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

Panel Discussion on Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

October 4th, 7:00pm - Taylor Science Center 3024

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Steve Culbertson ’79 – President/CEO Youth Service America
Alon Hillel-Tuch ’07 – Co-Founder & CEO – RocketHub (crowd-funding)
Haley Reimbold ’06 – Co-Founder of UnderGround Cafe (Utica) now with Vera Institute of Justice (NYC)
Nancy Roob ’87 – President, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and Hamilton College Trustee
Mark Montgomery – Founder, The Montgomery Experience (Bridgewater, NY camp for kids with cancer)



Prudence Bushnell: "Leadership: Lessons from Nairobi ’98 and Benghazi ’12"

October 22, 4:15pm - Red Pit

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As CEO of Sage Associates, Prudence Bushnell lectures and consults on a range of international and leadership issues.  Her motivational speeches on the importance of personal leadership resonate equally in the private, public, and academic sectors and reflect her experiences as a diplomat, leader and educator.  After a successful career in management and leadership training, Ambassador Bushnell joined the U.S. Foreign Service, eventually serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1993-1996), Ambassador to the Republics of Kenya (1996-1999) and Guatemala (1999-2002), and as Dean of the Leadership and Management School at the Foreign Service Institute (2002-2005).

Ambassador Bushnell’s achievements have been recognized through numerous Department of State awards, the Department of Commerce Peace through Commerce Award, the Service to America Career Achievement medal and three honorary doctoral degrees. The Nairobi Mission Award for Heroism noted her community’s response to the 1998 Al Qaeda bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Glamour magazine named her one of the Top Ten Women of the Year and Vanity Fair magazine featured her in its Hall of Fame in 1998.   Her efforts to bring attention to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda were featured in the 2005 film, Sometimes in April, in which she is portrayed by actress Debra Winger. She is one of three ambassadors highlighted in the National Geographic special, Inside an Embassy. In 2010, Ms. Bushnell was given the Rising Voice of Woman Award by the International Women’s Associates of Chicago.

Ambassador Bushnell’s written works on leadership and terrorism have been published by the Cambridge University Press and the Foreign Service Journal. She is sought out as a public speaker and applauded by Hamilton College students who attended her class on “Africa’s Lessons for Our Future,” which she designed as the 2010 Sol M. Linowitz Visiting Professor of International Relations.  She is a frequent guest on television and radio news programs. Born in Washington, D.C., and educated in Germany, France, Pakistan and Iran, Ms. Bushnell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

New York Times Op-Ed Piece by Bushnell, Published 9/13/12: In Libya and Elsewhere, Our Diplomats Deserve Better

Prudence Bushnell on Talk of the Nation

Sustainability Program Lectures

Michael Greenstone: "Is Adaptation the Only Solution to Climate Change?"

October 2, 7:30 pm - Chapel

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Michael Greenstone is the 3M Professor of Environmental Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Director of the Hamilton Project.

His research is focused on estimating the costs and benefits of environmental quality.  He has worked extensively on the Clean Air Act and examined its impacts on air quality, manufacturing activity, housing prices, and infant mortality to assess its costs and benefits.  He is currently engaged in a large scale project to estimate the economic costs of climate change.  Other current projects include examinations of: the benefits of the Superfund program; the economic and health impacts of indoor air pollution in Orissa, India; individual’s revealed value of a statistical life; the impact of air pollution on life expectancies in China; the efficacy of environmental regulations in India; and the costs and benefits of an emissions trading market in India. Greenstone is also interested in the consequences of government regulation, more generally. He is conducting or has conducted research on: the effects of federal antidiscrimination laws on black infant mortality rates; the impacts of mandated disclosure laws on equity markets; and the welfare consequences of state and local subsidies given to businesses that locate within their jurisdictions.

He served as the Chief Economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors in the first year of his Administration. He also served as an editor of The Review of Economics and Statistics and as a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board’s Environmental Economics Advisory Committee.  His research has been funded by the NSF, NIH, and EPA, as well as private foundations. In 2004, Professor Greenstone received the 12th Annual Kenneth J. Arrow Award for Best Paper in the Field of Health Economics.


Paul Cawood Hellmund: "Greenways: Reconnecting the social and ecological fabric of a fragmented world."

October 17, 7:30 pm - Events Barn

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Paul Cawood Hellmund was educated (at Harvard and Colorado State) as a landscape architect and planner. The focus of his design, research, practice, and teaching is improving the relationship between people and nature, especially in urban, suburban, and degraded landscapes. He is a full member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Paul became director and core faculty member at Conway in 2005. Born and raised in Panama, he has brought a pronounced national and international focus to the Conway School. He has helped coordinate student projects outside New England and in Panama, Italy, Chile, and Mexico.

He is co-author of Designing Greenways (2006) and he co-edited Ecology of Greenways (1993), which was recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects with a national award. He also was principal author of Colorado State Parks’ widely circulated “Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind.”

