THE WORLD'S LEADING LECTURE BUREAU MAGAZINE
GTN FALL 2014
Inspirational, informative and entertaining stories from today's biggest names.
Talks diversity, making it in Hollywood, and playing America's favorite bad guys.
Your guide to picking speakers for any major, student group, or event!
Inspirations behind this year's biggest films... coming to a podium near you. Decorated Navy SEAL, Marcus Luttrell (Peter Berg's Lone Survivor) Best-Selling Author, Robert Edsel (George Clooney's The Monuments Men)
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20 All speakers featured in Speaking Of Magazine are exclusively represented by Greater Talent Network, Inc.
SPEAKING OF GTN FALL 2014
Speaking Of is your definitive guide to the hottest speakers and storytellers on the celebrity circuit. In this issue, GTN presents the Hollywood actors, directors, journalists, and newsmakers your campus is talking about. CONTACT US TO BRING ONE OF OUR EXCLUSIVE SPEAKERS TO YOUR NEXT EVENT! Call us at (212) 645-4200
4 Six Questions with Jose Antonio Vargas
We talk with the journalist who risked everything by publicly revealing his status as an undocumented immigrant.
6 Get to Know: Ron Paul
The former Texas Congressman always speaks his mind, and here's why people listen.
8 Now Playing at a Podium Near You
Our blockbuster speakers have their stories brought to life on the big screen.
12 Adapt & Conquer: NACA 2014 Showcase Steph Hammerman
The record-making adaptive athlete talks about raising the barâ€”her way.
14 When Cult Culture Drives Pop
Iconic author, Max Brooks does more than drive pop-culture. He's building tomorrow's leaders and next-gen storytellers.
16 Need Inspiration? No Sweat!
Celebrity Trainer Dolvett Quince on beating the odds to become an inspiration for millions
18 Laughing Out Loud (Seriously)
Wanna LYAO? Meet Mo Rocca and Modern Family's, Steven Levitan: Seriously Funny Speakers
20 Live Well, Do Good
Collins Tuohy of The Bind Side shares her experience as a daughter, sister, and giver
21 Giancarlo Esposito Celebrates Diversity
Star of Breaking Bad and Revolution talks tolerance, diversity, and success in Hollywood
24 Major Matching 101
Your cheat sheet for picking the best speakers by major, subject, or event type
26 Actions Speak Louder 3
Highlighting our exclusive speakers who devote themselves to activism and social justice
Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose personal journey is shaping the national discourse on immigration. After discovering his green card was a fake at age 16, Vargas began living a double-life to hide his immigrant status. Vargas shares his story in the documentary film Undocumented, which chronicles his experiences as an undocumented immigrant and a crusader for immigration reform. Undocumented hits select New York and Los Angeles theaters in May of this year.
How has the immigration debate changed over the past two years? Where do you see it going from here? Unequivocally, there’s been a sea of change in how our country talks about immigration in the past two years. Just look at the DREAM Act, which is now a mainstream political and moral issue embraced by both Democrats and Republicans. Also, look at how the mainstream media is covering immigration. The influential Stylebook of the Associated Press, for example, has stopped referring to people as “illegal.” A polarizing and political issue is examined and debated in a more personal way. I am optimistic that we are working towards reforming our country’s broken and outdated immigration system. I am hopeful.
