September 30, 2019

Temple Grandin to discuss ‘Developing Talent’ in lecture on Thursday

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Dr. Temple Grandin, a well-known animal behavior scientist and autism self-advocate, will visit with Southern Illinois University Carbondale students and present a lecture on campus on Thursday. 

Grandin’s lecture, “Developing Talents,” is at 6 p.m. in the Student Center Ballrooms. The presentation is part of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute’s Gil and Jean Kroening Fellowship Lecture Series with the College of Agricultural Sciences

Sought-after speaker 

John Shaw, Institute director, said Grandin “is one of the most sought after speakers in the United States in the areas of animal science and autism.” 

Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, is a “prolific author, a compelling speaker, a revered teacher, and a leading cultural figure in the United States,” Shaw said. 

She earned a degree in psychology from Franklin College and has a master’s degree in animal science from Arizona State University. Grandin also earned her doctorate in animal science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

In 2010, Dr. Grandin was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and is the subject of an Emmy Award-winning film called “Temple Grandin”   

She is the author of numerous books that focus on autism, including: 

  • “The Way I See It”
  • “Thinking in Pictures – My Life with Autism”
  • “Developing Talents – Careers for Individuals with Asperger’s Syndome and High-functioning Autism”
  • “Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships – Decoding Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism”
  • “Different … Not Less – Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism”
  • “The Stories I Tell My Friends” 

Grandin is also the author of several books animal and livestock-related books, including: 

  • “Temple Grandin’s Guide to Working with Farm Animals”
  • “Animals in Translation – Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior” 

There will be book signing opportunities before and after Grandin’s lecture. 

Will be on campus all day 

In addition to the evening lecture, Grandin will be part of the FFA Fest on campus, which the Institute is organizing with the School of Agriculture. Grandin will discuss agriculture issues with 820 FFA high school students, 150 SIU Carbondale students and about 50 faculty, Shaw said. 

Grandin will also meet with university faculty and staff and visit SIU’s Beef Cattle Center and Equine Center. She will also have lunch with students from political science, agriculture and other majors, Shaw said. 

“Dr. Grandin’s visit to SIU will be one of the most popular and important events of the year on the Carbondale campus,” Shaw said. 

Lecture series established by former agriculture dean 

Gil Kroening, retired dean emeritus of the College of Agricultural Sciences, and his wife, Jean, established the fellowship that brings a distinguished speaker to campus annually to address issues such as U.S. and world agriculture, food and environmental issues. 

Kroening was a member of the agriculture college’s inaugural graduating class in 1959. After completing his master’s degree at SIU, he went on to earn his doctoral degree at Cornell University and taught at Washington State University. 

In 1974, he returned home to SIU and became the college’s second-longest serving dean. He later became director of the Office of International Agriculture in the college and was responsible for the development of a new university-wide program in Foreign Service. Kroening received the SIU Foundation’s Outstanding Faculty and Staff Foundation Award in 2017.  

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