowa, Dr. Wilcox began his career as a teacher in the Tri-Valley Community School District in Illinois in 1979. A year later, he moved to Waterloo Community Schools in Iowa, where he taught in elementary and middle schools before working in human resources, as an assistant principal in a middle school and as an elementary principal.
Dr. Wilcox received his undergraduate degree and his master’s degree in education at the University of Northern Iowa. He received his doctorate in educational leadership from NOVA Southeastern University in Florida. He has also studied strategic planning and instructional design at the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business and information management and telecommunications, instructional assessment and employee performance management at Viterbo College in Wisconsin.
Friday, September 28, 2018, Lunch Bunch 11:30 a.m.
A native of Oakland, California, Philip L. Dubois attended the University of California, Davis, where he graduated in 1972 with an undergraduate degree in political science, earning election to the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. He then earned master's (1974) and doctoral (1978) degrees in the field from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dubois began his academic career in 1976 at the University of California, Davis.
Over the next 15 years, he rose through the faculty and administrative ranks to full professor and held various administrative posts, including associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. In 1991, Dubois was recruited to UNC Charlotte, where he spent the next five and a half years as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. Dubois was credited with drafting a strategic academic plan, leading the development of the university's first comprehensive campus-wide plan for information technology, and initiating programs to better serve nontraditional adult students. Under his leadership, UNC Charlotte also planned and launched its first doctoral programs.
On March 18, 2005, Dubois was named UNC Charlotte's fourth chancellor and assumed that role on July 15. Dubois has focused his efforts on building the University's visibility and support in the Charlotte region; long-range planning for an expected enrollment of 35,000 students; completion of key capital construction and renovation projects in excess of $1.2 billion; improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of critical business processes; and implementation of an intercollegiate football program starting in the fall of 2013. During his tenure, completed applications among freshmen and transfer students have grown by 91%, while overall enrollment has climbed to nearly 29,000 (a 38% increase).
Recent community recognitions for Dr. Dubois and UNC Charlotte include the Charlotte World Affairs Council World Citizen Award (2016), the CASE District III Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Award (2015), the Leo M. Lambert Engaged Leader Award (2014), the Belk Innovation in Diversity Award (2013), the Charlotte Energy Leadership Award (2013), the Charlotte Cornerstone Award (2012, for positive economic impact), the Creative Thinker’s Award (2012, for UNC Charlotte—Center City), and the Charlotte Regional Partnership “Jerry” Award (2009, for public sector contributions to economic development).
Friday, October 19, 2018,
Kevin Soden, MD, MPH, MPA
Medical journalist and author
Dr. Kevin Soden can now be seen each day as the host of Healthline andWhole Body Healthon Retirement Living Television. He was a national medical reporter for NBC News and has appeared regularly on NBC's "Today Show." He has also been a regular guest on the nationally-syndicated golf show "Par For The Course."
Kevin currently serves as the worldwide Medical Director for Texas Instruments and the Cardinal Health Corporation and teaches as a courtesy Professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine. His other awards include the 2001 National Award for Excellence in Medical Reporting from the National Association of Medical Communicators, a finalist for the International Freddie Awards in 2001, and as the Executive Producer for "Rush of the Palms" received the 2003 International Film Critics award for short films. He served 23 years as an ER physician and was also the founder of the oldest, largest, physician-owned managed care organization in the Carolinas.
In 2003, Kevin published"The Art of Medicine: What Every Doctor and Patient Should Know", a critically acclaimed book focusing on doctor-patient communications and how to improve the doctor-patient relationship. He is also a contributing author to the recently published "A Practical Approach to Occupational and Environmental Medicine" and to "Physician Leaders: Who, How and Why Now?" He is soon to publish his third book, "Women, Stress and Happiness: 10 Steps to Having It All and Saving Your Life."
Dr. Soden graduated with honors from the University of Florida College of Medicine and is one of the original inductees into the University of Florida Medical Wall of Fame. He also has a Masters in Public Health from the Medical College of Wisconsin and a Masters in Personnel Administration from Florida State University. He graduated from Belmont Abbey College with a degree in History.
Kevin has 5 children, ages 40, 31, 30, 9 and 8 (these are not typos and he is crazy) and lives happily and relatively stress-free in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife, Dr. Meg Humphrey.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 7 p.m.
Author J. D. Vance
430 South Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 28202
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
J.D. Vance is an investor, commentator, and author of the #1 New York Times best-seller Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, described by the National Review as a “brilliant book” and by The Economist as “one of the most important” reads of 2016. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment have announced plans to produce a movie based on Vance's book.
