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08-17-2007

Vitek to Deliver Convocation Lecture: Curiosity, Education and the Still Unlovely Human Mind

Bill Vitek will deliver the Van Sickle Endowed Lecture at Clarkson University's convocation on Sunday, August 26, at 7 p.m. in Cheel Arena (doors open at 6 p.m.). The event is open to the public, free of charge.

Vitek's lecture, "Curiosity, Education, and the Still Unlovely Human Mind," will be based in part on the book that all first-year students read over the summer, The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

Vitek is an associate professor of philosophy at Clarkson University, where he has taught for 20 years. He has a B.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Union College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Vitek's research and writings are focused on the intersection between social practices and the environmental, cultural, and historical contexts in which they occur. His current focus is on the substantial cultural and social changes that will be necessary - in our lifetimes - to live without easy access to cheap, carbon-based energy in the form of oil, natural gas and coal.

Vitek has won numerous teaching and advising awards at Clarkson and has received Clarkson's Phalanx Award, for "outstanding leadership qualities and quality participation in organizations with Clarkson and the Potsdam community."

He co-founded and directed Clarkson's Environmental Science & Policy Program, and organized and directed Clarkson's Year of Sustainability in 2001.

Vitek is also a jazz pianist. He co-wrote and co-produced three award-wining collections of jazz nursery rhymes. He currently performs with bassist Dan Gagliardi. They recently released "A Fine Line," a collection of jazz classics.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty members achieve international recognition for their research and scholarship and connect students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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