Feb. 20, 2013

Geneseo hosts lectures on climate change and rights for people with disabilities

Kanter and Young

Two professors known for their expertise in their field will be on campus this month to address topics that create dialogue on issues of science and policy, and human rights for people with disabilities with a focus on international perspective.

The American Rock Salt Lecture on Geology is Thursday, Feb. 21. The President's Diversity Lecture is Wednesday, Feb. 27.

On Feb. 21, Geology Professor Robert Young from Western Carolina University will address "Climate Change and Superstorm Sandy: Science and Policy" at the college's 10th annual American Rock Salt Lecture on Geology. The lecture is at 7:30 p.m. in Newton Hall Room 202, and is free and open to the public.

"This couldn't be a more timely topic since a large part of the East Coast is still recovering from the devastating aftermath of Superstorm Sandy ... " said Associate Professor Scott Giorgis, chair of the Department of Geological Sciences. "I am excited for this lecture because it will not only address the science of coastal hazards and climate change, but also look at the policy implications of the science. These are exactly the issues that we need to consider as New Yorkers as we begin spending billions of dollars on reconstruction efforts."

Young is director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS), a joint venture between Duke University and Western Carolina University. PSDS conducts research on coastal processes and translates research into policy recommendations and public outreach. He also oversees more than $3.5 million in grant-funded research projects related to coastal science and management.

The annual American Rock Salt Lecture on Geology is part of a partnership formed in 2003 between American Rock Salt Co. LLC and the geology department. The company supports undergraduate research, an undergraduate internship and the annual lecture.

On Feb. 27, the annual President's Diversity Lecture will bring Professor Arlene Kanter of Syracuse University Law School to campus to lecture on "From Charity to Human Rights for People with Disabilities" taking an international perspective. The lecture is at 2:30 p.m. in Newton 203 and is free and open to the public. A reception follows in the Integrated Science Center atrium.

"With the failure of the U. S. Congress to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities this past December, it is even more important to keep disability at the forefront of our discussions about diversity and human rights," said Tabitha Buggie-Hunt, assistant dean for disability services at Geneseo. "I am excited and proud that Geneseo has recognized this by inviting Professor Kanter to our campus to speak at this annual event."

Kanter founded and directs the Disability Law and Policy Program, the nation's first joint degree program in law and disability studies. She also co-directs the Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies, the nation's first multi-disciplinary center dedicated to research, advocacy, academic programming and public education on inclusion and equality for people with disabilities.

Kanter publishes and lectures extensively on United States, comparative, and international disability law. She is the co-author of the first law casebook on international and comparative disability law and has published numerous articles and book chapters on disability law. In 2010-11, she was named the Distinguished Switzer Fellow by the U.S. Department of Education's National Disability Rehabilitation Research Institute.

The President's Diversity Lecture Series first started in 2004. The series brings distinguished professionals to campus to work closely with students, faculty and staff on issues related to diversity and to deliver major public lectures concerning diversity and society.