Speakers Bureau FAQ

1. What is the Speakers Bureau?

Created in 2010, the Speakers Bureau is an initiative of the University of Toronto’s Senior College Centre (SCC) (formerly the Academic Retiree Centre). SCC issued a Call for Volunteers to retired professors of UofT in early 2010, and continues to accept volunteers.  The Speakers Bureau provides information about speakers and their areas of expertise, as well as sample titles of talks.  The aim is to give back to the community: schools, hospitals, libraries, and non-profit and community groups.

2. Is there a fee?

All Speakers Bureau speakers are retired professors of the University of Toronto who have volunteered for this program. The Bureau’s policy is not to charge a speaker’s fee. However, Bureau speakers may accept any honoraria and/or contributions to their travel expenses that are offered . In the case of a speaker who normally charges a public speaking fee, the speaker and the venue are to negotiate with each other directly.

3. Which Topics do Speakers Cover?

Cornelia J. Baines, Professor Emerita, School of Public Health Issues Related to the Effectiveness of Screening for Prostate and Breast Cancer; Research about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Also Known As Environmental Illness. Or An Account of Writing a Memoir, published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside and shortlisted for the Edna Staebler award for creative non fiction.

Ed Barbeau, Professor Emeritus, Mathematics (1) Issues in Mathematics Education; (2) How Mathematics is Applied in Different Areas; (3) Mathematics for Recreation.

John Beckwith, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Music website Canadian Encyclopedia listing website As a composer and an emeritus in music, my topics are Classical Music in general, Opera, The Music and Musical Life of Canada, and my own extensive creative work.

Charles E. Chaffey, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering Christianity, Creationism, Energy, Environment, Science: Good Stewardship of our Environment; Sustainable Use of Resources from the Environment; Sustainable Energy Supply; Science and Christian Faith; The Controversy Over Creationism and Evolution.

Voon L. (Ricky) Chan, Professor Emeritus, Department of Molecular Genetics Bacterial Genetics, Genomes and Genomics and Bacterial Pathogenesis. Would be happy to talk on the following topics: (1) Bacterial Genomes Structures and their Evolution, (2) Bacterial Virulence and Pathogenesis, (3) Drug Resistance and Mobility of Antibiotic Resistant Genes, and (4) Molecular Diagnostic Strategies and Genomic Approach to Bacterial Classification.

Stephen Clarkson, Professor, Department of Political Science Canadian-American Relations; North American Governance — including Mexico-Canada Relations; Federal Canadian Politics.

Alan Davies, Professor Emeritus, Department of Religion (1) Religious Fundamentalism (2) Religion and Nationalism (3) Religion and Racism (4) Persecution of the Gypsies.

Hans B. de Groot, Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of English Literature in English (after 1700), Postcolonial Writing, Modern Drama, History of Opera.

Dennis Duffy, Professor, Department of English, Victoria University Canadian Literature, Culture, Cultural Politics; Monuments and Politics of Public Memory.

Robert Farquharson, Professor, Department of German, Victoria College arfarquhar@sympatico.ca The War in Burma, 1941-45; Canadians and the Burma Campaign; General Orde Wingate; The Chindits; Kohima and Imphal, the Battles that Broke the Japanese Army.

André Gombay, Professor, Department of Philosophy Topics having to do with Moral Psychology: Lying and Dishonesty; Punctuality.

Lino Grima, Professor and Associate Member of Graduate Faculty, Centre for Environment website Water Resources Policy; Great Lakes; Policies that Reflect the Value of Water; Toronto Water Issues.

Peter I. Hajnal, Research Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs and Adjunct Professor (retired), Faculty of Information Studies Civil Society, G8/G20 and other International Institutions.

Suzanne Hidi, Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Human Motivation; Rewards; Interest/Goals; Competition vs. Cooperation.

Linda Hutcheon, University Professor Emeritus, Department of English, Centre for Comparative Literature website website with Michael Hutcheon, M.D. Adaptation Across the Media; The Institution of Reviewing; and with Michael Hutcheon, M.D.: Aging and Creativity; Operatic Representations of Death and Disease.

Martin Klein, Professor, Department of History I am an historian. Most of my research is on Slavery and the Slave Trade in African History. I also keep well-informed on African affairs. I would be qualified to speak in two general areas: 1) Slavery, past and present and its consequences for the present. 2) Contemporary African Affairs. I am best equipped to deal with West Africa, but can talk about some other African issues.

Brenda Mallouk, Professor, Rotman School of Management Finance for the Non-Financial Manager. Understanding and working with financial statements and budgets. Using financial information for planning and decision-making. Understanding the tools and vocabulary to work with budgets. An examination of the corporate Annual Report with emphasis on the Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement. The Time Value of Money. Breakeven Analysis. How to Read an Annual Report for Businesses. Managerial Accounting Issues.

