University of Delaware
Heard at UD

A selection of recent distinguished speakers on the UD campus

NEWS |
Featured Speaker

NSF Career Award

UD's Angelia Seyfferth has received a prestigious five-year, $465,000 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award for studies on arsenic in rice, and the funding will provide for the installation of the first rice paddies in the state.
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LATEST GUESTS

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Soledad O'Brien

special correspondent and anchor for CNN's Starting Point

May 26th, 2012

"We better understand that we are just part of a bigger whole and not divided by political labels or gender or race, but are stronger as a nation because of what binds us. Those differences are our heritage. Identities do matter and we can all be proud that we are here, together.We better understand that we are just part of a bigger whole and not divided by political labels or gender or race, but are stronger as a nation because of what binds us. Those differences are our heritage. Identities do matter and we can all be proud that we are here, together."

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Mike Adams

professional football player with the Denver Broncos and UD alumnus

April 19, 2012

"Not only was I the first person in my family to graduate college, I was only the second to graduate high school, and I couldn‘t have done it without all the support I received at UD."

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Melissa Hathaway

former senior director for cyberspace in the National Security Council

April 11, 2012

"We need to have digital education that brings the thought of right and wrong to this new age."

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Michael Hayden

former director of the National Security Agency

Mar 14, 2012

"There are no longer good guy networks and bad guy networks. We are all on the same grid."

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Randal Pinkett

"Apprentice" winner and entrepreneur

Mar 6, 2011

"You want to see your culture and see your identity as an asset, and not as a liability."

SPEAKERS A-Z

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Mike Adams

professional football player with the Denver Broncos and UD alumnus

April 19, 2012

"Not only was I the first person in my family to graduate college, I was only the second to graduate high school, and I couldn‘t have done it without all the support I received at UD."

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Byong Man Ahn

former minister of education, science and technology, Republic of South Korea

Nov. 16, 2010

“The common thread that runs through all of these [educational] reforms is the goal of developing an educational system that values both creativity and the acquisition of necessary knowledge and skills. There needs to be a balance between the pain of memorizing and the pleasure of creative expression, with both being used to develop the full potential of our students and to meet the nation's need for a skilled workforce and a well-educated citizenry.”

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Michelle Alexander

author and scholar

Mar. 9th, 2011

“The refusal and failure to recognize and honor the dignity and humanity of all people has been the foundation of every caste system that has ever existed in the United States or anywhere else in the world. It is our task, I firmly believe, to end not just mass incarceration, but also to end this history and cycle of caste in America.”

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Jon B. Alterman

director, Middle East Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

May 20, 2009

"The developing world uses more energy in a year than the entire developed world and that gap gets bigger and bigger and bigger as we go into the future. Countries like China and India, that is where the growth is coming from. If you're a country in the Middle East and you're thinking about where your markets are, where your growing markets are, your growing markets are in the East, not in the West."

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Jabari Asim

editor-in-chief, Crisis, the magazine of the NAACP

February 27, 2009

"This is a time of goose bumps and chills, of grace notes and gratitude, of excitement that warms the heart and shapes the soul with a recognition that, indeed, nothing is impossible."

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David Axelrod

senior advisor to President Barack Obama

October 7, 2009

"No matter how much confidence you have in someone, you don't know, until you actually you see them under that kind of relentless pressure, how they'll handle it. Little by little it became very, very clear that he had presidential qualities to him, because every time we were at our worst moments, he was at his best."

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Alan Bean

astronaut who walked on the moon

Oct. 20, 2010

“Every impossible dream has to start somewhere.”

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Catherine Bertini

leader in the fight against world hunger

May 29, 2010

"Your degree from the University of Delaware has prepared you to think, to learn, to achieve, to lead, to inspire. It has infused you with the power to do good. You can change the world. We can't wait to see how well you do it. You are powerful. "

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Jill Biden

educator and second lady of the
United States

January 9, 2010

"The University of Delaware transformed me -- and not only because it was here that I met my husband, Joe. The University of Delaware transformed me because that's what education does. Your best professors can inspire you. Your peers can motivate you to be better than you ever imagined. Your favorite courses can literally alter the path you take in life."

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Joseph R. Biden

vice president of the United States

Sept 16, 2011

"The true accomplishment of our founders was not that they spoke with one voice."

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Michael N. Castle

longtime Delaware political leader

May 28th, 2011

“The people in your life are always the most important thing.”

