August 17, 2018

Focus on Illinois’ history highlights Simon Institute fall 2018 lineup

CARBONDALE, Ill. — As Illinois celebrates its 200th anniversary and gears up for high-stakes state and national elections this fall, Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute has developed a program of speakers that focuses on Illinois history and the role of leadership in our state and nation. 

“During this bicentennial anniversary year for Illinois and with serious leadership challenges evident in both Springfield and Washington, D.C., the Institute has invited speakers who illuminate our state’s history and underscore the need for elevated leadership in all realms of our public life,” said John. T. Shaw, Institute director. 

Shaw believes the fall speaker lineup will be interesting and educational for the community. 

The Institute’s fall agenda includes the following events: 

  • Sept 10 – 5 p.m., Student Center, Old Main: “Pizza and Politics” with Pamela Smoot, clinical assistant professor, History. Lecture on “Surprising Heroes and Inspiring Voices in Illinois History.”
  • Sept 17 — 5 p.m., Paul Simon Public Policy Institute: “Pizza and Politics” with State Rep. Will Davis, D-Hazel Crest. Rep. Davis will give a lecture on “Illinois’ Current Challenges.”
  • Sept 26 – 7 p.m., Student Center, Auditorium, Morton-Kenney Public Affairs Lecture: Ira Shapiro, author of “The Last Great Senate” and “Broken: Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?” A former U.S. trade ambassador and expert on international trade law and policy, Shapiro will present “Where Have All the Statesmen and Stateswomen Gone?”
  • Oct 3 — 7 p.m., Student Center, Ballroom B: Sam Wheeler, Illinois State historian. Wheeler will give a lecture on “Statesmanship in Illinois History.”
  • Oct 24 – 6 p.m., Student Center, Ballroom A: Jim Nowlan, author and former state representative. Nowlan will give a lecture on “Illinois’ Hard Half Century and the Way Ahead.”
  • Nov. 5 – 5 p.m., Paul Simon Public Policy Institute: “Pizza and Politics” with Tom Desch, filmmaker and 2002 SIU Carbondale graduate in cinema and photography. Desch will give a lecture on “Telling Stories that Endure.” 

For more information on this or any other institute program, contact the institute at 618/453-4078 or visit