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Northwest Missouri State University

Distinguished Lecture Series (Photo by University Photography)

Distinguished Lecture Series

The objective of the Distinguished Lecture Series is to enhance the academic environment through individual discipline and interdisciplinary topics. Supported by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Student Involvement, the series offers the Northwest campus and surrounding communities with opportunities to hear from extraordinary individuals from throughout the globe. Scholars, world travelers and leaders in their fields visit the Northwest campus to share their wisdom, insight and experiences.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

For more information about the Distinguished Lecture Series, contact the Kenton Wilcox, chair of the Distinguished Lecture Series Committee, at


Dr. Temple Grandin

2017-2018 James H. Lemon Lecturer
with additional support from the Northwest School of Education Special Education Programs
and the Northwest Missouri Local Administrators of Special Education

7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018
Mary Linn Auditorium, Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts

Dr. Temple GrandinTemple Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and has been a pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Temple’s achievements are remarkable because she was an autistic child. At age 2 she had no speech and all the signs of severe autism. Many hours of speech therapy and intensive teaching enabled Temple to learn speech. As a teenager, life was hard with constant teasing. Mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona motivated Temple to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.

Dr. Temple Grandin obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College in 1970. In 1974, she was employed as livestock editor for the Arizona Farmer Ranchman and worked for Corral Industries on equipment design. In 1975, she earned her M.S. in animal science at Arizona State University for her work on the behavior of cattle in different squeeze chutes. Grandin earned her Ph.D in animal science from the University of Illinois in 1989.

After her Ph.D. research on the effect of environmental enrichment on the behavior of pigs, she has published several hundred industry publications, book chapters and technical papers on animal handling plus 73 refereed journal articles in addition to 12 books. Her book, "Animals in Translation" was a New York Times best seller and another book, "Livestock Handling an Transport," now has a fourth edition that was published in 2014. Other popular books authored by Grandin are "Thinking in Pictures," "Emergence Labeled Autistic," "Animals Make us Human," "Improving Animal Welfare: A Practical Approach," "The Way I See It" and "The Autistic Brain." She also has a popular TED Talk.

Grandin has received numerous awards and honors. In 2011, Temple was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. In 2015 she was given the Distinguished Service Award by the American Farm Bureau Federation and Meritorious Award from the OIE. HBO has premiered a movie about Temple’s early life and career with the livestock industry that received seven Emmy awards, a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. In 2016, Temple was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Grandin is a past member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America. She lectures to parents and teachers throughout the U.S. about her experiences with autism. Articles and interviews featuring her have appeared in The New York Times, People, Time, National Public Radio, "20/20," "The View" and the BBC. She was also honored in Time Magazine's 2010 “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.” Grandin now resides in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

For more information about Grandin, visit

James H. Lemon operated a successful farming option in Nodaway County, served three terms in the Missouri House of Representatives, starting in 1904. He introduced and fought for the bill that created Northwest, which culminated 30 years of struggle to bring higher education to the region. Beatrice E. Hansen, Lemon’s granddaughter, generously founded the lecture series bearing his name in 1996. Beatrice earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwest and was an assistant professor of business at the University of Northwest Colorado until her retirement in 1979.

The Northwest School of Education Special Education Programs, led by Dr. Shantel Farnan as its program coordinator, is honored to serve as a sponsor for the Distinguished Lecture Series and enhance the academic environment through this interdisciplinary lecture topic. Northwest's School of Education and its special education division offers Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Sciene in Education programs for students from throughout the United States. Undergraduate students can earn a bachelor's degree in special education: cross categorical and elementary education, allowing them to teach special education in kindergarten through 12th grades, first through sixth grade elementary education, and all students with disabilities. One hundred percent of Northwest students who graduate from this degree program obtain employment or continue their education within six months after graduation. The Master of Science in Education in special education program is designed to prepare educators to teach students with mild and moderate disabilities across a variety of school settings. Through data-driven instruction and current, innovative evidence-based strategies, Northwest's online Master of Science in Education program prepares students for certification through an affordable, 30-hour program and accelerated seven-week courses, allowing students to complete in as few as 12 months.

Northwest Missouri Local Administrators of Special Education (NWMO LASE) serves as the local branch of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), serving more than 20 districts in northwest Missouri and is led by co-chairs Tamara Lynn, of Northwest, and Laura McComb, of the Maryville R-II School District. NWMO LASE is one of 20 regional groups in the state of Missouri, serving as a unique network of educators focused on improving practices for exceptional learners. NWMO LASE represents members from ECSE, K-12, and higher education who meet regularly for professional development and professional association with colleagues.