Colorado State – Pueblo announces 2013-2014 Distinguished Speaker Series line-up

Colorado State – Pueblo announces 2013-2014 Distinguished Speaker Series line-up
PUEBLO – The 2013-2014 Distinguished Speakers Series at Colorado State University-Pueblo will feature a motivational performance painter, a Medal of Honor recipient, a socio-political comedian, a Congressional intern-turned American hero, and the CIA agent who served as inspiration for the Academy Award winning film, Argo.
The Distinguished Speakers Series features eminent national or international speakers who contribute to current thought in social or political activities, in the arts and sciences, or other realms of contemporary significance. The series is an opportunity to learn from scholars, politicians, and business people, who can inspire students and community members to think critically about current issues, trends, events, knowledge, diversity, and leadership. Events will be co-sponsored by the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership, Student Fee Governing Board, Associated Students’ Government, Library and Academic Resources Center, and the Office of Student Life.
Admission is free to CSU-Pueblo students who pay for the series through student fees. Due to budget restrictions, tickets now will be required for all performances with the exception of Medal of Honor recipient Roger Donlan and Muslim author Asma Hasan.

David Garibaldi, Rhythm & Hue, 7 p.m., Hoag Recital Hall (Tickets are $8 and can be purchased by calling 719-549-2687 or at the door)

American performance painter David Garibaldi placed fourth in season seven of America’s Got Talent. His specialty is his "Rhythm and Hue" stage act in which he rapidly creates paintings of notable rock musicians. The performances he unwittingly practiced as a graffiti rebel in his garage is now on a public stage as Garibaldi creates images through his body movement and brushes while communicating via music to an amazed audience. In a few short years, and at 29 years old, Garibaldi has raised more than $1 million for nonprofits and charities across the country through his art.  He works closely with charities such as Special Olympics, Echoes of Hope, Sacramento Children’s Home and World Vision.

Daniel Hernandez, Overcoming Adversity: A First Generation College Student’s Journey, 7 p.m., OUC Ballroom (Tickets are $8 and can be purchased by calling 719-549-2687 or at the door) 

Tucson, Arizona native Daniel Hernandez is a 2012 political science graduate of the University of Arizona and the former congressional intern for Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford. He took action on January 8, 2011, for which he is credited with saving the life of the congresswoman after a gunman shot her and 18 other people. The rise of a gay, Hispanic hero in the middle of a sometimes hostile environment is a story that offers us lessons for our future as a country increasing in diversity. Hernandez talks about his difficult journey overcoming discrimination in language, ethnicity, poverty, and sexual orientation, and why he loves being an American.

Asma Hasan, 7 p.m., OUC Ballroom, NO CHARGE, part of Muslim Journeys Bookshelf grant

A well-respected author and lecturer, Asma Gull Hasan has established herself as a highly sought expert on the American Muslim community. Her two published books, American Muslims: The New Generation and Why I Am a Muslim, have been widely praised for offering a refreshing take on the often misguided stereotypes of Muslims. A magna cum laude graduate of Wellesley College and the prestigious Groton School, Asma Hasan also earned a Juris Doctorate from the New York University School of Law. In addition to her substantial writing work, Asma Hasan is currently employed as the Chief Legal Counsel and Senior Vice President of HealthTrio, LLC. She will appear as part of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities/American Library Association to provide “The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf,” a collection of books, films, and other resources to familiarize the American public with Islam and the cultural heritage of Islamic civilizations around the world.

Roger Donlan, Medal of Honor Recipient, 7 p.m., OUC Ballroom, NO CHARGE

In the early hours of July 6, 1964, Captain Roger Donlon heroically led the defense of the Special Forces camp at Nam Dong against a reinforced Battalion of Viet Cong. In so doing, he became not only the first winner of the Medal of Honor of the Vietnam War, but also the first Special Forces recipient of America’s highest award for bravery. In 1998 Colonel Donlon wrote his autobiography, Beyond Nam Dong, which in addition to covering his 30 years in the Army also included details of his return to Vietnam as a civilian, almost 20 years after his A-camp was attacked.

W. Kamau Bell, W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour, 7 p.m., Hoag Recital Hall (Tickets are $8 and can be purchased by calling 719-549-2687 or at the door)

Socio-political comedian, community activist, and late night TV host W. Kamau Bell is taking the comedy world by storm. His Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell premiered in January of 2013 to critical acclaim, with the New York Times calling Bell “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.” Kamau co-hosts the podcast The Field Negro Guide to Arts & Culture with Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, writes the blog “Kamau’s Komedy Korner” for the San Francisco Weekly, and site on the board of The Applied Research Center, a racial justice think tank and home for media and activism.

Tony Mendez, The True Story of Argo, 7 p.m., OUC Ballroom (Tickets are $8 and can be purchased by calling 719-549-2687 or at the door)

Tony Mendez is a former CIA technical operations officer who specialized in support of clandestine and covert CIA operations. He has written three memoirs about his CIA experiences. Mendez was decorated, and is now widely known, for his on-the-scene management of the "Canadian Caper" during the Iran hostage crisis, in which he exfiltrated six American diplomats from Iran in November 1979. This incident inspired the film Argo directed by Ben Affleck, which won the 2013 Oscar for Best Picture.
For more information or an updated schedule, contact the CSU-Pueblo Office of Student Engagement and Leadership at 549-2687 or visit

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.