University of Arkansas Innovation Experts Selected to Speak at SEC Symposium

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Five innovation experts at the University of Arkansas have been selected to speak at the Southeastern Conference’s annual showcase of academic excellence.

The third-annual Southeastern Conference Symposium will be held Sept. 20-22 in Atlanta. Titled “Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Driving a 21st Century Economy,” the symposium will feature presentations from faculty and administrators from each of the 14 SEC institutions.

The symposium offers opportunities for University of Arkansas faculty and students to learn from and share their expertise with SEC peers and colleagues. The goal of the 2015 SEC Symposium is to explore higher education’s role in preparing individuals to be creative, innovative and entrepreneurial thinkers and to evaluate the ways in which universities serve as drivers of economic development. 

Ralph Henry, a Distinguished Professor of biological sciences at the U of A, is a symposium presenter. Henry is the W.M. Keck Professor in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. The centerpieces of the endowed professorship are to enhance scholarly interdisciplinary research and create new businesses.

Three faculty members will represent the university as symposium panelists:

  • David Fredrick, associate professor of classics in Fulbright College and directs the college’s interdisciplinary humanities program.
  • Peter MacKeith, dean and professor, Fay Jones School of Architecture. He was previously a professor of architecture at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Carol Reeves, associate vice provost for entrepreneurship for the university. A professor of management, she is the Cecil & Gwendolyn Cupp Applied Professor in Entrepreneurship in the Sam M. Walton College of Business. She was the recipient of the university’s 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Award.

Jon Johnson was selected as a symposium moderator. Johnson, who holds the Walton College Professorship in Sustainability, is the academic director of global organization The Sustainability Consortium and executive director of the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas.

In addition to university presenters, there will also be three keynote speakers: Liz Lerman, 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow and 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellow in Dance; Don Millard, acting division director, Engineering Education and Centers, National Science Foundation; and Tony Boccanfuso, executive director, University Industry Demonstration Partnership, National Academies.

Those wishing to register, or to view the schedule of speakers, may do so by going to www.SECSymposium.com. There are varying registration costs for students and faculty.

About the SEC Symposium: The primary goal of the SEC Symposium is to address a significant scholarly issue by utilizing the range of disciplinary strengths of all SEC universities in a manner that expands opportunities for collaboration among SEC faculty and administrators. This event is also intended to display the research and innovation of SEC institutions for an audience of academicians, government officials and other stakeholders. Other objectives include annually drawing national attention and participation to the southeast region.

About SECU: The SECU is the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference. Through SECU, the conference sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its 14 member universities. 

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