'Breaking Bad's' RJ Mitte to kick off fall 2016 Distinguished Speaker Series

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Student Programming Association's (SPA) fall Distinguished Speaker Series will feature RJ Mitte on Sept. 28, Gloria Steinem on Nov. 2, and George Takei on Nov. 17.

Mitte, best known for his role as Walt Jr. on the Emmy-winning AMC drama "Breaking Bad," will kick off the series at 8 p.m. on Sept. 28 in the HUB-Robeson Center’s Alumni Hall.

Also known for his roles on "Hannah Montana," "Everybody Hates Chris," and "Switched at Birth," Mitte will enlighten students about people with disabilities and talk about his own experience living with a disability.

Mitte has cerebral palsy. He spent most of his childhood in both Austin, Texas, and Lafayette, Louisiana, where he learned to overcome many of the challenges presented by the group of neurological disorders that appear in the early stages of childhood and permanently affect one’s muscle coordination, balance and body movement.

Penn State students with a valid student ID will be able to pick up a pair of tickets for the event beginning Sept. 14. 

The second speaker, in collaboration with the Center for Women Students, a unit of Student Affairs, will be Steinem, writer, lecturer, political activist, and feminist organizer. Steinem will speak at 8 p.m. on Nov. 2 in Schwab Auditorium. Traveling the United States and other countries as an organizer and lecturer, Steinem is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, nonviolent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice.   

Takei, a Japanese American who is best known for his narration and voiceover talent, will finish the series at 8 p.m. on Nov. 17 in Eisenhower Auditorium. Takei has worked on films like "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," "Mulan," "Batman Beyond: The Movie," "Spider-Man" and "George Lucas' Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Takei is an outspoken supporter of human rights issues and a passionate community activist, which stems from his four-year imprisonment in two U.S. internment camps during World War II when he was only 4 years old. Takei, who is openly gay, is also a passionate advocate for social justice. He has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign "Coming Out Project," and he was cultural affairs chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League.

Ticket information for Steinem and Takei will be announced closer to the events. Watch SPA's Facebook or Twitter accounts for updates or visit the SPA website. Events are free and, if tickets remain, seats will be made available to the general public one week before the event. 

Last Updated April 19, 2017