'Fall' for this semester's lecture series

Just in case your schedule isn't quite filled to capacity, mark your calendar with this fall's lectures lineup.

An array of speakers, including Karen Hughes, global vice chair of Burson-Marsteller and a former adviser to President George W. Bush; Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and MSNBC political analyst; and Travis Taylor, National Geographic Channel's Rocket City Rednecks ringleader, all will make stops on campus this fall. To find out more about these and other upcoming lectures, access the lectures schedule online. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Here's a look at some of this fall's lecture highlights.

"Who's Up, Who's Down and What's Really Going On," Eugene Robinson, Sept. 18 (8 p.m., Memorial Union Great Hall)

In 2009, Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his columns about the 2008 presidential race and Barack Obama's election as the first black president of the United States. Robinson also is an MSNBC political analyst and author of Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America. He has been a columnist with The Washington Post since 1980.

"The End of Money," David Wolman, Sept. 19 (8 p.m., MU Great Hall)

A contributing editor at Wired and author of The End of Money, Wolman shares how going cashless will impact the world; your wallet; and the retail, banking and finance industries. In his book, Wolman investigates alternative cashless currencies and technologies, including mobile-based banking systems.

"A New American Space Plan," Travis Taylor, Sept. 20 (7 p.m., Stephens Auditorium)

Taylor is the leader of the Rocket City Rednecks, a National Geographic Channel television series that follows the weekend experiments of five rocket scientists from Huntsville, Ala., home to NASA's Marshall Flight Center. Taylor has worked with the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA for 25 years, holds five degrees and is working toward his second Ph.D.

"Me the People: One Man's Quest to Rewrite the Constitution," Kevin Bleyer, Sept. 26 (8 p.m., MU Great Hall)

Bleyer, an Emmy Award-winning writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, hopes to end the constant bickering about the U.S. Constitution simply by rewriting it. With humor and wit, Bleyer's presentation examines the nation's founding document, attempting to bring it into the 21st century.

"The CEOs of Leadership: Clarity, Example and Optimism," Karen Hughes, Oct. 3 (noon, MU Great Hall)

Hughes worked more than 30 years in public administration, public policy and communications. As Undersecretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs (2005-07), she reshaped the department's communications efforts. Hughes also was strategic adviser to President George W. Bush (2001-02), managing the White House offices of communications, media affairs, speechwriting and press secretary. She currently serves as worldwide vice chair of Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations firm.

"At Home and Abroad," Bill Bryson, Oct. 28 (8 p.m., Stephens Auditorium)

Bryson is a travel writer and author of more than two dozen books, including A Walk in the Woods, about his hiking experience on the Appalachian Trail; Bill Bryson's African Diary, chronicling his trip to Kenya; and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, his memoir about growing up in Des Moines. Bryson's latest book, One Summer: America, 1927, delves into historic U.S. events that took place during the summer of 1927, including Charles Lindbergh's nonstop flight across the Atlantic and Babe Ruth's home-run record.