Save the dates: 2015 fall lectures preview

Legal experts discuss Supreme Court rulings on free speech, same-sex marriage and lethal injections. A con artist-turned-FBI-informant offers tips to prevent identity theft. An Emmy Award-winning journalist reveals what it takes to win the Iowa presidential caucuses.

The 2015 fall lecture series offers a plethora of topics that are sure to inform, educate and enlighten. A few programs are highlighted below. To learn more about these and other upcoming lectures, check out the complete lectures schedule online. All programs are free and open to the public.

Documentary and discussion, "Sex Trafficking in the USA," Sept. 8 (7 p.m., Memorial Union, Great Hall)

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 300,000 children are at risk for sexual slavery in this country. "Sex Trafficking in the USA" is the first episode of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's documentary, A Path Appears. In the documentary, the reporters reveal the complex circumstances behind these shocking numbers. They also highlight efforts to reshape law enforcement's response to prostitution and sex trafficking. A discussion will follow the 84-minute film.

Panel discussion, "The U.S. Supreme Court on Free Speech, Same-sex Marriage and Lethal Injections," Sept. 9 (8 p.m., MU Sun Room)

Panelists include Mark Kende, director of the Drake Constitutional Law Center; Rita Bettis, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa; and Dirk Deam, ISU senior lecturer in political science. Clark Wolf, director of Iowa State's Bioethics Program, will moderate.

"Catch Me If You Can," Frank Abagnale, Sept. 21 (8 p.m., MU Great Hall)

Abagnale, a former con artist whose crimes inspired the memoir and movie Catch Me If You Can, is one of the world's most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents. Following his five-year prison term, Abagnale became a fraud expert for the FBI and now is one of the world's foremost authorities on fraud prevention.

"What Does it Take to Win the Iowa Presidential Caucuses?" Juju Chang, Sept. 29 (8 p.m., MU Great Hall)

An Emmy Award-winning journalist, Chang is co-anchor of ABC's Nightline and also reports for the Good Morning America and 20/20 news programs. She covers global and national events, such as the Haiti earthquake (2010) and the Newtown, Connecticut, mass shooting (2012). Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in California, Chang graduated with honors from Stanford University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

"Wage Inequality: Why it Matters and What to Do About It," Heidi Shierholz, Oct. 5 (8 p.m., MU Great Hall)

Shierholz is the chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor. Previously, she worked for the Economic Policy Institute, where she co-authored two editions of The State of Working America. Shierholz has researched and widely spoken about the economy, especially how it impacts middle- and low-income families. She earned an undergraduate degree from Grinnell College, a master's in statistics from Iowa State, and master's and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Michigan.

"Stopping Child Slavery in Ghana," James Kofi Annan, Oct. 8 (8 p.m., MU Great Hall)

Annan is a former child slave and leads Challenging Heights, a West African children's rights organization that has rescued more than 1,400 children from slavery and supported thousands more through education and empowerment programs. At 6 years old, Annan was enslaved in Ghana's Lake Volta fishing industry, where he dove deep into muddy waters to untangle nets, all while facing sickness, starvation and torture. He escaped slavery as a teen and worked his way through school, earning a university degree. In 2007, Annan left a lucrative banking career to dedicate himself to the mission of Challenging Heights.