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Every year the College of Liberal Arts remembers and honors Sydney Berger, one of Evansville's most respected attorneys, with a guest lecturer on the theme of civil rights or civil liberties.

In addition to working with local labor and civil rights organizations, Berger was an adjunct professor of constitutional law at the University of Southern Indiana for almost 20 years. When he died in 1988, the editor of the Evansville Courier noted that no one in Evansville had done as much for the little guy, the poor, the underprivileged, the neglected, or those deprived of their civil rights.

Upcoming Event

There are no lectures scheduled at this time. Please check back at a later date.

Previous Lecture

November 2021

Building Inclusive Excellence: Removing the Structural, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal Barriers that Perpetuate Inequality on our Campuses
Dr. Melinda Messineo

Presented by Dr. Melinda Messineo

How do we make excellence in teaching and learning inclusive? Dr. Melinda Messineo will guide attendees on a sociological exploration of how their personal diversity stories impact their ability to see and eliminate the structural, interpersonal, and intrapersonal barriers to creating the inclusive communities that we aspire to build. 

Dr. Melinda Messineo is Professor of Sociology at Ball State University (BSU) and a nationally recognized diversity/equity teacher, researcher, and advocate. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Outstanding Diversity Advocate Award from BSU, Schnabel Teaching Award from the North Central Sociological Association and the Hans O. Mauksch Award from the American Sociological Association. She has served as President of the North Central Sociological Association; Vice President of Alpha Kappa Delta; the International Sociological Honor Society; and was Chair of the Section for Teaching and Learning for the American Sociological Association. Dr. Messineo has also held several academic leadership posts at BSU including interim Associate Vice President/Provost of Institutional Diversity, Chair of the Sociology Department, and Chair of the First Year Experience. Dr. Messineo is passionate about connecting students with the community and making a difference in people’s lives.

The Berger Lecture is presented each year by the USI College of Liberal Arts in honor of Sydney Berger, one of Evansville's most respected attorneys who worked with local civil rights organizations and served as an instructor at USI for nearly two decades. Each year, an academic department in the college hosts a guest lecturer to present on the theme of civil rights or civil liberties, celebrating the values Berger cherished.

Questions about the presentation can be directed to Dr. Ronda Priest, Department of Sociology,

View a list of past Berger Lectures >>