Rockwell Hall and U.S. flag

Leadership Lecture Series Provides Lessons for Life

To support Buffalo State’s mission of preparing students for leadership roles and responsibilities, Residence Life, Student Affairs, and the President’s Office have developed the Leadership Lecture Series, bringing renowned national and local business leaders, professors, political activists, and alumni to campus.

The first speaker, Sulayman S. Nyang, professor of African studies at Howard University, visits Buffalo State today from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Butler Library 210. Nyang was formerly the lead developer for the African Voices project of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. He has written several books, including Islam, Christianity and African Identity and Islam in the United States of America. The Upward Bound program helped bring Nyang to campus.

“Students can learn important lessons from a diversity of leaders and [recognize] how [leadership] skills can be applied to different careers,” said Eileen Merberg, retention and leadership specialist for student affairs, who is organizing the series. “Leadership is multifaceted and a very complex concept. Students can get a broad perspective and learn about its many roles from leaders in the industry.”

Merberg says the lectures provide an excellent opportunity for students to see the interaction of theory and practice. Speakers will address the leadership principles and experiences they found most valuable throughout their careers, discuss their early career paths, and share lessons they wished they had learned earlier in life. Each lecture will end with an opportunity for questions from the audience; entire classes are encouraged to attend.

Keynote speaker Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, will speak at the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall on March 13. Kennedy will share her insights and reflections based on more than 20 years of investigating and publicizing human rights abuses worldwide. She will also discuss how the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial’s Center for Human Rights, a nonprofit organization she founded in 1984, has worked to address social justice issues.

“We hope that students make connections to leaders and to what they’re learning in the classroom,” said Merberg. “I think the advice from speakers will be helpful for now and for later in life.”

The Leadership Lecture Series is funded through an Auxiliary Services Grant and the Faculty-Student Association. Events take place on Thursdays in Butler Library 210 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. All are free and open to the public.

February 28
Sulayman S. Nyang

Professor of African Studies, Howard University

March 6
Byron Brown, ’83

Mayor, City of Buffalo

March 13
Kerry Kennedy

Founder, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial’s Center for Human Rights
Chair, Amnesty International Leadership Council
**Note location and time change:
Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall, 4:00–5:00 p.m.

March 20
Donald K. Boswell

President and CEO, Western New York Public Broadcasting Association (WNED-TV/AM/FM)

April 3
Tom Calderone, ’86

Executive Vice President and General Manager, VH1

April 10
Gabe DiMaio, ’86

Assistant Program Director, WBFO-FM 88.7
Local Host, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered

April 17
Donna Fernandez

Director, Buffalo Zoo

April 24
Ultimate Money Skills, Presented by Monster.com

This interactive workshop will help students develop smart money-management skills and achieve financial independence.
**Note location and time change: Bulger Communication Center East, 12:15–1:30 p.m.