University News

Something for Everyone: 3 SUU Convos in One Week

Published: October 06, 2008 | Category: Special Events

Southern Utah University’s weekly Convocation series will be in full swing this week, when three different visitors will present their work at separate convocation lectures on Tuesday, October 7, Wednesday, October 8 and Thursday, October 9, 2008.

With so much variety, students and the community are sure to find something that piques their interest.

The week’s lectures begin Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in SUU’s Auditorium Theatre, when Will & Company performs Faces of America, a one-person show exploring the cultural differences surrounding “being an American.”

Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “Best Bet,” Faces of America features several characters, each of a different ethnicity – and played by the same actor, who share their experiences of being an American.

Written entirely from interviews and workshops held across the country, Faces of America has been describes as the first truly multicultural portrayal of Americans ever created. In response, it has been added to several universities’ regular curriculum, as well as to many corporate and government diversity training programs.

Tuesday’s performance will be followed by a presentation from National Geographic photojournalist Steve McCurry on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in the Auditorium. This is rescheduled from McCurry’s originally planned morning performance that same day.

McCurry is renowned universally as one of today’s finest photographers – winning many of the field’s top awards.

In June 1985 a photo of Sharbat Gula appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine. Known at the time only as “Afghan Girl,” the photo is widely celebrated as the most memorable photograph ever published and was named “the most recognized photograph” in magazine’s history. McCurry marked a high point in his career when he finally located Sharbat Gula almost two decades later.

Best known for his evocative color photography, McCurry captures the essence of human struggle and joy. Many of his images have become modern icons.

McCurry’s career was launched when, disguised in native garb, he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled Afghanistan just before the Russian invasion. When he emerged, he had rolls of film sewn into his clothes of images that would be published worldwide and stand among the first to show the conflict there. His coverage won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad, an award dedicated to photographers exhibiting exceptional courage and enterprise. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Magazine Photographer of the Year, awarded by the National Press Photographers’ Association. In the same year he won an unprecedented four first prizes in the World Press Photo Contest, and he has won the Olivier Rebbot Memorial Award twice.

McCurry’s work has been featured in every major magazine in the world with recent articles on the Hazaras of Afghanistan, Buddhism, Tibet, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and the temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia. His coverage at Ground Zero on September 11 is a testament to the heroism and nobility of the people of New York City. McCurry is driven by an innate curiosity and sense of wonder about the world and everyone in it.

In his presentation at SUU, McCurry will share highlights from his career on the road along with some of the most fascinating stories his photography subjects have shared with him.

The week’s Convocations will conclude on Thursday with a lecture from Geologist Stanley Beus at 11:30 a.m. in the Starlight Room of SUU’s Sharwan Smith Student Center. His presentation is entitled, “A Geologic Surprise in the Grand Canyon.”

Dr. Beus is the senior co-editor and co-author of Grand Canyon Geology (Oxford University Press), and his research interests have focused on Paleozoic biostratigraphy in Idaho, Utah and Arizona, as well as invertebrate paleontology in Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wales and New Zealand.

In addition to a 32-year teaching career at Northern Arizona University, Beus has been a Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and was secretary of the Rocky Mountain Section of GSA for eight years. Beus also worked as a research associate at the Museum of Northern Arizona for 28 years, and is well-suited to discuss some of the world’s best known geographic formations and canyons.

For additional information on any one of the week’s three presenters, or to learn more about SUU’s Convocations program and its fall 2008 schedule, please visit the SUU Convocations website.

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