By: TAYLOR WALDRON
On Friday, October 13, at 7:00 p.m., the annual Bender Scholar-in-Residence Lecture will take place in Wiekamp 1001.
This event was founded and endowed by Eileen and Harvey Bender. Eileen Bender was a professor of English at IU South Bend for 33 years before retiring in 2010. Her husband, Harvey, was a professor of biology at the University of Notre Dame for 52 years. Following their deaths, the Bender family made a generous contribution to IU South Bend (IUSB) that would support the Bender Lecture event for years to come.
What makes the Bender Lecture different from the numerous other lecture events put on by IUSB is the personable experience the Bender Lecture prioritizes. According to Dr. Lee Kahan, the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the organizer of the Bender Lecture, this event is more of an experience than any other lecture given.
“The speaker is on campus for two to three full days and they have the opportunity to eat and talk with students and faculty. The speaker usually holds a question and answer meeting, attends classes, and gives students the opportunity to engage with an internationally well-known scholar,” said Kahan.
This year’s speaker is Steve Squyres, one of the world’s leading figures in planetary science. Squyres was a principal explorer for the NASA Mars Rover Mission and has since written a book on the subject called “Roving Mars”. This book will be on sale for all event attendees at the pre-lecture reception which will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday. Squyres will also be available to sign copies of his book.
The speaker will also meet with the 2017 Bender Scholarship award winner. This year’s recipient is Michelle Constantino. She will have the opportunity to have breakfast with the speaker as well as give him a tour of campus.
This lecture will focus on Squyres’ experience with the Mars Rover Mission, working with NASA, and the technology involved with the planetary sciences. Squyres will provoke questions about life, commercial space travel, and the future of the planetary sciences. Students who are not involved in the physical sciences will still gain valuable knowledge and entertainment from this lecture. According to Kahan, Squyres is “very entertaining, engaging, and this talk will be incredibly visual.”
All students, faculty, and members of the community are encouraged to attend this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear from an expert on the voyaged journeys beyond our known world. The day before the lecture, October 12, Squyres will be holding a Q&A that is open to everyone from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. in Northside Hall Room 0063. As for the main event on October 13, the lecture hall in Wiekamp 1001 has 150 available seats that are first-come-first-serve. Students will be given priority at the door and there is no cost to attend the event.