Signature Series Scholars Engage Audiences

Otterbein’s Signature Series packed the seats this spring, engaging audiences in discussions on some of the most relevant topics of the day.

The George W. and Mildred K. White Science Lecture Series

What happens when the pharmaceutical drugs we take end up in wastewater? How do “forever chemicals” from consumer products end up in surface water? And what will we do about the emergence of “superbugs” that are resistant to treatment? Renowned environmental chemist Diana Aga answered those questions and more when she visited campus for the George W. and Mildred K. White Science Lecture Series.

Aga is the Henry Woodburn Professor of Chemistry and a State University of New York (SUNY) Distinguished Professor at the University at Buffalo (UB). She also serves as the director of RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water) Institute at UB.

On Feb. 21, Aga packed the seats at two special talks for STEM students before presenting her public lecture, “Free Drugs,” “Superbugs,” and “Forever Chemicals” in the Environment: Occurrence and Implications, that evening.

Watch the lecture at

Diana Aga

Donja Thomas

Lynn Pasquerella

The Kathy A. Krendl Distinguished Lecture Series

On March 19, the Kathy A. Krendl Distinguished Lecture Series welcomed Lynn Pasquerella, president of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), for a lecture about Educating for Democracy. Pasquerella is one of the country’s most prominent public voices and forceful advocates for the value of liberal education, the importance of access to resources and pathways, and the need for career training for jobs and citizen education for justice.

Her most recent book, What We Value: Public Health, Social Justice, and Educating for Democracy, examines urgent issues — moral distress, access to resources, and the conflict over whose voices and lives are privileged — and argues that liberal education is the best preparation for work, citizenship, and life. Pasquerella is a member of the board of directors for the Coalition for the Common Good and a past-president of Mount Holyoke College.

Vernon L. Pack Lectures

April is Minority Health Month, and to address the important issue of equity in the American healthcare system, Otterbein hosted Brian D. Smedley for the Vernon L. Pack ’50 Distinguished Lecture on April 4.

In addition to his public lecture, Place, Race, and Health: Addressing the Root Causes of Health Inequities, Smedley met with Otterbein students in public health, allied health, nursing, and other health-related majors to discuss what they can do as healthcare professionals to ensure equitable care for their patients.

Smedley is an equity scholar and senior fellow at the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, where he conducts research and policy analysis to address structural and institutional forms of racism that impact the health and well-being of people of color.

Learn more at

Brian D. Smedley

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