Resources for Alumni Volunteers

Speakers: Arts

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.


AldamaFrederick Aldama, PhD, Distinguished University Professor Center for Latin American Studies and Director of LASER

Bio and Topics

Frederick Luis Aldama is Distinguished University Professor, Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, University Distinguished Scholar, and Alumni Distinguished Teacher at the Ohio State University. He is the 2019 recipient of the Rodica C. Botoman Award for Distinguished Teaching and Mentoring and the Susan M. Hartmann Mentoring and Leadership Award. He is the award-winning author, co-author, and editor of over 40 books. In 2018, Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comicswon the International Latino Book Award and the Eisner Award for Best Scholarly Work. He is editor and coeditor of 8 academic press book series as well as editor of Latinographix, a trade-press series that publishes Latinx graphic fiction and nonfiction. He is creator of the first documentary on the history of Latinx superheroes in comics (Amazon Prime) and co-founder and director of SÕL-CON: Brown & Black Comix Expo. He is founder and director of the Obama White House awardwinning LASER: Latinx Space for Enrichment & Research as well asfounder and co-director of the Humanities & Cognitive Sciences High School Summer Institute. He has a joint appointment in Spanish & Portuguese as well as faculty affiliation in Film Studiesand the Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences.In 2020 he debuted his children’s book The Adventures of Chupacabra Charlie.

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Topics: Diversity and education; especially creating Latinx pipelines from high school to college and from undergraduate to professional and graduate school; Diversity in pop culture, including comic books, film, TV; Importance of humanities in everyday life; Storytelling Science

*Available for virtual presentations

BraigEugene Braig, Program Director, Acquatic Ecosystems

 Bio and Topics

Eugene has been working as a fisheries biologist for more than twenty years. A two-time alumnus of Ohio State University’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, he currently is Program Director for Aquatic Ecosystems with OSU Extension (a statewide specialist appointment with a typical focus on the management of ponds and lakes) and is a past Assistant Director of OSU’s F. T. Stone Laboratory and the Ohio Sea Grant College Program (a program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). He also teaches fisheries management in the classroom, has a research appointment, advises two student clubs (TerrAqua and the Bass Fishing Club [a collegiate tournament-circuit team] at OSU), and serves in leadership rolesfor several professional organizations and regional advisories. As an Extension specialist, he gives 50 or more extracurricular presentations and engages in 200–300 consultations in service to diverse clientele in typical years. In addition to his passion for fish, fishes, fishing, and fisheries, Eugene moonlights as a classical musician and serves as Artistic Director of a concert series in Columbus, OH.

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Topic: How wild/recreational fisheries are managed; Aquatic sciences or fishes in general; A day in my life (as a professional): what I do including/especially as an Extension educator serving my state/community; Careers in aquatic science (mostly for younger audiences or perhaps parents); History of guitar/mandolin in classical music

*Available for virtual presentations

BurtonJohanna Burton, Director, Wexner Center for the Arts

Bio and Topics

Johanna Burton is Director of the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio.Prior to joining the Center, she held leadership positions in curatorial and educational departments at the New Museum, the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, and the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program, andwas a CCL (Center for Curatorial Leadership) Fellow in 2019.Burton has curated exhibitions including Sherrie Levine: Mayhemat the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2011); Haim Steinbach: once again the world is flat at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2013); Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideologyat the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); and, at the New Museum in New York XFR STN(2013), Cheryl Donegan: Scenes and Commercials(2016), Simone Leigh: The Waiting Room(2016), A.K. Burns: Shabby but Thriving (2017), and Trigger: Gender As A Tool And A Weapon(2017), among other projects.

She is the editor of Cindy Sherman(October Files, MIT Press, 2006); and, as the series editor for The Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture (co-published by The New Museum and MIT Press), oversaw volumes including Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century(edited by Lauren Cornell and Ed Halter, 2015);Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good(edited by Johanna Burton, Shannon Jackson, and Dominic Willsdon, 2016); Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility(edited by Reina Gossett, Eric A. Stanley, and Johanna Burton, 2017); and Saturation: Race, Art, and the Circulation of Value(edited by C. Riley Snorton and Hentyle Yapp, 2020).

