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The latest threat to biodiversity and public health might be your cat.

Peter Marra, director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, will give a free talk on the threat of free-ranging cats at Lakeland University on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Bradley Theatre.

Marra's new book, "Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer," covers mounting scientific evidence that in the U.S. alone, free-ranging cats are killing birds and other animals by the billions.

Marra's mission is to communicate science and conservation of wildlife to as wide an audience as possible.

His primary interests lie in understanding the factors that control population persistence and dynamics, so his research examines the roles of climate, habitat, food and pathogens, as well as other anthropogenic sources of mortality on the individual condition of both migratory and resident birds.

He has founded several large research and communication initiatives, including Neighborhood Nestwatch, The Migratory Connectivity Project and the Animal Mortality and Monitoring Program.

Marra and his students, post docs and colleagues have published more than 170 papers in a wide range of scholarly journals.

The relevance of Martin Luther King's 1963 "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" will be the focus of the annual Lakeland University Mission House Lecture.

Everett Mitchell, senior pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Madison and also a circuit court judge in Dane County, will explore how student organizations and churches can become more than social clubs, and instead be living, sacrificing witnesses to the dignity and worth of all people.

The free talk is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in Lakeland's Bradley Theatre. The Mission House Lecture is an annual talk by a leading religion leader and pays tribute to Lakeland's founding as Mission House College.

Mitchell is the founder and lead consultant of Re-Building You, which works with civilly committed sex offenders to embrace social responsibility by addressing the personal self so they can be responsible leaders in their communities when released and not re-offend.

Mitchell was previously director of community relations for the University of Wisconsin Madison and an assistant district attorney in Dane County, Wisconsin.

A Texas native who accepted his call to ministry at the age of 15, Mitchell graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and religion. He received both a Masters of Divinity in Christian ethics and a Masters of Theology in social ethics from the Princeton Theological Seminary.

He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, and received the Advanced Opportunities Fellowship as well as the Wisconsin Black Lawyers Award.

He has served congregations in the National Baptist, American Baptist, Full Gospel, Lutheran and United Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian and Non-Denominational congregations.

Mitchell's theological focus has been examining the relationship of the church to social issues, such as poverty, war, incarceration and immigration.

Kevin McFadden

Lakeland University will welcome two accomplished authors to its 20th annual Great Lakes Writers Festival, a celebration of writing and reading that is set for Nov. 2-3 on Lakeland's main campus.

Kevin McFadden and Emily Ruskovich will join the Lakeland community for conversations about their craft and they will read from their work. The event, hosted by Lakeland Fessler Professor of Creative Writing Karl Elder, provides seasoned and emerging writers the opportunity to learn from professional writers and share and discuss their work with peers.

Community members are invited to participate in all events, but are especially encouraged to attend readings and workshops. All events are free and open to the public.

For a complete schedule, visit the events page at greatlakeswritersfestival.org.

McFadden's "Hardscrabble," won the George Garrett Award for poetry from the Fellowship of Southern Writers and a New Writers Award from the Great Lakes Colleges Association. His book arts collaborations include "Anticism! A Manifesto," "Jefferson Reappraised" and "City of Dante."

A contributor to "Seems," McFadden's poems also appear in American Letters & Commentary, "Fence," Kenyon Review, "Ploughshares" and Poetry. He works for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Emily Ruskovich
Idaho

Ruskovich, who grew up in the mountains of northern Idaho, is author of "Idaho," released this year by Random House, already in its second printing. She is an O. Henry Award winner for "Owl."

She graduated from the University of Montana and received additional degrees from the University of New Brunswick and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was a James C. McCreight Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her fiction has appeared in "Zoetrope," "One Story" and The Virginia Quarterly Review.

When Ken Kesey’s highly acclaimed novel, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” hit Broadway in 1963, some critics were not pleased.

So when Charlie Krebs, Lakeland University’s director of theater and speech, decided to stage “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” as Lakeland’s fall play, he took that decades-old criticism to heart.

“The play was panned for being inappropriate,” Krebs said. “We are taking great care to treat all of the characters, as well as mental illness, with great respect.”

Lakeland will present “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” on Nov. 9-12 at the Bradley Theatre on campus. Tickets are on sale in advance or at the box office on the nights or day of the show.