You’ve traveled to nearly every state—what do you enjoy most about speaking publicly to students and communities? Even in this age of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, nothing beats face-to-face interaction and engagement. Speaking to audiences allows me to personalize and contextualize not only the state of the immigration debate in our country, but also how we as Americans define American. I especially love addressing audiences who may not agree with me. What has been the reaction to Documented, your recently completed documentary? How difficult was it to put together? Early reviews of the film have been encouraging and positive. Most memorably, a contributor for the Washington Post wrote: “If you had told me a... 4
With Jose Antonio Vargas ...documentary could shift my mindset, I would have said you were crazy. That was before I watched Documented.” I’ve been a journalist for more than a decade, writing upwards of 800 news stories since I was a teenager. But this story—this film—is different because it’s so personal. The hardest stories we tell are the ones about ourselves. How do we tell that personal story as honestly as possible? What role has social media played in impacting immigration reform? As a journalist, I’ve been writing about social media before they called it social media. And social media—which puts the “me” in media—is the fuel that has fired up the immigration conversation in our country. Just as social media has facilitated connections and inspired people to action in other movements (Arab Spring, to name one example), Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have been invaluable to the movement for immigrant rights across America. You’ve waged a very public campaign to stop media usage of the phrase “illegal immigrant.” What impact does that phrase have on the immigration debate? How do you legalize people whom you deem “illegal”? You don’t. You call them “illegal”—in essence “criminals.” End of conversation. Calling people “illegal” closes the conversation rather than opening it up. Why is the person in the country illegally? (About 40 percent of the undocumented population overstayed their visas.) What are the circumstances? What’s that person’s story? Words matter. Words impact perceptions which shape actions. Actions are illegal, not people. How do you define “American”? I define American as someone who loves this country, who wants to contribute to it, and who calls America home. This is my home—where I grew up, where I went to school, where I work and pay taxes. I am an American; I’m just waiting for my country to recognize it. 5
Ron Paul with actor and supporter Vince Vaughn
â€œMy favorite part about politics has been interacting with young people, especially on college campuses, because their minds are more open to the principles of liberty, they generally are against war, and they understand the importance of following the Constitution.â€?
DID YOU KNOW?
Dr. Ron Paul's title is MD, not PhD. As a specialist in obstetrics, Dr. Paul has delivered more than 4,000 babies.
GET to KNOW Former Congressman Dr. Ron Paul is celebrated as the premier advocate for liberty in politics today. A major goal of his advocacy has been to reach out to America’s youth, helping them understand the constitutional principles that make this country great, and inspire them to defend those principles. Always outspoken in his appeals for economic and political reforms, Dr. Paul calls for the return to sound monetary policies, free markets, and limited constitutional government. He particularly enjoys engaging young people to identify practical and actionable reform strategies that include and benefit all generations. Get to know the man with the legacy for staunchly upholding the constitution and a reputation for telling it like it is.
At a Glance • Dr. Paul, a LIBERTARIAN, believes in maximizing individual rights, dramatically reducing the size of the federal government, and returning to constitutional principles. • Dr. Paul is an 11-TERM U.S. REPRESENTATIVE from Texas, serving in Congress from 1976 to 1984, and again from 1996 to 2013. • He ran for President in 1998, 2008, and 2012. • A renowned AUTHOR, Dr. Paul's latest book, The School Revolution: A New Answer for Our Broken Education System, was released in September 2013. • In 2013, Dr. Paul launched the RON PAUL CHANNEL, an internet media outlet whose slogan is “Turn Off Your TV. Turn On the Truth.” 7
NOW PLAYING (and a Podium)
Clooney as WWII art conservationist Lt. Frank Stokes and Matt Damon as museum curator Lt. James Granger
Monuments Men Debuted in Theaters February 7 路 DVD release May 20
GTN brought you the speakers who inspired such blockbuster films as Moneyball, The Blindside, and World War Z. Now, the stories of decorated Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, and The Monuments Men author Robert Edsel, have their stories of bravery and sacrifice brought to life on the big screen for the first time this spring. Comedian and MM star, John Goodman, with author Robert Edsel.
AT A THEATER Near You
Edsel and Clooney are recounting a story that few people know, about a small group of unsung heroes, to whom we all owe a small debt. While the film is highly anticipated, Robert Edsel is the hero behind the scenes, sharing the Monuments Men’s story on stage and reminding us why art, culture, and history are as relevant as ever before. At the podium, Edsel delivers a an enlightening and interactive presentation that audiences haven’t seen from anyone else. He brings together history and culture on stage using slides of treasured monuments, never before seen works of art, and little known historical anecdotes. By bringing the story of the Monuments Men to the forefront— and shedding light on all they risked and sacrificed to preserve art and culture—Edsel compels audiences to explore the question: Is art worth a life?
