McMaster Symposium 2009

Humanity at the Crossroads: Challenges to Sustainable Community Development
April 2-4, 2009

Symposium Schedule

This annual event not only highlights the extraordinary work of our McMaster Scholars and Fellows, it is an opportunity for the Defiance community to come together to share ideas and expertise around a common theme.

This year we hope the conference will allow you to reflect on ways in which YOU can contribute to sustainability in your own communities. This is a time to share, motivate, and educate one another on the challenges we face in sustainability.

Keynote Speakers

Margaret Lowman
Tropical rain forest canopy biologist

Margaret Lowman, author of Life in the Treetops and It's a Jungle Up There, has worked extensively in the area of forest canopy research, traveling around the world. She is currently Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at New College in Florida. An avid conservationist, she frequently speaks about her jungle adventures and about rain forest conservation to educational groups. Dr. Lowman facilitates conservation biology solutions using science education as a tool, drawing upon a lifetime of research and conservation. Her international network and passion for science have led her to take on leadership roles where she seeks best practices to solve environmental challenges.

She currently serves as Vice President of The Explorers Club; Vice President of the Ecological Society of America; Treasurer of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation; Executive Director of the TREE Foundation; and Cluster Chair for the Sarasota Economic Development Corporation. She continues to travel worldwide to map the world's forest canopies for biodiversity, and to work on conservation.

Ruby Nell Sales
Civil rights activist, social critic, public theologian, and history maker

Ruby Nell Sales is a deeply committed long distance runner for social justice. She is a scholar, public theologian, artistic producer and educator working at the intersection of race, class, gender, violence and sexuality. Her online writings offer new insights into these old issues. She is a prolific writer whose sermons and social critiques are widely acclaimed and circulated.

As a student she worked with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement. Ruby completed her undergraduate education at Manhattanville College where she received a BA degree in American History with highest honor. She attended Princeton University as a Princeton Scholar where she advanced to PhD. candidacy. In 1998, Ruby received a Masters of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she was an Absalom Jones Scholar. Ruby was a contributing editor to The Other Side Magazine and a founding member of Sage Magazine: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women.