Raised by his working-class grandparents in Middletown, Ohio, Vance graduated from Middletown High School in 2003 and then immediately enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in the Marines, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
When he finished his four-year enlistment, Vance enrolled at Ohio State University, where he studied political science and philosophy, and helped coordinate the university’s bipartisan voter education drive in 2008. After graduating from college, he studied at Yale Law School, where he worked at Yale’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic, providing free legal counsel to veterans of our nation’s wars in Vietnam and Iraq. Vance earned his law degree in 2013.
After a stint at a large corporate law firm, Vance moved to San Francisco to work in the technology industry. He serves as a principal at the leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm Mithril Capital, cofounded by Peter Thiel and Ajay Royan. As an investor, Vance has taken a special interest in the biotechnology industry and other transformative sectors of the economy.
In early 2017, Vance joined as a partner in AOL founder Steve Case’s venture capital company, Revolution LLC, which concentrates on bolstering entrepreneurship and disruptive, high-growth companies outside of the sphere of Silicon Valley. He also returned home to Ohio to found Our Ohio Renewal, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the state’s opioid crisis and bringing high-quality employment and educational opportunities to Ohioans.
He regularly discusses politics and public policy, having appeared on ABC, CBS and FOX News, and currently serving as a contributor on CNN. Vance lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and two dogs, where he works on his nonprofit and investment activities.
Be notified by email as soon as individual public tickets go on sale for Learning Society lectures. Learning Society membership includes two tickets to each lecture.
Queens University is offering members of Senior Scholars at Queens, a discounted price, details will be announced August 20th.
Friday, October 26, 2018
Friday, November 2, 2018,
Maestro James Meenas
General Director & Principal Conductor
Meena was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Meena did his undergraduate studies at Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973. He studied conducting with Robert Page, the chorus's Director and a professor at Carnegie Mellon University where Meena received his Master of Fine Arts in conducting in 1978.
Opera Carolina, founded in 1948 by the Charlotte Music Club as the Charlotte Opera Association, the company was renamed Opera Carolina after its 1986 merger with North Carolina Opera which combined the main stage, educational, and touring operations of the two companies.
Opera Carolina is a member of Opera America and is supported by the Arts and Science Council the National Endowment for the Arts, and the North Carolina Arts Council. Opera Carolina presents three main stage productions, featuring the Opera Carolina Chorus and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, in the Belk Theater. Opera Carolina also presented an annual concert, Art • Poetry • Music, at the Knight Theater. Opera Carolina's season begins in October and runs until mid April.
James Meena has also maintained an active career as guest conductor of opera and concerts in the United States and abroad, having conducted the National Symphony ROC, the KBS Symphony Orchestra (Seoul), the Cairo Philharmonic, Orchestra Regionale Toscana and the orchestra of Teatro Massimo Bellini in Italy, as well as L’Opera de Montreal, Portland Opera, Washington Opera as well as the opera companies in Phoenix, Sarasota, Edmonton, Ottawa and Winnipeg (Canada) where he led the world premiere performances of Victor Davies’ The Transit of Venus, which was broadcast nationally over the CBC.
Scott Syfert is a corporate attorney at Moore & Van Allen in Charlotte. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, the London School of Economics and the University of Virginia. He was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1997. He has professional affilications with the North Carolina Bar Association and the International Bar Association.
He is a co-founder of the May 20th Society, a non-profit dedicated to commemorating the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. The May 20th Society promotes Charlotte’s rich history as first American body to declare independence from Great Britain – more than a year before Thomas Jefferson’s national Declaration. Though the original MeckDec was destroyed in a fire some 200 years ago, the spirit of MeckDec lives on – a spirit of freedom, leadership and courage.
Relaxing days of learning, reflection, fellowship, laughter, entertainment, solitude, sharing and hiking at this beautiful 1,400 acre wilderness retreat near the Blue Ridge Parkway in the spectacular mountains of western North Carolina.
130 North Tryon Street Charlotte, NC Charlotte, NC 28202
A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership
James Comey led the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2013 to 2017, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama. His tenure was tested by new forces within and outside America’s borders. He oversaw the federal response to mass shootings in San Bernardino in December 2015 and at Pulse nightclub in Orlando the following June, at the time the deadliest in the country’s history. He also worked to address key leadership agility, and diversity issues within the Bureau.
Prior to his service at the FBI, Comey worked as a federal prosecutor in New York and Virginia as well as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. deputy attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush. In the private sector, he has worked at law firms and as the general counsel of Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, and Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund.
Comey is the 2017–2018 Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard University. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond School of Law and a Hertog Fellow in National Security Law at Columbia Law School.
A native of the New York metropolitan area, Comey attended the College of William & Mary and the University of Chicago Law School. He and his wife Patrice have five children and live in northern Virginia.
Be notified by email as soon as individual public tickets go on sale for Learning Society lectures. Learning Society membershipincludes two tickets to each lecture.
Queens University is offering members of Senior Scholars at Queens, a discounted price, details will be announced Augus 20th.