Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU announces line-up for 2011-12 University Speakers Series

August 10, 2011

Watergate figure John Dean heads the line-up for this year's Indiana State University Speakers Series which will also feature noted professionals in education, climatology, finance and the media.

Dean recounted his 1,000 days as Richard Nixon's White House lawyer in two books, "Blind Ambition" and "Lost Honor." He has authored several other best sellers including "Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush," "Conservatives Without Conscience," and "Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches." He recently re-issued "Blind Ambition" to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Watergate. He is currently working on his eleventh book, while also regularly providing television and radio commentary. Dean will discuss the 40th anniversary of Watergate during his presentation on Oct. 4.

Heidi Cullen is interim CEO and director of communications for Climate Central, a non-profit science journalism organization where she also serves as a research scientist and correspondent. She was The Weather Channel's first on-air climate expert and helped create "Forecast Earth," a weekly series focused on climate change and the environment. She is a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Science Advisory Board and is the author of "The Weather of the Future." Cullen will speak at Indiana State on Nov. 2.

Erin Gruwell landed her first job at a Long Beach, Calif. high school only to discover many of her students had been written off by the education system and deemed "unteachable." She encouraged them to rethink rigid beliefs about themselves and others and they proceeded to shatter stereotypes to become critical thinkers, aspiring college students and citizens for change. They dubbed themselves "Freedom Writers" and published a book which in 2007 was made into a movie starring Hilary Swank. Gruwell is now president of the Freedom Writers Foundation. Gruwell's visit on Nov. 30 is made possible by many of Indiana State's colleges and academic departments in conjunction with the Fall Read.

James B. Stewart, a Pulitzer Prize winning author who serves as editor-at-large of SmartMoney magazine offers insights into business and investing trends in his weekly column, "Common Sense," which also runs in The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller "Disney War: The Battle for the Magic Kingdom" and "Heart of a Soldier," which Time magazine named "Best Book about 9/11." His new book, "Tangled Webs: How False Statements are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff ," is a revealing investigation of perjury epidemic in America, which he suggests is symptomatic of a breakdown of ethics that compromises the judicial system business, government, academia and medicine. Stewart's presentation on Feb. 2, 2012, is sponsored by the Scott College of Business and Inside Indiana Business.

Michele Norris, an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience, co-hosts NPR's "All Things Considered," public radio's longest-running national program. She was previously a correspondent for ABC News where she reported extensively on education, inner city issues, the nation's drug problem, and poverty. She has also reported for the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times. Norris also earned both an Emmy Award and Peabody Award for her contribution to ABC News' coverage of 9/11. In 2010, she released her first book, "The Grace of Silence: A Memoir," which focuses on how America talks about race in the wake of President Obama's election, and explores her own family's racial legacy. Norris' presentation on Feb. 22, 2012, is sponsored by the Indiana State University African American Council.

All ISU Speakers Series events begin at 7 p.m. in Tilson Auditorium, with the exception of Erin Gruwell who will speak in the University Hall Theater. As in previous years, a book signing and reception will follow each presentation. The programs are free and open to the public.

For more information about the series, call 812-237-3783 or go to  .


Media contact and writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications and Marketing, 812-237-3783 or