The Fireside Chat Speaker Series is a series of small round-table discussions with university professors and Echols scholars. Inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Fireside Chats" from 1933-1944, the mission of this program is to facilitate intellectual curiosity by connecting students with professors directly. Each month, the Echols Council organizes a list of professors to discuss on a variety of topics. Food and drinks are provided at each Fireside Chat.

This Fall, Echols Council will be expanding the Fireside Chats program to a wider pool of University students by co-hosting Chats with Lawn room residents. These one-time, discussion based seminars focus on specific topics chosen by the co-host and range from the importance of classical music to international political debates. By partnering with these students, Council hopes to create an outreach opportunity for passionate student leaders and researchers while simultaneously exposing scholars to the heart of the University.

Questions? Please contact Karishma Srikanth at krs8rb@virginia.edu


Previous Chats Include:

August 2016: “Do Ruins Deserve Protection?” with  Politics, Philosophy and the Law Professor Paul Morrow

September 2016: “On the Asymptote of Happiness: Reconciling Mindfulness & Ambition” with English Professor Devin Donovan

September 2016: “Individual and Collective Happiness” with Psychology Professor Shigehiro Oishi

September 2016: "The Genetic Revolution:  What Government Oversight?" with Batten School of Public Policy Professor Randall Lutter

October 2016: “The University: Historical Marker or Sign of the Future?” with Engineering Science Professor and Rodman Scholars Program Director Dana Elzey

October 2016: “Climate Change, the Arctic, and You”

with Ecology Professor and College Science Scholars Program Co-Director Howard Epstein

October 2016: “The Quest to Conquer Alzheimer's Disease” with Professor of Biology, Cell Biology and Neuroscience George Bloom

November 2016: “Pricing Pollution” with Professor of Public Policy and Director of Center for Economic and Policy Studies, William Shobe

November 2016: “The Culture of Competition and Comparison at UVA” with Director of Student Resilience and Leadership Development Dr. Timothy Davis

November 2016: “Dealing with the Memory of the Civil War: Confederate Symbols in the 21st Century” with John L. Nau III Professor of History, Gary Gallagher

November 2016: “Exploring the Restored Rotunda” with Architect for the University, Alice Raucher & Senior Historic Preservationist, Brian Hogg

April 2016: "Inside the President's Office" with University President, Teresa Sullivan

April 2016: "Your Epigenome and You" with Jessica Connelly

April 2016: "The Tea Party: Origins, Status, and Motivations" with Stephen White

April 2016: "Gamification" with Mark Sherriff

March 2016: "East Germany after the Fall of the Berlin Wall" with Danielle Pisechko

March 2016: "Rethinking the Old Academical Village - Slavery and Race at Early UVA" with Kirt von Daacke

March 2016: "Why Tables and Chairs Do Not Exist" with Trenton Merricks

March 2016: "Education and Juvenile Justice" with Title IX Coordinator and Executive Assistant to the President, Kelley Hodge

February 2016: "Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning" with Tim Beatley

December 2015: Lawn Fireside Chat "Honor's Paradox: Principles or Practicality" with Honor Chair Faith Lyons

November 2015: "Should We Do Away with High School (and Maybe College)?" with Psychology Professor Joseph Allen 

November 2015: "Exploring Masculinity: Making the Invisible Visible" with Professor Lisa Speidel

November 2015: "Satan and the Self in Islamic Literature" with Arabic Professor Bilal Maanaki

November 2015: Lawn Fireside Chat "Onward Israel: Diversity and Coexistance" with Sam Magnes

October 2015: Lawn Resident Natalie May on the Importance of Classical Music in a Pop-Focused World

September 2015: "Decriminalization, Legalization and Normalization of Drugs on Campuses: The Pros and Cons" with Lawn Resident Elyse Eilerman  

September 2015: "Free Will: Do we have it, and does it matter?" with Professor Brie Gertler

April 2015: Law School Professor Deirdre Enright on NPR's podcast Serial 

March 2015:  "Will China Fall Apart?" with Professor Jeffrey Legro

February 2015: "Disability Rights" with Professor Christopher Krentz

February 2015: "The Neuroscience of Advanced Prosthetics" with Professor Greg Gerling

January 2015: "Memory in Relationships" with Professor Gary Ballinger

January 2015: "Charlie Hebdo, Free Speech, and the Media" with Professor Bruce Williams

December 2014: "Mystery Fiction" with Professor Kenneth Elzinga

April 2014: "Having it All and Leaning In: Gender and Leadership in 2014." with Professor Sarah Betzer

April 2014: "Life After Death?" with Professor Jim Tucker

April 2014: "Sex, Spirituality  and Religious Ethics" with Professor Paul Jones

March 2014: "The Works of Len Kammerling" with Professor Grace Hale

December 2013: "The Value of Literature" with Professor Victoria Olwell