The Monuments Men Author and Speaker, Robert Edsel
Based on the true story of some of history’s bravest—if little known—heroes, The Monuments Men follows a motley group of historians and art curators whose mission it is to save the world’s most precious works of art from Nazi looters during WWII. After reading Robert Edsel's Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, George Clooney—inspired by the story's message—soon announced he would write, direct, and star in the film adaptation. "They tell us who cares about art? But they are wrong. It is the exact reason we are fighting. For culture. For a way of life," says Clooney's character, Frank Stokes, in defense of the brave heist. The film boasts an all-star cast, including director Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett.
NOW PLAYING (and a Podium)
Author and subject of Lone Survivor, Marcus Luttrell
AT A THEATER Near You
Lone Survivor Debuted in Theaters January 10 · DVD release June 3 Highly-anticipated ahead of its January debut, Lone Survivor— the heart wrenching tale of courage under fire—did not disappoint, earning the second biggest January film premiere of all time. Adapted from the bestselling memoir, Lone Survivor depicts the real-life survival story of its author, decorated Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), his three SEAL teammates, and the life-defining events of their fated mission, Operation Redwing. Director Peter Berg leads an all-star star cast including Wahlberg, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, and Taylor Kitsch, who portray the SEAL team’s harrowing battle against Taliban forces in what started as an intelligence mission. The operation took a tragic turn and all but Luttrell were killed in action, while Luttrell suffered grave and life-changing injuries.
On taking on the role of Lone Survivor's eponymous lead, Wahlberg said, “I never felt more pressure playing someone, but I never felt more pride either.” The story is larger than life, and as the only survivor to tell the tale, Luttrell has since dedicated his life to honoring the memory of his fellow SEALs and brothers. Marcus Luttrell's message as the lone survivor of that fateful battle is hugely inspiring. Audiences who hear him speak all agree that it is a special, life-affirming experience to hear Luttrell tell the story in his own words. Gripping and impactful, Lone Survivor aims to honor the legacy of the SEAL team’s iconic sacrifice. At the podium, Marcus Luttrell brings the epic story to life.
Taylor Kitsch as Lt. Michael Murphy (left), Mark Wahlberg as Marcus Luttrell, Ben Foster as Matthew "Axe" Axelson, and Emile Hirsch as Danny Dietz
ADAPT & CONQUER: Meet
Born three months premature, Stephanie developed Cerebral Palsy shortly after birth; it was believed that she would never walk, speak, read, or write. Now, Steph is the world's first Female Certified CrossFit Trainer with CP.
hey call her “The Hammer,” and it’s no wonder why; Stephanie Hammerman lives by the motto “Failure is not an option.” Born three months premature, Stephanie developed Cerebral Palsy shortly after birth; it was believed that she would never walk, speak, read, or write. However, despite the everyday challenges she faces living with CP, Stephanie has gone on to defy the odds and shift the paradigm of what it means to be “able bodied,” becoming the first female certified CrossFit trainer in the world with Cerebral Palsy.
oday, Steph's mission is to not only inspire others, but to compel them to action. Drawing from her experience, adapting for everyday tasks and challenges that are commonly taken for granted, Steph discusses the importance of living life to the fullest despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We sat down with the acclaimed motivational speaker as she invites readers to discover, fulfill, and if needed, adapt to a life of purpose.
How do you define accountability in light of being the first female certified CrossFit trainer with CP? It doesn’t matter the title, I may be the first, but that doesn’t mean someone else couldn’t have had worked for that opportunity sooner. I look at accountability as being there for people, and people placing their trust in you to know you will get something done if you make a commitment to it.
Of all the paths you could have taken to “adapt,” why fitness? I didn’t intentionally choose fitness and close the door on any other avenue; it was the avenue that felt right. When your heart is fully invested in something it’s hard to deny the passion; I guess you could say I followed my heart and found an avenue that filled my life with purpose.
