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October 09, 2008
Michael Josephson to Keynote Wendt Center for Character Education Fall Conference

Ethicist, commentator, and author Michael Josephson will serve as the keynote speaker for the University of Dubuque Lester and Michael Lester Wendt Center for Character Education's forth annual fall conference on Thursday, October 16.  The theme of the 2008 conference is "Does Character Really Count? Going for the Gold - From Sports and Business to Education and Public Service."  The event is free and open to the public.

"We live in times when we need our leaders and influencers to be people of outstanding character," said Henry Pitman, director of the Wendt Center.  "We look forward to both being encouraged and challenged by Michael Josephson as to why this matters and how we can contribute."

The conference will explore the impact of moral character on our life decisions, our communities, and the larger society. We will examine how character is developed and consider how it counts toward genuine success in the areas of sports, business, education and public service.

Michael Josephson's keynote address will be held at 7:30 p.m. in McCormick Gymnasium, followed by a reception and book signing in the Couchman Reading Room of the Charles C. Myers Library.  The event will conclude a day-long series of panel discussions presented by individuals from the University of Dubuque as well as area business, education, and government leaders. 

Michael Josephson, founder and president of Josephson Institute, is one of the nation's foremost ethics consultants to major corporations and government officials. Having led more than 1,000 ethics programs for over 100,000 leaders in business, government, the media, law enforcement, and education, Mr. Josephson possesses unmatched expertise in the practical application of ethics and a uniquely engaging presentation style.

Business clients such as Kroger, Johnson & Johnson, and Proctor and Gamble, as well as clients in the public sphere such as the FBI, the IRS, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the Iowa State Legislature have depended on Mr. Josephson's expertise for business ethics services. Hundreds of city and county public administrators and law-enforcement professionals who have attended his customized training seminars have come away inspired and enriched.

Through the Institute, Mr. Josephson has also launched several successful national youth initiatives including CHARACTER COUNTS!, the nation's leading character-education framework that reaches six million children through a widespread partnership of schools and service organizations. Virtually every U.S. athletic organization endorses Pursuing Victory With Honor, the Institute's sportsmanship campaign.

Major news media often call on Mr. Josephson for his perspectives on current events. He has been featured on "Nightline," "ABC World News Tonight," "The Today Show," "Fox News Live," "CBS Evening News," "The O'Reilly Factor," "ESPN Sports Zone," and in Time magazine. A popular commentator and author, Michael speaks to listeners daily through his Gabriel Award-winning radio spots. His books include The Best Is Yet to Come, You Don't Have to Be Sick to Get Better!, Parenting to Build Character in Your Teen, Preserving the Public Trust, and Becoming an Exemplary Peace Officer.

Conference Schedule

Thursday, October 16

9:30 a.m.         Conference Registration
(Steffens Hall, Charles C. Myers Center)

10:30 a.m.       Morning Panel Sessions: 
Teaching Character in Schools - Dream or Reality?
Dr. Jacqueline Wilcox, professor and head of the education department, University of Dubuque

Ethical Leadership:  Questions of Character, Integrity, and Compliance
Dr. Mark Butler, professor of business, University of Dubuque
Andi Parrett, professor of business, University of Dubuque

Becoming a Leader in College: Making Tough Choices in Challenging Times
Mark Smith, director of service and leadership, University of Dubuque

1:30 p.m.         Afternoon Panel Sessions:

Illegal Immigration, Deportation and Sanctuary Cities: Local and Federal Law - What is the right thing to do?

Dr. Angela Simon, professor of criminal justice, University of Dubuque



"Winning isn't everything, . . . it's the only thing."  - Vince Lombardi
Is Winning Really The Only Thing?
Dan Runkle, athletic director, University of Dubuque

Public Service - Does it matter?  Character Building Through Responsive Service to the Community
Barb Smeltzer, undergraduate student resources advisor, University of Dubuque

7:30 p.m.         Keynote address - Mr. Michael Josephson, ethicist, commentator, and author(McCormick Gymnasium)

9:00 p.m.         Reception and Book Signing
(Couchman Reading Room, Charles C. Myers Library)

The Wendt Character Initiative was established in 2004 at the University of Dubuque by the endowed Lester and Michael Lester Wendt Character Initiative Fund.  The Initiative operates under the care of the Wendt Center for Character Education.  This Initiative promotes a campus culture that nurtures the formation of excellent moral character, and that encourages all members of the community to live lives of purpose. The work of the Wendt Character Initiative is centered in the University's Mission and values, a commitment to its Reformed Christian identity, and a sense of creative vocation in faithful response to the Creator.  This Initiative is part of the total educational experience of all University of Dubuque students through curricular and co-curricular programs.  Faculty and staff also participate in the Initiative through special programs during the school year.