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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Sept. 27, 2012

Northwest announces 2012-2013 Distinguished Lecture Series

Northwest Missouri State University has announced its 2012-13 Distinguished Lecture Series, which will feature a lively debate between two of the nation’s most prominent political commentators and a former astronaut.

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, the series offers the campus and Maryville communities opportunities to hear from extraordinary individuals who come from around the globe. Scholars, world travelers and leaders in their fields visit the Northwest campus to share their wisdom, insight and experiences.

The 2012-13 series consists of four lectures and begins Wednesday, Oct. 10. All lectures start at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary Linn Auditorium at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.


Jay Angoff

Senior advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “The Affordable Care Act”
Wednesday, Oct. 10

Jay AnghoffJay Angoff is a senior advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the acting regional director for Health and Human Services Region VII in Kansas City, Mo.

He formerly served as senior advisor to the secretary and as the first director of the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at Health and Human Services, where he oversaw the implementation of the health insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act. 

Prior to joining Health and Human Services, Angoff was a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Mehri and Skalet. He previously served as insurance commissioner of Missouri and was chairman of Missouri’s Commission on Health Insurance Reform.

He also has served as deputy insurance commissioner of New Jersey and special assistant to the Governor for health insurance policy; as counsel to the National Insurance Consumer Organization; and as vice president for strategic planning at, an internet insurance broker and quotation service. Angoff began his career as an antitrust lawyer with the Federal Trade Commission.


Jonah Goldberg v. Peter Beinart

“Red vs. Blue: What the 2012 Election Means for You”
Sponsored by the James H. Lemon Lecture Series, and the offices of the Provost and Campus Activities
Monday, Nov. 5

Peter BeinartPeter Beinart is a Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation and associate professor of journalism and political science at The City University of New York. He is also senior political writer for The Daily Beast, and a contributor to Time. Additionally Beinart has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and Slate.

He also has appeared on television programs such as “Meet the Press,” “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” and “The Colbert Report.” He is the author of “The Good Fight: Why Liberals – And Only Liberals – Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again” and “The Icarus Syndrome: How American Triumph Produces American Tragedy.”

Jonah GoldbergJonah Goldberg is one of the most prominent young conservative journalists on the scene today and one of America’s most widely-read political columnists. He works as a contributor to FOX News and has appeared on numerous television programs including “The Daily Show,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and “Real Time with Bill Maher” In addition to being a member of the Board of Contributors to USA Today, he has written about politics and culture for The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and Slate, among other publications, and his syndicated column appears regularly in scores of newspapers across the country, including The Kansas City Star.

His first book “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning” was a New York Times and Amazon bestseller and one of the bestselling books of 2008; he also authored “Proud to Be Right: Voices of the Next Conservative Generation” and “The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas.”


Fred Haise

Apollo 13 astronaut: “Failure is Not an Option”
Sponsored by the James H. Lemon Lecture Series
Wednesday, Nov. 28

Fred HaiseFred Haise spent 20 years with NASA and is the Apollo 13 astronaut portrayed by actor Bill Paxton in the blockbuster film “Apollo 13,” which depicts the ill-fated 1970 space mission.

Haise began his NASA career as an aeronautical research pilot at Lewis Research Center in 1959. He performed further assignments as a research pilot at the NASA Flight Research Center in 1963 and as an astronaut at Johnson Space Center in 1966. He was a backup crew member for the Apollo 8, 11 and 16 missions and flew as the lunar module pilot on the aborted Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1970.

He also flew five flights as the commander of the Space Shuttle Enterprise in 1977 for the Approach and Landing Program at Edwards Air Force Base. President Richard Nixon awarded him in 1970 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His other honors include the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Haley Astronautics Award, the General Thomas D. White Space Trophy, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Award, the NASA Special Achievement Award and induction into the Astronaut Hall of Fame.


Karen Arenson

Former education reporter for The New York Times
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Karen ArensonKaren Arenson wrote about higher education, economics and finance and non-profits for The New York Times for 30 years before retiring in 2008. At the time of her retirement, The Chronicle of Higher Education called Arenson “one of the most visible higher education reporters in the country.”

Arenson was one of the first reporters to chronicle the growing use of early-decision admissions and the aggressive management of endowments at colleges and universities. She also was among the first reporters to examine the growth of for-profit colleges and universities. Arenson paid close attention to the financial and political battles of public universities and to issues of student preparation and remedial instruction. In 2005, she scooped other journalists when she was the first to report the results of an anti-semitism investigation at Columbia University.

Arenson, who says she fell in love with journalism when she worked on her school newspaper in seventh grade, majored in economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and earned a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

She joined The Times as a financial reporter in 1978 after five years at Business Week magazine. She also served as editor of The Times’ Sunday Business section and as deputy editor and acting editor of the paper’s Business/Financial section before returning to reporting and turning her attention to higher education.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468