What does it mean to Adapt & Conquer? Adapt and Conquer is a pretty strong statement, one that many adaptive athletes and coaches look to, to fuel the fire because we take circumstances that may seem impossible to the average eye and make them work for us. It’s human nature to look at a difficult situation and want to run away from it, but deep down inside, everyone has a strong enough soul. We just have to find the desire to want to deal with the difficulties head on.
What is your most meaningful achievement? Inside the gym I’d have to say my most meaningful achievement was when I began to believe in myself as a coach and could clearly relay information needed for the athletes to be successful. As that confidence grew, athletes began to trust my guidance and that feeling is hard to put into words. I know, as coaches and athletes we are never done learning, so every day I am given the opportunity to continue to learn I am sincerely grateful. Outside the gym, it would just be graduating college and going on to study for my Masters in Student Affairs. It's huge because nobody, not even my doctors, thought I would ever grow up and do that.
Why did you decide to become a speaker? I have always loved talking to people, and even though it wasn’t intentional, at an early age I would finish a conversation with someone I had just met and they would finish with “you have such a great story.” Life has its ups and downs for everyone, and I’ve had plenty of people in my life who I look to for inspiration. Speaking is giving me the opportunity to reach out to large audiences and if I inspire one person and help them make a change for the better, I know I have done what I have set out to do. I’m not sure what the future holds, but I hope, through sharing my story, I’ll be able to make a
There are lots of inspirational stories out there. What would you say sets your story apart? One of the best comments I get from people who hear my story is that I'm relatable. That feedback really means a lot to me, because no one would want to be inspired by my story if they didn't see something in it—in me—that was like them. I just try to keep that energy alive and let people know that they are welcome into my life; let them feel comfortable asking questions and giving them a warm honest response. That's most important. I never want to lose sight of that warmth and that ability to invite people in.
S K O O R B MAX Brooks laughing it up with Nerdist.com's Chris Hardwick
MAX BROOKS PROPELLED ZOMBIE LORE FROM SUBCULTURE TO POP CULTURE WITH HIS BEST-SELLING BOOKS THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE AND WORLD WAR Z. KERNELLED IN THOSE GUTSY TOMES (NO PUN INTENDED) WERE LESSONS ON LEADERSHIP & PROBLEM SOLVING--TEACHING READERS HOW TO SURVIVE ANYTHING FROM A NATIONAL EMERGENCY TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. IN HIS LATEST RELEASE, THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS, BROOKS BREAKS NEW GROUND, SHARING THE UNSUNG TRUE TALE OF THE FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN UNIT TO SERVE IN BATTLE IN WWI.
Th He e H l ar is av lfi l ail gh em ab te le r no s w!
PRODUCERS, DIRECTORS, AND WRITERS ...of your FAVORITE TV Shows and Movies!
The Batman Trilogy
Law & Order: SVU
Under the Dome
Beating the Odds.
Bar. Inspiring Millions.
Celebrity fitness trainer Dolvett Quince shows us that how you finish is more important than how you start. More than just a celebrity fitness trainer, Dolvett Quince is a force of nature. As a veteran health and fitness expert and one of the star trainers on NBC's The Biggest Loser, Quince has dedicated himself to “helping people change their lives, one rep at a time.” But to have Dolvett tell it, he was not supposed to be where he is. One of four siblings in foster care as a youth, Dolvett never knew his future held a critically acclaimed TV show and a career as one of the world's most sought after fitness expert.
"Glad we could make your night with @dolvett! @ulsusf did a great job again with their speaker #USF #Fitness" - @USFIMSports Follow @dolvett
According to Quince, his humble beginnings keep him motivated, paying it forward to his clients both mentally and physically. In November 2013, Quince released his first book, The 3-1-2-1 Diet, where he provides readers with the nutrition and fitness tools needed for long term—not fad diet—success. The eating plan is super effective because readers never feel deprived; the plan even includes cheat days! Dolvett's favorite cheat food is pizza, btw. On stage, Quince shares his thoughts on the foster care system, how it helped shape his life, and imparts the power of positive thinking to improve overall wellness. His heartwarming story leaves audiences cheering, ready and inspired to change their lives.
