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Fall 2015 Speaker Biographies


Dorothy EdwardsSponsored by Women and Gender Studies, the Office of University Programs, and the Honors Program

Dorothy Edwards is Executive Director of Green Dot, etc., a research and training center dedicated to effective intervention and the prevention of power-based personal violence, and author of the Green Dot etc. Violence Prevention Strategy.

After earning her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University, Dr. Edwards served for five years as the founding Director of the University of Kentucky Violence Intervention and Prevention Center in Lexington, KY. She has worked in both counseling and teaching capacities in higher education at Appalachian State University and Texas Women’s University, as well as founding the Community Education Program at Denton County Friends of the Family, addressing sexual assault and relationship violence. With a specialty in primary prevention, she provides training and consultation in the areas of power-based personal violence, organizational capacity building, program implementation, strategic planning and community mobilization. Dr. Edwards is currently working with government entities, state coalitions, military, non-profits, community organizations, high schools and colleges from around the globe.

Green Dot, etc. has provided training to hundreds of schools, colleges, universities, military installations and other institutions in the US and around the world. The Green Dot etc. strategy is a comprehensive approach to violence prevention that capitalizes on the power of peer and cultural influence across all levels of the socio-ecological model. Informed by social change theory, the model targets all community members as potential bystanders, and seeks to engage them, through awareness, education, and skills-practice, in proactive behaviors that establish intolerance of violence as the norm, as well as reactive interventions in high-risk situations – resulting in the ultimate reduction of violence.

Dr. Edwards reflects, “I do this work because I believe with everything in me that current rates of power-based personal violence are not inevitable. I do this work because if I didn’t believe this could change – I would be accepting some truths about humanity that I am just not willing to accept. I am not willing to let this world dull my senses to this issue. I am not willing to be swallowed by the apathy around me. I am not willing to pretend it is not horrifying that thousands of women, children and men will be victims of sexual violence, partner violence, stalking and abuse every single day. I am defiant against a culture that tries to lull my soul into quiet complacency as our daughters and our sons – our partners and our sisters and our brothers – face violence and the threat of violence every single day.”


Helena GosciloSponsored by the Intelligence Studies Program, the Department of Languages, Cultures & Humanities, the Office of Diversity, the Asian Studies Program, and the Honors Program.

Helena Goscilo is Professor of Slavic and East European Studies and Comparative Studies and former chair of the Slavic and East European Studies Department at The Ohio State University, specializing in Russian visual culture (art, graphic ideology, and film), novels, folklore, and gender issues.

With a background steeped in the classics of Russian literature, from Pushkin and Lermontov to Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Bulgakov and Bakhtin, and a publication record stretching back three decades, Dr. Goscilo is extremely active and highly respected in the field of contemporary Russian Cultural Studies, having written, co-authored and co-edited a dozen collections in the past decade alone. In addition to the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Russian Culture (Routledge 2005), some of her recent publications include Fade from Red: The Cold War Ex-Enemy in Russian and American Film, 1990-2005 (New Academia Publishing 2014), Lives in Transit: Contemporary Russian Women's Writing (Ardis Publishers, 2013, 3rd ed), Putin as Celebrity and Cultural Icon (Routledge 2012), Celebrity and Glamour in Contemporary Russia: Shocking Chic (Routledge, 2010), Cinepaternity: Fathers and Sons in Soviet and Post-Soviet Film (Indiana University Press, 2010), Preserving Petersburg: History, Memory, and Nostalgia (Indiana University Press, 2008), and Gender and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Russian Culture (Northern Illinois University Press, 2006).

Putin as Celebrity and Cultural Icon brings together a host of scholars critically to examine the iconic status of Vladimir Putin and his public persona as a glamorous hero endowed with vision, wisdom, and moral and physical strength, including cultural representations, the role of the media, the attitude of the Russian populace and the dissent of the minority. For Westerners bemused by Putin’s rise and dominance, these essays are sure to be illuminating.

