March 7, 2011
Vol. 26 , No. 10
Secrets in the Sand
MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2011
Paleontologist, conservationist, educator and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Louise Leakey is the youngest member of the famous Leakey family of fossil hunters in East Africa. With an adventurous spirit and unwavering focus on the advancement and understanding of human origins, she has spent much of her life leading expeditions into the remote badlands of northern Kenya. From these groundbreaking forays, Dr. Leakey and her team have yielded some of our deepest insights into what it is that makes us human.
Her team, The Koobi Fora Research Project, has made discoveries that have shaped modern thinking on the journey of humanity over the past 4 million years. In 1999, on a National Geographic-sponsored expedition to the Turkana Basin, Leakey uncovered a 3.5-million-year-old skull and partial jaw believed to belong to a new branch of early human named Kenyanthropus platyops. This remarkable discovery challenged the straight-line story of human evolution.
From her earliest childhood spent among the nomadic desert people of Lake Turkana, Leakey has developed a deep attachment to the wildlife and cultural heritage of northern Kenya. She spent much of her youth on field expeditions and went on to receive a B.S. in geology and biology at the University of Bristol, and a Ph.D. at University College, London.
Today she draws on her scientific background in human origins to work with the local communities in building a future for this region in a dramatically changing world.
Having developed a state of the art research center in the Turkana Basin, Leakey has gained a unique perspective on the protection of the desert environment in Africa. She was recently selected to participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the aim of which is to understand the problems and risks the world faces in the future.
Time is of the Essence - Women and Change
TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2011
Angela Oh is a a Los Angeles-based civil rights advocate, lawyer and the director of the Western Justice Center Foundation, which promotes non-violent methods of conflict resolution. She also was widely viewed as a spokesperson for Asian-Americans in the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
In the late 1990s, Oh served as a member of President Bill Clinton's President’s Initiative on Race, where she served as part of a seven-member advisory board discussing the effects of race, racism and racial differences on the United States. She has also focused on discrimination, harassment and other civil rights issues in her legal career.
Her additional public service includes serving as the Chair of Senator Barbara Boxer's Federal Judicial Nominations Committee for two years, as a Lawyer Delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, and as a member of the Federal Magistrate Judge Selection Panel in the Central District of California. She currently serves on the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and in 2011 will be co-chair of the Multi-cultural Bar Alliance, an organization that represents more than twenty bar organizations in southern California.
Oh received her B.A. and M.P.H. from the University of California, Los Angeles and her J.D. from King Hall at the University of California, Davis. She is also an ordained Zen Buddhist priest in the Rinzai Sect. She has taught at UCLA's School of Law, UCLA's Asian American Studies Department, U.C. Irvine's School of Social Sciences and Political Science and the University of Southern California's Unruh Institute of Politics.
Angela Oh’s return visit to CMC is jointly sponsored by the Kravis Leadership Institute and the Athenaeum.
Mind in the Making
MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011
Ellen Galinsky helped establish the field of work and family life at Bank Street College of Education, where she was on the faculty for twenty-five years. She has written more than forty books and over 100 articles in academic journals, books and magazines.
Galinsky is the President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute (FWI), where she co-directs the National Study of the Changing Workforce, the most comprehensive nationally representative study of the U.S. workforce — updated every five years and originally conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor in the 1977. She also co-directs When Work Works, a project on workplace flexibility and effectiveness, and has conducted a nationally representative study that has tracked trends in employment benefits, policies and practices since 1998.
At FWI, Ms. Galinsky is also directing the national Mind in the Making learning campaign which includes her new book, Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs (2010), and Vook (video book), learning modules for early childhood teachers, learning modules and online videos for families, a DVD of cutting-edge child development research, community mobilization efforts and major media partnerships. Mind in the Making has had more than 150 million media impressions since its publication.
A leading authority on work family issues, Ms. Galinsky presented at the 2000 White House Conference on Teenagers and the 1997 White House Conference on Child Care. She planned and participated at the March 2010 White House Forum on Workplace. She has also served as the elected President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the largest professional group of early childhood educators.
Galinsky is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2004 Distinguished Achievement Award from Vassar College and the 2005 Outstanding Volunteer and Professional Achievement Award from the National Cathedral School. A popular keynote speaker, she appears regularly at national conferences, on television and in the media, including the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, World News Tonight, and Oprah.
Galinsky earned her B.A. in Child Study from Vassar and went on to complete a Master of Science degree in Child Development/Education from Bank Street College of Education.
Ellen Galinsky’s previous lecture at the Athenaeum was in April, 2000, as a guest of the newly established Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children. It is a privilege to welcome her back to Claremont McKenna College.