DID YOU KNOW?
Dolvett once trained on tour with Justin Bieber and his team.
“Over the years, I’ve been more than just a trainer. I’ve been a friend. I’ve been a life coach.” —Dolvett Quince From Dolvett's new book The 3-1-2-1 Diet: Eat and Cheat Your Way to Weight Loss
“The experience [of auditioning for The Biggest
Loser] has been a great affirmation of my calling. It's a great feeling to be a part of the Biggest Loser family and alumni. But I always say, stay hungry, but stay humble. At the end of the day, I just believe in hard work, wherever you are. And if you combine hard work with passion and really love what you do, good things will come back to you. So far in my own life, I think that because I gave back as much as I did, I got back as much as I did. With this book, you're getting the real Dolvett, with a real program designed so that you can feel like I am with you every day, like I am with my Biggest Loser team, acting as your own personal nutrition coach and trainer. I'll shoot straight with you and tell you exactly what you need to be doing—and why. I'll give you affirmations, tips, a body-sculpting workout, and advice— everything I can think of to help you succeed.
LAUGHing Out LOUD Mo Rocca CBS News Correspondent, TV Personality, and Hysterically Funny.
Humorist, journalist and actor Mo Rocca is best known for his off-beat news reports and satirical commentary. Currently a Correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning, Mo's brainy-chic brand of comedy has made him one of American's most sought after hosts and emcees. Rocca began his career in TV as a writer and producer for the Emmy Award-winning PBS children’s series Wishbone. Many writing, consulting, and acting credits later, Mo joined Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as a correspondent, where his profiles ranged from a man so obsessed with First Ladies he dresses up as Florence Harding to a husband/ wife pet-mummification team. Today, he’s also a panelist on NPR’s hit weekly quiz show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! and the host and creator of the Cooking Channel’s My Grandmother’s Ravioli, in which he learns to cook from grandparents across the country. Mo's talks are always a huge hit. He's known for his knack for researching the college or organization where he's speaking and peppering little-known fun facts about it into his presentation. “I know a lot about a few things—mostly useless things,” says Mo. His presentations are consistently fun, informative, engaging, and hilarious.
"Mo charmed the audience with his humor and wonderful personality. Students came three hours early to make sure they had seats and the lecture pulled in twice the number of students we expected!" —U Conn Student Union Board of Governments Mo Rocca on the set of My Grandmother's Ravioli
DID YOU KNOW?
Mo was a roller-skating waiter at a fancy French restaurant in DC after graduating college. He never dropped a plate.
Follow @MoRocca 18
LOL has lost it's way. We resort to the "now cliche" short-hand when we want to avoid those awkward silences while texting...or perhaps to just
punctuate an otherwise offensive rant. But when was
the last time you truly laughed out loud? GTN spotlights a couple of our exclusive fan favorites who are sure
to leave you LYAO!
Steven Levitan Award Winning Creator, Writer, and Director of ABC’s Hilarious Hit Series, Modern Family
Have you ever wondered what the cast members of Modern Family are like on set? Or who the characters and their awkward, outlandish, and often heart-warming hi jinks are inspired by? Steven Levitan can tell you. With credits that include over a dozen of America’s most popular TV comedies, Steven Levitan is one of the most acclaimed writers, producers and directors in Hollywood. Levitan has won 23 Primetime Emmy awards over an impressive career, and Modern Family won for Outstanding Comedy Series for the fourth consecutive time in 2013. Not bad for a guy who started as a copywriter for an ad agency in Chicago. Modern Family has garnered a huge fan-base that includes celebrities like Henry Winkler, Kyra Sedgwick, and even President Obama (who called it the First Family’s favorite show). Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston said of the show, “Not since my days on 'Malcolm in the Middle' have I seen a show that can make you laugh out loud and at the same time resonate on some deeper level. This program has it all: wonderful writing, fantastic actors. Bravo."
