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UW College of Arts and Sciences Keith and Thyra Thomson Honors Convocation Sept. 16

September 12, 2016
head portrait of a man
Carl Hart

University of Wyoming alumnus Carl Hart returns to campus as the keynote speaker for the annual UW College of Arts and Sciences Keith and Thyra Thomson Honors Convocation Friday, Sept. 16.

Hart, the Dirk Ziff Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University, will discuss “Student Activism and You,” during the convocation beginning at 4 p.m. in the A&S auditorium. He also is the speaker Thursday, Sept. 15, for the Wilson Walthall Jr. Speaker Series in Psychology. Hart will discuss “Science as social activism, not just liberal chic” at 4 p.m. in Room 129 of the Classroom Building.

Each year, the College of Arts and Sciences honors those A&S students who have made the President’s, Dean’s or Freshman Honor Rolls during the past academic year.

Hart received both his M.S. (1994) and doctoral (1996) degrees in psychology/neuroscience from UW. Also scheduled to speak are senior anthropology students Ashley Dafoe, from Thornton, Colo., and Elizabeth “Dalyn” Grindle, of Pavillion.

Hart has received multiple multimillion-dollar grants to conduct research that seeks to understand complex interactions between recreational drugs and the neurobiological and environmental factors that mediate human behavior and physiology.

He has been published extensively in peer-reviewed science journals and is a co-author of the leading textbook “Drugs, Society & Human Behavior.” For his first trade book, “High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society,” he received the 2014 PEN/E.O. Wilson Science Writing Award.

Hart has been invited to lecture on the topic of drugs, addiction and race all across the globe. He also has met and discussed these issues with public officials from several countries and has testified before the U.S. Congress and the New York State Legislature as an expert drug witness.

He has been featured in two documentary films, “The House I Live In,” the Sundance 2012 Grand Jury Prize winner, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s “Weed” documentary for CNN. In 2015, the UW College of Arts and Sciences presented Hart an Outstanding Alumni Award.

This year’s student speakers both participated in 10-week summer internships, hosted at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Natural History Research Experience program, in which Dafoe and Grindle participated, paired undergraduates with museum scientists from all departments -- everything from anthropology to vertebrate zoology -- within the National Museum of Natural History.

Out of 450 applicants, the two UW students were among the final 18 finalists selected to participate. Dafoe and Grindle will discuss the research projects they conducted with their mentors this past summer.

McNair Scholars, from the College of Arts and Sciences, also will display their research posters in the A&S lobby, and will be available to answer questions about their work. The performing arts part of the program features “Excerpts from The Winged,” the piece that UW theatre and dance students presented at the National Festival of the American College Dance Association at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., this past spring. The Wyoming Jazz Ensemble will play pre- and post-convocation music.

Following the event to celebrate academic achievement, a cookie reception will be held in the A&S lobby.

The Keith and Thyra Thomson Honors Convocation is open to the public and free of charge. For information about the honors convocation, visit www.uwyo.edu/as/honors-convocation/index.html.


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Chad Baldwin

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