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UTPA's 2010-2011 Distinguished Speakers Series continues with David Gergen and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Posted: 01/03/2011
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An influential adviser to four U.S. Presidents and a world-renowned astrophysicist will be featured as the third and fourth speaker, respectively, in The University of Texas-Pan American's 2010-2011 Distinguished Speakers Series.

- David Gergen
On Wednesday, Feb. 23, audience members will be able to hear from David Gergen, senior political analyst for CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 and Situation Room. His topic is titled, "Eyewitness to Power: Leadership in America."

Gergen, who joined the Nixon White House in 1971 as a staff assistant on the presidential speech writing team, later went on to serve Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. He also was an adviser to the George H.W. Bush presidential campaign.

A longtime political journalist and analyst, Gergen published the best-selling book, "Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton," in 2000. He has served as an editor of Public Opinion, a magazine of the American Enterprise Institute, and U.S. News & World Report, where he is currently an editor-at-large. He began his career on TV discussing politics on the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour.

A graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School, Gergen is also a professor of public service at the Harvard Kennedy School and director of its Center for Public Leadership.

On Monday, March 28, UTPA will welcome Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and author and host of PBS' NOVA ScienceNOW, who will speak on "Ten Things You Should Know About the Universe."

Tyson, whose research interests include star formation, exploding galaxies, dwarf galaxies and the structure of the Milky Way, was appointed by former President George W. Bush to two different commissions addressing the future of space exploration in the United States and he is a current member of NASA's Advisory Council.

- Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Tyson, who has a degree in physics from Harvard and a doctorate in astrophysics from Columbia, has published numerous professional publications but his writings and presentations for the public have brought an understanding and enjoyment of science to those who thought they would or could not enjoy the topic.

Among his nine books is "Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution," co-written with Donald Goldsmith, and a companion book to the PBS-NOVA four-part mini-series Origins, which Tyson hosted on air. He more recently wrote the New York Times bestseller, "Death by Black Hole and other Cosmic Quandaries," and "The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet," which chronicles his experiences at the center of the controversy over Pluto's planetary status. The PBS/NOVA documentary, "The Pluto Files," based on the book will premiere in March 2010.

Tyson is also the first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose Directorship of the Hayden Planetarium, a public planetarium that is part of the Rose Center for Earth and Space of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

The Distinguished Speakers Series, now in its seventh year, is underwritten by student fees as recommended by the Student Affairs Advisory Committee, and receives support from the Student Union and other University departments.

Both presentations will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the UTPA Fine Arts Auditorium and are free and open to the public. However, seating is limited. UTPA students, faculty and staff will be admitted with a valid University ID at 7 p.m. while the general public will be allowed to enter at 7:20 p.m.

For special accommodations or more information, call (956) 665-7989.