On stage, Levitan takes audiences behind the scenes of Modern Family in a fun and interactive program, giving a rare glimpse into the inner workings and off-set shenanigans that go into making the show such a colossal hit. Levitan shares behind the scenes anecdotes—with pictures and never-before-seen clips—and describes how his own life inspired much of what we see and love on the show. Levitan has a history of capturing Hollywood lightning in a bottle, with Modern Family being no exception. Levitan is also behind the hit series Back To You, Just Shoot Me!, Frasier, Stark Raving Mad, and Wings.
"Modern Family is going to be included among a handful of comedies that pierced through the cultural zeitgeist and became much more than just a TV show.” —Gary Newman, Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox
Collins Tuohy Daughter. Sister. Business Owner. Do good-er...she does it all with style, grace, a killer smile, and bit of whimsy. Collins is the vibrant only daughter of the Tuohy family, whose story of selfless giving and love without conditions inspired the Oscar winning film, The Blind Side. The story chronicles Leigh Anne Tuohy—the "warrior princess" matriarch—her husband Sean, and children Collins and SJ, as they make the bold decision to open their doors and their hearts to Michael Oher, the impoverished African-American teen they noticed walking down the road one cold November day wearing a tee shirt and shorts. The Tuohy's adopted Michael, without a second thought. Collins first met Michael in the
hallways of Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis. As Collins grew close to Michael, she helped him adjust to both Briarcrest and his new life with the Tuohy family. When Collins became Briarcrest’s Homecoming Queen, she chose Michael to be her escort. Giving has always been a central family principle for the Tuohys. Aside from being Co-Owner of Whimsy Cookie Company in Memphis, Collins is also on the Board of The Making it Happen Foundation, dedicated to changing children’s lives through hope, love, and opportunity. She loves traveling to campuses across the country to share her inspirational story and spread the message of finding value in every single person. On
Leigh Anne and Collins Tuohy of The Blindside
stage, Collins takes audiences through her journey with Michael from fellow student to close friend, confidant, and ultimately, adoptive sister. She discusses ways in which everyone can do something to change the life of another person, using her own experiences as examples. "Our main concern as a family with The Blind Side movie was the message, which we are so passionate about: that everyone has value and families don’t have to match. When that message got projected through the movie, we were happy."
CELEBRATING DIVERSITY Giancarlo Esposito Follow @quiethandfilms We know what you're thinking, "Gus!" But aside from his awardwinning performance as Gustavo Fring on AMC's Breaking Bad, Giancarlo Esposito has starred in over 60 films over his life-long career on screen, on stage, and behind the camera. Giancarlo started his journey into show business at a time when there were few roles written for people of color; now, he's credited with helping to open doors for talent of all races to achieve success in entertainment by taking on a bold variety of roles, as well as directing and producing independent projects of his own. He recently finished production on the independent thriller Poker Night—starring as a seasoned police detective opposite Ron Perlman (Hellboy). In 2007, through his company, Quiet Hand Productions, Esposito made his feature directorial debut with the award-winning film Gospel Hill, in which he also co-starred alongside Danny Glover, Angela Bassett, Julia Stiles, Taylor Kitsch and Samuel L. Jackson. Quiet Hand Productions aspires to make “conscious content” films that focus on the inspirational. That mission, along with Giancarlo's critically acclaimed performances in Spike Lee's early classics like Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, helped solidify his reputation as an actor with "something more to say." Now Giancarlo is bringing students into the conversation as he tours colleges around the country speaking to them about his own Hollywood journey (and struggles) as a bi-racial actor, what it's like to be one of TV's most beloved bad guys, his experiences working with the best actors and directors in the world, and his advice for young people looking to break into the biz. "I don't want to just talk about tolerance, no one wants to just be 'tolerated'; let's talk about awareness, acceptance, respect, and grow to love each other from there." In a program that is both thought provoking and inspiring, Esposito encourages all to embrace diversity in everything you do, and, for Pete's sake, not end up like Gus Fring. Esposito currently co-stars in JJ Abrams’s hit NBC drama series Revolution as Major Tom Neville—a militia leader who becomes a different man
BABYFACE K E N N Y
" B A B Y F A C E "
E D M O N D S
BEHIND THE MUSIC
Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds If you were to closely examine the annals of modern pop music history, few creative forces have been more seminal or impacted the contemporary pop/urban genres as much as Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. In a relatively short time, he has reached icon status as a poignant tune smith, prolific hit maker/ producer, superstar recording artist, and revolutionary label owner. Aside from his own musical success, Edmonds helped launch the careers of some of today’s topselling recording artists, including TLC, Toni Braxton, Pink and Usher. The musical juggernaut continues to add milestone after milestone to a legacy that seems to have no threshold in sight.
