CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Education

September 17, 2012

Lacks to speak at WSCC Wednesday, Sept. 19

CULLMAN — Wallace State Community College in Hanceville will welcome David “Sonny” Lacks to the Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre on Wednesday, September 19, at 9:30 a.m. Lacks will discuss “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot, a work of non-fiction written about his mother and her important contribution to science.

The public is invited to attend the event and to join the college community in reading “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” a New York Times bestseller and this year’s Wallace State Common Read selection.

In his discussion, Sonny Lacks will share what it meant to find out—decades after the fact—that his mother’s cells were being used in laboratories around the world, bought and sold by the billions. His is a sincere first-person perspective on the collision between ethics, race and the commercialization of human tissue, and how the experience changed the Lacks family forever.

“We think Sonny Lacks’s presentation will help us to promote discussions about all the issues going on in this book –race, bioethics, what it means to do research in a way that is useful and important but one that also respects people’s rights,” said Sally Warren, English Instructor and chair of the campus Common Read committee.  “We are happy to be promoting those discussions and getting students interested in issues that affect us all.”

Henrietta Lacks was an impoverished tobacco farmer from Virginia who was diagnosed with cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1951. Her cells, taken without her knowledge while undergoing treatment, are the first immortal human cells ever grown in the laboratory. Though Henrietta Lacks died in 1951 at age 31, HeLa cells, as her cells are now known, have become one of the most important tools in modern medicine. They were vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and other treatments, and remain the most widely used cell line in the world today.

The book raises important issues about experimentation involving human subjects, the birth of bioethics, legal battles over “informed consent” and the rights of the person, and who should share in the profits of research.  It is also a fascinating look at the science of modern medicine.

“This year’s selection provides a great opportunity to get students from all the disciplines involved,” Warren said.  In fact, the Wallace State Nursing Department helped the committee choose the book, she said.

Wallace State’s Common Read began in 2009. Its purpose is to provide a common academic experience for all first-year students and to enhance the academic atmosphere of the entire institution by focusing on an annual initiative related to literature. The program’s main goal is for participants to have fun and enjoy a great book, but it also encourages reading among students, creates a sense of community on campus, promotes discussion, provides a shared intellectual experience and encourages cross-disciplinary dialogue.

Wallace State was a League for Innovation’s 2011 Innovation of the Year Award winner for its Common Read Initiative.  Previous Common Read books were “Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” by John Boyne, and Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie”.

Members of Wallace State’s Common Read Committee are Dr. Mary Barnes, Carrie Bentley, Clay Cobb, Leigh Ann Courington, Diana Majerik, Schenaye Mauldin, Gayle Ledbetter, Stacey Moore, Susan O'Rear, Lauren Cantrell-Salerno, Michael Salerno, and Courtney Walker and Sally Warren.

For more information about the Sonny Lacks event on September 19, call the Wallace State English Department at 256-352-8219.

 

1
Text Only
Education
  • Winston County Technology Center Wins AAA/Ford Auto Skills State Championship

    Twenty high school automotive students from across the state turned out in hopes of tuning out the competition today in the State Finals of the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition. The students fought for scholarships in the automotive industry and for the chance to advance to the National Finals, which take place at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. The competition, which is geared toward students looking to jumpstart their careers in the automotive industry, is especially relevant for today’s struggling economy, in which car owners are putting more money into car repair and maintenance as a way of avoiding the big-ticket purchase of a new car.

    April 16, 2014

  • Variety of classes offered during Homeschool Spring Workshops

    Wallace State Community College’s Continuing Education Department has a full slate of classes to offer homeschool students this spring with the second session as a continuation of the first session.
     

    April 14, 2014

  • WSCC invesTECHgate 1.jpg Wallace State to host approximately 600 high school juniors during ‘InvesTECHgate’ week beginning April 14   

    Wallace State Community College will host its third annual “InvesTECHgate” week beginning April 14, and this year’s event should be the biggest draw yet.
    Various Wallace State technical programs are set to be flooded with approximately 600 high school juniors from Blount, Cullman and Morgan Counties. InvesTECHgate allows high school students who may be interested in pursuing a career in the technical field to get an in-depth look at those programs on the collegiate level.
     

    April 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • WSCC Ponder named gold scholar.jpg Wallace State Sophomore Ponder named 2014 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar

    Levi Ponder, a 2012 Vinemont graduate, is one of only 50 Gold Scholars among qualified candidates across 38 states, standing out among more than 1,700 applicants. The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society administers the Coca-Cola Community College Academic team and it will recognize Ponder at the Phi Theta Kappa National Convention on Friday, April 26 in Orlando, Fla.
     

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commentary: At many leading schools, football fails to make cut

    To my astonishment, 67 of the top 100 schools, ranked by participation in college-level tests, said they do not field a team, denoting a shift in American high school culture, at least in those schools that challenge their students most.

    April 7, 2014

  • Wallace State Earns National Award for Marketing

    Wallace State Community College in Hanceville was recognized by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) for its “Hot Jobs” television advertisement series during the Medallion Awards ceremony at organization’s annual conference in March in New Orleans. The commercials, which spotlight career opportunities related to degree and certificate programs offered by the college, are part of Wallace State’s popular Be One of Us marketing campaign.
     

    April 4, 2014

  • Samford University to Host Minority Youth Science Academy July 6-9

    Samford University will host a Minority Youth Science Academy July 6-9 to help prepare outstanding minority high school students who aspire to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

    April 2, 2014

  • Wallace State’s Practical Nursing program tops state ranking

    The Practical Nursing program at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Ala., is at the top of the list when it comes to the success of students passing the National Council Licensure for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) exam.

    March 31, 2014

  • Wallace State set to help with new GED exam

    With the changes in how the exam is administered and new fees, Wallace State Community College’s Adult Education program has taken steps to make sure students seeking to earn their GED are successful in their efforts.
     

    March 21, 2014

  • WSCC Sloan earns 99s WSCC Flight Technology student Chelsie Sloan becomes first female in program to earn Ninety-Nines, Inc. scholarship

    Wallace State Community College dual enrollment student Chelsie Sloan wasn’t sure about her career path as she approached her senior year at Corner High School.

    March 19, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
AP Video