A portrait of the actor David Harbour

Speaker Series will feature star of 'Stranger Things'

This year's Speaker Series will include an Emmy-nominated actor, a former presidential candidate, a former CIA director and the founder of the #MeToo movement.

Emmy-nominated actor David Harbour – Chief Hopper on the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things” – will open the 2018-19 Speaker Series at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, with a discussion of his career on screen and stage.

Harbour’s film credits include roles in “Black Mass,” “Suicide Squad,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “Quantum of Solace.” His biggest success, however, has been in the Upside Down, an imagined parallel universe that adds a supernatural twist to “Stranger Things.” Harbour won the 2018 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work as Chief Hopper.

Harbour’s Sept. 6 appearance at Penn State Behrend is free and open to the public. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. in the college’s Junker Center.

Harbour’s talk launches a yearlong Speaker Series at the college, with programs designed to provoke thought and stimulate conversation about the most compelling issues and events in our society.

“This series provides opportunities for those in our campus community, particularly our students, as well as members of the general public to hear firsthand from individuals who are shaping our culture,” Chancellor Ralph Ford said. “Each of our speakers is uniquely positioned to spark a larger, ongoing conversation about the political, business and societal issues we face today.”

The complete schedule for the 2018-19 Speaker Series includes:

  • Sept. 6: Actor David Harbour, who will discuss his work on the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” now in production for its third season. Harbour has been nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and Critics’ Choice Award. He will star in the reboot of the “Hellboy” film franchise, which will be released in January.
  • Nov. 8: Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency, will discuss the war on terror and the ways ISIS and Al-Qaeda have weaponized communications.
  • Nov. 13: Former presidential candidate Howard Dean and political analyst Elise Jordan will debate key issues from the midterm election and set the stage for 2020. Dean, the former governor of Vermont, also served as chair of the Democratic National Committee. Jordan appears regularly on MSNBC and in Time magazine.
  • March 13: Technologist Linda Bernardi will discuss serial entrepreneurship and big-data analytics. As the former chief innovation officer at IBM, she was co-lead on the Watson team, which introduced cognitive capabilities into the Internet of Things.
  • April 17: Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, will discuss our culture’s shifting response to sexual violence and workplace harassment. She was featured on the cover of Time magazine for a story about the most influential people of 2018.

The Speaker Series at Penn State Behrend is made possible by the college’s Student Activity Fee, the Division of Student Affairs and the Harriet Behrend Ninow Memorial Lecture Series Fund. Gen. Hayden’s appearance on Nov. 8 and the Nov. 13 debate with Howard Dean and Elise Jordan are co-sponsored by the Jefferson Educational Society, a non-profit institution that promotes civic enlightenment and community progress for the Erie region.

For more information about the series, visit behrend.psu.edu/speakerseries.