2018–19 Convocation Series

Convocations are held in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel and are free and open to the public.

Lawrence President Mark BursteinThursday, September 13, 2018
11:10 a.m

Matriculation Convocation
President Mark Burstein

Mark Burstein became Lawrence’s 16th president in 2013. During a career in higher education spanning nearly 25 years, Burstein has focused on creating learning communities in which all members can reach their full potential.

He came to Lawrence from Princeton University, where he spent nine years as executive vice president. Prior to Princeton, Burstein held several senior positions at Columbia University, including vice president for facilities management, where he developed the plan and acquired more than $250 million of real estate for the construction of the new Manhattanville campus in West Harlem. 

A native of Cedar Grove, N.J., he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and independent studies from Vassar College and a master of business administration degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Katherine CramerTuesday, October 23, 2018
11:10 a.m.
"Listening Well in a World that Turns Away"
Katherine Cramer

Katherine Cramer is an American political scientist and a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of "The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker," the product of almost a decade of studying political attitudes in rural Wisconsin through ethnography. 

Her work focuses on the way people in the United States make sense of politics. She is known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, in which she invites herself into the conversations of groups of people to listen to the way they understand public affairs. 

Cramer was the recipient of the 2017 American Political Science Association’s Qualitative and Multi-Method Research section Giovanni Sartori Award for the best book developing or using qualitative methods published in 2016, as well as a finalist for the 2017 APSA Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the best book on government, politics or international affairs.

Phil PlaitThursday, January 17, 2019
11:10 a.m.
“Strange New Worlds: Is Earth Special?”
Phil Plait
Phil Plait is an American astronomer, skeptic, writer and brainchild behind the popular science blog “Bad Astronomy,” on which he tries to debunk scientific myths and misconceptions.

Though never a NASA employee, he has worked as part of the Hubble Space Telescope team as well as engaging in public outreach advocacy for several NASA missions focused on high-energy forms of light emitted by black holes, exploding stars and super-dense neutrons stars.
Plait is the author of two books, "Bad Astronomy" and "Death from the Skies!," in which he provides real science behind all the ways astronomical events could wipe out life on Earth. Plait attended the University of Michigan and earned a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Virginia.

Matika WilburThursday, April 11, 2019
11:10 a.m.
“Changing the Way We See Native America”
Matika Wilbur

One of the nation’s leading photographers, Matika Wilbur is a visual storyteller from the Swinomish and Tulalip peoples of coastal Washington who grew up the daughter of a commercial fisherman.

A former fashion and commercial photographer Los Angeles who earned a bachelor’s degree from the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography, Wilbur launched Project 562 with a goal of photographing and collecting stories of Native Americans from each federally-recognized Indian tribe in the United States.

Project 562 seeks to overcome historical inaccuracies, stereotypical representations and silenced Native American voices in mass media. Wilbur’s work aims to humanize the otherwise “vanishing race” and shares stories that Native Americans would like told.

David BurrowsHonors Convocation
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
11:10 a.m.
“Education for Effective Action
David Burrows

David Burrows, professor of psychology and director of inclusive pedagogy, is the 10th recipient of Lawrence’s Faculty Convocation Award, which represents the judgment of faculty peers that the person’s professional work is of high quality and deserves the honor of selection.

Burrows has been at Lawrence since 2005 when he joined the administration as provost and dean of the faculty. In 2017, he returned to the classroom as a full-time member of the psychology department, teaching the courses "Principles of Psychology," "Cognitive Psychology" and Freshman Studies.
A graduate of Columbia University, Burrows also earned a master's degree and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. After an appointment as a post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota, he joined the faculty of the psychology department at the State University of New York at Brockport, where he taught from 1972-1980. He spent the next 17 years at Skidmore College, where he was department chair and associate dean of the faculty. He served as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Beloit College prior to coming to Lawrence.
His current scholarship focuses on how students learn in college settings, centering on the concept of engagement as a critical factor in learning and cognitive development.

Main Hall Forum

Main Hall Forum presents a wide range of lectures by Lawrence faculty and distinguished guest speakers on historical and contemporary issues and recent scholarship in the humanities.

Economics Colloquium

The Economics Colloquium began in 2010 and features talks from visiting scholars, distinguished alumni and guests, and Lawrence faculty.  Topics run the gamut from hardcore economic theory (presented in an audience-friendly  fashion, of course) to social science and policy issues more generally.  The Colloquium typically features an author of the Senior Experience work in economics.

Science Hall Colloquium

The Science Hall Colloquium presents a series of cross-disciplinary lectures that address research developments in diverse areas of the natural, physical and social sciences.

Fine Arts Colloquium

The Fine Arts Colloquium presents several occasional lectures during the academic year that touch on topics related to art, art history, and theatre.

The Mojmir Povolny Lectureship in International Studies

Established in 1987 and named in honor of long-time Lawrence government professor Mojmir Povolny, the lectureship promotes interest and discussion on issues of moral significance and ethical dimensions.