Tisch College is pleased to present an exciting lineup of events with distinguished guests who will share their knowledge, insights, and experience with the Tufts University community.

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Distinguished Speaker SeriesCivic Life Lunches | Civic Science Roundtables | Other Featured Events | Past Events

Tisch College Distinguished Speaker Series

One of our signature programs, the Tisch College Distinguished Speaker Series brings leaders from a range of fields and perspectives to campus to discuss public issues. During their visits, our guests connect with students and faculty for informative roundtable discussions and deliver public remarks. Through the Speaker Series, we strive to educate, enlighten, and provoke students and the entire University community, in the hopes that they will be inspired by the leaders they meet. All Distinguished Speaker Series events are free and open to the public.

Tim Kaine Distinguished SpeakerSenator Tim Kaine

NOTE: This event took place on January 23

U.S. Senator and 2016 Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine was our first Distinguished Speaker of 2017. He spoke about his reaction to the presidential election, the way forward for the Democratic Party, and policy priorities at home and abroad. The Senator also urged students to get and stay involved in politics by engaging with issues they care about.

If you missed it, read about his visit to campus or watch the full video of his public conversation with our Dean Alan Solomont. You can also read coverage of the event from the Boston Globe and the Tufts Daily.

Baker PosterGovernor Charlie Baker

Thursday, February 23 | 7:00 p.m.
Distler Auditorium, Granoff Music Center | Tufts Medford Campus

Join us for a conversation with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. Since taking office in January 2015, Governor Baker has focused on vital issues like education, transportation, energy, and regulatory reform while working to close budget gaps in the Commonwealth. He has also played a leading role in combating the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts and around the country. Governor Baker has worked closely with members of the Democrat-led legislature, called for pragmatic, bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing the Commonwealth, and is frequently ranked among the nation’s most popular governors. Before his term, Governor Baker served as a cabinet secretary to two former governors and as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

This will be a ticketed event! Free tickets will be available with a Tufts ID at the Campus Center Information Booth beginning Thursday, February 16. The event will also be simulcast at Granoff 155 and live streamed on our website.

Want to ask Governor Baker a question? Submit one below and we will contact you if yours is selected.

Marian Wright Edelman

Monday, February 27 | 8:00 p.m.
Cohen Auditorium | Tufts Medford Campus

Join us and Tufts Hillel for this year’s Merrin Moral Voices Lecture featuring Marian Wright Edelman. Edelman is the Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund and has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans, particularly children, for her entire professional life. A graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, Edelman was the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar and directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi. She has received over 100 honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian award. She is the author of Families in Peril: An Agenda for Social Change, The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours, and several other books.

This will be a ticketed event! Free tickets will be available at the Campus Center Information Booth beginning Thursday, February 16.

The Civic State of the Union

Tuesday, March 7 | 6:00 p.m.
ASEAN Auditorium, Fletcher School | Tufts Medford Campus

Join us for a panel about the state of civic life in the United States and the role of civic engagement in addressing national and global problems. Our featured panelists will be and Robert D. Putnam, a political scientist and the Malkin Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government who wrote the seminal book Bowling Alone; Shirley Sagawa, President and CEO of the Service Year Alliance and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress; and Peter Levine, Tisch College’s Associate Dean for Research and the author of We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America. The panel will be moderated by Mara Liasson, National Political Correspondent for NPR and a contributor at Fox News. RSVP below:

12th Annual Murrow Forum, featuring Lester Holt

Wednesday, April 12 | Noon

Lester Holt, award-winning journalist and anchor of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and Dateline NBC, will discuss contemporary media issues at the 12th annual Edward R. Murrow Forum on Issues in Journalism at Tufts University. Holt’s nightly news broadcast regularly ranks as the most-watched evening news program in the United States, and he also moderated the first presidential debate last year between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

This event will be free and open to the public. More information about ticketing and the location of Holt’s talk will be available soon.

The Murrow Forum is sponsored by Tisch College, as part of our Distinguished Speaker Series, as well as the Film and Media Studies Program at the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Edward R. Murrow Center for a Digital World at The Fletcher School.

Civic Life Lunches

A new Tisch College initiative in the 2016-2017 academic year, our Civic Life Lunches are informal, intimate lunchtime chats with experienced leaders and practitioners in fields like politics, media, the nonprofit sector, and more. Join us for a bite to eat and some thought-provoking conversations with these featured guests! All Civic Life Lunches are open to Tufts students, faculty, and staff. Unless otherwise noted, all Civic Life Lunches will take place at noon.

