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University Beat

USF Unveils Lectures at Three Campuses

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Takei - AP Photo, Omalu - PBS, Mitte and Cox - USF University Lecture Series
George Takei (clockwise from left top), Dr. Bennet Omalu, RJ Mitte and Laverne Cox are among upcoming speakers at USF.

Hollywood's George Takei and Laverne Cox, authors Tom Shroder and Andrei Codrescu, and concussion expert Dr. Bennet Omalu are among those taking part in a number of speakers series across the three campuses of the University of South Florida System.

The University Lecture Series (ULS) on the Tampa campus gets things going with a visit Wednesday night by actor RJ Mitte, who played Walter White, Jr., in the award-winning TV show "Breaking Bad." Mitte, who speaks about his experiences with cerebral palsy, will appear at the Marshall Center Ballroom at 7:30 p.m.

The ULS continues with Irani author Firoozeh Dumas appearing in the Marshall Center Oval Theater on Thursday, September 24, at 7 p.m. Emmy-award winning actress Laverne Cox ("Orange is The New Black") will speak on Monday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the MSC Ballroom.

Admission is free for the ULS. Students can pre-register for the ULS, with 20 percent of the seats made available to members of the community. Any remaining seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Also taking place on the Tampa campus is the Frontier Forum lecture series, presented by the USF Pi Beta Kappa Alumni Faculty and hosted by the USF College of Arts and Sciences.

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Credit USF College of Arts and Sciences
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USF College of Arts and Sciences
USF's Frontier Forum Lecture Series features Dr. Bennet Omalu, George Takei and Laura Schroff.

George Takei headlines the series, speaking at the USF Sun Dome at 8 p.m. on Monday, April 18.

Parents probably know Takei best as Sulu in the "Star Trek" TV and movie series, while their children recognize him as a popular commentator on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The first 3,000 USF students will be admitted for free. Tickets go on sale October 2 to the general public.

Other speakers in the Frontier Forum series include Dr. Bennet Omalu, whose work studying concussions and brain damage in NFL players is being turned into a soon to be released movie, "Concussion," starring Will Smith. Omalu will speak at the Straz Center for Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 3.

Author Laura Schroff ("An Invisible Thread") will speak at the Straz Center at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 25. Omalu and Schroff's lectures are both free and open to the public.

USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee are holding their own lecture series, mainly in conjunction with their year-long anniversary celebrations - 50th for USFSP, 40th for USFSM.

USFSP welcomes author and NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu, who will speak about the commercialization of art on Thursday, September 24 at 6 p.m. in the University Student Center Ballroom.

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Credit USF St. Petersburg
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USF St. Petersburg
USF St. Petersburg's Food for Thought Lecture Series features a number of food-related speakers.

The university will also hold a Food for Thought Lecture Series, focusing on food-related speakers. Food photographer Penny De Los Santos talks on Monday, October 26, a panel discussion on Florida cuisine takes place on Monday, November 16, author Barry Estabrook speaks on Tuesday, January 26, and Ian Cheney presents his documentary, "The Search for General Tso," on Monday, March 21.

The Food for Thought lectures are at 7 p.m. in the University Student Center Ballroom, with the exception of the November 16 panel, which will be at at Studio@620. All USFSP lectures are free to the public.

And USF Sarasota-Manatee's Knowledge-A-Bull Speaker Series will kick off with author Tom Shroder. The former editor of The Washington Post Magazine talks Tuesday, September 22 at 5 p.m. in the school's Selby Auditorium. The talk is free to the public, but tickets are necessary.