Ted Koppel tops list of Sinai Forum speakers

 Ted Koppel tops list of Sinai Forum speakers
Journalist Ted Koppel will kick off Purdue University Northwest's Sinai Forum lectures with a presentation Sept. 11 about cyber security. (Paul Morigi / Getty Images)

The 63rd season of the Purdue University Northwest Sinai Forum will open at 4 p.m. Sept. 11 with a presentation by noted television news reporter Ted Koppel.

Organizers said the Forum provides the opportunity to hear from experts speak about topics in the news and face-to-face questions in a town-hall style forum.


This season's speakers include Koppel, a television veteran named one of the top 100 journalists of the last 100 years; a cancer researcher who offers hope to those with terminal diagnoses; a decorated war hero who will share his experience as a hostage negotiator; a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who will explore the impact of the president-elect on foreign policy; and an astronaut and Hoosier who holds the world record for space walks. A book signing will follow each program.

All of the programs are in the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex on the PNW North Central Campus, 1401 S. U.S. 421, Westville. Each program will begin at 4 p.m., with doors opening at 3 p.m.


Regular Season tickets are $75, which includes general seating for all five programs. A Patron season ticket is $200, which includes reserved section seating for all five programs and exclusive receptions with the speakers before each program. Students who show a valid school I.D. are always free.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by cash or check at: The Lubeznik Center for the Arts, 101 W. Second St., Michigan City; Kabelin Hardware, 512 Andrew Ave., La Porte and the Porter County Community Foundation, 1401 Calumet Ave., Valparaiso.

The 2016 Sinai Forum season speakers are:

Sept. 11: Ted Koppel


"Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath"

Ted Koppel is a 42-year veteran of ABC News and is the most honored reporter in that network's history. He has been awarded 42 Emmys, including one for lifetime achievement. Koppel was anchor and managing editor of the television show "Nightline" from 1980 through 2005.

His latest work is a book on the dangers of cyber warfare against our civilian infrastructure. Koppel will discuss that book, "Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath." The book asks readers to imagine a cyber catastrophe in which America's infrastructure and power grid have been attacked; how would ordinary civilians survive? Koppel examines a strong, research-backed case for the likelihood of a devastating cyber attack on the United States and explores issues surrounding the government's responsibility. He will address how unprepared the nation is to deal with the consequences that have the potential to arise.

Sept. 25: Kelly A. Turner

"Radical Remission, Surviving Cancer Against All Odds"

Kelly Turner, Ph.D. is the "New York Times" best-selling author of "Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds," which summarizes her research into cases of statistically unlikely cancer remission. In her decade of research, she has uncovered nine common healing factors that radical remission survivors use to help their bodies heal. She will share these nine factors, as well as case studies and the latest research in integrative oncology. Turner's work is filled with hope, science and possibility. Andrew Weil, M.D. said Turner's book "is a personal and deeply moving exploration of the power of the human spirit and innate wisdom of the body to overcome catastrophic illness."

Oct. 23: Jason Amerine

From War Hero to Whistle-Blower


Retired Lt. Col. Jason Amerine will share his story of going from war hero to whistle-blower. Amerine is a decorated war hero who served in the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, where he aided tribal leader Hamid Karzai in fighting a guerrilla war against the Taliban. Returning from the war, Amerine worked at the Pentagon, leading an Army team ordered to bring home Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an Army soldier held captive by the Taliban from June 2009 until his release in May 2014. After Amerine wrangled with federal agencies, he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to expose how the bureau botched hostage negotiations with the Taliban and ISIS. After being investigated and facing possible court-martial, he was cleared of any wrongdoing. Amerine's efforts resulted in policy change regarding western hostage negotiations and the Army awarded him the Legion of Merit.

Nov. 13: Bret Stephens

A Foreign Policy for the President-Elect

Bret Stephens, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is foreign affairs columnist and deputy editorial page editor of "The Wall Street Journal." From 2002 to 2004, he was editor-in-chief of the "Jerusalem Post." With the presidential election decided just five days before he is scheduled to speak, Stephens will examine the impact of the president-elect on foreign policy and will discuss eight rules to guide the next president in dealing with Middle East challenges. He will explore how the United States can strike a balance between inaction and over-commitment and will discuss our vital interests in the region. Stephens is the author of "America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder." The book presents the case that America has been retreating from its role as the "world's policeman" in recent decades, which will lead to ever greater world problems.

Dec. 4: Jerry Ross

Spacewalker, My Journey in Space

Retired Col. Jerry Ross is a native of Northwest Indiana and holds the world record for space flights with seven. He performed nine spacewalks to repair satellites and to help build the International Space Station. He is the author of two books, "My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA's Record Setting Frequent Flyer" and "Becoming a Spacewalker, My Journey to the Stars," a children's book. Ross has a passion for inspiring young people to seek their dreams. He has spoken to audiences in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and nearly 20 countries. Ross, now retired from the Air Force, will chronicle his space-race-era journey from Crown Point to Purdue University where he pursued his dream to be in the space program and to become one of NASA's most highly decorated astronauts. He will take his audience on a journey through his last space flight and discuss the state of the country's space programs.

Staff report