Distinguished Lecture Series

2021-2022 Distinguished Lecture Series on Current Issues

10:00 AM – NOON   

The McAlpin Fine Arts Center

Massey Campus - Fort Pierce

In-person & Live Simulcast Subscriptions are available

Now in our sixteenth season, the series brings experts and seasoned educators to the podium on current events including subjects in criminal justice, national security, space exploration, the environment, and veteran's affairs.


December 9, 2021: Kate Bradford, Esq.
“Restorative Justice”
Kate Bradford, Esq. is an Associate Professor for the IRSC Criminal Justice program. Kate started her professional life as a criminal defense attorney and spent a decade litigating from misdemeanors to capital cases. Her presentation focuses on the concept of restorative justice and its current application in our court systems. Restorative justice is the theory of punishment that seeks to repair the harm done by an offender through reconciliation and mediation. While not a new theory, there has been limited application in our current criminal justice system. Kate discusses why this might be and what implementation might look like for us.
January 6, 2022: Barry J. Erlick, Ph.D.
“Biowarfare: A Review Underscoring an Alarming Weapons of Mass Destruction Threat”
Dr. Barry J. Erlick served in academia and the military as a principal research microbiologist and in the federal government as a senior member of the national intelligence community. Dr. Erlick is a university research professor and the President of BJE Associates, Inc. Dr. Erlick covers bioweapons and their historical use; the international approach to outlawing national biowarfare (BW) programs; and the former national bioweapons programs of Japan, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and former Soviet Union. He provides an overview of offensive activities of nations currently suspected of maintaining BW programs, bioterrorism, including targeting human populations and
agriculture, and recent warnings from high-level informed authorities.
February 10, 2022: Steve Swanson
“A Journey from the Mountains of Colorado to Space”
Steve Swanson is a retired NASA astronaut and a Distinguished Educator in Residence at Boise State University. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Colorado, a Master of Applied Science Degree in Computer Systems from Florida Atlantic University, and a Doctorate Degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University. During his NASA career, Swanson completed five spacewalks totaling 28 hours, 5 minutes and accumulated 195 days, 15 hours, 41 minutes in space. Mr. Swanson speaks about his journey to becoming an astronaut and his many missions into space.
March 24, 2022: Gary Ritter
“Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades Ecosystem Restoration in South Florida’s Growing Population”
Gary Ritter is the Administrator for the City of Okeechobee and has worked on water management issues in the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades (KOE) ecosystem for 44 years. During his career, Ritter spent 36 years with the South Florida Water Management District and worked with the Florida Farm Bureau Federation as an advocate for sustainable agriculture in south Florida. Mr. Ritter discusses the challenges of modifying the water management system in South Florida to meet restoration goals while maintaining the same level of flood control, water supply and recreational services within the growing population in South Florida. Mr. Ritter also touches on political mandates to improve water quality and mitigate public health concerns associated with water quality and water management within the KOE system.
April 14, 2022: Daniel R. Green, Ph.D. 
“Front Toward Enemy: War, Veterans, and the Homefront”
Dr. Daniel R. Green is a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves. He served four times in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and with the U.S. Department of State as political advisor to a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan. Dr. Green discusses his war experiences with a different perspective on the transition home. Using philosophical, literary, cultural, historical and political perspectives, he provides a venue for his conversations with fellow veterans about their experiences to assist others with their transition from war and the military to peace and civilian life. Green provides not just a war veteran’s view but also the amplifying perspective of a political scientist—as well as a reserve officer and defense official—to rescue the issue of the returning veteran from the field of psychology and to broaden the understanding of the experience of war for veterans.

Venue Information:

This year, we are proud to offer the Distinguished Lecture Series in the beautiful McAlpin Fine Arts Center, located on the Massey Campus in Fort Pierce.  The McAlpin is the largest and grandest theatre space across the IRSC Institution and safely allows for more guests to attend each lecture in person. The auditorium will open to guests at 9:30 AM on lecture day. Masks are optional.


Series subscriptions are $150 per person (This includes an Annual Membership).

Series subscriptions for Lifetime Members and Peer Leaders are $100 per person. 

Individual lecture seats are $35 per person.

To Register Online, Click Here

To purchase a subscription by phone, please call the office at 772-462-7880.


The Distinguished Lecture Series is presented in partnership by the Indian River State College Foundation and the Ray and Peg Hirvonen Charitable Foundation.

*Speakers and offerings are subject to change based on speaker availability.
IRSC is an EA/EO educational institution.