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Speakers added to Coastal's 2004 Celebration of Inquiry

October 2, 2003

Coastal Carolina University has added two more speakers to its Celebration of Inquiry conference, slated for Feb. 11 to 13, 2004.

Former journalist Charles Bierbauer, the dean of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies at the University of South Carolina, and Neale Lundgren, a former Benedictine monk considered a leader in multi-faith awareness, will be joining futurist/inventor Ray Kurzweil, keynote speaker of the conference,

The university-wide academic conference is designed to unite the learning community in cross-disciplinary discussion of a common theme, "Seeing the World Anew." Conference sessions will explore the theories, technologies and connections that have helped people to see the world in new ways. Systems thinking, multiple intelligences and other diverse topics will be considered during the three-day conference.

Bierbauer is a veteran broadcast journalist with more than 30 years experience covering national and international affairs. He was senior CNN Washington correspondent during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and moderator of CNN's "Newsmaker Saturday," a weekly report featuring interviews with leading newsmakers. He has served as network bureau chief and foreign correspondent for ABC (Moscow and Bonn bureaus), a correspondent for the Chicago Daily News, a reporter with Westinghouse Broadcasting (Group W) for KYW-TV in Philadelphia, a foreign editor in London, an East European correspondent in Vienna, a freelance correspondent in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and a reporter for the Associated Press in Pittsburgh.

Bierbauer received an Emmy for his work as anchor during CNN's coverage of the 1996 bombing of Olympic Park in Atlanta. He has received an Overseas Press Club award and the Gold and Silver medals of the Houston Film Festival. He earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and Russian and a master's degree in journalism from Penn State.

Neale Lundgren is a counselor, musician and scholar who has dedicated his multifaceted career to promoting a deeper awareness of spirituality, both in the private lives of individuals and in the public arena. He has taught courses in philosophy, literature, psychology and spirituality in academic, medical, corporate and spiritually-based settings for more than 20 years. He leads seminars, workshops and retreats exploring the relationship between psychological and spiritual health, incorporating music in his work.

Lundgren is member of Cypress, a music ensemble that will perform at the conference. The group is dedicated to the composition and performance of songs of spiritual aspiration. Formerly a Benedictine monk, Lundgren earned a cross-disciplinary Ph.D. from Emory University incorporating psychological, philosophical and religious thought in 19th and 20th century Europe. He has a master's degree in theology from St. John's College and a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Loyola University.

While Bierbauer and Lundgren will be appearing in person, Kurzweil, the keynote speaker, will appear live through teleportation, which enables people to appear live, life-sized within an apparent 3-D environment in a remote location and achieve eye-to-eye contact with all participants.

Coastal students, faculty and staff as well as community leaders and educators will offer numerous sessions on a wide range of topics. All conference sessions are free and open to the public. On Feb. 12 and 13 all Coastal classes will be re-directed to conference sessions. Many Coastal students will be involved as presenters in the sessions which will include workshops, performances, panel discussions, lectures and other interactive formats to promote inquiry.

For more information, visit the Web site at or call Charmaine Tomczyk at 349-2403.