Distinguished Speaker Series kicks off September 7

The 2023-24 Distinguished Speaker Series kicks off Thursday, September 7

A highly decorated military panel will kick off the Distinguished Speaker Series at UNC Pembroke on Thursday, September 7.

The featured speakers are UNCP alumni Col. Carlos Berdecia, Col. Reginald McClam and Jessica Salina and music faculty member Dr. Joanna Hersey. The talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the University Center Annex. There will be limited seating available.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and free for faculty, staff and students with a UNCP ID. For ticket information, contact Campus Engagement and Leadership at 910.521.6482.

The event is part of UNCP Military Appreciation Week.

McClam is the commanding officer for the Basic School at Camp Barrett, Quantico, Virginia. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant after graduating from UNCP, where he was a track team member.

Berdecia is the commander of the 437 Operations Group, Joint Base in Charleston, S.C., the largest C-17A Operations Group in the U.S. Air Force. Berdecia was the captain of the Braves baseball team.

Hersey, associate dean of Student Success and music faculty member, is a veteran and former tubist with the U.S. Coast Guard. She has performed across the country as a soloist and clinician at numerous state functions for visiting dignitaries and royalty and for three U.S. presidents.

Salinas is a combat veteran spouse, caregiver, certified veteran support specialist and a QPR suicide prevention gatekeeper. She plans to return to UNCP to pursue an MSW in 2024.

The Distinguished Speaker Series is presented by the Office of Campus Engagement and co-sponsored by the Thomas College of Business and Economics, the Career Center and Academic and Military Outreach.

The series continues November 6 with Indigenous actress Amber Midthunder, who starred in the Emmy-nominated film Prey and her mother, Angelique Midthunder, an Emmy-nominated director. “An Evening with the General,” featuring UNCP trustees and retired brigadier Gen. Allen Jamerson, follows on February 21.

For more information about the series, please visit uncp.edu/dss.