continuum speakers

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Frances Blanchette

Assistant Director of Penn State's Center for Language Science, Assistant Research Professor in Psychology

The usage and style of the English language affects many aspects of our lives, sometimes feeding into harmful stereotypes. In her talk, Dr. Blanchette seeks to lift the curtain on the issue of double negatives, and demonstrate why this structure is more than just "bad grammar."

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Nate Brown

Professor of Mathematics, Researcher in Theoretical Mathematics, Principal Investigator of  STEM Diversity Lab 

What defines someone as a “math person” and why? In his talk, Dr. Brown explores how the myths and stereotypes surrounding the “math people myth” came to be, and how it impacts students and professionals throughout their lifetime.

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Jim Fitzgerald

Former FBI Special Agent, Criminal Profiler, Forensic Linguistic Lead Investigator for Unabomber Case

Jim Fitzgerald led a celebrated career at the FBI, investigating many violent crimes and pioneering his own investigative method, forensic linguistics. In this talk, Fitzgerald leads us down the unique path to his unique career, showcasing how our early experiences impact our later trajectory.

Judy Grisel

Professor of Psychology, Researcher in Neuroscience and Addiction, Author of  "Never Enough"

In her talk, Dr. Grisel takes us through her journey through addiction and sobriety. Her talk, however, focuses on the neuroscience of addiction and how substances can alter your brain making it harder to recover and how these disorders take hold of our lives.

Stan Herd

Earthworks Artist, Sustainability, Conservation and Social Justice Advocate

Stan Herd’s work as an artist has taken him all over the world, connecting him with peoples, history, and the earth in ways he never thought possible. In this talk, Stan Herd takes us on a journey across borders and time to illuminate what it truly means to be an artist, and what it truly means to live the artist’s life.

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Will Hunt

Investigative Journalist,

Author of  "Underground"

Who knew that exploring dark tunnels in the depths of the planet could tell us something greater about humanity? In his talk, Will Hunt will discuss his various adventures throughout the underground, and the lessons he’s learned from his journeys. Hunt has explored various mysterious niches in the world, ranging from a 35,000 year old mine in Australia to the infamous tunnel people living in unused subway tunnels in New York.

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John Liechty

Professor of Business, Expert in Marketing, Computational Statistics and High Performance Computing, Lead Organizer of the DoDD-Frank Act

In his talk, Dr. Liechty hypostatizes a dualistic approach to hedging in order to solve global health issues. Using diabetes as an example, he describes how the implementation of a “patent repository” and an “ever growing prize” can help find cures for diseases like diabetes and cystic fibrosis by monetizing the research process and making the discoveries public.

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Annabelle Schmitt 

Micro-Influencer, Social Justice Advocate

The fetishisation of Asian women and the emasculation of Asian men are not recent issues, but these issues of discrimination are persistant in modern society. In her talk, Annabelle Schmitt will tell us how she has lived through these stereotypes, and emerged as a stronger, better person. 

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Candis Watts Smith

Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies

Racism in the United States isn’t all that it seems. While many of us like to believe that we’re closer than ever to reaching a post-racial society, the research of Dr. Candis Watts Smith paints a very different picture. In her talk, Dr. Watts Smith dispels what we think we know about racism, and explores what we can do in order to live in a post-racist society.

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Devon Still

Professional Athlete, Motivational Speaker, Pediatric Cancer Advocate

After surviving multiple injuries and a near-death experience during his football career, Devon Still thought he had seen it all, until his daughter Leah was diagnosed with cancer. In his talk, former NFL player Devon Still, courageously details his life struggles, demonstrating how resilience has kept him “Still in The Game.”