Instead of spending your evenings flipping channels or binge-watching the latest Netflix must-see, attend a couple (or several) lectures on campus instead. There's an array of topics to explore, with a few highlighted below. Check out the complete list of lectures online. All programs are free and open to the public.
Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit organization that works to close the gender gap in technology and prepare young women for future jobs. In her new book of the same title, Saujani proposes a new model of female leadership that focuses on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course, both personally and professionally.
Saujani's presentation is the keynote lecture in a year's worth of events celebrating the 30th anniversary of Iowa State's Program for Women in Science and Engineering.
Panel discussion, "Iowa Caucuses 2016: What Happened and What's Next?" Feb. 2 (1 p.m., MU Campanile Room)
A panel of ISU faculty will analyze the caucus results and discuss implications for the 2016 presidential campaign for both parties. Panelists are Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, who has spent 30 years covering, working in and studying political campaigns; and David Andersen, assistant professor of political science, who researches voter behavior and the impact of social media on campaigns. Steffen Schmidt, University Professor of political science, will moderate the discussion.
"My Holocaust Story: A Message of Determination, Perseverance, Faith and Hope," Marion Blumenthal Lazan, Feb. 8 (7 p.m., MU Great Hall)
Lazan provides a first-hand account of her family's life in Germany during World War II, from the events leading up to Kristallnacht, to their imprisonment in concentration camps (including Bergen-Belsen) and their liberation in April 1945, when she was 11 years old. Lazan is the coauthor of Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story and the subject of the PBS documentary Marion's Triumph.
"How to Succeed Ethically When Others Bend the Rules: The VW and GM Scandals," Frank Bucaro, Feb. 25 (8 p.m., MU Great Hall)
Bucaro is a senior ethics adviser and content provider for the Automotive Institute of Ethics, and an ethics content provider for Compliance Velocity, a mobile app for pharmaceutical companies. He works with the world's leading companies on the importance of ethics and the power of value-based leadership. His talk highlights companies like Volkswagen and General Motors as examples of the problems and consequences that arise when ethical behavior is not defined. Bucaro is the author of Trust Me! Insights into Ethical Leadership, and is known for his training programs about building business practices that are both responsible and profitable.
Johnson is the futurist-in-residence at Arizona State University's Center for Science and the Imagination, and a professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. He was the first futurist at Intel Corp., where he worked for a decade designing more than 2 billion microprocessors. As an applied futurist, Johnson works with governments, militaries, trade organizations, start-up companies and multinational corporations to help them develop actionable 10- to 15-year visions. In his work, called futurecasting, he uses ethnographic field studies, technology research, cultural history, trend data, global interviews and science fiction to provide companies with a roadmap of the future.
"The Future of Water: Assessing Sustainability from Space," Bridget Scanlon, April 21 (8 p.m., MU Sun Room)
Scanlon heads the Sustainable Water Resources Program and is a senior research scientist for the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas, Austin. She studies the impact of climate variability and land use change on groundwater recharge (the way water enters an aquifer) and the quality and quantity of water resources. Her research uses Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite, surface water and groundwater data to evaluate ways to deal with drought, especially in California, Colorado and Texas.