Ouachita Baptist University will host Dr. Arvind Singhal Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the university’s endowed Birkett Williams lecture series. Singhal’s lecture, “New Mindsets for Communication and Social Change,” will be held in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall on Ouachita’s campus and is open to the public and free of charge.
“Dr. Singhal is the world’s leading authority in the field of ‘Entertainment-Education,’ said Dr. Steve Phillips, chair of OBU’s William Fenna and Emily Rogers Department of Speech Communication. “EE essentially uses various entertainment channels to persuade people to adopt pro-social innovations. At least one ‘Entertainment-Education’ project has now been conducted in every country in the world.”
Singhal “is really ‘the guy’ in EE, a field that is relevant to Ouachita’s students because it’s all about making a difference in the world,” said Rebecca Jones, OBU instructor of speech communication. “Dr. Singhal has experience in helping to advance social change through EE literally around the world. It is such an honor for us to get to host Dr. Singhal, and I think students who attend the lecture may find very practical ways they can use EE strategies as they seek to make a difference in the world.”
Singhal is the Samuel Shirley and Edna Holt Marston Endowed Professor of Communication and director of research and outreach for the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies at the University of Texas, El Paso. He teaches and conducts research on the diffusion of innovations, organizing for social change and the entertainment-education strategy. He is also the author or editor of eight books, three of which have won competitive awards, and 140 peer-reviewed essays.
Singhal has served as an advisor to the World Bank, the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization, UNICEF, the U.S. Department of State, the BBC World Service Trust, Procter and Gamble and other private and public organizations. His research has been supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Science Foundations and others. He has previously taught at Ohio University, the University of Southern California and the University of California-Los Angeles, has held visiting appointments at Emory University, Institut Teknologi (Malaysia), Bankok University (Thailand) and others, and has lectured in more than 60 countries and five continents.
“This is your chance to hear someone speak who your grandchildren will be familiar with someday,” Phillips said.
Ouachita’s Birkett Williams lecture series was established in 1977 through a gift from the late Birkett L. Williams, a 1910 Ouachita graduate. His generous endowment established the lectures as an opportunity to extend the concepts of a liberal arts education beyond the classroom by bringing outstanding scholars and public figures to Ouachita’s campus.
By Meg Gosser