A ten-time Grammy winner with 11 solo albums of his own, Edmonds has impeccably crafted explorations of love, romance, and relationships and has made an indelible imprint on the evolution of contemporary pop music throughout the world: more than 125 Top-10 R&B and Pop hits, 42 #1 R&B hits, and 51 Top-10 Pop hits (including 16 #1’s), which have produced single and album sales in excess of 500 million units worldwide.
playing interludes on guitar and piano on stage, he shares the stories behind his biggest Grammy-winning songs and chart-topping collaborations—bringing the songs and stories to life like never before. Edmonds engages and entertains audiences with a rare look into his career as a musician, producer, and philanthropist who has helped to shape popular music for the last 30 years.
Follow @KennyEdmonds In a storytelling program that brings together hit music with behind the scenes anecdotes, Babyface takes audiences through his journey as one of R&B & Pop music’s most influential hit-makers. While
MAJOR MAT CONSIDER THIS YOUR CHEAT SHEET OF THE BEST SPEAKERS FOR SPEAKER IDEAS, NO MATTER THE MAJOR,
Computer Science/IT Alec Ross
Senior Advisor for Innovation to Hillary Clinton & Author Follow @AlecRoss
ECONOMICS Ali Velshi
Host of Al Jazeera Americaâ€™s First Business Show Follow @AliVelshi
ENGLISH LIT Nicholas Sparks
Bestselling Author of Safe Haven and The Notebook Follow @SparksNicholas
ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield Co-Founders of Ben & Jerry Follow @BenandJerrys 24
YOUR CAMPUS EVENT. CHECK OUT THIS HANDY GUIDE FOR GREAT DEPARTMENT, STUDENT GROUP, OR OCCASION.
MARKETING Mitch Joel
Marketing, Media Hacker, and Business Innovator Follow @MitchJoel
JOURNALISM John Avlon
Executive Editor, The Daily Beast and Political Analyst Follow @JonathanAlter
POLI-SCI Harold Ford, Jr.
Former U.S. Representative & NBC News Analyst Follow @HFord2
WOMEN'S STUDIES Rula Jebreal
MSNBC Foreign Policy Contributor & Human Rights Advocate 25
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER
Normally, the progeny of Hollywood parents is the gold-standard of tabloid fodder, but Ronan Farrow is a shining example of what can actually go right. Ronan grew up with his Oscar-winning mom Mia Farrow and 14 multi-ethnic siblings adopted from around the world. While other kids his age were obsessing over video games, Ronan found himself concerned with issues like the growing AIDS crisis and the reverberating effects of poverty and war throughout the world. Deep kid, to say the least, but Ronan also walks the walk. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on youth uprisings, having led the Obama administration’s response to the Arab Spring revolutions, and founded the State Department’s Office of Global Youth Issues for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He also worked with the Genocide Intervention Network in Darfur, speaking at universities around Sudan and mobilizing student action that eventually helped spur international involvement in the conflict. While his resume is impressive, Farrow is perhaps best known for his funny—if at times sardonic—Twitter feed, from which he recently treated his 191,000+ followers to a live "deconstruction" of the 2014 Grammy Awards and Super Bowl XLXII. In February, Ronan launched his new show on MSNBC, which is closely aligned to his activism and aimed at "empowering young viewers to get involved." Ronan brings to the podium a hard-edged policy expertise brought to life through stories of his adventures and misadventures around the world. He delivers concrete steps each person can take in their community to Follow @RonanFarrow fight for the issues they care about.