Beyond the recent works, in 1996 Dr. Goscilo published an important study of women's changing roles and images in the emerging new Russian society titled, Dehexing Sex: Russian Womanhood during and after Glasnost, which the Times Literary Supplement called “an energetic and thought-provoking critique of Russian attitudes to sexuality and the body,” and which the Russian Review judged “an admirable contribution to, and extension of, the still relatively underexplored field of Slavic gender studies.” The Slavic Review, moreover, said that Goscilo is “a witty and vibrant writer, who entertains as well as instructs her reader. She is a pleasure to read,” and another reviewer declared that Goscilo is “an outstanding scholar, an energetic and original thinker, and her writing sparkles with imagination and wit.” Another significant work from this period of Goscilo’s career that deserves special mention is TNT: The Explosive World of Tatyana N. Tolstoya’s Fiction (1996).

Before arriving at Ohio State, Helena Goscilo was Chair of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh, and in recent years, she has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Helsinki, Finland, where she gave a special lecture on Russian graphic ideology from Stalin to Yeltsin, and a Guest Researcher at Uppsala University, Sweden, where she presented her work on “Gendered Graphics,” participated in the conference, “Translation in Russian Contexts: Transcultural, Translingual Transdisciplinary Points of Departure” and pursued research for her book on Soviet era posters.


Jack GilbertSponsored by the Bridge Scholar Program, the College of Health Sciences, the Department of Biology and the Honors Program

Jack Gilbert is Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, Group Leader in microbial ecology at Argonne National Laboratory, Associate Director of the Institute for Genomic and Systems Biology, Adjunct Senior Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory, and Principal Investigator with the Hospital Microbiome Project. His research focuses on the ecology, evolution and metabolic dynamics of microbial ecosystems from myriad environments including built environments, oceans, rivers, soils, air, plants, animals and humans.

In his work, which has led to over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and reports, Dr. Gilbert has been pioneering efforts to define how our microbial ecosystems evolve in both our built environments and our bodies. From the moment we are born all of our interactions with the world around us expose us to different sources of microbes that influence the trajectory of our microbial succession. Over the last 150 years we, as a species, have migrated to an indoor ecosystem that has been mostly isolated from the natural environments we evolved in. This is changing the array of microbial sources that we can call upon to construct our human microbiome.

Gilbert and his colleagues use traditional sampling and next generation sensor approaches to capture the microbial dynamics of indoor and outdoor built environments, so as to quantify and map the direction of microbial transmission between humans and the air and surfaces of these systems. Pioneering work in both the Home and Hospital is rewriting our understanding of how we define our spaces. Jack Gilbert is enabling this understanding to be used at the interface between urban and interior design to create built environments that consider microbial ecology, and improve the health and productivity of these environments. This is also enabling a revolution in forensic techniques that leverage the unique microbial fingerprint of every individual to track their movement and activity in built ecosystems.

Dr. Gilbert is the Founding Editor in Chief of mSystems Journal, and he also founded and has led the Earth Microbiome Project and American Gut, two massive collaborative efforts aimed at developing a comprehensive understanding of the bacterial and fungal communities that inhabit the myriad niches across our planet and in our bodies. The Earth Microbiome Project has worked with more than 200 collaborators around the world to characterize the bacterial assemblages in over 30,000 ecosystems, creating the most comprehensive assessment of microbial ecosystems ever undertaken. These data are being used to map and extrapolate globally relevant ecosystem processes that are mediated by microbial biogeochemical activity. The crowd-funded American Gut project works with the public to facilitate the construction of a vast knowledge base to address human microbial diversity, with the future goal of creating translational impact on forensic and health outcomes.

The Hospital Microbiome Project, supported by the Alfred P. Sloane Foundation, investigates the taxonomic composition of surface-, air-, water-, and human-associated microbial communities in two hospitals to monitor changes in community structure following the introduction of patients and hospital staff. The specific aim is to determine the influence of population demographics, how the demographic interfaces with a space, and the building materials used to create that space, on the community succession, and rate of colonization by potential pathogens. The HMP is the first study of its kind conducted specifically to examine how microbial communities develop in a hospital. The findings are expected to be applied to improving patient care through better-informed approaches to predicting the role of building design and materials in controlling the spread of microorganisms within a built environment.

Speaking about the project, Gilbert said, “We started in January 2013 and will soon have full year of data on how that bacterial forest changes. Once we have that map, we will understand better the highways and byways of surfaces, air and water that both disease-causing bacteria, and bacteria that are essential for the health of the building and its occupants, travel along. This includes which ones flourish where, and understanding which ones have the most impact on particular diseases. Nothing at this scale has ever been done before.”