Topics: Contemporary art (visual and performance); Intersections of art, pedagogy, activism, and education; The role of research, engagement, and community in art practice and exhibition; Art and its role in contributing to equity, access, inclusion, and diversity; Art’s relationship to individual and social well-being

*Available for virtual presentations

HallMaurice Hall, Actor, Writer, Director, Producer, Former Football Player

Bio and Topics

Maurice Hall is former Ohio State football player known for scoring the game winning touchdown against The University of Illinois and against “That Team Up North” during the 2002 National Championship season. After becoming a two-time graduate from Ohio State, Maurice moved to Hollywood to pursue his next passions as a writer, director and actor. As an actor, he has been seen on hit shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds and NCIS: New Orleans.

He has also written, directed and produced two hit projects; the critically acclaimed web-series, Shadow Love in 2014. Maurice wrote and directed 10 episodes of the dramatic series. Maurice also wrote and directedthe romantic comedy, Baker’s Man that was released in2017and is being distributed by Gravitas Ventures and can currently be viewed on Amazon Prime.

Maurice’s production company, Mo-tivation Unlimited, centers on five principles, Faith, Persistence, Work Ethic, Healthy Living and Education. Maurice believes that the promotion of these five aspects of life will help individuals from all walks of life achieve success.

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Topics: Scoring the Game Winner, Passion to Purpose, Act Like You Have Been There

*Available for golf outings

*Available for virtual presentations

HochChristopher Hoch, PhD, Director of Marching and Athletic Bands

Bio and Topics

Dr. Christopher Hoch is in his fifth year as Director of Marching and Athletic Bands at The Ohio State University, where he also serves as an assistant professor in the School of Music. Prior to his current appointment, he served three years on the band staff at Ohio State and seven years as director of bands at Rutherford B. Hayes High School in Delaware, Ohio. Dr. Hoch’s work with The Ohio State University Marching Band has received national and international recognition for innovation in show design, and under his leadership, the band has given performances across the country and overseas at Wembley Stadium in London. Dr. Hoch is active nationally as a clinician, guest conductor, musical arranger, and guest speaker. His Ohio State education includes bachelor’s degrees in music education and mathematics, master’s degrees in conducting and music education, and a PhD in music education. He currently resides in Powell, OH, with his wife, Linda, and children Benjamin and Margaret.

Topics: The Ohio State University Marching Band –history, show design, etc.

*Available for virtual presentations

Tom Rieland, General Manager, WOSU Public Media

Bio and Topics

Tom Rieland has served as General Manager of WOSU Public Media at The Ohio State University since 2002. WOSU includes Central Ohio’s PBS, NPR, and classical music stations. Tom has over 30 years of experience in broadcast journalism and management, including a Master’s degree in Journalism. WOSU’s radio operations were named the best in Ohio by the Associated Press in 2020 in competition with other public and commercial stations. WOSU’s local television programming have been winners of numerous regional Emmy awards and nationalhonors for programming such as Columbus Neighborhoodsand Broad & High. Tom was recently elected to a second term on the PBS Board in Arlington, VA.He is the author of Sparks Flew –WOSU’s Century On The Air, published by the Ohio State Press. After 50-years at the Fawcett Center, WOSU is on the move, transitioning to a new headquarters and studios in mid-2021 as part of the Campus Partners 15+High development.

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Topics: WOSU’s century of broadcasting; Ohio State’s role in the birth of educational broadcasting; the future of public media; building a media facility for the future

*Available for golf outings

*Available for virtual presentations

WardRobert J. Ward, Director Choral Studies, Conductor University Chorus and Men’s Glee Club

Bio and Topics

Robert J. Ward currently serves as director of Choral Studies at The Ohio State University where he conducts the Men’s Glee Club and University Chorus. He also teaches courses in conducting and choral literature. Prior to his appointment at Ohio State, Dr.Ward was for sixteen years a member of the music faculty at Oklahoma State University. He has been honored with invitations to present concerts and lectures for National ACDA, National Collegiate Choral Organization, North Central Division ACDA, Central Division ACDA, International Kodály Educators, Organization of American Kodály Educators, Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Choral Directors Association, as well as Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Utah, Arkansas, Louisiana and West Virginia Choral Directors Associations. He is currently the editor of a choral series published by Santa Barbara Music Publishers.

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Topics: University Chorus; Men’s Glee Club

Full speaker list