VC announces Lyceum Lecture series speakers

June 25, 2011 at 1:25 a.m.
Updated June 26, 2011 at 1:26 a.m.

Victoria College's 2011-12 Lyceum Lecture Series is set to feature four diverse and appealing guests covering a range of topics including cooking, heroism, hope and overcoming extreme obstacles.

"The Lyceum committee always puts a great deal of care and research into selecting guest speakers whose topics address relevant, diverse and contemporary themes," said Lyceum Committee Chairman Dave Ticen. "Again this year, the committee solicited suggestions and feedback from VC students and the community. These topics, and our guests, were selected based on their feedback and for their particular appeal to our various audiences."

The series begins on Sept. 29 with best-selling cookbook author Kevin Roberts. Roberts' unique spin on creative and healthy eating takes a fresh look at quick, simple and tasty alternatives to quick-service restaurants and over-processed convenience foods. His fast and fresh meal ideas are made to appeal to those whose busy lifestyles don't leave time to prepare complicated recipes.

In addition to owning and running an award-winning San Diego sports bar, Roberts has been featured on hundreds of local and national television shows, including CBS' Early Show and The Next Food Network Star. He hosts The Learning Channel's "BBQ PitMasters."

Master pilot and author Michael Durant will pay a visit to Victoria on Nov. 17. The Academy Award-winning movie, "Black Hawk Down," recounts some of Durant's experiences while on a mission in Somalia in 1993. The Blackhawk helicopter he was piloting was shot down in Mogadishu, after which he was taken prisoner for 11 days.

Today, Durant is a corporate executive and the author of two best-selling books, "In the Company of Heroes" and "The Night Stalkers."

His tales of heroism are intensified by stunning visuals and breathtaking survival stories. He highlights the power of teamwork, leadership and how to meet change without fear, even in extreme situations.

Rebecca Kiessling will speak on Feb. 7 with her stirring story of hope. Kiessling is a pro-life advocate with the perspective of someone who would not be here today if abortion were legal in Michigan at the time of her conception.

Kiessling was conceived as a result of rape. Her mother, who attempted on two occasions to abort her, gave her up for adoption when she was an infant.

When Kiessling met her birth mother and learned of this as a teenager, she struggled to figure out who she was and how to feel good about being alive. Since then, she has realized that life is a gift and every child is precious. Her unique perspective on such a polarizing issue highlights a very different viewpoint on two relevant women's issues: rape and abortion.

Temple Grandin, the fourth and final speaker of the series, will speak on April 5. Grandin's remarkable story of overcoming the limitations of autism to become an accomplished and world-famous animal scientist is also the subject of an HBO Films feature starring Claire Danes.

Presently working as a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, the unique perspective of her autism gives Grandin the ability to visualize mechanical systems in a way that no one else can and gives her the ability to see things from an animal's viewpoint.

The fascinating story of Grandin's life is a tale of overcoming obstacles many would find insurmountable. But Grandin's successful career and best-selling books on both autism and animal behavior are proof of the strength of the human spirit and the ability for even the most disadvantaged to turn adversity into prosperity.



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