Lourdes TorresSponsored by the Department of Languages, Cultures & Humanities, the Office of Diversity, and the Honors Program

Lourdes Torres is Vincent de Paul Professor and Director of Latin American and Latino Studies at DePaul University, and Editor in chief of the journal, Latino Studies. She is the author of Puerto Rican Discourse:A Sociolinguistic Study of a New York Suburb (Indiana UP 1997), the co-editor of Tortilleras: Hispanic and Latina Lesbian Expression (Temple UP 2003) and Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism (Indiana UP 1991) and is currently working on queer Puerto Rican women’s narratives for a book tentatively titled, Boricuas Representing: Making the Invisible Visible.

Before taking up the mantle of the Latino Studies journal in 2012, Dr. Torres edited the special edition of the National Women’s Studies Association Journal on New Directions in Latina Sexualities Studies. Her essays have appeared in Meridians, MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States), Centro Journal, and International Journal of Bilingualism.  For many years she served as a board member for Amigas Latinas, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the Chicago based Latina lesbian, bisexual, transgender community. 

Lourdes Torres was selected as the 2009-10 Women and Gender Research Initiative Faculty Fellow for her work documenting the history of Latina Lesbian organizing in the Midwest. The project traced the collective efforts of Latina lesbians to represent themselves and to create and occupy public spaces in Chicago from the 1980’s to the present.  Her work describes the founding of Llena and Amigas Latinas, two organizations that attempted to bridge the "Latino" and "lesbian" social and political cultures in Chicago, and the organizations’ successful and unsuccessful efforts to negotiate divergent national and ethnic histories, class and linguistic differences, and the diverse political stances of their membership. 

Dr. Torres' current project, Boricuas Representing: Making the Invisible Visible, explores representations of Puerto Rican lesbians on the island and stateside in both social science and humanities literature. She examines the construction of lesbians in psychological and sociological texts and juxtaposes this with the depiction of lesbians in a range of literary and filmic texts by Puerto Rican women. This is the first book length project that focuses on Puerto Rican queer women. 

Finally, in addition to her ongoing interest in discourses about Latinos in America, Torres has been engaged in a long term project in the field of Spanish sociolinguistics that will offer a comparative analysis of the Spanish language use of some of the Latino communities in Chicago (Mexican, Puerto Rican and MexiRican). This study, a collaborative project with Dr. Kim Potowski (University of Illinois at Chicago), will offer insight into the evolution of Spanish dialects in a contact situation. 


William PowersSponsored by the EKU Reads Project, First Year Programs,  EKU Libraries, Information Technology, and the Honors Program

William Powers is the New York Times Best-Selling Author of Hamlet’s BlackBerry (EKU Reads Book), a Research Scientist at MIT’s newly founded Laboratory for Social Machines, and former Director of The Crowdwire project (analyzing social media in the 2012 presidential election). Widely praised for its insights on the digital future, Hamlet’s BlackBerry grew out of research Powers did as a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. It has been selected as the Common Read at a number of colleges and universities, and published in many other countries and languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German and Russian. As a result the immense impact that the book has had, Powers became involved with the MIT Laboratory for Social Machines, an interdisciplinary collaboration that uses philosophy not just to rethink social media, but also to build technologies that the world needs now in order to solve big problems and move forward. In a sense, the laboratory is giving new meaning to the phrase, ‘digital humanities.’

Born in Arizona and raised in Rhode Island, Powers graduated from Harvard University magna cum laude with a degree in U. S. history and literature, and did graduate study in Spain as a Rotary International Scholar. He began his career as a U.S. Senate staff member working on foreign relations, intelligence and military affairs. He then joined The Washington Post, working initially for Bob Woodward in the investigative unit. He did reporting and research for The Commanders, Woodward’s international bestseller about the first Gulf War. As a Post staff writer and columnist in the 1990’s, Powers covered business, media, politics, popular culture and ideas. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times and many other publications. He created The New Republic’s first media column, and for ten years wrote an influential column on the intersection of media and politics for National Journal.

