New Topics New College

New Topics is a collaboration of the New College Foundation and New College of Florida. This dynamic community series features national speakers on relevant topics of our time.

All programs are complimentary and will be held in the Mildred Sainer Auditorium, 5313 Bay Shore Road.

For more information, please contact the New College Events Office at 941-487-4888.

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The 2018-2019 Lineup

October 18, 2018 | 5:30 p.m.
Sustainability and “the Sweet Life:” How our Personal Happiness is Linked to Community and Nature

New College Foundation presents Dr. William Powers, Senior Fellow, the World Policy Institute and adjunct professor, New York University, who has led development aid and conservation initiatives in Latin America, Africa, and Washington, D.C., for over two decades.

Powers has worked as a fellow at the World Bank; head of programs for Catholic Relief Services in Liberia; and chief of party of the USAID / Conservation International rainforest conservation program in Bolivia. His new book is Dispatches from the Sweet Life: One Family, Five Acres, and a Community’s Quest to Reinvent the World (September 2018).


NOVEMBER 15, 2018 | 5:30 p.m.
Feeling the Burn: Ocean Acidification/Warming and Adaption to a Dynamic Environment

New College’s Division of Social Sciences presents Dr. Andrew Stamper, Science Operations Manager/Clinical Veterinarian, Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment, at Walt Disney World Resorts. Ocean temperatures are changing at an unprecedented rate and magnitude due to natural cycles and from anthropogenic carbon dioxide/methane emissions.

To compound this environmental shift, acid-base balances are being altered by carbon dioxide, decreasing the pH of the water and leading to a suite of chemical alternations. The good news is that through carbon reduction and other techniques such as coral reef rehabilitation, people, businesses, nonprofits and governments are finding ways to minimize carbon production and help ecosystems adapt to climate change/ocean acidification.


JANUARY 22, 2019 | 5:30 p.m.
Excavating the Foundations of Charity in Classical Jewish Texts

The Klingenstein Chair of Judaic Studies at New College presents Gregg Gardner, associate professor and The Diamond Chair in Jewish Law and Ethics, at The University of British Columbia.

While the Hebrew Bible demands a welcome for the stranger, as well as care for orphans and widows, it leaves specifics undisclosed. Rabbinic Judaism crafted these aspirations into communal and institutional almsgiving. Leading us through a close look at texts from the 3rd century C.E. and following, Professor Gardner reveals glimpses of the obstacles and possibilities that led to the establishment of the two key Jewish charitable organizations – the “soup kitchen” (tamhui) and the “charity fund” (quppa), as well as other methods for protecting the dignity of those who give or receive support.

The lecture is sponsored by New College of Florida, The Klingenstein Chair of Judaic Studies and The Jay Rudolph Endowment, and New Topics New College.


FEBRUARY 14, 2019 | 5:30 p.m.
America in the World: A Tale of Love and Disruption

New College Foundation presents retired ambassador Nancy McEldowney, director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service program at Georgetown University. A 1981 graduate of New College, Ambassador McEldowney has had a distinguished career as a leader in foreign affairs training, senior policy advisor and high-profile diplomat. Most recently, she served as the Director of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), the premier foreign affairs training provider for the U.S. Government.

Drawing upon three decades as a career diplomat, she will help put the headlines of today within a broader context as she explains new research into the underlying and often unidentified trends that are driving controversy both at home and abroad.


MARCH 5, 2019 | 5:30 p.m.
Reconstructing U.S. – Russian Relations

The Sarasota World Affairs Council presents Dr. William Pomeranz, deputy director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., and an expert guide to the complexities of political and economic developments in Russia, particularly through the lens of law.

As the head of Kennan’s rule of law program, he leverages extensive, hands-on experience in international and Russian jurisprudence and expertise in issues ranging from the development of Russia’s Constitution to human rights law to foreign investment and sanctions. Dr. Pomeranz also teaches Russian law at the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies at Georgetown.

Prior to joining the Kennan Institute, he practiced international law in the United States and Moscow, Russia.


MARCH 28, 2019 | 5:30 p.m.
A Walk on the Wild Side: A Peek at Animal Science in Zoos
New College’s Division of Social Sciences presents Mandi Wilder Schook, science operations manager for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The recipient of a Ph.D. in veterinary science, Dr. Schook has a passion for hoofstock population sustainability. She completed post-doctoral fellowships at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, the Wilds and Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Center for Research of Endangered Wildlife studying reproduction and metabolism in equids, rhinos and cats.

Dr. Schook was the research curator at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo from 2010-2016, coordinating research on welfare, health and reproduction in a variety of species. She currently serves as chair of the International Society of Wildlife Endocrinology, vice-chair of the Association of Zoo’s and Aquarium’s (AZA) Reproduction & Endocrinology Scientific Advisory Group, and is a member of the AZA Research & Technology Committee.


APRIL 17, 2019 | 5:30 p.m.
Leadership and Perseverance Needed to Effect Positive Change

New College Foundation presents Dennis Archer, former mayor of the City of Detroit and associate justice on the Michigan Supreme Court. As mayor of Detroit (1994-2001), he worked to repair the city’s relations with the Detroit suburbs and the local business community through cooperation with suburban business leaders on redevelopment plans for the city.

In 1996, Newsweek named him one of the “25 Most Dynamic Mayors in America.” Archer later served as president of the American Bar Association, becoming the first black president of the organization, which, until 1943, had barred African American lawyers from membership. A graduate of Detroit College of Law, he is chairman emeritus of the Dickinson Wright law firm in Detroit.

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