Forensics Expert, SEC Chairman, Ecologist, Charter Schools Specialist, Businessmen to Speak at Yale

The following talks at Yale University Feb. 22-28 are free and open to the public.

The following talks at Yale University Feb. 22-28 are free and open to the public.

Mystery ‘detective’ to share tales of paranormal investigations

Joe Nickell, an investigator of the paranormal and a forensics expert who has been called “the modern Sherlock Holmes,” “the original ghostbuster” and “the real-life Scully,” will discuss his work Monday, Feb. 22. Nickell will sign copies of his book “Crime Science” at 4 p.m. at the Yale Bookstore, 77 Broadway. At 8 p.m. he will deliver a lecture titled “Investigating the Paranormal” in Rm. 119 of William L. Harkness Hall, 100 Wall St.

A former stage magician and private detective, Nickell has investigated a variety of mysteries, from spontaneous human combustion and haunted houses to the Shroud of Turin. He has written 15 books, including “Crime Science,” in which he discusses the importance of solid science in building criminal cases. Nickell has appeared on “Larry King Live,” “Oprah,” “Sally Jessy Raphael,” “Unsolved Mysteries,” “Politically Incorrect,” “20/20” and “Dateline.” He serves on the editorial board of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, for which he writes a regular column.

Nickell’s visit is sponsored by the Yale Skeptics Society; Silliman College; the New England Skeptical Society; the Connecticut Humanist Association and the Yale Society of Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics.

SEC chairman to discuss future of American markets

“Where America’s Markets are Headed” is the title of a talk being presented on Monday, Feb. 22, by Arthur Levitt, chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). His talk, at 6 p.m. in Rm. 102 of Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St., is sponsored by the Yale College Student Union.

Levitt, who was appointed chair of the SEC by President Bill Clinton in 1993, is now serving his second five-year term. He has worked to improve investor protection, reform the debt markets, raise the standards of practice for brokers and strengthen the international preeminence of U.S. capital markets. Under his leadership, the SEC has also worked to sever ties between political campaign contributions and municipal underwriting business, as well as to improve the disclosure and transparency of the municipal bond market. The SEC has worked with the securities industry to develop the “Fund Profile” and other guidelines for investment products in an effort to make disclosure documents easier to understand.

Prior to his chairmanship of the SEC, Mr. Levitt owned “Roll Call,” the newspaper of Congress. He formerly served as chair of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and of the American Stock Exchange.

Ecologist to explain benefits of natural forest fires

The beneficial impact of naturally occurring forest fires for spurring new growth will be the subject of the next talk in the semester-long series “The Restoration Agenda: Focus on Plants” at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (F&ES) on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Donald A. Falk, executive director of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER), will deliver the talk, titled “Restoring Fires to Southwestern Forests.”

The weekly talks are from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Bowers Auditorium at Sage Hall, 205 Prospect St. For registration information, contact Aimlee D. Laderman, lecturer in wetland ecology and research affiliate at F&ES, at 432-3335 or e-mail

Falk, who is noted for his expertise in the conservation and restoration of biological diversity, cofounded and directed the Center for Plant Conservation, the first national organization dedicated to protecting endangered native plant species. The society now works with a network of botanical gardens and arboreta to collect and maintain rare species.

SER was formed in 1988 and has become the pre-eminent organization dedicated to advancing the science and art of restoring damaged ecosystems. The society and its 2,500 international members constitute the primary authority on the restoration of damaged and altered ecosystems.

Father and son will talk about their business perspectives

Alumni Richard and Doug Foster, a father and son who are both involved in finance, will offer their different perspectives in a talk titled “About Business” on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m. during a master’s tea in the Jonathan Edwards College (JE) master’s house, 70 High St.

Richard N. Foster, who received bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale, has played a senior leadership role in McKinsey & Company, Inc. for the past 15 years and is currently a director of the company. Since joining the company in 1973 as a consultant, he has worked in more than 50 industry segments, with over half of his time spent in the health care industry, primarily for suppliers of medical products, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. He has led the company’s efforts in these areas in the U.S., Europe, Japan and China. He is the author of “Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage,” which The Wall Street Journal cited as one of the five best business books of 1986, and is now working on his second book, provisionally titled “Outperformance.”

Doug Foster, a 1996 graduate of Yale College, is an associate at Pequot Capital in New York City. He joined the investment management company in 1997 after spending a year in equity research at Robertson Stephens & Co. in San Francisco.

Connecticut education official to speak on charter schools

School of Management alumna Jennie Niles, charter schools program manager for the Connecticut Department of Education, will give a talk titled “Charter Schools in Connecticut: Current Issues” on Friday, Feb. 26, at noon in Rm. 211 of the Hall of Graduate Studies, 320 York St. The event is sponsored by the Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy.

Connecticut’s charter school initiative is a reform effort that gives autonomy to specially created schools as long as they meet the state’s standards for accountability. Niles is responsible for all aspects of this program, including oversight of the schools for the Commissioner of Education, provision of technical assistance to the schools, coordination of the application and review process, and public information. Prior to this position, Niles directed service-learning programs and taught science at the middle and high school levels in Massachusetts and California. She earned a master’s degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Management in 1998. For more information, call 432-9935.

Environmental management is subject of talk by ITT executive

Travis Engen, chair and chief executive of ITT Industries, Inc., will give a talk titled “Growing Value by Maintaining Our Values: The New Realities of Environmental Management” on Monday, March 1. His talk, cosponsored by the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Law School, will begin at 4 p.m. in Sage Hall, 205 Prospect St.

ITT, a global manufacturing company, produces systems and services to move and control water and other fluids and is a leading supplier of military defense systems and of connectors, switches and cabling used in telecommunications, computing, aerospace and industrial applications. The company, based in White Plains, New York, employs approximately 35,000 people around the world.

As chair and chief executive of ITT, Engen sets the strategic direction for the Fortune 500 company. He became ITT Industries’ first chief executive in 1995, when the ITT Corporation’s board of directors voted to split the company into three independent, publicly held companies. Engen joined ITT Corporation in 1985 as president and general manager of ITT Avionics. He became president and chief executive officer of ITT Defense two years later, and in 1991 he was elected to serve as an executive vice president of ITT Corporation with responsibility for the companies that now form ITT Industries, as well as ITT’s insurance, communications and information services divisions.

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