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Chris Christie

governor of New Jersey and UD Alumnus

Nov 16, 2011

"Be straight with people, give them your honest opinion, act boldly, act decisively and don't worry about the political consequences."

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Common

artist and philanthropist

Mar. 2th, 2011

“From a time when I was very young, if I ever got anything, I always wanted to give back to someone else.”

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Anderson Cooper

television journalist

April 15, 2009

"It's very easy in this day and age to kind of look the other way. It's very tempting to ignore the sadness of other people's lives. But I think it's important that we not turn away, that we look directly into the things that scare us most."

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Bill Cowher

former NFL coach

April 18th, 2011

“There are successful people and people who have success. Successful people enjoy what they do and spread that joy to others; people who have success measure their lives by status, power and money.”

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Candy Crowley

CNN political reporter

Sept 14, 2011

"There are no filters, no regulations. You don't know where to get the truth."

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Howard Dean

political commentator

Oct. 25, 2010

“I believe the health care bill, even though I have some differences with it, is a step in the right direction, though we have a lot more work to do.”

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Arne Duncan

secretary, U.S. Department of Education

October 27, 2009

"The best ideas [for improving schools] come from great principals, great teachers, great superintendents and great districts making a difference in students' lives. We have this amazing opportunity to invest in what works and erase the achievement gap and raise the bar to a different level for our children."

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Patti Solis Doyle

political adviser

Sept. 15, 2010

“The fact is there were only a handful of women playing this game when I started; most of the top players were guys and nearly all of them were white. Fifteen years later, when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton faced off [for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination], it was a very, very different situation.”

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Mona Eltahawy

award-winning columnist

February 25, 2009

"In the Arab world, the most marginalized groups of people are young people and women. They don't have access to mainstream media, they don't have access to the establishment politics, so they go online and they create a space that is now impacting the real world. The virtual world is now having an impact on the real world."

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America Ferrera

actress

Oct 24, 2011

"I came to realize that I would never be the actress I truly wanted to be until I could find out who I really was and become a person that I could truly respect."

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Thomas K. Friedman

journalist and author

May 30, 2009

"Whatever uncompromising idealism that was formed in you by a professor you admired, whatever unbending convictions about what is right and wrong, black and white, which you stuck to in student government debates, even when your cause seemed lost, whatever principled behavior you demanded from the administration here, or from fellow students supporting the same cause, whatever you do, do not leave it here. There is nothing our country needs more right now."

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Fawaz Gerges

Middle East and foreign policy expert

April 21, 2010

"Militant Islamism is a tiny social phenomenon. It has never had a viable social constituency; it's what I call an orphan. If we look at Islamism as a family, militant Islamism has always been an orphan rather than a major player."

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Tyrese Gibson

actor and author

Sept 27, 2011

"You need to ask yourself, 'How can I do something of significance that can influence the world?"

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Newt Gingrich

founder, the Center for Health Transformation

March 24, 2009

"This is the most dynamic era of scientific change in human history. Solutions developed today may not work five years from now. So we have to design government structures that are permanently evolving and permanently adaptable. The society that can best adapt to change is going to be healthier, more productive and safer."

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Doug Glanville

entrepreneur and former
Major League Baseball player

April 15, 2010

"Baseball has so many moving parts to it, that it kind of reminds me of a science experiment in a lot of ways…. Certainly, an engineering mind can celebrate that."

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Annette Gordon-Reed

Pulitzer Prize-winning author

May 7, 2009

"It's easy to dismiss people or not pay attention to them when you don't know anything about them. If you don't know them in any way, you don't have a stake in them. You have a stake in people that you know."

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Ayanna Gregory

singer, educator and activist

Feb 15, 2012

"I spent a whole lot of time avoiding pain and struggle, only to find transformation. I spent a whole lot of time looking for love, only to find that love was looking for me."

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Mia Hamm

soccer star

March 23, 2010

"I keep competing to spread the message that I was taught. But I can't do it alone. I need you, but I don't need your time or your money. I need you to challenge yourself to be the best you can be -- for yourself, your family, your friends, your company.... You have to ask yourself how good you want to be."

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Melissa Hathaway

former senior director for cyberspace in the National Security Council

April 11, 2012

"We need to have digital education that brings the thought of right and wrong to this new age."

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Hill Harper

actor, author and activist

Feb 24, 2012

"The future does not belong to those who are afraid. Say that you will not allow fear to stop you from taking the actions you initially wanted to take, and that you will let others do the same."

