Milstein program brings 'Hamilton' producer, design thinking expert to campus for public talks

The Milstein Program in Technology & Humanity will bring a number of prominent thinkers to campus for public events and workshops this spring.

The Milstein Program offers undergraduates the combination of a liberal arts education in the College of Arts & Sciences with a summer program and courses at Cornell Tech’s New York City campus to cultivate innovative and creative leaders who are both tech-savvy and steeped in humanistic values. Amy Villarejo, professor of Performing & Media Arts and the program’s director, “hopes to stimulate conversation across the campus about technology, visionary thinking and education.”

The events are:

  • Design Thinking Workshop with Diane Levitt, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 4:30–7 p.m., Tatkon Center. Levitt is the senior director of education grades K-12 from Cornell Tech. Levitt coordinates Cornell Tech’s engagement with local New York City computing education efforts, including the Department of Education’s CS4All initiative.
  • “Smartfin” film and talk with Todd McGrain, Tuesday, April 16, noon–1 p.m., Tatkon Center. McGrain is an artist and creative director for The Lost Bird Project, an initiative that raises awareness of environmental and social concerns through art. The Smartfin project attaches data-gathering fins to surfboards to monitor performance and gain insight into ocean ecosystems. McGrain has been a sculptor for more than25 years and taught at Cornell for two decades. He is also currently the artist-in-residence at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology.
  • Oskar Eustis talk, Wednesday, April 24, 5–6 p.m., Kiplinger Theatre, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts. Eustis is the artistic director at The Public Theater in New York City. He has played key roles in the production and development of new plays, including Angels in America, the Tony-winning Hamilton and Fun Home. Recently, he has also been involved in the outreach program “Public Works,” which invites members of diverse communities to participate in workshops and gain exposure to theater. Eustis is a professor of dramatic writing and arts and public policy at New York University and has held professorships at UCLA, Middlebury College and Brown University.
  • Mitchell Baker talk, Wednesday, May 1, 5–7 p.m., Gates Hall Auditorium / Atrium. Baker is the co-founder of The Mozilla Project and chairman of Mozilla Corporation & Mozilla Foundation, which works to support the open and innovative web so that it can have the most positive impact on individuals and society. Baker is also a member of the advisory boards of the Oxford Internet Institute and the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. Mozilla recently launched a competition to encourage professors and educators to develop effective curriculum to integrate ethics into computer science education for undergraduate students. Her talk is cosponsored by the Department of Science and Technology Studies.

Milstein program students are accepted into the program either as incoming freshmen or in their first year. Current Arts & Sciences first-year students or first-year students from other colleges at Cornell seeking to transfer into the College of Arts & Sciences can apply to the Milstein Program by filling out the online application form by March 31. There will be an information session from 5-6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19 at the Carol Takton Center, where students can learn more about the program. More information about applying is also available on the Milstein Program website.

For more information, contact Maja Anderson at or visit the Milstein Program events page.

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 Oskar Eustis