September 8, 2011—New Topics New College, a community discussion series addressing relevant topics of our time, will open its 2011-2012 series on October 20, at 5:30 pm in Mildred Sainer Pavilion with a talk on “Climate Change Through the Camera’s Lens,” featuring environmental photojournalist Gary Braasch. His work has appeared in National Geographic, Smithsonian, Audubon, Time and hundreds of other publications. Since 2000, his keystone project has been to capture on film the effects of rapid climate change.

Running through March, additional programs will address Disney’s animal research, the future of the global markets, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, consumer trends in the food and beverage industry, ethics in clinical medicine and scientific research, and new technologies and the future of medical practices. In addition, there will be a bonus lecture for series subscribers on the economic outlook and Federal Reserve policy.

Guest speakers include: environmental photojournalist Gary Braasch (Oct 20); Dr. Jill Mellen, Disney Animal Kingdom education and science director (Nov 1); David R. Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors (Nov 15); New College political science Professor Frank Alcock (Dec 13); Jonathan Smiga, president and CEO of Barnie’s Coffee and Tea Company (Jan 10); Professor Anita L. Allen of University of Pennsylvania Law School (Mar 6); biophysicist Dr. Paul Hansma (Mar 20); and President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Dennis Lockhart (Feb 14 – bonus lecture). Smiga, Allen and Hansma are all New College alumnae/i.

All programs take place on the New College campus at a brand new time—5:30 pm. All will be held at the Mildred Sainer Music & Arts Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road. Series tickets are $75, and individual lectures are $15, with net proceeds funding scholarships and other resources for New College students. For reservations and information, call 941-487-4888 or order online at

New Topics New College is presented by New College of Florida and New College Foundation, Inc. Each event will conclude with a complimentary reception at which attendees will be able to meet the speakers, New College faculty and students.

Media sponsors for the series are the Herald-Tribune Media Group, SNN Local 6 and WEDU public television. Lodging is generously underwritten by Courtyard Marriott and Residence Inn Marriott, and catering is underwritten by Mattison’s.

A calendar listing follows.

Tickets (series $75; individual lectures $15) & Info: 941-487-4888

October 20, at 5:30 pm
“Climate Change Through the Camera’s Lens”
Gary Braasch, environmental photojournalist

Gary Braasch’s work has appeared in National Geographic, Smithsonian, Audubon, Time and hundreds of other publications.  Since 2000, his keystone project has been to capture on film the effects of rapid climate change.  Mr. Braasch will talk about his journeys and show many of the iconic images he’s captured of how climate change is altering our world. Braasch’s talk is co-sponsored by the Tree Foundation. (

November 1, at 5:30 pm
“The Natural World of Disney”
Dr. Jill Mellen, Disney Animal Kingdom education and science director

Scientists at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are working locally and globally to learn more about animals and their habitats.  The Animal Kingdom’s Dr. Jill Mellen and several of her colleagues will share stories about Disney’s work – from restoring reefs in The Bahamas and building a gorilla orphanage in the African Congo to figuring out the recipe for success in propagating one of the most endangered birds on Earth, the Micronesian kingfisher.

November 15, at 5:30 pm
“What’s Ahead for the Global Markets?”
David R. Kotok, chairman & chief investment officer, Cumberland Advisors

As the post-crisis economic order slowly takes shape, it’s clear much has and is changing.  What will be the impact on the world’s stock markets?  Cumberland Advisors founder David Kotok, a frequent commentator and essayist for Bloomberg, CNBC, Barron’s and others, will share his views on the current and future directions of the global markets.

December 13, at 5:30 pm
“Deepwater Horizon: What Happened, Why and Where Do We Go From Here?”
Frank Alcock, Political Science Professor, New College

It’s been little more than a year since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. What really happened, and why?  How do we minimize future risks?  Associate Professor of Political Science Frank Alcock, recently returned from a Senior Fulbright fellowship in New Zealand where he studied that country’s climate policies, will discuss the technical and ecological dimensions of the disaster, the regulatory context that allowed it to happen and the broader implications for offshore drilling activity and U.S. energy policy.

January 10, at 5:30 pm
“Why Chipotle Wins! The Changing Face of Value for the New Consumer”
Jonathan Smiga ’75, President & CEO of Barnie’s Coffee and Tea Company

New College alumnus Jonathan Smiga has a knack for anticipating health-conscious consumer trends in food.  His career has taken him to senior positions with the Culinary Institute of America, Darden Restaurants and Orlando-based Barnie’s Coffee and Tea Co., where as CEO he is remaking the Barnie’s brand and the consumer’s coffee shop experience. Smiga will let us peek behind the counter of the multi-billion dollar food and beverage industry and share what we can expect to see in the future.

March 6, at 5:30 pm
“Charting an Ethical Path for Clinical Medicine and Scientific Research”
Anita L. Allen ’70, prof. of law and prof. of philosophy, University of Pennsylvania Law School

New College alumna Anita L. Allen is an expert on privacy law, bioethics, and contemporary values, and is recognized for her scholarship about legal philosophy, women’s rights, and race relations. She serves on the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues that advises the U.S. president on policies to ensure that scientific research, health care delivery and technological innovation occur in an ethical manner.  Professor Allen will discuss the commission’s findings relating to synthetic biology, human subject research, genetics and neuroscience and their implications for health care and research in the United States.

March 20, at 5:30 pm
“Medicine, Atom by Atom: From the Atomic Force Microscope to the Clinic”
Dr. Paul Hansma ’64, biophysicist

For 25 years, the Paul Hansma Research Group at the University of California at Santa Barbara has been developing Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs) for a startling variety of scientific uses. This ingenious device – New College uses one in its own research on carbon nanotubes – has shown there are adhesive molecules in abalone shell, bone and other materials that use the nanoscale mechanism of “sacrificial bonds” and “hidden length” to dissipate energy and protect these materials from fracture. The latest instruments can now test how well human bone can resist such fractures – even in living patients. These instruments have the potential to diagnose bone fragility and guide development of new therapies for decreasing bone fragility. New College alumnus Dr. Hansma will discuss these exciting new technologies and the implication on future medical practices.

February 14, at 5:30 pm
“Views on the Economic Outlook and Federal Reserve Policy: An Evening with Atlanta Fed CEO Dennis Lockhart”
Bonus lecture for series ticket holders (individual lecture tickets not for sale)

The 14th president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Dennis P. Lockhart is an expert in global banking and commerce, with extensive experience in Middle Eastern, Asian, African and Latin American markets. Prior to joining the Bank in 2007, he was on the faculty at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and previous to that, was managing partner at the private equity firm of Zephyr Management.  Co-sponsored by the Philadelphia-based Global Interdependence Center.

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