DID YOU KNOW?
Ronan is Bard College's youngest ever graduate , earning his BA at 15 years old.
Danny Glover You know Danny as the "ever-too-old-for-this- $#!+" Sgt. Roger Murtaugh on the blockbuster movie franchise, Lethal Weapon. And sure, he's acted in, produced, and directed dozens of award-winning films—his role in The Color Purple being among his most notable—but many of Danny's crowing achievements happen off screen and behind a mic. His commitment to social activism in the U.S. and Africa has helped draw global attention to issues like economic inequality and fair access to health care and education for all.
"I enjoyed immensely the opportunity to hear the political activist side of you as you responded to questions from the audience. I am so very glad that you came to UVM and wish you the endurance to continue your life as an actor and an activist.” —The University of Vermont
His speaking program is an inspiring and compelling call to action for students eager to respond to their communities' need for doers, givers, movers, and shakers. Danny, encourages all to find their role—none too small—and take ownership of the good they can each do in the world.
Rula Jebreal Analyst. Champion. Fire cracker. These are a few of the words used to describe one of the most renowned women's advocates of our time. Growing up as an Arab-Israeli, Rula learned early on what women and children endure in war zones, quickly cultivating her own sense of social justice. With a staunch commitment to education and raising awareness, Rula later became known for her ground-breaking work as the first foreign anchorwoman in the history of Italian television and her awardwinning reports on the Iraq war. Rula’s award-winning book, Miral, is considered a seminal work in Europe and parts of the Middle East for the causes it draws attention to; loosely autobiographical, Miral depicts the plight of a young Palestinian girl coming of age amid the cultural, religious, and political turmoils of the Middle East. With an infectious passion and candor on stage, Rula discusses how empowering the civilian population through education holds the key to a future of peace in the region.
Every once in a while, you come across a story that not only inspires you, but changes you—both for how you see the world and interact with it. David (pronounced da-VEED) Menasche's story is that rare account. He was the type of teacher they make movies about; for 15 years, he taught English to high-schoolers in Florida, and made it his daily mission to touch the lives of his students and forge genuine bonds that extend past the classroom. When a six-year battle with brain cancer ultimately stole David’s vision, memory, mobility, and—most tragically of all—his ability to teach, he was devastated, but undaunted. He turned to Facebook with an audacious plan: a journey across America—by bus, by train, by red-tipped cane—in hopes of seeing firsthand how his former pupils were faring in life. Had he made a difference? Within 48 hours of posting, former students in more than 50 cities replied with offers of support and shelter. The account of his fearless journey is told in his bestselling memoir The Priority List: A Teacher's Final Quest to Discover Life's Greatest Lessons. Recently, actor Steve Carell signed on to portray David in the film adaptation, now in production. David's talks, like his book and forthcoming film, explore the things we all want and need out of life—family, security, independence, love—and forces us to stop to consider our own Priority List.
Chaz Bono is an LGBTQ rights advocate, and the only child of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher. Chaz Bono came out as a lesbian to his parents at 18-years-old and publicly in 1995, prompting his public work in support of LGBTQ rights and social justice. Chaz has contributed as a writer-at-large to The Advocate and became spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, and also served as Entertainment Media Director for GLAAD. Chaz chronicled his journey in the award-winning documentary, Becoming Chaz—an intimate and honest documentary revealing the humanity and courage it took for Chaz to ultimately embrace his true self. While Chaz has found great fulfillment in his work as a national activist, his true passion lies in reaching out and raising awareness among young minds through college lecturing. At the podium, Chaz candidly shares his personal journey of attaining sobriety, gaining acceptance from his family and proceeding with his transition in the public eye. He touches on a range of LGBTQ issues including marriage equality, portrayals of gays and lesbians in the media, issues related to the coming out process,