He has been featured in dozens of major news outlets, including interviews with Katie Couric, NPR, Good Morning America, the PBS NewsHour, CNBC and the BBC, and coverage in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Wired, and The Guardian. Powers has been a speaker at such high-profile venues as South By Southwest, the Aspen Festival of Ideas, Google and Facebook. Reporting on one of his dynamic presentations, The New York Times called him an “apostle” of the next wave of digital thinking.

Powers is a two-time winner of the National Press Club’s Rowse Award for best American media commentary. He has been a resident fellow at the MacDowell Colony, and studied the technology culture of Japan on a fellowship from the Japan Society. He spent 2012 as Director of The Crowdwire, a project analyzing the role of social media in the U. S. presidential race. The Crowdwire was sponsored by and based at Bluefin Labs, a technology company that grew out of the MIT Media Lab and was acquired by Twitter in early 2013.

William Powers lives in Massachusetts with his wife, author Martha Sherrill, and their son.


Sponsored by the Department of Psychology and the Honors Program.

Myra Beth Bundy is Professor of Psychology at Eastern Kentucky University, a licensed psychologist, and an Autism and Developmental Disabilities Intervention Specialist. Her graduate training was in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Carolina, where she received the Ph.D. in 1995, and her post-graduate work focused on developmental disabilities. Dr. Bundy’s specialization in this area was consolidated through an internship at the University of North Carolina’s TEACCH Autism Program, a pioneering program in autism intervention. Some of her current interests include a focus on the idea of neurodiversity in the area of clinical-community psychology, as a means of moving beyond outdated paradigms of stigmatization.

Dr. Bundy serves as an ASD “Strategies in Action” Blue Ribbon Panel Member for the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities, and is Coordinator of the EKU Developmental Disabilities Specialty Clinic, which provides opportunities for EKU graduate students to work with children, adolescents, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities. She collaborates with EKU faculty from Occupational Therapy, Communication Disorders, and Special Education to direct the EKU Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate Program, and she works with EKU students to conduct research in the area of autism.

Dr. Bundy enjoys spending time with individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families, and she is also interested in research and clinical practice related to adoption.

Dr. Bundy was selected as an EKU 2013 Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year.


Anthony D. BarnoskySponsored by the Department of Biology, the College of Education, and the Honors Program

Tony Barnosky is Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also Curator of the Museum of Paleontology, and Director and Principal Investigator of the Barnosky Lab, which uses the fossil record to study how biodiversity and ecosystem function will respond to today’s global change. As a paleobiologist, Dr. Barnosky examines the fossil record in order to better understand what constitutes and causes mass extinctions, and this knowledge can help us to assess current threats to biodiversity and generate solutions that can be brought to bear before it is too late.

Combining paleontology with conservation ecology, Dr. Barnosky is the author of several recent books, including End Game: Tipping Point for Planet Earth? (HarperCollins 2015, with his wife and Stanford University Professor, Elizabeth A. Hadly), Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money and the Future of Life on Earth (University of California Press 2014), which has been hailed as “nothing short of a guidebook for saving the planet,” and Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming (Island Press 2009), and the editor of Biodiversity Response to Climatic Change in the Middle Pleistocene: The Porcupine Cave Fauna from Colorado (UC Press 2004) and Morphological Change in Quaternary Mammals of North America (Cambridge 1993, with R.A. Martin).

In more technical detail, Dr. Barnosky’s work has studied how changes in the physical environment (such as climate change and mountain building) contribute to the evolution of mammal species and faunas at varying temporal and geographic scales. Field aspects of his work include collecting fossils from long stratigraphic sequences that can be well-dated by biostratigraphic, paleomagnetic, or radioisotopic technique, and lab analyses utilize database and GIS systems to identify faunal changes through space and time; the faunal patterns are then compared with independently identified changes in the physical environment to test various evolutionary and biogeographic predictions.

Dr. Barnosky and his lab have published hundreds of articles in major journals including, among many others, Nature, Science, Bioscience, the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Quaternary International, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and he is a founding contributor to the new transdisciplinary journal, The Anthropocene Review. The work of Dr. Barnosky and the Barnosky Lab was featured in the 2014 Smithsonian Channel Documentary, “Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink,” has been presented at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (“Biodiversity in the Age of Humans”) and has been picked up by major media outlets worldwide ranging from the Huffington Post (where he has contributed columns), the LA Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, to Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, NPR, The Guardian, the Sydney Morning Herald, International Business Times, Slate Magazine, and more.

