Saint Martin’s introduces new Last Lecture series on April 14

March 29, 2010

Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University professor Katia Shkurkin, Ph.D. will present a lecture entitled “Spending My Life Writing My Epitaph” on Wednesday April 14, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. in Harned Hall 110 at Saint Martin’s Lacey campus. Shkurkin is an associate professor and chair of Community Services at Saint Martin’s and incoming faculty president for 2010-2011. Her academic interests include the study of effective treatment modalities for complex PTSD, and collaborating internationally with social work educators, especially in Russia and Latvia. The lecture is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. and opening remarks will begin at 6:15 p.m. A reception will follow the lecture.

This event is the inaugural lecture of the new “The Last Lecture” series sponsored by Saint Martin’s Faculty-in-Residence program and the Associated Students of Saint Martin’s University. Each lecture will feature a different faculty member chosen from nominations submitted by Saint Martin’s students. That selected faculty member prepares a talk centered around the question, “If this was the last lecture you would ever give, what would you share with students?” Sharon Taylor, Ph.D, an associate professor in psychology and community services, and chair of Women’s Studies at Saint Martin’s, serves as faculty advisor for the series.

Saint Martin’s Last Lecture series is modeled after Carnegie Mellon University’s Last Lecture series, which became nationally recognized in 2007 when Dr. Randy Pausch was selected to give his lecture. Pausch, a computer science professor, conceived of his lecture after he learned that he had terminal cancer. His lecture has been viewed by millions since and is incorporated into school curriculums worldwide.

Says Taylor, “The goal of [The Last Lecture series] is to connect students and faculty at Saint Martin’s University in an informal setting that will encourage reflection on the everyday convictions, actions, and challenges of a life journey.”

For more information about the series, contact Sharon Taylor at 360-438-4301 or, or visit the series website at

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Director of communications & marketing
Saint Martin’s University