Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center

Levitt Center
315-859-4451 or 315-859-4894

The Levitt Center is located in Kirner-Johnson 251.

Levitt Speaker Series

2003-2004 Levitt Center Speakers


e theme for 2003-2004 was:  The Environment:  Public Policy and Social Responsibility



Ralph Nader, "Politics and the Environment: Winners and Losers"

Tuesday, February 10, College Chapel at 8 p.m. Ralph

Nader, a consumer advocate and third party presidential candidate in 2000, has worked arduously over the last thirty years to protect people from corporate abuse and unresponsive government.  He was instrumental in the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and has helped draft environment-focused laws including the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Air and Water Pollution Control Laws.  The author of a number of best-selling books, Nader has founded a number of citizen groups including student public research interest groups (PIRGs) in over twenty states. more.. Co-sponsored by the Office of the President.

Alex Kotlowitz, "The Things They Carry:  Growing Up Poor in the World's Richest Nation"

                                                 Wednesday, February 25, Science Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

Alex Kotlowitz is a journalist and visiting professor at Northwestern University who lectures extensively on race and poverty in America.  His two award-winning books are: There Are No Children Here and The Other Side of the River.


Richard Rhodes, "Comparing Energies"

Wednesday, March 3, College Chapel at 8 p.m.

Author of award winning books including The Making of the Atom Bomb, Rhodes has been outspoken about the relative environmental advantages of nuclear power.  In journals such as Foreign Affairs (2000) he carefully compares the nuclear option to both fossil and renewable systems.  In a talk in which controversy is anticipated, Rhodes will make the argument for nuclear power and address issues many see as roadblocks. Co-sponsored by the Office of the President.

Dai Qing, "The Three Gorges Dam: China's Environmental and Political Crisis"

Wednesday, March 10, Events Barn at 7:30 p.m.

Dai Qing is the author of Yangtze! Yangtze!, a chronicle of the world?s largest, and potentially dangerous, Three Gorges Dam project being built on the Yangtze River. She was persecuted for her participation in Tiananmen and was a jail mate of Mao's widow. The recipient of many prestigious awards (e.g., Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Freedom Forum Fellowship at Columbia University, and Goldman Environmental Award), she has also published ten books in Chinese and English. Dai Qing will discuss the environmental impact of this Dam project, and the on-going social-political changes in China.

Dr. Nina Schoch DVM, "The Adirondack Cooperative Loon Program: A New Approach to Wildlife Understanding"

Tuesday, March 30, K-J Red Pit, 7:30 p.m.

Nina Schoch was a veterinarian in the Adirondacks who has given up her practice to devote full time working for The Wilderness Society. She travels throughout the North Country teaching about work to preserve the wilderness, and specifically about the Adirondack Cooperative Loon Program. Co-sponsored by the Dean of Faculty.

"Faculty Forum on Climate Change"

Friday, April 2, Kirner Johnson 109 (Red Pit) at 4:00 p.m.

Professors from four different disciplines came together on April 2 to discuss the evidence for global warming, its impact on plant and animal species, the Kyoto Accord, and ethical issues and political options for addressing climate change. Professors Ian Rosenstein of chemistry, Eugene Domack of geology, Bill Pfitsch of biology and Peter Cannavo of government gave presentations on climate change from the perspectives of their disciplines.  This event was co-sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program. more


Robert Greenstein, "The Future of the Federal Budget"

Monday, April 12, College Chapel at 7:30 p.m

Robert Greenstein is the director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  CBPP is respected for its timely, well-researched papers on federal budget, taxation, income distribution, and social programs.  Greenstein is a key Washington player on these issues, frequently quoted in the media.

Panel: "Forum: Governing the Adirondacks"

April 13, Kirner-Johnson 109 (Red Pit), at 7 p.m.

Five leaders of organizations which deal with the governance of the Adirondack Park came together to speak about the Park's future in a panel discussion on April 13. The panel members were Ross Whaley, Chair of the Adirondack Park Agency, John Sheehan of the Adirondack Council, Peter Litchfield of the Blue Line Council, Virginia Brandreth of the Adirondack Landowners Association, and J.R. Risley, Supervisor of the Town of Inlet and member of the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages. The panel discussion was sponsored by the Sophomore Seminar "Forever Wild: The Cultural and Natural Histories of the Adirondack Park," as well as the Levitt Center's series on "The Environment: Public Policy and Social Responsibility." more

John W. Berry, "Acculturation and Adaptation among Immigrants and Refugees"

Wednesday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the Chemistry Auditorium

John Berry is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Psychology at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. He is well known for his research on intercultural relations, including immigrant and refugee adaptation, racism and ethnocentrism, and multiculturalism. He has been the principal investigator for several large-scale studies of refugee and immigrant adaptation in Canada, and in both cross-cultural and social psychology research, he is concerned for the application of knowledge to social policy. Dr. Berry's main research is in the area of cross-cultural psychology, with current projects dealing with acculturation and cognition. He has published extensively, including the three-volume Handbook of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Sunday, September 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel: "Alternative to globalization and war," a lecture by Dr. Vandana Shiva, Director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy, New Delhi, India.

Winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize in 1993, Dr. Shiva was given the Right Livelihood Award, the prize for outstanding vision and work on behalf of our planet and its people, for "placing women and ecology at the heart of modern development discourse."                                           Co-sponsored by the Kirkland Project, the Levitt Public Affairs Center and the Department of Biology.

Wednesday, October 8, 8:00 p.m. in the Chemistry Auditorium: "Applying science and economics to the study of air pollution in the Adirondacks," a lecture by Dallas Burtraw, Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future.

A specialist in the Quality of Environment division, Burtraw is an expert in the restructuring of electricity utility markets and the social costs of environmental pollution.  Recently, Burtraw?s work has focused on tradable emission permits, acid rain, and valuing resource improvements in the Adirondacks.

Friday, November 7 at 4:00 p.m. in K-J Red Pit: "Educational Possibilities in the Age of Terror," a lecture by David W. Orr, Chair and Professor of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College.

On Friday, November 7, at 8:00 p.m. in the Events Barn Karl Zinsmeister will share his experiences as a reporter imbedded with the 82nd Airborne Division during the recent war with Iraq. His recently published book, Boots on the Ground, describes his month-long tour in Iraq. Mr. Zinsmeister, a graduate of Yale, has been aide to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and is a J. B. Fuqua Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He is currently editor-in-chief of The American Enterprise, a Washington, D.C.-based magazine of politics, business, and culture. A reception and book signing will follow his talk.

Thursday, November 20 at 7:30pm in the K-J Auditorium: "Promise and peril of environmental justice," a lecture by Christopher H. Foreman, Jr. Chair of the Social Policy Program at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Nina Schoch, DVM, presented an interactive lecture titled "The Adirondack Loon Program: A New Approach to Wildlife Understanding" on March 30. She explained in-depth not only the general background information of loons, but also the work of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society and the Adirondack Loon program. Schoch was a veterinarian in the Adirondacks who has given up her practice to devote herself to full time work for The Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Adirondack Park.