Show times are Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is about a habitual criminal named Randle McMurphy, who agrees to a psychiatric evaluation in an asylum and ends up being committed. His battles with the oppressive, acerbic Nurse Ratched – and the patients’ reactions to this ongoing battle of wills – provides the storyline.

“I love this role, because I’m playing someone who doesn’t care about the rules of society, and that’s not me in real life at all,” said junior Zachery Mock, who plays the role of McMurphy. “It’s a great challenge, and a lot of fun.”

The play was converted into a 1975 movie that won five Academy Awards and launched Jack Nicholson (McMurphy) into superstardom.

“It’s a great, great play, and our students are really into it,” Krebs said, adding that the cast has worked so hard, it is already “off book” (meaning the actors have memorized their lines) earlier than any cast he’s directed at LU.“

And, our stagecraft crew has created unique and incredible scenery; we’re trying really off-the-wall things, which I’m very pleased about,” Krebs added.

Freshman Chloe Skibinski, who plays Nurse Ratched, said, “I love working with everyone in the cast. We’re all very close, and we’re having a great time.”

Among the interesting props will be dozens of pillows dyed in various shades of gray; purple-hued lighting and an unusual “chandelier” created from shards of broken glass.

Before Thursday’s opening performance, Rick Dodgson, Lakeland’s associate professor of history and a national expert on Kesey, will talk to the crowd about his personal interaction with the late author. Dodgson wrote a book, “It’s all a Kind of Magic: The Young Ken Kesey,” after interviewing Kesey in Oregon on multiple occasions.

Following is the cast list for Lakeland’s production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”:

  • Nurse Ratched: Chloe Skibinski
  • Randle McMurphy: Zachery Mock
  • Chief Bromden: Zachary Petrowsky
  • Harding: Dustin Holmer
  • Billy: Megan Sullivan
  • Martini: Alyson Piper
  • Cheswick: Emily Sonntag
  • Scanlon: Melissa Reise
  • Ruckly: Alyssa Olsen
  • Candy: Abby Kelly
  • Sandra: Tegan Schneider
  • Nurse Flinn: Nicole Ziegler
  • Warren: Brad Fahley
  • Turkle: Shqipron Qunaj
  • Dr. Spivey: David Neese

Local artist Peg Haubert will bring her show, "Venus Rising," to Lakeland University for the second art exhibit of the 2017-18 season.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, Oct. 13, at 4:30 p.m. in the Bradley Gallery, located in the Bradley Fine Arts Building on Lakeland's campus. The exhibit will be on display until Nov. 10.

The Bradley Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, when the university is in session. Attendance at the reception and admittance to the Bradley Gallery are both free and open to the public.

Haubert received a bachelor of fine arts degree in independent filmmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1983. After years of being a video producer, writer, director and editor, she turned to making visual art to relieve stress.

"The only thing I needed to make art was my imagination and a variety of art supplies and years of learning and practice," Haubert said. "I firmly believe 'creating' visual art is the highest form of personal freedom I can expect to have in life."

She studied visual art in a zigzag manner, taking Traditional Realism classes with artist James Prohl and learning mixed media techniques with artist Kenn Kwint. She currently works primarily in mixed media.

"I think of mixed media as a type of alchemy; a way to create something that is not easily duplicated and will not appear in limited edition prints," Haubert said. "I believe that original art needs to be viewed in person to be enjoyed and evaluated thus my work is difficult to photograph due to the textures and reflective surfaces. It is best viewed in person."

She used glyphs or symbols in most of my mixed media works. "This stems from my interest in language and the development of written texts," she said. "Languages from around the globe started as drawings. To me, the glyphs are a reminder that people have wanted to express themselves since the beginning of conscious thought. They also provide a mysterious visual rhythm to my work."

Haubert's work has been shown at the UW-Milwaukee Fine Arts Gallery, UW-Madison Art Gallery, Anderson Art Center in Kenosha, Nevel Museum in Green Bay and many galleries including the James Dixon Art Gallery in Tory Island, Ireland.

She participates in Sheboygan Visual Artists group shows at EBCO Artworks, 1201 Erie Ave., Sheboygan, and conducts finger painting parties monthly in the SVA Art Factory.

Her studio is open by appointment. Visitors are welcome, but appointments are advised. To see more of her work, visit ArtenSoulStudio.com or follow ArtenSoul Studio on Facebook.

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