Past Last Lecture Series Speakers
Each semester, one faculty member is selected to be the Last Lecture Series Speaker. The Last Lecture Series began in the Spring of 2009 and the following distinguished faculty members have been honored since that time. Please take some time to read about our past speakers and to watch the video recording of their lecture.
We look forward to seeing you at a future Last Lecture Series Event!
This program is sponsored by the Division of Student Development and the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Dr. Tobias Winright
Associate Professor of Theological Studies
"Gratitude is a word I highlight in this Last Lecture, and I am sincerely grateful to students for honoring me with this opportunity to share with them (and with colleagues, family, and friends) some reflections that have been percolating in my mind over the past few months following my head injury. As a theologian, I am privileged to engage life-and-death questions and issues with students each semester; however, my recent potentially life-threatening experience really forced me to think hard about what is truly of significance in my life personally and professionally. My last lecture could have happened on the last day of last semester! Preparing and delivering the Last Lecture helped me to pull some things together and to offer them in gratitude to all the others (and to the Other) in my life."
Dr. Tobias Winright is an Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University, and is also the Director of the Manresa Program in Catholic, Jesuit Studies . He received both his M.A. and his Ph.D. in Moral Theology/Christian Ethics from The University of Notre Dame, as well as a M.Div. from the Duke University Divinity School. Dr. Winright teaches a variety of courses, many of which address social questions such as war and peace, environmental ethics, economic justice, and criminal justice. He is also an active member of several professional organizations, such as the Society of Christian Ethics, the College Theology Society, the Catholic Theological Society of America, American Academy of Religion, and the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics. He is the book reviews editor for the international journal, Political Theology, and will be the coeditor of the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics beginning in 2013. He has also been involved in the publication of several books, including a recent book that he co-authored with Mark J. Allman, titled After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice.
Dr. William Charron
Professor of Philosophy
"It was with delight and an equally intense trepidation that I received news that students had chosen me to give a Last Lecture…. And what had I to say to them? – ‘That I am profoundly grateful for the great western philosophical tradition I have had the good fortune to inherit and to learn more deeply in passing it to them, and that they will never regret the hours they now spend in mastering its ways of thinking and appraising.’ One rarely gets the opportunity to say such things to a large and knowledgeable audience."
Dr. Charron received his B.A. from Benedictine College, his M.A. from the University of Detroit, and his Ph.D. from Marquette University. Dr. Charron began at Saint Louis University in 1967 and is the editor of The Modern Schoolman. His areas of interest are classical modern philosophy: Hobbes through Kant; theory of games, economic and political philosophy, philosophy and literary criticism of T. S. Eliot.
Dr. Stefan Bradley
Associate Professor of History with a joint appointment with African-American Studies
"At points in my career, I wondered (like the bombing comedian): "is anybody out there?" Being selected for the last lecture was certification that there is an audience for the lessons I share. As I mentioned in the lecture itself, being selected for the Last Lecture was like an actor being selected for the academy award. For one short hour I felt like a star. On the other hand, constructing the last last lecture was one of the most daunting tasks I've ever completed. Although I am relatively young (if not at heart), I felt there was so much I had to teach those young learners about the life they will make for themselves. By the end of the process, I found out how much they, and all the various people I have encountered, had taught me. Nothing in my career has exceeded this commendation."
Dr. Stefan M. Bradley, associate professor of history with a joint appointment in African-American studies from the College of Arts and Sciences, was selected as the Fall 2011 Last Lecture Series Speaker and spoke on Monday, Nov. 14, in the Saint Louis Room in the Busch Student Center.Bradley received his B.A. from Gonzaga University, his M.A. from Washington State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri - Columbia. He teaches a variety of courses, with his primary emphasis focusing on 20th century African-American history. Bradley is interested in the role that youth have played in shaping post-World War II American society. His first book, Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s, focuses on the famous controversy that took place at Columbia University in 1968-1969. The students' activism resulted in the alteration of university policies toward the neighboring community of Harlem and a change in the university's curriculum. Bradley received the Phillis Wheatley Book Prize in 2010, given by the North East Black Studies Association, for his first book and also received the Student Government Association Faculty Excellence Award in 2011.
Dr. Martha Shockey-Eckles
Assistant Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice
"Without a doubt, The Last Lecture Series was among the highlights of my career Receiving the opportunity to present my thoughts and insights from twenty-one years of university allowed me to revisit what has been most fulfilling during that time, but also to pass along to those in attendance the importance of making their lives, their education, and their eventual employment, count in the real world-- the world we share with many less fortunate than ourselves. As I reflected on my own life and lengthy career I realized I remain an idealist-- one who truly feels we can all make a difference if we care enough to do so. Just as academicians should actively use their research in ways that bring change where change is most needed so, too, should our students remember and draw from the Ignatian spirit that guides the mission of Saint Louis University. In our own ways we are all conducting research-- the question becomes how will our decisions and actions throughout our lives affect those around us. Presenting in The Last Lecture Series was an experience and an honor never to be forgotten. It is with a sense of humility and humbleness that I thank all who made my presence possible."
Dr. Martha Shockey-Eckles, Assistant Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice, was selected as the Spring 2011 speaker. Dr. Shockey-Eckles spoke on Monday, April 18, 2011. Dr. Shockey-Eckles received her B.A. from St. Ambrose University, her M.A. from the University of Iowa, and her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Dr. Shockey-Eckles teaches a variety of courses, with her primary emphasis focusing on classes included in the Criminal Justice curriculum. As the policing expert in the department she assumed full responsibility for teaching all Law Enforcement courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and developed and taught the undergraduate Capstone course. Her research interests include interaction styles adopted by members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and their effects on local crime, police-media relations, inter-generational violence in St. Louis, and gender effects in the Criminal Justice system.
