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News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

8-15-08

Paul Shirley reads from his book during a stop
in Ames.

Paul Shirley reads from his book during a 2007 stop in Ames. Shirley will be part of a semester-long series of speakers who will address an Iowa State University course called "Technology, Globalization and Culture." The lectures will be free and open to the public in Howe Hall's auditorium and on the course Web site. Shirley speaks from 6-7:30 p.m. Aug. 27 in the Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium of Iowa State University's Howe Hall.

Contacts:

James Bernard, College of Engineering, (515) 294-3092, bernard@iastate.edu

Mark Rectanus, World Languages and Cultures, (515) 294-4324, mwr@iastate.edu

Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917, mkrapfl@iastate.edu

Iowa State course is the place to discuss basketball and other global issues

AMES, Iowa -- Paul Shirley's blog and book are full of his unique (and funny) take on the world around professional basketball.

Now -- in a talk titled "Midwestern Boy Goes into the World, Returns, Speaks" -- Shirley will share his take on the wider world.

Shirley -- former Cyclone basketball player and engineering student, writer of a basketball journal for ESPN.com and author of "Can I Keep My Jersey?: 11 Teams, 5 Countries, and 4 Years in My Life as a Basketball Vagabond" -- will kick off this fall's session of an Iowa State University course called "Technology, Globalization and Culture."

Shirley speaks from 6-7:30 p.m. Aug. 27 in the Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium of Iowa State University's Howe Hall. The talk is free and open to the public. Live streaming of the talk is also available at http://www.ede.iastate.edu/TGC/TGC/Technology-Globalization-Culture.html.

And that's going to be standard procedure for a course that emphasizes guest speakers.

Course instructors James Bernard and Mark Rectanus are opening the auditorium and the course Web site to anybody who wants to learn more about globalization and the issues swirling around it. Bernard, an Iowa State Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering and a course co-instructor, said the course is going public in an effort to build a community around the ideas generated by course speakers, discussions and books.

"MIT and a few other schools have made a big deal out of electronically going public with courses," Bernard said. "The public can enjoy courses online; there's no credit, no grading of assignments, no tuition. This is a big plus for the schools and their online communities."

Rectanus, course co-instructor and professor of German and chair of world languages and cultures, said the idea is for the course to mirror its content.

"We want to expand its reach to make it a truly global course," he said. "We want to open up access to all our guest speakers to people anywhere in the world. We want to open up a community and a dialogue."

The course features a mix of speakers from around campus and around the country. Class sessions are generally 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium.

Here are just a few of this semester's speakers:

  • Gene Takle, director of Iowa State's Climate Science Initiative and professor of agronomy and geological and atmospheric sciences, will speak Sept. 2 about "Global Environmental Change: Technology and the Future of Planet Earth."
  • Robert C. Brown, an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering and Iowa Farm Bureau director of Iowa State's Bioeconomy Institute, will speak Sept. 3 about "The Emergence of the Bioeconomy."
  • James Duderstadt, president emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, will speak Sept. 16 about "The Globalization of Higher Education."
  • R. James Woolsey, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and current partner with VantagePoint Venture Partners in San Bruno, Calif., will speak Sept. 25 about "Energy and its Relationship to National Security."
  • Richard Longworth, author of "Caught in the Middle: America's Heartland in the Age of Globalism," will speak Oct. 15 about how globalization is affecting the Midwest.
  • Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University and former director of Iowa State's Institute for Physical Research and Technology, will speak Oct. 22 about his "Observations on the Changing American University and Globalization."

A complete schedule of speakers is here.

More information about the course (including its reading list) is here.

And Shirley, the basketball player and writer, what will he have to say?

"Dr. Bernard has asked me to return to Ames to speak about life in the big, bad world," Shirley wrote in a recent e-mail. "Because I've traveled all over that world in the pursuit of a professional basketball career, he thinks I might know something about that world. I'm glad he thinks that; I'm not sure I agree. I'm afraid I know less and less with each passing day. But don't tell him.

"In my lecture (I use the term loosely), I'll discuss some of what I've discovered in all my stops between Meriden, Kansas and Kazan, Russia: that basketball is a business, that it's a good idea to play well with others, and that paying attention might be the key to my career(s) thus far.

"Give it a listen/watch/streaming. You may not learn a thing, but I promise not to talk about thermodynamics."

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Quick look

James Bernard and Mark Rectanus, the instructors of a globalization course that features guest speakers, want to invite the public to be part of the course -- either in the auditorium or online. They want to build a community around the course speakers, discussions and books. You can find the course schedule here.

Quote

"In my lecture (I use the term loosely), I'll discuss some of what I've discovered in all my stops between Meriden, Kansas and Kazan, Russia: that basketball is a business, that it's a good idea to play well with others, and that paying attention might be the key to my career(s) thus far."

Paul Shirley, former Cyclone basketball player and engineering student, writer of a basketball journal for ESPN.com and author of "Can I Keep My Jersey?: 11 Teams, 5 Countries, and 4 Years in My Life as a Basketball Vagabond"