Republican strategist Rove heads fall speaker lineup

Topics: College of Sciences and Humanities, Student Affairs, Speakers, College of Communication Information and Media, Athletics, College of Applied Sciences and Technology

August 9, 2010

Republican political strategist and commentator Karl Rove, who served as deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush, will consider "Why the Midterm Elections Matter" during a Sept. 13 appearance at Ball State University. He leads a list of fall speakers at Ball State that also includes To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) founder Jamie Tworkowski, WNBA superstar Tamika Catchings, media futurist Dale Herigstad and "Murderball" star and "Gimp" author Mark Zupan.

Rove's 7 p.m. address in Emens Auditorium on campus is free and open to the public, as are all of the semester's speaker events. Ball State's Office of Student Life, which in recent months brought former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and two-time Democratic presidential candidate Rev. Jesse Jackson to campus, is sponsoring Rove's visit in conjunction with the Department of Political Science.

The architect of the GOP's 2000 and 2004 presidential election victories, Rove recently published "Courage and Consequence" (Simon & Schuster, 2010), his memoir of his years in the Bush White House, where as deputy chief of staff (2001-07) he oversaw the strategic planning, political affairs, public liaison and intergovernmental affairs efforts of the administration while also coordinating the White House policymaking process. Today he remains active in the national political discussion as a popular speaker and frequent contributor to Fox News, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal.

Although a lifetime of activity in support of Republican candidates and conservative causes has so far prevented Rove from securing his college degree, he has attended variously the University of Utah, George Mason University and the University of Texas at Austin. He also is the former president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin, Texas-based public affairs firm that worked for dozens of Republican political candidates at all levels of government as well as nonpartisan causes and nonprofit groups. He lists his occupation today as "political consultant."

Freshman reader, Letterman lecturer

Winner of the 2005 Sundance Festival Documentary Audience Award, "Murderball" tells the story of Mark Zupan, who was paralyzed in a car accident during college. The longtime contact sport enthusiast discovered the game of wheelchair rugby while in rehab and through the years has become a mainstay on the U.S. Paralympics Wheelchair Rugby National Team, which won gold at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. Zupan also was part of the U.S. squad that took bronze at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens.

His autobiography, "Gimp: When Life Deals You a Crappy Hand, You Can Fold or You Can Play" (HarperCollins, 2006), is an intensely personal account of what it is like to have to redefine oneself and reconnect with those around you after a dramatically life-changing experience. It also is this year's freshman reader at Ball State.

Zupan will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28, in Emens Auditorium and share insights about the competitive, "you just can't quit" attitude that allowed him to survive 14 hours in a water filled ditch following his accident and continues to fuel the Georgia Tech graduate's success as a professional engineer, athlete, author and advocate.

Three weeks later, Ball State also welcomes Dale Herigstad, chief creative officer of Schematic Inc., who will examine "The Future of Interactive Design" during the fall installment of the David Letterman Distinguished Professional Lecture and Workshop Series. Herigstad is an internationally recognized thought leader on the future of media consumption in an interactive and "many screen" world of increasingly rich — and pervasive — media interfaces.

Capitalizing on an extensive background in broadcast design and branding, Herigstad has pioneered a unique spatial context approach — he was a part of the research team that developed the visionary gestural interfaces that first appeared in the film "Minority Report" — to designing advanced navigation systems for interactive TV and connected screens. From this work are emerging new content media that blur the line between TV and games and, in fact, "redefine what television is becoming."

Herigstad — the winner of four Emmy Awards — has taught motion graphics at the California Institute of the Arts, Art Center College of Design and UCLA.  His Tuesday, Oct. 19, presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center Ballroom.

Overcoming adversity

"Pain, Hope, Questions and Community" are the themes of "An Evening with To Write Love on Her Arms," sponsored by the Office of Student Life, Housing and Residence Life and University Program Board at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 8, in Pruis Hall.

In 2006, Jamie Tworkowski founded To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a nonprofit group dedicated to helping those who suffer from depression, addiction, self-injury and suicidal tendencies find hope, support and love. What began as a simple attempt to tell the story of a friend in need of treatment soon became an Internet phenomenon and global movement.

To help fund his friend's treatment, Tworkowski created a blog on MySpace and began selling T-shirts. Supported by the bands Switchfoot, Anberlin and Paramore, TWLOHA became widely recognized in the music world as its message spread from concert venue to venue, across towns and cities all over the world. TWLOHA has the largest online audience of any nonprofit on MySpace and Facebook. It has responded to nearly 100,000 messages from more than 40 countries and donated nearly $500,000 to treatment and recovery organizations.

NBC Nightly News, CNN, MTV and Spin Magazine have profiled Tworkowski's work. He speaks frequently, bringing a message of hope and community to audiences at universities and conferences throughout the United States and the world.

Six-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings brings her perspective on "Overcoming Adversity" to Pruis Hall on Monday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.

The Indiana Fever's do-everything forward has experienced 10 seasons in the WNBA, earning league Player of the Week honors 12 times as well as an invitation to President George W. Bush's State of the Union Address in 2004.  In 2006, she was a finalist for the Wooden Citizenship Cup, presented annually to the nation's top professional athlete who exhibits outstanding community service. A year later, she was honored alongside former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy as a recipient of the Marshall W. "Major" Taylor Award, recognizing top African-American coaches, athletes and administrators who have made significant local and national contributions to youth.

Off the court, Catchings is one of the country's most highly regarded citizen-athletes. She is the founder of Catch the Stars Foundation Inc. and gives countless hours of her time each year to teaching at basketball camps and clinics and motivating youth to be all that they can be. She also is very active with the NBA/WNBA "Read to Achieve" campaign — on top of being the current president of the WNBA Players Association.

Catchings received her undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Tennessee, where she was named an All-American. Born with a hearing disability, she wore a hearing aid as a young girl. In 2000, she was honored with the Reynolds Society Achievement Award by the world-famous Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. The award is given yearly to an individual challenged by the loss of "hearing, vision, or speech whose accomplishments are an inspiration to others."

Catchings' appearance at Ball State is sponsored by the Office of Student Life, Housing and Residence Life, Disabled Student Development, Athletics and Freshman Connections.

Art and aging

Also speaking on campus during fall semester will be Bruce Cole, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and currently president and CEO of the American Revolution Center at Valley Forge, Pa. He will deliver the annual Edmund F. Petty Memorial Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 14, beginning at 5 p.m. in Recital Hall of the Fine Arts Building.

Established in 1987 by the Petty family along with the Margaret Ball Petty Foundation and the Ball Brothers Foundation, the Edmund F. Petty Memorial Lecture Fund is an endowment used to bring nationally recognized artists or art historians to campus to serve as visiting lecturers, with an emphasis on benefiting the students and faculty of Ball State and the Muncie community.

Meanwhile, Walter M. Bortz, one of America's most distinguished scientific experts
on aging, will present "Dare to Be 100" as this year's Kirkpatrick Lecture, supported by a gift from the family of J. Walter and Arrena I. Kirkpatrick. Bortz, currently clinical associate professor of medicine at Stanford University, will speak on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 5:30 p.m. in the Alumni Center.

Formerly president of the American Geriatric Society and co-chair of the American Medical Association's Task Force on Aging, Bortz is chairman of the board of directors of Fifty-Plus Lifelong Fitness and is the Founding Chair of the Medical Advisory Board of Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation. He believes that geriatric medicine is the job of nearly all physicians and he has been active in establishing a common geriatrics exam for internal medicine and family practice.

An avid runner, the 75-year old Bortz also has completed 35 marathons, including the 2005 Boston Marathon, and is a popular columnist for Runner's World magazine.

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