Dr. Barnosky has received numerous grants and awards for his research, from the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Geographic Society and the Fulbright Association. He was made a “Protector of Yellowstone National Park" in 1998, for accomplishments in promoting and conducting quality scientific investigations to benefit the future of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and was declared an “Everyday Hero” in 2006 by the Chancellor of UC Berkeley for his contributions to undergraduate education.


Anton TreuerSponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work, the Department of History, the Department of English and Theater, the Office of Diversity, the Department of Languages, Cultures & Humanities, the Comparative Humanities Program, and the Honors Program.

Anton Treuer is Executive Director of the American Indian Resource Center and Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University and the author of over a dozen books on Native American and Ojibwe history and culture, including notably the Atlas of Indian Nations (National Geographic 2014), Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians but Were Afraid to Ask (Borealis 2012), Ojibwe in Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society 2012), The Assassination of Hole-in-the-Day (Borealis 2010), and Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales and Oral Histories (Minnesota Historical Society 2001). As a cultural historian, storyteller and community advocate, Anton Treuer’s sense of equity, his educational achievements and work ethic have put him on a path of service throughout his home region, the country and the world, sharing his wisdom and his vision of a better world, informed by his understanding of Ojibwe traditions and knowledge. Dr. Treuer has given presentations all over the U.S. and Canada and in several foreign countries on a variety of topics, including Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians but Were Afraid to Ask, Cultural Competence & Equity, Strategies for Addressing the “Achievement” Gap, and Tribal Sovereignty, History, Language, and Culture.

Anton Treuer’s books, written with wit, insight and a consummate literary style, have been very highly acclaimed and reviewed. Two of Treuer’s books have been selected as “Minnesota Reads of the Year” by the Society for the Book at the Library of Congress, and The Assassination of Hole-in-the-Day, about the 19th century Ojibwe leader also known as Bagone-giizhig, received the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History and was hailed by Native American novelist Louise Erdrich as “a masterful history, and more… illuminat[ing] the character of a controversial and charismatic Ojibwe leader from within Ojibwe culture, and tell[ing] a powerful story of loss that reverberates in the present."

Treuer received his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is the editor of the Oshkaabewis Native Journal, the only academic journal of the Ojibwe language. Dr. Treuer has served on many organizational boards and has received more than 40 prestigious awards and fellowships, including from the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Bush Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.


Tali SharotSponsored by the Department of Psychology, the Office of Graduate Education and Research, and the Honors Program.

Tali Sharot is a cognitive neuroscientist, author of The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain (Vintage 2011), co-editor (with Raymond J. Dolan) of The Neuroscience of Preference and Choice (Academic Press 2011), and Director of the Affective Brain Lab at University College London. She received her Ph.D. in psychology and neuroscience from New York University and a B.Sc. in economics and psychology from Tel Aviv University. She has conducted research at the University of California, Harvard University and the Weizmann Institute for Science.

The Affective Brain Lab studies how motivation, emotion and social interaction determine our expectations of the future, our everyday decisions, our memories and our ability to learn. By understanding these basic cognitive and neural processes, the Affective Brain Lab aims to identify ways to encourage behavioral change that enhance well-being. Dr. Sharot investigates how and why people are resistant to warnings, and what can be done about it. Her research demonstrates that our brains aren’t just shaped by the past, but are also constantly being shaped by expectations about the future. She investigates how our natural tendencies toward optimism even shape what we remember, encompassing behavioral research and seeking to identify specific brain centers where optimism resides. She is interested in broad and searching questions such as: When and how do other people influence our decisions and judgments? Why do we process information in a biased manner? When, how, and why do people deceive themselves? How do these processes go awry in depression?

Dr. Sharot’s papers on the neuroscience of optimism, emotional memories and cognitive dissonance have been published in top scientific journals including Nature, Science, Nature Neuroscience and Psychological Science. She has also written essays for the popular press which have been published in The New York Times, Observer and Time Magazine. She is a faculty member of the Department of Cognitive, Perceptual, and Brain Sciences at University College London and a Wellcome Trust Fellow.


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