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USF’s University Lecture Series Fall Lineup Promises Inspiration, Goosebumps and Laughter

Lectures by Orange is the New Black actress Jackie Cruz, Goosebumps author R.L. Stine and transgender comedian Ian Harvie comprise the fall lineup of the student-run University Lecture Series at the University of South Florida.

Jackie Cruz

Recently named as one of the “Top Latino Powerhouses under 40” by The Hollywood Reporter, Jackie Cruz was invited to lecture as part of USF’s upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month activities. The lecture will be held at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26, in the Marshall Student Center Oval Theater. As an up-and-coming multi-talented artist, Cruz has entertained millions with both her unique vocal sound and artistic skills, especially in her role as “Flaca” on the Netflix hit series Orange is the New Black. In her lecture titled “Cruzing Through Adversity,” she offers lessons on resilience, determination and using life’s challenges as opportunities to change your perception of the world for the better. Crediting a near-fatal car accident for leading her down a better path, Cruz empowers audiences to harness their inner strength and sense of gratitude to learn from challenging life experiences in order to persevere and become stronger.

R.I. Stine | Photo by Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0

Second in the fall lineup will be R. L. Stine, the internationally best-selling author of the Goosebumps series for young readers written in the 1990s. Witty and creepy, his books defined horror for a generation of young readers, many of whom are now college students. More than 300 million copies have been sold in the United States alone and Stine has become a publishing phenomenon in 32 languages around the world. With many of his original readers now adults, Stine currently writes for an adult audience with novels titled Superstitious, The Sitter and Eye Candy. His most recent work, Red Rain, is a terrifying horror novel centered on a town in the grip of a sinister revolt. Stine is scheduled to speak about his career and creative process at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25, in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom. For the book signing after the lecture, attendees are encouraged to bring a copy of their favorite novel or purchase one from the nearby campus bookstore. Arrangements for the appearance of Stine were made through Greater Talent Network, Inc. in New York.

Ian Harvie

Wrapping up the fall series will be groundbreaking transgender comedian, actor, writer, storyteller and producer Ian Harvie. Harvie is best known as “Dale” on the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning Amazon original series, Transparent. He has also appeared on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, CNN’s Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, PBS’s Roadtrip Nation and ABC’s Comics Unleashed. Harvie has also produced and appeared in “The Ian Harvie Show” since 2007 in Los Angeles, and released a live standup comedy special, Ian Harvie Superhero, in 2014. With eccentric views on love, family, gender identification and popular culture, Harvie offers a broadly relatable and hilarious performance, and he proves that laughter cuts across all gender identities. The lecture will take place at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, in the Marshall Student Center Oval Theater.

All lectures in the series are free and open to the public on a limited first-come, first-served basis following priority seating for USF Tampa students. Doors open approximately one half hour before the lecture start time. Real time captioning will be provided; additional reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request by calling 813-974-1001 (FL Relay 711). 

For more information about the lecture series, including the audience policy, visit the ULS website.