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A Day with Northwestern Features Alumni and Faculty Speakers

Annual daylong seminar features keynote by arts/jazz critic Howard Reich

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Chicago Tribune arts and jazz critic Howard Reich and Democratic strategist and advisor Patti Solis Doyle -- both Northwestern University alums -- will be the keynote speakers Saturday, April 20, at this year’s A Day With Northwestern.

Presented by the Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA), the annual daylong seminar features prominent faculty and alumni speaking on a variety of topics, including music, politics, medicine, marketing, economics, law, history, filmmaking and wine.

A Day with Northwestern will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. The event is open to the Northwestern community and the general public, but registration is required. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. For more information or to register, visit

Now in its 44th year, A Day with Northwestern annually draws approximately 500 alumni, parents, friends, and current and prospective students to the Evanston campus.

Howard Reich, who has covered music nationally and internationally for the Chicago Tribune for more than 35 years, is a 1977 graduate of the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music. During his 12:15 p.m. luncheon keynote, he will present a guided tour of a century’s worth of jazz that will include film clips and a live performance by Bienen School of Music Jazz Studies students.

Patti Solis Doyle’s 3 p.m. keynote address will examine how the Obama campaign’s use of new technologies is accelerating the rise of women and Hispanics as political powers. The Democratic strategist was an advisor to President Obama and Vice President Biden in 2012 and 2008, and campaign manager for Hillary Clinton in 2008. Solis is a 1989 graduate of the School of Communication.

“You get a great choice of topics presented by faculty, distinguished alumni, and sometimes students,” said Bob Cox, chair of A Day with Northwestern’s Executive Board. “This day ends up being a big revelation for our first-time attendees and many of them become serial attendees.” Cox graduated from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1975.

Attendees can choose from two keynote presentations and 12 breakout morning, mid-morning and afternoon sessions. The daylong event will include the following:


9 to 10 a.m. morning sessions: “Update on Alzheimer’s Disease: The Latest Understanding of Risk Factors, Treatments, and Lifestyle Tips for Prevention,” speaker Feinberg School of Medicine alumna Diana R. Kerwin, assistant professor of medicine, geriatrics, cognitive neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Feinberg School of Medicine; “Learning from the Big Game: The Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review,” speaker Timothy Calkins, clinical professor of marketing, Kellogg School of Management; “Pardon Our Dust: Building a Better Northwestern,” speaker Bonnie Humphrey, director of design and construction, Northwestern University; and “The Plow Horse Economy Trudges Forward,” speaker Kellogg School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications alumnus Brian S. Wesbury, chief economist, First Trust Advisors, LP.

10:15 to 11:15 a.m. mid-morning sessions: “Red, White, and Bubbly: the Politics of Wine,” speaker Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences alumnus Tyler Colman, wine writer and educator; “Alicia, Aljonka, Arisu: International Interpretations of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” speaker Jeffrey Garrett, associate University librarian for special libraries; “African Americans and Local Courts from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement,” speaker Dylan Penningroth, associate professor of history, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and 2012 MacArthur Fellow; and “Corporations and Free Expression: Why Liberals Should Embrace Citizens United,” speaker Martin H. Redish, Louis and Harriet Ancel Professor of Law and Public Policy, Northwestern School of Law.

12:15 to 1:30 p.m. Luncheon Keynote: “Let Freedom Swing: The Sound of Jazz,” speaker Howard Reich, arts and jazz critic for the Chicago Tribune.

1:45 to 2:45 p.m. afternoon sessions: “NU Astronomy: Listening to Black Holes,” speaker

Vicky Kalogera, Erastus O. Haven Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics; “Gallows Humor: Medical Ethics, Medical Humanities and the Dark Side of Laughter,” speaker Katie Watson, assistant professor, Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program, Feinberg School of Medicine; “Design for America: Creating Local and Social Impact,” speaker Sami Nerenberg, director of operations, Design for America, and lecturer, Segal Design Institute; and “Making the Documentary ‘The Buddhas of Mes Aynak,’” speaker Brent Huffman, assistant professor, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

3 to 4 p.m. Afternoon Keynote: “The Rise of Women and Minorities in the Political Arena,” speaker Patti Solis Doyle, Democratic strategist, advisor to President Obama and Vice President Biden in 2012 and 2008, and 2008 campaign manager for Hillary Clinton.

For more information on A Day with Northwestern 2013, visit

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