April 19 – Chuck Rosenberg, A82

Rabb Room

Chuck Rosenberg, a Tufts graudate, has served as the Chief Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) since May 2015. He is a former federal prosecutor and previous served in senior positions at the FBI and the Justice Department. RSVP below:

TBD – Lalo Alcaraz

Lalo Alcaraz is an artist and political cartoonist whose work has appeared in major publications and news outlets across the United States. He is the creator of La Cucaracha, the first nationally syndicated, politically themed Latino daily comic strip. He is also a leading activist focused on issues related to immigrants and Latinos.

TBD – Nicolle Wallace

Nicolle Wallace is a political commentator for NBC News, and Chief Political Analyst for MSNBC. She served as communications chief during the presidency of George W. Bush and in his 2004 re-election campaign; in 2008, she also served as a senior advisor to the McCain–Palin campaign. Wallace is also a former co-host of The View.

Civic Science Roundtables

Do you want to understand some of the complex and divisive issues in science, and develop the skills and knowledge needed to discuss them in a diverse setting? Join our Civic Science Roundtables, a new event series created to connect contemporary, and often polarizing, issues in science to our civic responsibilities to engage in open-minded conversation. Roundtables are conducted as intimate dialogues, with participants from all backgrounds speaking about the personal and societal choices we need to consider where science issues intersect with civic life.

All Civic Science Roundtables are held in the Dewick Cafeteria Conference Room, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. (Dinner will be served at 6:00 and the dialogue will begin at 6:30.) To ensure a dynamic and diverse conversation, attendance is limited for each roundtable; please RSVP below to attend.

February 9 – Editing Our Genes: Should We Enhance Ourselves or Not?

Featuring Jonathan Garlick, DDS, Ph.D., Director of Cancer Biology and Tissue Engineering at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, professor at the Tufts Schools of Medicine and Engineering, and Senior Fellow at Tisch College. 

Using gene editing to eliminate disease-causing genes from human embryos offers hope for cures to life-threatening diseases. At the same time, as gene editing can eliminate undesirable traits, who will determine which traits should be eliminated? Join us for a dialogue about gene editing technologies, such as CRISPR, where we will consider the compelling social, political and scientific questions they raise for our future. RSVP

February 28 – The Opioid Epidemic: What Happens Next and Who Will Decide?

Featuring Daniel Carr, MA, MD, DABPM, FFPMANZCA (HON) Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts Medical School; Program Director, Pain, Research Education & Policy; President, American Academy of Pain Medicine

As an epidemic of deaths linked to opioid overdose grips our society, doctors, patients, and policymakers are facing great pressure as they try to balance the management of two complex conditions: addiction and chronic pain. As polic makers struggle to control the abuse of opioids, has the pendulum swung too far, depriving patients of needed pain relief?  If access to pain relief is a human right, who is responsible for determining what happens next? RSVP

March 16 – Genetically Modified Organisms: Uncertain Choices in the Face of Uncertain Harms

Featuring Prof. Sheldon Krimsky, Lenore Stern Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University, Adjunct professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Tufts University School of Medicine

Ethical, legal and other societal values underlie public debate and decision-making about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In the face of the uncertain harms of GMOs, we need to further discuss the consequences and impact of this technology. We will explore the question: how can non-scientists and consumers unravel the scientific complexities of GMOs and enter into dialogue with scientists and policymakers in ways that build trust to better inform decisions about the future use of GMOs? RSVP

Other Featured Events

Throughout the academic year, often in partnership with other Tufts schools and organizations, Tisch College hosts or co-sponsors a diverse slate of exciting events for students, faculty, staff, and all members of our Tufts and host communities. These events span our work in education, research, and practice, and touch on areas like public policy, social entrepreneurship, political engagement, and more.

Facts Values Strategies FlyerFacts/Values/Strategies Mini-Conference

May 17-18
Tisch College, Tufts University

Join us for a mini-conference about about how citizens can be responsible and effective actors, whether they are combating racism in the United States, protecting human rights in the Middle East, or addressing climate change. The papers that will be presented propose theoretical, methodological, historical, and empirical responses and case-studies related to the question: how should citizens put facts, values, and strategies together? The conference is open to the public, but papers should be read in advance.

Read more here or contact peter.levine@tufts.edu

More Information

If you have any questions about a Tisch College event, please email us at activecitizen@tufts.edu, and join our contact list to receive the latest information about upcoming events.

Past Events

Distinguished Speakers:

Other Events:

  • Deval Patrick – Video
  • Lawrence Lessig – Video
  • Alan D. Solomont – Video
  • Nancy Pelosi – Video