Frank Bruni: NY Times columnist to speak at UC San Diego, Oct. 29, at Mandeville Auditorium
Helen Edison Lecture Series
Frank Bruni, New York Times Op-Ed columnist
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 29
Time: 7 pm
Site: Mandeville Auditorium, UC San Diego
Admission: Free, open to the public
The UC San Diego speaking engagement by New York Times Op-Ed columnist Frank Bruni (Wednesday, Oct. 29, 7 pm, Mandeville Auditorium) will launch the 2014-15 Helen Edison Lecture Series, as annually presented by UC San Diego Extension.
His topic: “Americans Today and Their Customized Cocoons.”
The event is expected to attract a large crowd, bolstered further by a group of several hundred first-year UC San Diego students. So far, four on-campus colleges — Marshall, Muir, Warren, and Roosevelt — have committed to sending students to the speech as part of campus’ “First Year Experience” program.
Allan Havis: "The First Year Experience course is designed in part to reduce the isolation and feelings of being overwhelmed by such stimulus.”
New this academic year, the program was instituted by an ad hoc group of senior colleges’ leaders — deans Shannon O’Brien and Patricia Mahaffey, and writing director Matthew Herbst. The group was led by Marshall College provost Allan Havis, who believes the students will benefit from hearing Bruni’s message live and in person.
“Frank Bruni’s appearance not only highlights the intersection with the newspaper and this program,” said Havis, “but he will speak to issues regarding the troubling effect that technological advances have had on our lives and perhaps at absorbing information while learning at a major research institution.
“In his view, while such advances theoretically open the world to us as never before, speeding us to distant horizons and enabling unprecedented connections, they're too often used to create narrow niches that separate us from each other.”
Added Havis: “The First Year Experience course is designed in part to reduce the isolation and feelings of being overwhelmed by such stimulus.”
The two-unit course offered by all six colleges features one hour of lecture by most of the college Provosts (Linguistics’ Dr. Grant Goodall teaches Warren College’s lecture) – along with one hour of discussion section led by upper-class undergraduate students each week. This course is designed to specifically help new students maximize their educational experience at UC San Diego.
UC San Diego is one of a handful of U.S. universities now taking part in The Times’ new college-curriculum program called In The First Year.
As part of the program, instructors and students discuss The Times’ daily news coverage and analysis of a wide range of subjects — including global awareness, leadership, civic engagement, diversity, ethics, financial literacy, health and wellness, technology, and career development.
Bruni’s distinguished writing career at The New York Times has taken him from White House correspondent to chief restaurant critic to his current role as Op-Ed political and cultural commentator. He’s long been known for his carefully crafted opinions and observations.
His campus appearance is co-presented by UC San Diego Extension, the UC San Diego Council of Provosts, and the Dean’s Office of Social Sciences.
The Helen Edison Lecture Series’ other confirmed speakers this academic year include:
Kevin Starr, California historian, author: Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 7 pm, UC San Diego’s Price Center East Ballroom
Rebecca Goldstein, author/philosopher (“Plato at the Googleplex”): Tuesday, Jan. 27, 7 pm, UC San Diego’s Price Center East Ballroom
Presented by UC San Diego Extension, the Helen Edison Lecture Series is funded by a major gift from the late Helen Edison, a San Diego philanthropist. The ongoing series annually presents free public lectures by distinguished speakers from the arts and humanities.