Eric Mendelsohn, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Institute for the Study of High Energy Metaphysics Mathematics.

Anthony B. Miller MD, FRCP, FRCP (C), FFPH, FACE Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health ab.miller@utoronto.ca website Cancer Prevention, Cancer Screening, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Colon Cancer, Diet and Cancer, Cancer Control.

Russell Morton Brown and Donna Bennett Our Area of Expertise is English-Canadian Literature. We are just completing the fourth edition of our Anthology of Canadian Literature in English (Oxford UP) and have spoken recently “On Anthologizing Canada’s Literature.” We also have talks individually or together on various Canadian writers (Alice Munro, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Robert Kroetsch) and topics (“The Visionary Tradition in Canadian Literature;” “Aberhart, McLuhan, and Kroetsch: How a Prairie Evangelist Brought Postmodernism to Canada;” etc.).

Dan Ondrack, Professor and Academic Director of Executive Programs, Rotman School of Management The Rise of China as an Economic Power – From Post-revolution Problems (to put it mildly) to Contemporary Prospects-Strengths and Weaknesses.

John Percy, Professor Emeritus, Astronomy & Astrophysics, and Science Education
http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/~astro/percy.htm Anything related to Astronomy.

Pierre-Yves Robin, Professor, Department of Geology Geology. History of the Earth. Plate Tectonics. Earthquakes. Volcanoes. Formation of mountains.

Richard Roman, Professor, Department of Sociology and University College Social Change and Inequality, Protest Movements, Workers and Union, NAFTA: North American Free Trade Agreement — more specifically: Mexican Politics; Mexican Workers and Unions; Mexican Social Movements; Mexican Workers in the US.

Peter Russell, University Professor Emeritus, Political Science Aboriginal Affairs, Constitutional Politics, Parliamentary Politics, Courts, Judges, the Charter, Australia, Constitution-making in Nepal.

Laine G.M. Ruus, Librarian, Data, Map & GIS Centre Reading Numbers: aka Statistical Literacy; Evaluating Statistics on the Web; How Long Will Your Files Last – Managing Your Computer-based Information.

Paul Sandori, Architect, Senior Consultant, Revay and Associates Limited Dream Home Nightmare; The Logic of Machines and Structures.

Peter Guy Silverman Lecturer, History, O.Ont., Ph.D. Middle East; The Media and the Military; Putting Together a Newscast: News or Entertainment?; Military History.

Ben Schlesinger, FRSC, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Social Work Canadian Families in the 21st Century; The Sandwich Generation, a Growing Phenomenon in These Times; Seniors Living Together and Remarriage After Age 65; Lasting Marriages (30 Years Plus) Positive Rewards.

Becky Sigmon Emeritus Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto at Mississauga Anything relating to human evolution. Suggested topics for talks or seminars: It’s an evolutionary Universe, and why; Stories from a time-travelling anthropologist through 5 million years; Could a human-like species evolve more than once in the Universe?; Is Life inevitable in the Universe – or Why Life?

Metta Spencer Professor Emeritus, Sociology. The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy

Peter Silverman, O.Ont., Ph.D. Middle East; Military and the Media; The Life and Times of a TV Ombudsman; The Silverman Helps show; Protecting Yourself as a Consumer; Military History.

John David Stewart, retired Senior Associate Consultant, Department of Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mayo Clinic Inhaled Insulin, Adult Immunizations; The Role of Vitamins in Health and Aging.

Ants Toi, Professor of Medicine Obstetrical Ultrasound and Fetal Diagnosis.

Jacob S. Ziegel, Emeritus Professor of Law Federal Judicial Appointments and the Defects in the Current System, Consumer Protection Law – Theory and Practice, Responsible Lending and Consumer Credit, and Canada’s Consumer Insolvency Law.

4. How do we request a booking?

Please use our online Booking Request Form ***Create new form based on the old one.

To request a speaker, please submit a Booking Request Form.

Upon receipt, the Senior College Administrator will get in touch with speakers and upon finding an available candidate, will get back in touch with you to let you know, providing direct contact information at that time.

5. How can we show our appreciation?

We are interested in hearing from you if you do make a booking. A mention of the Senior College Speakers Bureau at the University of Toronto in any advertising or introduction would be appreciated.  In order to continue to improve our services, we would also appreciate your feedback following a talk.  And feel free to send a thank-you note to the speaker!

6. Which groups that have booked speakers in the past?

Annex Retirement Residence
Evergreen Brick Works
Fairlawn Neighbourhood Centre
Harbourfront Community Centre
Kiwanis Clubs
Lions Clubs
M.L. McConaghy Seniors Centre, Richmond Hill
Model NATO @ YorkU
National Council of Jewish Women
TDSB and Peel high schools
Toronto MENSA
Toronto Public Library – Main Reference Library and many branches