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Speakers Bureau

  • A law professor conducts a brown-bag lunch presentation about NAFTA and doing business in Mexico at your company.
  • An Indian graduate students presents to your classes about her culture and brings cultural artifacts for your students to see and touch.
  • Your tourism group attends a pre-voyage presentation on the do's and don'ts of traveling in Egypt.
  • Your Girl Scout troop learns to make papel picado in preparation for a Mexican-themed celebration.

Each Hemispheres Outreach office maintains a speakers bureau, composed of graduate students and center affiliates who volunteer their time to visit local businesses, classrooms, and community group meetings to talk about the language, art, culture, history, politics and geography of their centers' regions. The patron determines the topic of discussion, and the center finds the appropriate speaker. This program is designed to give our patrons an outstanding, individualized resource to enhance awareness and understanding of world regions.

Guidelines for speaker requests

Advance Notice
We ask for a minumum of two weeks' lead time, however, the sooner that you can contact us, the more likely it is that we can meet your request.

Blackout dates
Due to teaching schedules and due dates for final papers, it is nearly impossible for us to find volunteer speakers during the last two weeks of the University's teaching semester, during final exams, or intersession. 

In practical terms, this means that requests for speakers after Thanksgiving (winter semester) through Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and again after the end of April (spring semester) will be very hard to fulfill.

Block schedules
Please understand that students are donating their time to volunteer to speak, and that they are frequently able to only visit for a couple of hours.  While we have been able to cover multiple classes (i.e., all day), this may involve sending multiple speakers to your classroom over the course of the day.  This is especially true for schools that run on a block schedule.  While we will try our best to meet your time frame, please understand that it may not be possible to secure a speaker for each class period during a school day or over a two-day block schedule.

Culture Fairs
As most of our programs consist of graduate students with limited time, we generally do not send student speakers to participate in culture or diversity fairs.  Instead, we suggest contacting one or more of the registered international student organizations in the list found on the Web site of the Dean of Students.  International students are generally very enthusiastic about participating in these events to display information about their home countries.

Topics
Please be as specific as you can!  If we can't meet your needs, we will work with you to select another suitable topic.

To request a speaker in your classroom or meeting

Please contact the appropriate Center with the following information:

  1. Your name, daytime phone number, and/or e-mail.
  2. The name of the school or organization that you represent.
  3. (for schools) The grade level and class that you want the speaker to visit (example: 6th grade world cultures).
  4. Your preferred dates and times.
  5. Most important: please specify the topics and objectives that you are hoping to have addressed—the more specific, the better! What are the objectives of having a speaker come to your classroom?  How will you determine whether the visit has been successful?
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