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News Release

Peru State to Welcome Humanitarian, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalists for 2011-12 Distinguished Speaker Series

Bawa Health Initiative Founder Dennis Richardson to Kick-Off Series Monday, Nov. 7


(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College (PSC) will welcome a humanitarian and two Pulitzer Prize winning journalists for the 2011-12 Distinguished Speaker Series. The public is encouraged to attend the presentations, which are offered at no cost.


Dr. Dennis Richardson, co-founder of the Bawa Health Initiative will kick-off the Series at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7 in the College Theatre.


Richardson co-founded the Bawa Health Initiative (BHI) six years ago when a fellow parasitologist and Bawa, Cameroon, native challenged him with the comment that “for the price of what you spend on feeding your cat, you could save the lives of children in my village.” The BHI exists to provide basic health care and improve the lives of the residents of Bawa and surrounding villages.


Richardson is a helminthologist and professor of biology at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. He has traveled many times to rural Cameroon where he and his team have pitched tents, dug latrines and shown villagers how to construct bio-sand water filters. They have also installed anti-malarial bed nets, distributed medicine to treat worm infections and comforted the parents of children suffering from a myriad of hardships.


Richardson’s presentation, Malaria, Water and Worms: High-Impact Health Initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa is not just an account of public health interventions in the global community; it’s a narrative about individual villagers and their lives.


Two Pulitzer Prize winning journalists, Sonia Nazario and Anthony Shadid, will also appear at Peru State in 2012.


Los Angeles Times Reporter, Author Sonia Nazario
Enrique's Journey & America's Immigration Dilemma
7 p.m. - Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 - College Theatre


New York Times Beirut Bureau Chief Anthony Shadid
Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War
7 p.m. - Monday, March 26, 2012 - College Theatre


Additional information is available at


Peru State established the Distinguished Speaker Series in fall 2010 as part of our commitment to student engagement and success. The intent of the Series is to bring diverse, nationally and internationally recognized speakers to southeast Nebraska to enrich the educational experience of our students while also providing our surrounding communities opportunities to engage in interesting and relevant topics.


Speakers are encouraged to engage with the community in a variety of ways during their visits through classroom discussions, guest lectures, meet and greet receptions, and a keynote address. Previous guests include former skinhead Frank Meeink, civil rights leader and Little Rock Nine member Minnijean Brown-Trickey, and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi.


For more information, contact Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Michaela Willis at 402-872-2221 or