Dr. Beldan Lane
Professor of Theological Studies
"A storyteller is only as good as his listeners. A teacher is only as good as her students. Invariably, the one brings out the gifts in the other. I've been blessed over the years with students who have taught me at least as much as I've been able to teach them."
Dr. Belden Lane, Professor of Theological Studies , was selected as the Fall 2010 speaker. Dr. Lane spoke on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 in the Busch Student Center room 170. The title of his presentations was "Just to Be is a Blessing;Just to live is holy" Dr. Lane received his B.A. from Florida State University, his B.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Lane arrived at Saint Louis University in 1977 and he teaches a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Dr. Lane received the SGA Faculty Excellence Award in 2008. Dr. Lane teaches in the areas of American religion, the history of spirituality, and the connections between geography and faith. The relationship of Christian spirituality to the wonder and beauty of the natural world is close to his heart whether seen in the earth-sensitive practices of Celtic spirituality or Calvin and Edwards' perception of the world as a theater of God's glory in the Reformed tradition. His interests include wilderness backpacking in the Ozarks, the magic of storytelling, the history of Desert Spirituality, exposing students to urban poverty through Karen House (the Catholic Worker), and the poetry of Rumi and Wendell Berry.
Dr. Kenneth Parker
Associate Professor of Theological Studies
"To be invited by students to give my "Last Lecture" is an honor that I cherish. At age 55, I have become mindful that each day of life is a blessing, particularly because of my father's untimely death in a plane crash when he was 53. The "Last Lecture" gave me the opportunity to reassess and articulate more than two years of reflections, as I have sought to understand better how to use each day that God has seen fit to grant me. Preparing for the lecture deepened my awareness of why I find life so joyful, and how the discovery of the image of God in my sons and students--especially students I teach at Bonne Terre Prison--has given my life a greater sense of purpose and enlarged my spiritual life. My interior life is richer and mundane daily activities have become infused with sacramental grace as a result of this opportunity. I am deeply grateful to the students who made this occasion for growth possible, and hope that the fruit of it will nourish others."
Dr. Kenneth Parker, Associate Professor of Theological Studies , was selected as the Spring 2010 speaker. Dr. Parker spoke on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 in the Saint Louis Room in the Busch Student Center. The title of his presentations was "The Three Elements of Life."
Dr. Parker received his B.A. in History and Writing from Houghton College, his M.A. in Historical Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in Divinity from the University of Cambridge. He worked on post-doctoral studies in Nineteenth-Century Roman Catholic Theology and Church History at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. He was also a monk for five years at Saint Andrew's Abbey in the Mojave Desert.Dr. Parker arrived at Saint Louis University in 1992 and he teaches a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Dr. Parker received the Helen Mandeville Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities in 2008.
In the spring of 2007, Dr. Parker conceived a plan to bring undergraduate courses to a prison in our region. Through the support of Fr. Wayne Hellmann, the department chair, and faculty and upper administration, he negotiated with the Missouri Department of Corrections to implement a pilot program. The Incarnate Word Foundation very generously provided the funding to start the project. The officials in Jefferson City approved the SLU Prison Initiative in December 2007, and the first course began in January 2008.
Dr. Michael Shaner
Professor of Management
"Its always an honor to be selected by the students for any award---they are the customers who purchase the product so it was a compliment when they wanted to spend a Tuesday evening with me."
Dr. Shaner received his M.B.A. from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. in Management from the University of South Carolina. He teaches graduate, undergraduate, and executive Masters level courses; and he has been awarded every teaching honor, both school and university, that the University bestows. His teaching methodology includes a strong emphasis on experiential learning, practical application, and student participation in all aspects of his courses. He has also developed and uses a computer simulation of the business environment.
In addition to his extensive teaching experience, Dr. Shaner has developed and delivers programs in the areas of strategic management, employee motivation, situational leadership, teambuilding, change management, and a program called "Adventures in Attitudes". He has provided management development and consulting services to both large and small organizations, national and international, in both the public and private sectors. Mike also provides coaching services to executives seeking to maximize their business potential, run organizations effectively, and manage people wisely.
Dr. Timothy Lomperis
Professor of Political Science
"The Last Lecture was not only the greatest honor of my career, but also the most intimidating. In the end, it has also provided the most clarifying moment to my academic career. What I discovered in preparing the Last Lecture was that it was not the knowledge that I teach that is the most important, but the faith that inspires it."
Dr. Timothy Lomperis specializes in international relations, Asian studies, international security, revolutionary theory, and counterinsurgency. Dr. Lomperis received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1981. His fields were international relations, Asian studies, political theory, and world religions. His dissertation won the Helen Dwight Reid award of the American Political Science Association in 1981 for the best dissertation in international relations. Before earning his Ph.D., Dr. Lomperis served two tours of duty in Vietnam in the Army and Defense Intelligence Agency. He was awarded the U.S. Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Army Staff Medal First Class. Prior to joining the SLU faculty in 1996, he taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and at Duke University. At the lower level, Dr. Lomperis teaches courses in international relations and Asian politics. At the upper/graduate level, his courses are in asymmetric warfare, the politics of the future, the public policy of American national security, and graduate seminars in international relations theory and Asian political thought. He has received three teaching awards, including two Student Government Association awards for faculty excellence.