Chapman University and the Nicholas Academic Centers Launch 2011-2012 “Visiting Scholars Series”

For Immediate Release     

Media Contact, Chapman University:

Mary Platt  714-628-7271

Media Contact, Nicholas Academic Centers:

 Robert Magnuson 949-290-9382


The Program, Entering Its Second Year, Introduces Underserved High School Students In Santa Ana, Calif., To a College Academic Environment

nicholas academic centers and chapman university kick off the 2011-2012 Visting scholar series.Rosa Diaz, Nicholas Academic Centers' Director of Operations, and NAC Acting Executive Director Hugo Gutierrez (far right) join Chapman University education Professor Brian Alters (left) and Chancellor Dr. Daniele Struppa at the first 2011-2012 "Visting Scholars Series" lecture.ORANGE, Calif.–Oct. 12–Chapman University and the Nicholas Academic Centers have launched the 2011-2012 “Visiting Scholars Series,” aimed at introducing high school students from underserved communities in Santa Ana to a college academic environment, while strengthening ties with highly respected local universities.

Brian Alters, Ph.D., founder and director of Chapman University’s Evolution Education Research Center, on Saturday delivered the inaugural lecture, “The Pursuit of Happiness and Knowledge: Walt Disney and Charles Darwin.”  The session marked the beginning of the second year of the “Visiting Scholar Series” partnership between Chapman and the Nicholas Academic Centers, and was held at the NAC Annex in downtown Santa Ana. Since the program launched in the fall of 2010, Chapman University faculty and staff have delivered lectures to students, parents and community members on a broad range of subjects, from the origins of mathematics to how to build a video game.

“We are honored to begin the second year of this unique partnership with Chapman University,” said Dr. Henry Nicholas, co-founder and former Co-Chairman, President and CEO of Broadcom Corp., who established the Nicholas Academic Centers in 2008 with retired Superior Court Judge Jack Mandel. “Our goal has been to provide our students with a diverse and challenging academic environment. The first year was a great success and we look forward to continuing this success through the current academic year.”

“For the university, this partnership provides the opportunity to develop relationships with talented students in our own backyard and introduce them to some of our most talented faculty,” said Dr. Daniele Struppa, Chapman University’s Chancellor. “I hope it’s as rewarding for the students as it is for our faculty and for me, personally.”

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About the Speakers

Brian Alters, Ph.D. is a specialist in the evolution education-vs.-creationism controversy.  Dr. Alters has conducted research and authored books on evolution education, has testified as an expert witness in U.S. federal court and other important legal cases on these matters, and is vice president of the board of the National Center for Science Education.  The Evolution Education Research Center was created more than a decade ago by faculty of McGill and Harvard Universities, and expanded to Chapman University last year.

About the Nicholas Academic Centers

Located in downtown Santa Ana and on the campus of Valley High School, the Nicholas Academic Centers serve hundreds of Santa Ana Unified School District students on a daily basis throughout the school year and summer, providing them with tutoring, social support, and individual college guidance. Since the first Center opened in 2008, more than 100 students have gone on to college, with most attending top schools such as Georgetown, Smith, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine and Chapman. NAC students have earned a total of more than $2 million in scholarships and financial aide. The NAC staff works closely with school principals, teachers and guidance counselors, as well as with students’ families and community leaders. The Centers are funded by the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation and modeled on the tutoring and mentoring program Judge Mandel started before retiring from the bench. Become a fan of the Nicholas Academic Centers on Facebook, or follow the NAC on Twitter.

About Chapman University

Chapman University (, founded in 1861 and celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2011, is one of the oldest, most prestigious private universities in California.  Chapman’s picturesque campus is located in the City of Orange in the heart of Orange County – one of the nation’s most exciting centers of arts, business, science and technology – and draws outstanding students from across the United States and around the world.  Known for its blend of liberal arts and professional programs, Chapman University encompasses seven schools and colleges: Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences, George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics, Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Schmid College of Science, College of Performing Arts, School of Law and College of Educational Studies.   Named to the list of top universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review, Chapman University enrolls more than 6,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students. Facebook:

Ashley TemmComment