2021 Virtual Lecture Series

We are excited to continue our partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations as we offer the lectures in a free, virtual format for the 2021 season. You will receive an emailed invitation 1-2 weeks before each lecture. We hope you enjoy this season and look forward to connecting with you soon. You can register for upcoming lectures using the link below.


April 14, 12-1 pm
Preventing Relationship and Sexual Violence on Campus
Chris Linder, PhD
Special Assistant to the President for Violence Prevention & Education
Director, McCluskey Center for Violence Prevention
Associate Professor, Higher Education
Director, Graduate Studies- Department of Educational Leadership & Policy
The McCluskey Center for Violence Prevention uses an identity- and power-conscious framework to engage in the primary prevention of relationship and sexual violence among college students. What does that mean? Join staff from the Center as we share more about the goals and objectives of the Center, as well as strategies for stopping violence from happening in the first place.

May 12, 2-3 pm
The viruses of our lives: pandemics past, present, and future
Nels Elde, PhD
Associate Professor of Human Genetics
H.A. & Edna Benning Presidential Endowed Chair at the University of Utah
Pandemic viruses profoundly impact life on earth. Our shared experiences with SARS-CoV-2 in local communities and around the globe provide vivid examples of the reach of viruses in our recent history and daily lives. We will survey pandemics past and present to explore shared features and unique challenges facing communities today. We will also consider how gaining an evolutionary view of the impact of viruses on our biological past can provide a useful path forward for understanding viruses and immunological responses to them to better respond to pandemics of the future.

June 9, 2-3 pm
The Next Phase of Personalized Cancer Care: Patient-Derived Cancer Models
Alana Welm, PhD
Huntsman Cancer Institute Senior Director of Basic Science
Thanks to incredible strides made in cancer research, there are approximately 17 million cancer survivors alive today in the United States. Yet some cancers, particularly cancers that have spread through the body, remain deadly and difficult to treat. Researchers believe one powerful way to advance progress and find new drugs to target these cancers is through developing better models of cancer to study in the laboratory. Using tumors donated by real patients, Utah is a world leader in developing sophisticated models of cancers to study in the laboratory. As a fully integrated cancer research and care center, where research labs are connected to a cancer specialty hospital via sky bridges, Huntsman Cancer Institute is uniquely set up to perform this type of research, allowing the study of highly specific types of tumors – for example, allowing the study of a breast tumor that has spread to another part of the body versus only being able to study the primary tumor removed from a breast cancer patient during mastectomy. Dr. Alana Welm leads one of six National Cancer Institute-funded centers in the country selected to advance this type of innovative field of study that hopes to bring better, more effective treatments to cancer patients.

August 11, 12-1 pm
Reimagining Rural Economic Recovery
Geoff Davis
Chief Executive Officer, Sorenson Impact Center
This session will explore the opportunities and challenges of delivering an equitable recovery in rural Utah as we collectively seek to emerge from the economic and health crisis precipitated by covid-19. It will do so through the lens of the Rural Opportunity Zone and Recovery Playbook, a new initiative being piloted in the state to drive impact-oriented capital into underserved and overlooked communities.