Friday, October 26, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153

Yeager Symposium focuses on ‘Emerging Threats to National Security;’ Pulitzer winner Laurie Garrett to speak on bioterrorism

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Laurie Garrett, a nationally known, award-winning author, lecturer and political analyst, will speak on “Bioterrorism: The Modern Peril,” at Marshall University Monday, Nov. 5, at the 26th annual Yeager Symposium.


Garrett, who has won the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism, the Peabody Broadcasting Award and the George C. Polk Award for Reporting, is senior fellow for global health with the Council on Foreign Relations. She will speak at 7 p.m. in the Marshall University Foundation Hall, Home of the Erickson Alumni Center, on the Huntington campus.


The first part of the symposium, titled “The New Terror: Emerging Threats to National Security,” will take place Tuesday, Oct. 30.  Dr. Jason Morrissette, a political science professor at Marshall, will speak on “The Politics of Fear: Domestic and Lone-Wolf Terrorism in the U.S.” His presentation starts at 7 p.m. in  room BE5 on the lower level of the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus.


Yeager Scholars Shaina Taylor and Rikki Miller, co-chairs of the symposium, said Garrett was their first choice to be the speaker on bioterrorism.


“Her body of work is outstanding from any point of view,” Taylor said. “Rikki and I worked tirelessly to bring her to Marshall, and we were overjoyed when we received her confirmation. What makes Garrett so special, though, is not only her lengthy list of accomplishments but her ability to present dense scientific material in a way that is both accessible and easy to understand.”


Garrett was one of three scientific consultants on the Warner Bros. film “Contagion.” She is the author of multiple books, including The Coming Plague, Betrayal of Trust and I Heard the Sirens Scream.


Morrissette’s expertise is in World Politics, Conflict and Security, Post-Soviet Politics and Environmental Politics. He was one of three faculty members who received the Pickens-Queen Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010.


“We really wanted to showcase some of Marshall’s own talent,” Taylor said. “He is extremely knowledgeable on the topic, and his lecture style is very much engaging.” 


Taylor and Miller, both seniors, said they wanted to select a topic for the lecture series that had as much broad, interdisciplinary appeal as possible.


“Finding a way to fuse politics and biology was not always necessarily easy or evident to us in the early stages of the planning process, but we eventually settled upon the umbrella concept of terrorism in the 21st Century, which allowed us to feature speakers on domestic and lone-wolf terrorism as well as bio-terror,” Taylor said. “We felt that this topic not only had broad appeal, but that it also spoke to many fears and anxieties relevant to the American people today.”


Both events are free to the public. A book signing will follow Garrett’s presentation.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197