The agile mind: Stong College premieres its fall lecture lineup

An eclectic group of scholars, athletes, artists and professionals will offer their interpretation of the agile mind in Stong College’s fall lecture lineup. This year’s presenters include the celebrated dub poet d’bi young; Canadian writer and poet Barry Dempster; entrepreneur Robert Martellacci of MindShare Learning; playwright John Mighton; alternative medicine practitioner Mark Cummings; and mass media scholar Eric McLuhan. All lectures are free and open to the York community and the Fellows and friends of Stong College.

d’bi young (right) believes in life, love and "revolshun". An internationally recognized dub poet, actor, playwright and community worker, young will speak on "Inter-relationality of Identities" on Tuesday, Oct. 9, from noon to 1pm, 201 Stong College. The author of two published books, Art on Black (2005) and blood.claat (2006), and four produced albums, young is the recipient of countless awards and accolades. Her theatre credits include performances in the critically acclaimed Da kink in my hair, Lord have mercy!, Soulpepper Theatre’s Three Penny Opera and Three Sisters, and in her Dora-Award winning play, blood.claat. She is preparing for the launch of her third book of poetry, titled Rivers, which will be released this fall by Women’s Press. young is also busy at work completing the third play in her mudgu sankofa trilogy, a dub opera titled "word! Sound! Powah!"

Canadian poet and author Barry Dempster (right) has published nine volumes of poetry, two collections of short fiction, a children’s book, a novel and an anthology. Dempster will give a reading from his celebrated 1982 book of poetry, Words Wanting Out on Thursday, Oct. 25 from 5 to 6:30pm, 201 Stong College. Twice nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, Dempster is currently the senior editor at Brick Books. He has edited 12 award-winning books including, Short Haul Engine (2001) by Karen Solie: Strike/Slip (2006) by Don McKay; and Drowning Lessons (2004) by Maureen Harris. His most recent book of poetry is The Burning Alphabet (2006). In fall 2008, Dempster will be instructor and mentor for the Wired Writing Studio at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Robert Martellacci (left) is the founder and principal of MindShare Learning, a learning technology consulting company founded in 2001. He recently completed a transformational year-long learning journey earning a master’s in educational technology from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. Martellacci (BA ‘84) is a York alumnus and has a BA in economics and a certificate in sports administration, and he worked at York in administration for 10 years before founding MindShare Learning, a privately held company based in Toronto that specializes in strategic marketing solutions; strategic alliances and acquisitions; and development of eLearning space. Martellacci will give a lecture titled, "21st Century Skills and How to Prepare for the Global Economy", on Monday, Oct. 29, from 4 to 5pm, 201 Stong College. A believer in investing in tomorrow’s leaders today, Martellacci established an endowed scholarship at York University.

John Mighton (right) is a mathematician, national best-selling author, award-winning playwright, and the founder of JUMP Math (a Toronto-based non-profit organization). He volunteers his time and expertise at JUMP as the lead curriculum developer for the JUMP math student workbooks and teachers’ manuals. Mighton completed an MA in philosophy and a PhD in mathematics at the University of Toronto and is currently a Fellow of the Fields Institute for Mathematical Research and a professor of mathematics at the University of Toronto. He is the author of the national best-selling book, The Myth of Ability (2003), and the recently released The End of Ignorance (2007). He has won several national awards including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, the Dora Award, the Chalmers Award and the Siminovitch Prize, and he received a prestigious Ashoka Fellowship as a social entrepreneur for his work in fostering numeracy and building young children’s self-confidence through JUMP Math. Mighton will speak about his experiences on Thursday, Nov. 1, from noon to 1pm, 201 Stong College.

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, Stong College presents a staged reading of the play Beverley Park by York alumnus  Brent Delaney (BA ‘07), winner of the 2007 Kent Haworth Playwriting Award. Directed by York PhD candidate Bunmi Oyinsan, the reading will take place from noon to 1pm, in the Samuel Beckett Theatre, 112 Stong College. 

Alternative healing specialist Mark Cummings (right) has taught courses in biofeedback assisted self-regulation in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Sciences for the past 16 years. As a stress management therapist at a leading addiction and mental health treatment centre in Toronto for the past 20 years, Cummings has developed numerous programs. He also operates a private practice as a consultant in performance and health enhancement in business, sport and daily life. Certified in biofeedback, hypnosis, medical qigong and Chinese martial and healing arts, he incorporates this diverse knowledge into his practice. Cummings will deliver a lecture, titled "Optimizing our Amazing Body and Mind", on Monday, Nov. 19, from 12:30 to 2pm, in the Samuel Beckett Theatre, 112 Stong College.

Eric McLuhan (left) is co-editor, along with Francesco Guardiani and Bernard Hibbits, of the journal McLuhan Studies. He is also the associate director of the McLuhan Program International and lectures on communication and media. An internationally renowned academic, McLuhan has more than 30 years of teaching experience in literature, media and communication theory and lectures throughout the world. The son of cultural theorist, Marshall McLuhan, he assisted his father with research and writing for a number of  books, including the critically-acclaimed The Medium is the MassageWar and Peace in the Global Village and Laws of Media. McLuhan now develops new investigations in modern communications theory. His solo book, The Essential McLuhan (1995), selects texts across the entire McLuhan library and provides a useful teaching text for media studies. McLuhan will speak on "The Dream of Common Alphabet", on Wednesday, Nov. 21, from 4 to 6pm, 111 Stong College.

For more information about Stong’s events and for updates, visit the Stong College Web site.