COCC’s Prestigious Visiting Speakers Series Goes All-Virtual for Fall


The Nancy R. Chandler Visiting Scholar Program — a cornerstone educational event series offered by the Central Oregon Community College (COCC) Foundation — will present an all-virtual lineup this fall. 

“Out of an abundance of caution and with a commitment to the long-term health and safety of our Central Oregon community, we knew we needed to program our upcoming season differently from those in the past,” said Charlotte Gilbride, the program’s coordinator. In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, all events will be virtual through the end of 2020, and registration is required.  

“We are excited about this fall’s programming,” added Gilbride. “It allows our community members from across COCC’s 10,000-square-mile district  — and beyond — to enjoy what the Visiting Scholars Program has to offer. People can hear world-class historians, journalists, academics, physicians, authors and more from the comfort and safety of their own homes.” 

On Thursday, October 15 at 4:30pm, the series will kick off with The Great Tide of Humanity: Race & Gender Reform in 19th Century Concord, Massachusetts. With tickets priced at $5, this will be a lively panel discussion featuring historians and social rights activists discussing how Henry David Thoreau and his fellow transcendentalists sparked a philosophical and social justice revolution that continues to guide us today. 

On Wednesday, October 28 at 6pm, bioethicist Jacob M. Appel will share his presciently timed presentation, Vaccines: History, Science, & Ethics. Since the development of smallpox vaccines in the 18th century, vaccination against illness has been the subject of both scientific pursuit and ethical debate. Many of these questions — relating to efficacy, risk and equitable access — have returned to the public eye in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This talk will attempt to address these questions in a neutral and informative manner. Appel’s talk will be free and open to the public, but registration is required.  

Rounding out the fall offerings on Monday, November 9 at 6:30pm, author and journalist Amanda Little will give a talk titled The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World. Little will share stories and insights from her travels through a dozen countries in search of shocking, funny and profoundly hopeful answers to the question, “How will we feed nine billion people sustainably on a hotter, more populous planet?” Tickets to this event will be $5.  

The college will continue to encourage its own community to attend by offering current COCC students free registration to all Visiting Scholar Program events. 

The 2019-20 season marked the Visiting Scholar Program’s 35th anniversary, and the series’ 2020-21 lineup is a testament to the program’s ability to evolve and adapt.  

To learn more and register, community members are encouraged to visit

COCC Board Meeting Next Wednesday, September 9

The board meeting packet is available to the public on COCC’s board of directors webpage. If members of the public would like to address the board, please email



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