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Last Lecture Series at K-State Salina focuses on a professor's would-be parting words of wisdom

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


SALINA — Inspired by the highly successful Last Lecture given by a Carnegie Mellon professor in 2007, Kansas State University Salina will present its own lecture series by the same name debuting on Monday, April 28.

The Last Lecture Series will feature K-State Salina professor Les Kinsler as its inaugural speaker and will be at 3 p.m. in the College Center conference room. The series, adapted from Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, was created to honor a faculty or staff member for their years of service to the university and to allow the speaker to impart words of wisdom to the audience gathered during his or her storied career.

Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, first composed the idea of a last lecture after receiving a grim diagnosis for pancreatic cancer. Before his death, he spoke to his students on the topics of achieving your childhood dreams and how to enable the dreams of others. The presentation was filmed and has since been downloaded more than 10 million times.

K-State Salina's Last Lecture Series will also ask its guest to speak of his or her greatest teaching moments, lessons learned and life experiences — but unlike Pausch, only as though it was the last time he or she would be speaking.

"Providing one final lecture to a group of people you truly care about is a challenge. I hope my lecture will be both interesting and thought provoking," said Kinsler, a 34-year veteran of K-State Salina's engineering technology department. "I have decided to speak about the three activities that have dominated my life — work, family and lifelong learning. I hope to share with everyone the importance of each of these in their lives."

Kinsler's focus at K-State Salina is computer systems technology. He has a bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics from Emporia State University and a master's degree in computer science from Wichita State University. Kinsler was named the 2009-2010 outstanding adviser by K-State Salina students and was the recipient of the Marchbanks Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence in 2011.

The lecture is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Eric Cole at 785-826-2601 or ecole@k-state.edu.


Eric Cole


Last Lecture Series

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Kansas State University Salina professor Les Kinsler is the inaugural speaker in the Last Lecture Series.

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At a glance

Les Kinsler, professor of engineering technology at Kansas State University, will be the inaugural speaker for K-State Salina's Last Lecture Series. His lecture will be at 3 p.m. Monday, April 28, in the College Center conference room.