Resources for Alumni Volunteers

Speakers: History

To request a speaker, please complete the Speaker Request Form.

*Please note, making a request does not guarantee your speaker will be available. Please wait for confirmation from the Alumni Association before advertising your event.

View full speaker list for additional speech topics.

Nicholas Breyfogle, PhD, Associate Professor, History

Bio and Topics

Professor Nicholas B. Breyfogle received his PhD (1998) and MA (1994) in Russian and European History from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his B. A. (1990) from Brown University in History and French Civilization. Professor Breyfogle is a specialist in Imperial Russian history, especially the history of Russian imperialism and the non-Russian nationalities of the tsarist empire. His research interests include Russian colonialism, peasant studies, religious belief and policy, and the history and culture of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Siberia. In addition to things Russian and “Putin-ish”, he is also a specialist in global environmental history, so able to talk about global water concerns (droughts, floods, pollution, etc) climate, and other similar issues.

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Topics: Russia Then and Now; Global Environment History

Tamar Chute, University Archivist and Professor

Bio and Topic

As University Archivist, Tamar Chute’s responsibilities include outreach activities, collection development and records management. Tamar has given presentations on all aspects of university history, including the university’s founding, student traditions and activities, buildings on campus and Ohio State then-and-now. She is co-author of The Ohio State University Trivia Book, published in 2007. During spring semester, Tamar teaches the course “The Ohio State University: Its History and Its World.


Topic: The Ohio State University History

GnidovecDale Gnidovec, Curator, Orton Geological Museum

Bio and Topics

Dr. Gnidovec is Curator of OSU’s Orton Geological Museum where he takes care of over 54,000 rocks, minerals and fossils and the exhibit hall and identify rocks, minerals, fossils, and bones.  He speaks to over 4,000 people a year including elementary through high school classes, Scouts and other youth groups, at parks, libraries, nature centers, retirement communities and clubs.  He also teaches an Earth History course at OSU.  You may have seen his geology column that appears periodically in The Columbus Dispatch.


Topics: Geology Fossils; Dinosaurs; Ice Age

Peter Hahn, Professor of History, Divisional Dean Arts & Humanities College of Arts & Sciences

Bio and Topics

Professor Hahn has published seven books on the history of American diplomacy in the Middle East.  Hahn has conducted research in the archives of the United State, Israel, Britain and France; consulted with policymakers in the US departments of State, Defense adjusted and with senior officers of the Ohio National Guard.  He has given interviews to the media on five continents.  Hahn helped launch an Ohio State study abroad program on World War II and its impact on the modern world.  He is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan with an MA and PhD from Vanderbilt.

Topics: US History, WWII; US and Iraq since 1940; Modern history of international diplomacy and military conflict

*Available for golf outings

HothersallDavid Hothersall, Professor Emeritus of Psychology

Bio and Topic

A former student comments on Rate My Professor – ‘Best professor I’ve ever had! Passionate and engaging; The best part is the stories and anecdotes he tells in class. I’d repeat the class in a heart-beat!’ Born in England and emigrated to South Africa, he received his BA with Honors with Distinction in Psychology as a graduate of the University of London.  He directed the Honors Program at Ohio State from 1990-1998.  His tales of early Ohio State are humorous and fascinating.

Topic: An Illustrated History of The Ohio State University

Mark Kleffner, Professor

Bio and Topics

I am a graduate of Ohio State, where I earned a BS, MS, and PhD in geology, and I am currently a Professor of Earth Sciences at The Ohio State University at Lima, where I have been teaching since 1989.  In fact, I have been a student or a professor at Ohio State continuously since 1975, so I am nearly a lifetime Buckeye.  All three of my children attended or attend Ohio State Lima. I am a paleontologist and stratigrapher, doing research on Silurian fossils (particularly conodonts) and rocks, mainly in the Great Lakes, Midwest, and central Appalachian regions. I bowled for Ohio State for four years as an undergraduate and graduate student, and was the coach of the Ohio State women’s team for the following two years while I was a graduate student. I still bowl in one league during the regular bowling season and play on a senior-league softball team during the summer.

Topics: Fossils; Minerals and Rocks of Ohio; Prehistoric Ocean Life Dinosaurs and Earthquakes in Ohio

Larry Krissek, Professor Emeritus, School of Earth Sciences

Bio and Topics

Dr. Krissek joined the faculty at Ohio State in 1982.  His teaching has ranged from introductory courses on geology to graduate courses on sediments.  He has received teaching awards from OSU’s Stone Lab and Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching.  Larry’s research focuses on understanding Earth’s climate history as recorded in sediments and sediments and rocks.  He has worked in Antarctica and sailed on nine scientific ocean drilling cruises.  He is currently co-chair of the committee on a university-wide review of OSU’s general education program.

Topics: Antarctica; Geological Hazards; Reading Climate History from the Ocean Floor

Sesquicentennial Staff Member

Bio and Topic

The Ohio State University will celebrate 150 years of rich tradition and history with its sesquicentennial in the academic year 2019-2020. The year will be marked with programming and events taking place on campus, in Columbus, throughout Ohio, and across the globe. One such example will be the Sesquicentennial Weekend, taking place March 19-22, 2020, inviting alumni and community back to Ohio State to celebrate campus wide with students and staff and culminating in a global celebration on the official anniversary date of March 22. The sesquicentennial staff will coordinate with the Ohio State Alumni Association and alumni groups from across Buckeye Nation with how they can become a special part of the 150th anniversary, including being a part of the Sesquicentennial Weekend. A representative of the Sesquicentennial Office will come out to your event to present on the sesquicentennial, showcase all the programming and events planned, and help facilitate how your alumni association can celebrate and be a part of this historic and special year at Ohio State.

Topic:  The Ohio State University Sesquicentennial: A celebration of all that Buckeyes are, all that we have accomplished, and all that is yet to come.

Full speaker list