India, Pakistan, and Democracy: Solving the Puzzle of Divergent Paths
TUESDAY, MARCH 22, 2011
It is rare that two countries as similar as India and Pakistan have such clearly contrasting political regime histories. In 1947, these large, multi-religious and multi-lingual countries shared a geographic and historical space, with a virtually indistinguishable level of extreme poverty and extreme inequality. All of those factors militate against democracy….what did they do?
Philip Oldenburg, a leading scholar of South Asian culture and history, unravels the story of Pakistan, delving into the tumultuous past of this Muslim nation. Carefully examining its struggle to establish a national identity throughout the half-century of its existence, he narrates Pakistan's history from the viewpoint of its Muslim majority population while also explaining the perspectives of those nations with whom Pakistan has been at war.
Oldenburg, whose Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago (1974), is a political scientist specializing in South Asia, who has taught at Columbia University since 1977, and has served there as Director and Associate Director of the Southern Asian Institute (now re-named the South Asia Institute). He has also taught at the Universities of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Pennsylvania, Chicago, and Texas (at Austin), and at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins. His published scholarly work focuses mainly on Indian politics, including local government and elections. He was editor or co-editor of ten volumes in The Asia Society’s India Briefing series. His most recent publication is a book, India, Pakistan, and Democracy: Solving the Puzzle of Divergent Paths (London and New York: Routledge, 2010).
The Thank You Economy
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011
LUNCHEON 11:30 a.m.; LECTURE 12:00 p.m.
Social media expert, entrepreneur and bestselling author, Gary Vaynerchuk is in the top 100 people followed on Twitter and a frequent speaker at noted events such as the TED conference, South by Southwest Interactive conference and the New Media and Web 2.0 expos. A weekly contributor to TheStreet.com and Popeater.com, Gary is regularly asked to consult on social media for some of the world's largest and most recognizable companies like Google, Johnson & Johnson, Disney, Proctor & Gamble, and Pepsi.
He is best known for revolutionizing the wine world with his irreverent wine reviews on WineLibraryTV (has over 100,000 viewers daily) and using social media to propel his family owned liquor store from a $4 million to a $60 million business in a few short years. In 2009, Gary became a best selling author with his first business book, Crush It! Why Now Is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion, which has since been translated into over sixteen languages. He also launched a social media consultancy firm, Vaynermedia to help Fortune 500 companies, celebrities, sporting teams and entrepreneurs expand and build brand equity.
In The Thank You Economy (2011), Vaynerchuk calls out for the humanization of business and the need to strengthen the relationship between businesses and their customers using social media and other new communication strategies. According to Vaynerchuk, the ‘Thank You Economy’ is the way we buy and sell, the way we're interacting as consumers, as employees, as entrepreneurs on all levels, right now. The way the marketplace functions is evolving at a record pace. Top-down, one-way exchanges are gone, replaced by relationships based on open, honest, and constant communication between customers and business. Today, individuals and brands that ‘out-care’ and ‘out-love’ their competition — with an emphasis on quality, value, responsiveness, and attention to detail, among other essentials — see the biggest returns.
Gary Vaynerchuk’s visit to the Athenaeum is made possible through collaboration with the Drucker Business Forum.
Assembly of a Retrovirus Particle: Lessons for HIV from the Chicken Virus RSV
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011
Viruses are among the most threatening natural agents against humanity. Research efforts during the past several decades have uncovered much about how viruses like poliovirus and HIV attack the human body. A large part of what we know about the biology of these human viruses and promising drug treatments, however, stems from research on non-human viruses.
Volker Vogt, Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology at Cornell University, will discuss his work on assembly of the avian Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) and its implications for drug targets of HIV.
Vogt earned his B.S. in chemistry from CalTech, his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research before joining the faculty at Cornell. In 1992-1993 he was a Senior Fogarty Fellow while on sabbatical leave at the Germany Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. Vogt is currently Director of Graduate Studies in the Field of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology at Cornell.
Vogt’s academic career includes several important discoveries. His doctoral work, done in the laboratory of James Watson at Harvard, included some of the earliest work showing how bacterial viruses use molecular switches to infect. During his postdoctoral research, Vogt discovered a fundamental process of retroviral infection – a large viral protein is cleaved into many smaller ones essential for viral propagation. One of these proteins, known as Gag, turned out to be a core building block of the infectious viral particle of RSV and HIV, and has served as a focus of Vogt’s laboratory ever since.
Advancing Equity and Quality in Latin American Education
THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011
LUNCHEON 11:30 a.m.; LECTURE 12:00 p.m.
Vicky Colbert has been awarded the sixth annual Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership. The Kravis Prize, which carries a $250,000 award designated to the recipient organization, recognizes extraordinary leadership in the nonprofit sector. Ms. Colbert will be presented with The Kravis Prize at a ceremony on March 22 in New York City.
