Briefly Noted

Issue Date: 
March 30, 2009

Black Action
Society Hosts
Spike Lee March 31

The University of Pittsburgh’s Black Action Society will host famed filmmaker Spike Lee at 8:30 p.m. March 31 in 120 David Lawrence Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the event commencing at 8:30 p.m.

Lee, a writer, actor, producer, director, and author, revolutionized the role of Black talent in cinema with sociopolitical critiques that challenge cultural assumptions about race, class, and gender identity.

His debut film, She’s Gotta Have It, earned him the Prix de Jeunesse Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986 and set him up for a career at the forefront of American cinema. His work continues to garner huge success. His 1989 film, Do The Right Thing, earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay as well as Best Film and Best Director awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Lee’s 1992 drama, Malcolm X, received two Academy Award nominations. Other critical and box office successes include Inside Man, 25th Hour, Summer of Sam, Jungle Fever, and Clockers.

Lee also works in documentary and sports programs. He recently completed When the Levees Broke, a documentary about the plight of Americans stranded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and previously received Emmy and Oscar nominations for his HBO documentary 4 Little Girls. His sports piece on Georgetown University’s coach John Thompson for HBO/Real Sports won an Emmy Award.

Lee attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., and then earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in film production at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts in Manhattan. He is working on a musical, Passing Strange, which will debut at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

The event is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Glory Ojiere at 412-648-7880 or

—Meredith Johnston

Wellness Fair Set for April 2

The University of Pittsburgh will host the 2009 Wellness Fair from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 2 in the William Pitt Union. The event will feature more than 35 booths promoting physical fitness and raising awareness of various health issues

Many interactive activities will be available, including health screenings for blood pressure, body composition, bone density, carbon monoxide, and hand strength. There also will be professional demonstrations of aerobics, kickboxing, Pilates, yoga, and Zumba dance techniques.

The event is sponsored by Pitt’s Wellness Program. For more information, call 412-648-8251 or visit

—Anthony M. Moore

Pitt Education Dean
Alan Lesgold to Lecture April 2

The University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Policy Center (LPC) will present a lecture by Alan Lesgold, dean of Pitt’s School of Education, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. April 2 in 5604 Posvar Hall. The lecture, “Better Schools for the 21st Century,” is part of LPC’s 2008-09 colloquium series, Excellence and Equity in an Era of Accountability.

Lesgold’s lecture will focus on commonly accepted inadequacies in American education and present research on ways to overcome them. In particular, he will address the evolving role of computers in the classroom, how instructional goals and strategies are developed, and the need to support learning by doing.

A professor and dean in the School of Education as well as a professor of psychology and intelligent systems at Pitt, Lesgold is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the American Educational Research Association.

The LPC lectures are free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required.  To RSVP, visit or contact Julia Kaufman at

—Meredith Johnston

Former FBI Agent and
Whistleblower to Speak

Coleen Rowley, former FBI agent and chief division counsel at the FBI’s Minneapolis office, will give the inaugural Lecture of Exemplary Leadership—sponsored by Pitt’s Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership—at 3:30 p.m. April 2 in the Pittsburgh Athletic Association Ballroom, 4215 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Rowley’s lecture, titled “Exemplary Leadership: Always Do Right,” will discuss the merits of ethics in leadership. A reception will follow.

In May 2002, Rowley brought to light some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 lapses in the investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui. The 9/11 Commission subsequently described the situation as an “Al Qaeda mistake and missed opportunity,” because an investigation of Moussaoui may have led the FBI to the Al Qaeda plot that destroyed the World Trade Center.

In June 2002, Rowley testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about some of the endemic problems faced by the FBI and the intelligence community. In April 2003, following an unsuccessful attempt to warn the director and other administration officials about the pitfalls of launching an invasion of Iraq, she stepped down from her position as chief division counsel and returned to being an FBI Special Agent. She is now retired from the FBI and writes for The Huffington Post.

Rowley was one of three whistleblowers chosen as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2002.

The event is free and open to the public, but prior registration is requested. Call the Johnson Institute at 412-628-1336 or send an e-mail to to register or for more information.

—Amanda Leff

Poet Paul Muldoon to Give
Reading on April 2

Poet Paul Muldoon, the 2008-09 William Block Sr. Writer, will give a literary reading at 8:30 p.m. April 2 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. The event concludes the 2008-09 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season.

In a career spanning more than 35 years, Muldoon has amassed numerous awards and honors. In 2003, he won both the Pulitzer Prize in poetry and the Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry for his collection Moy Sand and Gravel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002).

All events in the Writers Series are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jeff Oaks at

—Anthony M. Moore