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Alexandra Harney

author, The China Price

February 16, 2009

"What we pay for a product often does not reflect the true value of that good. It doesn't reflect fair working conditions, it doesn't reflect environmental controls, and so ultimately, by not paying that, we are creating problems overseas and for ourselves. The working conditions in China are very much connected to all of us as consumers."

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Michael Hayden

former director of the National Security Agency

Mar 14, 2012

"There are no longer good guy networks and bad guy networks. We are all on the same grid."

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Richard F. Heck

Nobel laureate in chemistry and UD professor emeritus

May 26th, 2011

“I think I can recommend chemistry as a career. If I had to do it over again, I would. I give it my highest compliments.”

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Gwen Ifill

journalist and author

October 29, 2009

"I always tell people I'm a skeptic but not a cynic, because if you're a cynic, that means you've decided what you believe and you're done. But if you're a skeptic, you keep asking questions. It doesn't mean you always get the answers you want, but it means that your mind is always open to the possibility that the answer is there."

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Ted Kaufman

former U.S. senator from Delaware

March 8th, 2011

“Democracy is not about majorities. What makes America great is that we protect political minorities. What makes this country great is that there's a political minority that people have to listen to.”

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Tracy Kidder

Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Sept. 1, 2010

Commenting on the protagonist of his book Strength in What Remains, "Education was a great refuge for him. I think Columbia [University] saved his life. His mind came to rest, and he could see things from a distance, in Manichean terms of good and evil."

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Joel Klein

chancellor, New York City Public Schools

Sept. 28, 2010

“I hope I've stirred the pot some, so that if you think about Race to the Top, if you think about the children in Delaware, you think about how you can create an educational system that is precisely the one you would want for your own children. Once we get a system that we insist on for all of our children, we will be where we need to go”

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Donald Kohn

vice chairman, Federal Reserve Board

April 20, 2009

"The U.S. economy has proven itself over the years to be flexible and resilient as well as innovative and productive, qualities that enable it to rebound from serious economic shocks, and I am confident that, in a like manner, we will rebound from our current economic and financial challenges."

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Tony Kornheiser

sportswriter, co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption

March 20, 2009

"We've known each other for 30 years, we've been friends an awfully long time. When we started doing PTI and the television sets would be on in the Washington Post newsroom, nobody even looked up because they were so used to us doing this, yelling and screaming at each other and making fun of one another for years and years and years, that they just assumed we were still in the building."

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Spike Lee

filmmaker

February, 23, 2009

"Both of my parents drilled in our head that to succeed in America you could not be just as good as your white counterparts. If you ask any successful African American, they will tell you that being good enough is not enough to get by."

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John Leguizamo

actor and producer

April 28, 2009

"The '80s were different, too, because they didn't want to hear from Latin actors. All they wanted Latin actors for was to be drug dealers, gangsters, murderers or janitors."

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Wynton Marsalis

musician

Nov 2, 2011

"Before we sang, we spoke; before we danced, we walked; before we wrote, we told stories; and before we told those stories, we lived. Such songs and dances allow us to speak to one another across generations. They also give us an understanding of our commonality."

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Judith Martin

columnist known as "Miss Manners"

April 27, 2009

"Having been brought up on the parental advice of 'just be yourself' is pretty useless because, if you wanted to be someone else, how would you go about it? The whole point is that this notion of an etiquette-free society had been taught to a generation, and they were not happy. Not only were they not getting what they wanted, they were outraged at the way other people were treating them."

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Mary Patterson McPherson

executive director, American Philosophical Society

January 10, 2009

"To manage to hold our own, we must become smarter, wiser and more knowledgeable about the rest of the world and understand the new ways we could play a useful, beneficial leadership role working with respected partners. We have historically been admired as a nation that could attract able people with our hopes and aspirations - an exporter of hope, not fear - has been who we have been, and it is ... who we must be again."

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Seth Meyers

comedian, head writer for Saturday Night Live

Oct. 15, 2010

“I prefer to be Seth Meyers and sit behind a desk,” in reference to serving as news anchor instead of playing characters in sketches on Saturday Night Live.

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Greg Mortenson

author, Three Cups of Tea

September 3, 2009

"There are 120 million children in the world who can't go to school, and 78 million of these children are female. I think that the top global priority is that every single child in the world should be able to go to school."