Ms. Colbert founded the nonprofit organization http://www.escuelanueva.org/pagina/index.php?codmenu=0&idioma=2Escuela Nueva Foundation, which aims to improve the quality of education in low-income schools across the globe. Since its inception, the organization’s innovative educational model has reached more than five million children in Latin America and has influenced education models in Africa and Asia.
“Vicky Colbert is a true pioneer in education, and her commitment in Latin America is inspiring,” said Henry Kravis. “She has taken her experiences as UNICEF’s regional adviser for education in the Americas and Colombia’s vice minister of education and created an organization that affects change not only in her home country, but globally.”
Founded in 1987, the internationally recognized Escuela Nueva Foundation works to alleviate inequality and poverty through a collaborative learning educational program in Ms. Colbert’s native Colombia. The program provides effective teacher training, improves curriculum and fosters classroom environments that are engaging and compelling to students. The Escuela Nueva model moves away from traditional “teacher-centered” environments, which often emphasize rote memorization directed by the teacher, and instead encourages “child-centered” environments that fully engage students and allow them to learn at their own pace.
“I have always known that low quality education leads to an unqualified labor force, inequality and poverty. It is this injustice and inequity that led me to rethink education and craft a solution to improve its quality and effectiveness. At Escuela Nueva Foundation, we work to establish schools as the basic unit of change, nurturing a culture of peace and citizenship; allowing boys and girls to learn to learn and participate, and empowering them and their communities,” explained Vicky Colbert.
“Every year we seek nonprofits that achieve a far-reaching, tangible impact, and Ms. Colbert not only has improved the lives of more than five million children in Latin America, she also has created a successful and compelling education model whose cost-effectiveness is particularly relevant for low income schools,” said Marie-Josée Kravis.
Established in 2006, The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership recognizes and celebrates extraordinary accomplishment and bold leadership in the nonprofit sector. The Kravis Prize is presented and administered by Claremont McKenna College and Marie-Josée Kravis and Henry Kravis. Mrs. Kravis, an economist, is a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute; Mr. Kravis, founding partner, co-chairman and co-CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., is an alumnus and trustee of Claremont McKenna College.
Past recipients of The Kravis Prize are: Roy Prosterman (2006), founder of the Rural Development Institute; Fazle Abed (2007), founder of BRAC; the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) (2008); Dr. Sakena Yacoobi (2009), founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning; and Pratham (2010), India’s largest nonprofit dedicated to improving the reading, writing, and basic arithmetic skills of children ages six through 14.
To learn more about The Kravis Prize, please visit www.kravisprize.org.
Mariachi Divas: A Musical Celebration in Honor of Cesar Chavez
CINDY SHEA, trumpet, founding director
GINA DURAN, trumpet
ARIANA MEJIA, flute, vocals
CLAUDIA CUBIDES, congas, percussion
DIANA MCCONNELL, guitarron
MAYRA MARTINEZ, vihuela
JEANETTE MARTINEZ, guitar, vocals
MARTHA RAMIREZ, vihuela, guitar, vocals
ANGEL GARCIA, violin, vocals
LORENA PANELLA, guitar, vocals
ROSALIE RODRIGUEZ, violin
STEPHANIE MARTINEZ, violin, vocals
VALERIE CARLOS, guitar, vocals
THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011
We are thrilled to welcome back the Mariachi Divas for our annual Cesar Chavez Day celebration! The Divas are an award-winning all-female mariachi ensemble with members hailing from many backgrounds and from all over the world. The Diva's Director, Cindy Shea, describes their mission: “"Music is a way of uniting our cultural backgrounds. Our foundation and roots are mariachi, but we have added extra elements to reflect our diversity."
Founded in 1999, the Divas have performed at venues across the country and have accompanied Grammy-winning artists including Marco Antonio Solis, Pablo Montero, Graciela Beltran, Natalia Jimenez, Paulina Rubio and the world-renowned Mariachi Vargas. They also performed for the inaugurations of LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a campaign rally by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and at events for the Presidents of Mexico and South Korea. The Divas are proud to be known as the official mariachis of Disneyland.
The Divas first performed at the Athenaeum in honor of Cesar Chavez Day in 2004.
The Mariachi Divas have recorded six CDs, the latest being Viva la Diva (2010) and 10 Aniversario (2009) in honor of their first ten years together. In 2009, they won a Grammy Award for Best Regional Mexican Album for their Canciones de Amor CD (2008). That was also the first time that an all-female mariachi troupe has ever been nominated for and won a Grammy Award.
To sample some music and video clips, check out their website at http://www.mariachidivas.com. Be sure to put this Ath event on your calendar; it’s a tradition you don’t want to miss!
MARIAN MINER COOK ATHENAEUM