The Office of Student Activities is planning the 2016 Significant Speaker Event. Please choose from our three candidates below!
Jose Antonio Vargas... Who is he?
Journalist, undocumented immigrant, gay male, and producer of the film "Documented"
- Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, undocumented gay male, and filmmaker whose work centers on the changing American identity. He is the founder of Define American, a non-profit media and culture organization that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration and citizenship in America, and the executive editor of #EmergingUS, a multimedia news platform he conceived focusing on race, immigration, and the complexities of multiculturalism. In 2012, he appeared on the cover of TIME magazine worldwide with fellow undocumented immigrants as part of a follow-up cover story he wrote. He then wrote, produced, and directed Documented, a documentary feature film on his undocumented experience. It world premiered at the AFI Docs film festival in Washington, D.C. in 2013, was released theatrically and broadcast on CNN in 2014, and received a 2015 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Documentary.
Dr. Bennet Omalu... Who is he?
The doctor who discovered a chronic brain disease; portrayed by Will Smith in in the forthcoming film Concussion.
- Born in 1968 in Eastern Nigeria during the civil war, his family lived as refugees, his town under constant fire by the Nigerian Air Force. Despite suffering war-related under-nutrition in the first two years of his life, Omalu would go on to attend medical school at age 15 and become a physician by age 21. In 2002, Dr. Omalu made a career breakthrough when he became the first doctor to discover and identify chronic brain damage as a major factor in the deaths of some professional athletes. He called the disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which he first discovered as the result of an autopsy he performed on Mike Webster—one of the best Centers in NFL history. He was also the first to discover CTE in military veterans diagnosed with PTSD, as well as professional wrestlersIn 2015, Omalu’s life and work will be chronicled in a book and film, both titled Concussion. The book is set for release on November 2015 and Will Smith will portray Dr. Bennet Omalu in the film, which hits theaters Christmas Day, 2015.
Lisa Ling... Who is she?
Television journalist, war correspondent, co-host on the show "The View"
- Lisa J. Ling is an American journalist, television presenter, and author. She is currently the host of This is Life with Lisa Ling on CNN. She is the former host of Our America with Lisa Ling on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, former co-host of ABC's The View, host of National Geographic Explorer, reporter on Channel One News, and special correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN. She was the host of reality television show, The Job. Ling is the older sister of journalist Laura Ling.