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Marwan Muasher

vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment

April 20th, 2011

“In my view, if the United States does move on the issue of peace today rather than wait for later, it will do a lot in terms of improving the image that it has in the [Middle East.]”

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Elon Musk

chairman and CEO, Tesla Motors

November 5, 2009

Describing his business venture which morphed into PayPal: "The initial idea was to put all the information in one place, to make it easier to transfer securities and cash from one customer to another by their email addresses. What people really responded to was emailing money. Folks really took to that."

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Michael Nutter

mayor of Philadelphia

March 12, 2009

"Change is the way of the future, and while that will mean different things to different people, I think the one thing it means is that we can't keep doing what we have been doing and survive."

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Soledad O'Brien

special correspondent and anchor for CNN's Starting Point

May 26th, 2012 / Sept. 18, 2008

"We better understand that we are just part of a bigger whole and not divided by political labels or gender or race, but are stronger as a nation because of what binds us. Those differences are our heritage. Identities do matter and we can all be proud that we are here, together.We better understand that we are just part of a bigger whole and not divided by political labels or gender or race, but are stronger as a nation because of what binds us. Those differences are our heritage. Identities do matter and we can all be proud that we are here, together."

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Edward James Olmos

actor

September 24, 2009

"What I advocate is that children learn at least three other languages. They need to start young, because it is almost impossible to learn languages after age 12."

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Rajendra K. Pachauri

chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

April 6th, 2011

“Natural factors such as solar activity and volcanic activity don't fully explain what has happened to temperature increases over the past 100 years or so. However, when we include inputs related to increases in the concentrations of greenhouse gases, what we get is almost a perfect fit between model predictions and actual observations.”

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Chris Paine

filmmaker

August 9, 2009

"Electric cars can be fast, futuristic and fun. In President Taft's time, they were for ladies who didn't want to get their fingers dirty and for doctors who didn't want to be bothered with gasoline engines."

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James McCracken Peck

naturalist and author

Jan 8, 2012

"Each of you has a unique combination of talents and experiences to offer the world. Don’t be afraid to let them show."

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Kal Penn

actor, associate director of the White House Office of Public Liaison

May 19, 2009

"The media does play a role in socializing our culture, and in the American culture they show who is considered part of our culture and who is considered an outsider. In the media context, we need to consider how they determine who is part of our culture and how these roles are being processed."

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Randal Pinkett

"Apprentice" winner and entrepreneur

Mar 6, 2011

"You want to see your culture and see your identity as an asset, and not as a liability."

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Sandra Postel

director of the
Global Water Policy Project

May 10, 2010

The average American's water footprint is 1,800 gallons a day. Less than 10 percent of that comes out of the faucet. Water is embedded in everything we do. It takes 634 gallons of water to produce a hamburger and 2,900 to make a pair of jeans.

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Charles Plosser

president and CEO of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve

Feb 14, 2011

"Monetary policy should be contingent upon the state of the economy and how it evolves, not on the calendar."

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David Plouffe

adviser to President Barack Obama

Nov. 10, 2010

“There's a lot of attention paid to the 2010 electorate, and the 2012 electorate is going to be fundamentally different than the 2010 electorate in many, many ways.”

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Colin Powell

former U.S. secretary of state

November 3, 2009

"If [solutions to the world's problems] were easy, they would've been solved before, and we have to be patient as the president wrestles his way through all of these. The one thing that I am absolutely sure of is that the world will continue to look to America for leadership. We will continue to be criticized, but also respected, treasured, but sometimes diminished.""

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John Quinones

news correspondent

Sept. 21, 2010

“I want you to know that I have been there and that if I can make it to network television, so can you -- just dream big.”

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Cal Ripken

athlete, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame

May 31, 2008

"You are at a place in your lives where you can set the course for doing right, as well as doing well, for yourselves. Just ask yourself questions like, 'At what price do we strive to be successful?' 'At what cost do we want to be liked?' Your lives will be shaped by the answers you give to these questions as you make the choices to respond to the chances presented to you."

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Billy Roche

Irish author and screenwriter

May 2, 2010

"I was a musician before I was a writer, so music is very important to me, When I am thinking about finding a person to direct a play I've written, I have to be happy with the music that they are going to use. It just wouldn't work without that."

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Karl Rove

political commentator

Oct. 25, 2010

“You have to look at the roots from which the tea party has sprung. They were concerned with these massive debts and all of the bills that were passed. This all makes for giant toxic stew that is not helping the Democrats at all.”