He sees finding a balance between nature and people as a key factor in creating sustainable communities and he seeks collaborative design as essential to progress in sustainability.

Paul has taught undergraduate and graduate students of landscape architecture in courses in sustainable design, landscape ecology, environmental analysis, and landscape planning, and organized interdisciplinary projects exploring various aspects of protected areas planning in the U.S. and abroad. He formerly taught at Colorado State University, Virginia Tech, and Harvard University.


Laura Steinberg: "Community, Infrastructure Resilience, and Disasters: Why Can’t We Get It Right?"

November 7th, 4:15 pm - KJ Auditorium (KJ 125)

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Laura J. Steinberg is Dean of the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University. She holds appointments in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and in the Public Administration Department of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She received a B.S.E. in Civil and Urban Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.S and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Duke University. Prior to joining Syracuse University in 2008, Dr. Steinberg was the D. J. Lindsay Embrey Trustee Professor and Department Chair of Environmental and Civil Engineering at Southern Methodist University, and Assistant and Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tulane University. While on leave from Tulane, she served as Faculty Scholar in the Critical Infrastructure Protection Group at the US Department of Homeland Security.

Dr. Steinberg’s research focuses on environmental and statistical modeling, risk assessment, and hazards management. It is marked by an interdisciplinary and public policy orientation, which has led her to work on many collaborative teams with engineers, social scientists, and policy analysts. Among other assignments, Dr. Steinberg has consulted to the EPA on technology diffusion, the Department of Energy on risk assessment, and Los Alamos National Labs on critical infrastructure protection.

Prior to her work in academia, Dr. Steinberg was an environmental engineering department head at the planning and engineering firm of Louis Berger International in New Jersey, and a business development manager at Geraghty and Miller, an environmental engineering firm in New York.


Breena Holland: "Public Health and Environmental Justice in an Era of De-Industrialization: A Role for Community-Engaged Academic Research"

February 7, 7:30pm -Science Auditorium


Breena Holland’s research focuses on environmental policy analysis, particularly on questions concerning how to value environmental resources. Holland, assistant professor of political science, examines current government policies with a focus on how policy development and evaluation can be improved. She draws on a broad range of environmental problems to show why a society that values justice must change the value it attributes to environmental protection in its policy decisions.

Holland’s recent research has focused on issues ranging from water pollution to global warming and global habitat change. Through her analysis of government policy, she identifies how societies can address global concerns about the environment as a matter of domestic policy.  Expanding on the theory of justice developed by philosopher Martha Nussbaum, Holland argues that local decisions and policies impact and influence global ecological cycles, which shape the possibility of any society’s ability to achieve social justice. Holland refers to a circumstance she calls an “Ecological Condition of Justice,” or ECJ. When the ECJ is met, ecological systems are functioning at a level that enables them to provide the resources and services that make human well being possible. In a just world, all people in both the United States and other countries experience the ECJ. However, in the real world, when the United States creates policies that impact the environment, such as increasing carbon dioxide or polluting freshwater resources, the likelihood of achieving the ECJ for people in other countries decreases.


Anthony Weis: "The Meat of the Global Food Crisis"

April 22, 7:30 pm -Events Barn

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Anthony Weis' research is broadly located in the fields of agrarian political economy and political ecology. Entwined with this is an abiding interest in land reform, farmer co-operatives, and various movements to build alternatives. Much of his empirical research has been grounded in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica. Attention to the broader context of small farmer’s struggles led him on a path towards his first book, The Global Food Economy: The Battle for the Future of Farming (Zed Books, 2007).

Recently, he have been mainly focused on worsening food crises and problems associated with the industrial grain-oilseed-livestock complex. He's currently at work on a book entitled The Ecological Hoofprint: The Global Burden of Industrial Livestock.

Security Program Lectures

David Wisner: "The Crisis of the European Union and the Future of Greece"

September 27th, 7:30 pm - Red Pit (KJ 127)

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David Wisner holds a Ph.D. in Modern History from the University of Rochester. He has written on the French Revolution, neo-idealist epistemology, and neo-classical art in such journals as the Annales historiques de la Révolution française, French History, the Journal of the History of Ideas, the Journal of the History of Collections, and the Gazette des Beaux-Arts. He has also published one monograph, in the series Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century (Oxford). Since coming to Greece in the mid-1990s he has been particularly active in such issues as civic education, public policy, and US involvement in Southeast Europe, having participated in events and projects organized by the World Bank, the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Stability Pact, the German Marshall Fund, the US Embassy in Athens and the US Consulate General in Thessaloniki, among others. He appears regularly to discuss US and international politics on Greek radio and television, and writes occasional political commentary for a Greek newspaper. In his capacity as Director of the Dukakis Center Dr. Wisner has also organized innumerable lectures, round tables, and workshops on national, regional, and international public policy issues.


