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Home > SVCPulse > News Archive

Author Paul Tough Next Speaker in Threshold Series Sept. 19

Public Relations
Posted: Friday Aug 30, 2013

Aug. 20, 2013

Best-selling author of How Children Succeed, Paul Tough will be the next presentation in the Saint Vincent College Threshold Series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19 in the Fred M. Rogers Center on the campus of Saint Vincent College.

The lecture is being presented in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media.

Admission is free to the lecture but reservations are required. Persons requesting tickets should send their name, address, daytime phone (include area code) and number of tickets requested to the Threshold Box Office at threshold@stvincent.edu. All reservations will be confirmed by return email. Please note that tickets will be held at the box office for pickup upon arrival for the presentation; no tickets are mailed in advance.

Tough challenges our culture’s belief that intelligence, endlessly measured by test scores, is the sole indicator of value in our education system. But in How Children Succeed, he ushered in a tidal change in thinking and argues that non-cognitive skills – or, character – are better indicators of success: curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, self-control and grit.

A contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Tough is also the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America, which focuses on the steps necessary to improve the lives and education of underserved children. Through the case study of the Harlem Children's Zone, Tough describes the inspiring struggle to establish a way to combat poverty that could be replicated nationwide. Tough has also contributed to This American Life and The New Yorker, where he has honed his focus upon education, poverty, parenting and politics.

Using the tools of science, Tough peels back the mysteries of character and traces the links between early childhood neurological development and environment. By showing how “nature” and “nurture” are intertwined, Tough explores how childhood stresses modify life success and the surprising ways that parents do – and do not – prepare their children for adulthood. Tough helps us understand how early adversity affects childhood emotional, social and cognitive development in ways that will carry on throughout their entire lives, and what we can do about it.

Saint Vincent College established the Threshold Lecture Series in 1981 when the Kennametal Foundation of Latrobe made a substantial grant to the College for the creation of an ongoing series of lectures and cultural events.

Previous Threshold speakers have included Carl Sagan; a Time magazine panel consisting of Hugh Sidey, Strobe Talbott and John Stacks; Amitai Etzioni; Alvin Toffler; Dixy Lee Ray; Donald Johanson; Isaac Asimov; Claire Bloom; Lawrence Stone; Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B.; Alex Haley; Robert Claiborne; Arthur B. Laffer; Richard E. Morley and William A. Taylor; May Sarton; Mark Littman; Jehan Sadat; Tom Wolfe; Michael Kammen; Martin E. Marty; Lt. General James A. Abrahamson; Seymour M. Hersh; Stephen F. Cohen; Joyce Carol Oates; Estelle R. Ramey; Jeane J. Kirkpatrick; Stanley L. Jaki, O.S.B.; Ralph Nader; Daniel Callahan; Robert Jarvik; John E. Chubb; John Noble Wilford; Ronald A. Morse; Thomas Sowell; Michael Medved; Jane Bryant Quinn; Harold S. Kushner; James Q. Wilson; Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; James Burke; Bernard S. Siegal; Peter B. Dervan; Milton Katselas; Bill Moyers; Peter Stearns; Dean Ornish; Mary Pipher; Robert Munsch; Herbert S. Benson; Michael Turner; Susan Stamberg; Mike Jensen; Archduke Rudolph of Austria; Roger Cossack; Stanley Hauerwas; Regina Carter; Heinz-Joachim Fischer; Jonathan Kozol; Gilbert Meilaender; John Haught; Richard Louv; Steven Strogatz; Robert Putnam; Jerome Oetgen; Benjamin Zander; Colleen Carroll Campbell; Neil deGrasse Tyson; Arthur T. Downey; Jere Longman; Douglas A. Anderson; John Spike; and Br. Guy Consolmagno, S.J.

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Photo: Paul Tough 

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PR2013-398