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Ken Salazar

secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior

May 4, 2009

"Because of the history that the University of Delaware and [the state of] Delaware have with respect to wind power, I expect that Delaware will be at the point of the spear in terms of making this new energy source a reality."

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Steve Schmidt

national political strategist

Sept 28, 2011

"The bus of opportunity may only stop once."

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Tom Segev

Israeli journalist and historian

April 22, 2009

"I grew up in a generation believing very strongly and realistically in the possibility of peace. But if you asked young people today if they can foresee peace in the future, they would say 'no.' The reason is not that they don't want to believe, but that they have lost faith in the possibility of peace. Young people now are growing up knowing that their children may have to fight another war."

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Steve Schirripa

actor

Feb 13, 2012

On becoming an actor: "First, you have to learn what you're doing and take lessons. Second, you need to prepare yourself. Third, you need to do the right thing and don’t be a crazy nut job. And fourth, learn what you’re doing, and you’ll get an opportunity at some point. You just have to keep trying."

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Jamie Shea

deputy assistant secretary general at NATO

May 4th, 2011

“We tend to come awake at a crisis, and when crisis is over, we don't do anything to prevent the next one. We need to have more transatlantic dialog and to talk about the things we are likely to face.”

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Rebecca Skloot

author

Oct 13, 2011

"There was something about that woman that I wanted to know about."

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Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons

hip hop and rap icon,
star of MTV's Run's House

March 2, 2010

"Do your best and forget the rest. If you take short cuts, you will get cut short."

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Dana Shell Smith

media liaison for the U.S. Department of State

March 25, 2009

"As we saw on 9/11, the world is a small place now and the U.S. has no possibility of being isolated. So, as long as the world we live in is one where people can travel and interact internationally, then we have to care about our international reputation."

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Peter Smith

leader, NASA's 2007-08 Phoenix Mars Mission

April 16, 2009

"We're ardently searching for evidence of life on our closest planet. I think it's coming, I really do. At some point, we"ll turn over a rock, and 'by gosh' there it is."

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Rick Steves

travel author and television host

March 25, 2010

"Travel should change you, get you out of your comfort zone. When you travel, you realize there're exciting struggles going on that we would be clueless to if we didn't get out there and talk to these people."

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Scott Strobel

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, Yale University

August 12, 2009

"You guys all live in a world where there are a lot of expectations about what science is going to deliver to you, to deliver to us, the problems that science is going to solve. So you have to decide what problem it is that you care so passionately about and are so interested in and is so important that it's going to consume your life and your attention and your energy for some number of years."

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Nontombi Naomi Tutu

human rights activist

March 18, 2010

" have found usually, when we first walk into a room, we have two views of people, 'us' and 'them.' When we ask people to write down the characteristics of 'us' and 'them,' and to share the list, people are amazed that the 'us' group shares the same characteristics of the 'them' group."

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Kenneth Vogel

reporter for Politico.com

Oct. 20, 2010

“We're seeing such a flood of money into politics, and it's really changed the way that campaigns, parties, outside groups, big corporations, labor unions, everyone approaches the political system.”

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Cornel West

philosopher, author and activist

Feb. 22, 2011

“Any time I get a chance to talk about black history, it makes me shiver. It makes me tremble when I think about the level of excellence and courage, resilience and resistance, that long caravan of love.”

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Michael Wilbon

sportswriter, co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption

March 20, 2009

"This is something you should learn about people in the sports industry, in whatever capacity they work. We like people that we like. We root for people we like because we actually know them."

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Pat Williams

motivational speaker, top executive with the NBA's Orlando Magic

June 6, 2009

"Your mind, like mine, is a muscle, and muscles need exercise... . Start today, and read one hour every day for the rest of your life. The best part is that the books are not assigned. You get to pick them."

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Terry Tempest Williams

environmental author

Feb 28, 2012

"I think when we bear witness, it's not a passive act. It's an act of conscience and consciousness that I think does have consequence."

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Steven Wright

comedian, Oscar-winning filmmaker

Oct. 15, 2010

“If you want to do something, you should go after it because if you don't, you will always wonder what might've happened if you had.”

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Robert B. Zoellick

president of the World Bank

Mar. 9th, 2011

“The work of the World Bank can't just be put in a neat little economic box [but it is aimed at supporting economic growth that is] inclusive and sustainable.”