Earl Devaney: "How to Protect $800,000,000,000 in Public Spending: Oversight of the Stimulus Package"

March 7, 4:30 pm - Dwight Lounge

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Earl E. Devaney has served as the Inspector General for the Department of the Interior since August 1999. Mr. Devaney has since transformed the Office of Inspector General into an innovative organization dedicated not only to detecting fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement within the Department of the Interior, but also to assist the Department in identifying and implementing new and better ways of conducting business. Mr. Devaney and his team of senior managers have worked diligently toward developing strong working relationships with senior departmental managers, congressional staff and key congressmen and senators. Armed with a philosophy that blends cooperation with strong oversight and enforcement, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of the Interior has made significant advances under the leadership and vision of Mr. Devaney.

Mr. Devaney began his law enforcement career in 1968 as a police officer in his native state of Massachusetts. After graduating from Franklin and Marshall College in 1970 with a degree in Government, Mr. Devaney became a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service.At the time of his retirement from the Secret Service in 1991, Mr. Devaney was serving as the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Fraud Division and had become an internationally recognized white collar crime expert regularly sought by major media including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and CNN. During his tenure with the Secret Service, Mr. Devaney was the recipient of five U.S. Department of Treasury Special Achievement Awards and numerous honors and awards from a wide variety of professional organizations. Upon leaving the Secret Service, Mr. Devaney became the Director of Criminal Enforcement for the U.S. Environment Protection Agency. In this position, Mr. Devaney oversaw all of EPA's criminal investigators and assumed management responsibility for EPA's Forensics Service Center and the National Enforcement Training Institute.

Jim Jacobs: "Gun Control"

April 15th, 4:15 pm - Red Pit

Jim Jacobs is the Warren E. Burger Professor of Law and Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice at New York University School of Law.  In recognition of his research on jurisprudential and policy issues related to criminal records, he was named a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow.  He received a J.D. ('73) and Ph.D.in Sociology ('75) from the University of Chicago.  Prior to joining NYU in 1982, Professor Jacobs taught at Cornell Law School.

Professor Jacobs’ doctoral dissertation, Stateville: The Penitentiary in Mass Society (1977), has become a classic in penology, and is a foundational reading for students nationwide.  He has more than 100 articles focused on imprisonment, drunk driving, hate crime, gun control, organized crime and diverse criminal record-related issues. He has published fifteen books and his most recent book is Breaking the Devil's Pact: The Battle to Free the Teamsters from the Mob (2011), a case study of the 22-year-long civil RICO litigation seeking to purge the Teamsters Union of organized crime's influence and exploitation.

Inequality and Inequity Program Lectures

Annette Lareau: "Unequal Childhoods, Unequal Adulthoods: Class, Race, and Family Life"

November 14, 7:30 pm - Events Barn

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Research Description:
How does social stratification have an impact on life chances? Americans believe in the power of the individual to shape his or her life prospects. In my research, I have sought to unpack how social structural forces do, and do not, shape crucial aspects of daily life. My book, Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life is based on participant-observation of a total of twelve white and African-American families with children in third and fourth grade. The work suggests that all parents want their children to be healthy and happy. Middle-class parents, however, see their children as a project. They seek to develop their talents and skills through a series of organized activities, through an intensive process of reasoning and language development, and through close supervision of their experiences in school. By contrast, working-class and poor families work hard to feed, clothe, and protect their children. But they also presume that their children will spontaneously grow and thrive. Thus the children “hang out” by watching television and playing with cousins rather than being in organized activities, are given directives rather than being engaged in reasoning, and are given independence in schools and other institutions. Although African-American families live in racially segregated neighborhoods and experience racial discrimination in employment, in the kinds of child rearing practices examined in this study, the white and African-American upper-middle-class are extremely similar in their child rearing practices. There is a significant difference between the working-class and middle-class African-American families. In my current project, with Elliot Weininger, I am studying how parents with young children decide where to live. I am interested in the role that school does, and does not, play in neighborhood decisions. This study involves visits to schools in the suburbs of a large Northeastern city as well as interviews with parents of young children.


Michelle Alexander: "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness"

April 17, 7:30 pm - Chapel

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Professor Alexander joined the OSU faculty in 2005. She holds a joint appointment with the Moritz College of Law and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Prior to joining the OSU faculty, she was a member of the Stanford Law School faculty, where she served as Director of the Civil Rights Clinic.

Professor Alexander has significant experience in the field of civil rights advocacy and litigation. She has litigated civil rights cases in private practice as well as engaged in innovative litigation and advocacy efforts in the non-profit sector. For several years, Professor Alexander served as the Director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California, which spearheaded a national campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement. While an associate at Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller, she specialized in plaintiff-side class action suits alleging race and gender discrimination.

Professor Alexander is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University. Following law school, she clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the United States Supreme Court, and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Her best-selling book, which she will be speaking about - "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" - has been praised by the New York Review of Books and Publishers Weekly. Learn more about "The New Jim Crow" >>

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Chief Diversity Officer and the Days-Massolo Center.