Spring 2023 Lyceum Speaker Series


Title: What your mouth may say about your health

Wednesday, February 1st from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, in CA 302,  Annandale Campus

Speaker: Marina D. McGraw, Associate Dean of Health Sciences, NOVA-MEC

The overall content will address how nutrition and oral health have a bidirectional relationship. 

The discussion will include the following key points:  

  • How nutritional deficiencies may affect oral health regarding growth, development, healing, and diseases of the oral cavity.  
  • Signs that can occur in the oral cavity that might indicate nutritional challenges. This will be connected to dental hygiene as well.

Short Biography of the speaker: 

Prof. Marina D. McGraw is the Associate Dean of Health Sciences at Northern Virginia Community College.   She has been a dental hygienist for 26 ½ years and worked 18 of those years in private practice in Charlottesville, VA and the last 8 ½ have been at Northern Virginia Community College. She is currently a doctoral student in health science at Eastern Virginia Medical School on Norfolk, VA and She earned a MS on Health Administration from University of Phoenix in Phoenix, AZ and BS in Health Science from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA an AAS in Dental Hygiene from Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke, VA

She has a 13-year-old daughter and enjoy reading and a variety of outdoor activities.

(Refreshments will be served for this event)



Title: “Courageous women of Iran”

Wednesday, March 1st From 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, in CA 302, Annandale Campus 

Speaker: Author Manda Ervin

The Ladies’ Secret Society History of the Courageous Women of Iran From the Ruling Women-Gods, 5,000 B.C.E. To being ruled by the “men of God,” 2020 C.E.

This riveting and remarkable book reveals, in print for the first time, the long history of struggle against clerical domination that Iranian women have been engaged in for centuries. Rooted in the proud history of ancient Iran, where Mother-Gods were once ruled, the Ladies’ Secret Society, an organization founded in 1909, was both the inheritor of this proud history, and the progenitor of the contemporary women’s rights campaign in the Iran of today. Zand Ervin relates the stories, and records the accomplishments, of generations of individual women activists, who fought like lionesses for every scrap of freedom they gained, only to see all their hard-won rights destroyed with the coming of Khomeini’s Islamic takeover. During the Islamic revolution, Zand Ervin witnessed the execution of many innocent people, including her high school principal, who was executed simply because she was a woman, and the Secretary of Education. She offers heartbreaking and compelling eyewitness testimonies of strong and emancipated women who were brutally pushed backwards to living under a crude, medieval foreign society, and who have fought back, under sometimes impossible odds, and continue fighting today. Manda Zand Ervin’s History of Iranian women-Gods, who have been imprisoned behind a veil, offers an insight and context to news of injustice caused by the clerical Gender Apartheid regime ruling Iran which continues today. 

Biography of the speaker: 

Manda Zand Ervin is the founder and president of the Alliance of Iranian Women, an organization that brings the voices of Iranian women living under the gender apartheid regime’s Sharia Laws to the West. 

Born in Iran, and educated in the United States, Ervin was the managing director of the department of statistics and international affairs at the Customs Administration of Iran prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In 1980, Ms. Zand Ervin came to the United States as a political refugee and became a US citizen three years later. As a women’s rights activist and leading expert on Iranian affairs, she has been frequently consulted by Members of Congress, and she has testified at Congressional briefings, the Helsinki Commission, and the United Nations. In February 2008, Zand Ervin was appointed as the United States Delegate to the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women. She was also the featured speaker at the G8 Summit in Rome, on Violence against Women in 2009.  In 2012, she received the EMET Speaker of the Truth award.

Manda Zand-Ervin’s articles have appeared in; American Thinker, the Washington Times, PJ Media, Gate Stone Institute, and many others. She has appeared on CNN, Fox News, BBC and regularly speaks on human rights, women’s rights and the Middle East issues.



Title: A Better You

Tuesday, March 21st from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, in CA 302, Annandale Campus   

Speaker: Cecil J. Jackson, Assistant Athletic Director/Campus Recreation and Wellness Director and a PED adjunct professor at NOVA

The session is designed to provide participants with the knowledge to understand and apply principles involved in promoting and maintaining total wellness. The participants will learn and understand the concepts of wellness and how it relates to a healthy lifestyle. 

The discussion will include the following key points:  

  • Understand the dimensions of wellness 
  • Understand and apply principles involved in promoting and maintaining total wellness 
  • Recognize the concepts of wellness and how it relates to a healthy lifestyle 
  • Evaluate and apply wellness concepts to individual lifestyle 

Short Biography of the speaker: 

CJ Jackson is the Assistant Athletic Director/Campus Recreation and Wellness Director and a PED adjunct professor at NOVA. CJ has been active in the fitness and wellness industry for over 12 years and has worked in many roles, including life coaching, personal training, mentoring high school and college athletes, and facilitating senior citizens in leisure and wellness activities. CJ mission is to empower and help people across all ages change their lives for the better through activity and wellness.  



Presentation by authors of  ” I will die on this hill”

Wednesday, April 5th  from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm via ZOOM. 

Speakers: Megan Ashburn “Not an autism mom” and Jules Edwards “Autistic, typing” about autism 

Link to the book  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1839971681?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Jules Edwards is an Anishinaabe writer, gardener, accountant, and disability justice advocate. She is a co-author of I Will Die On This Hill, and writes as “Autistic, Typing.” Jules’ background includes a Leadership Education in Neuro-developmental Disabilities (LEND) fellowship, Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) National Training Director Council fellowship, and 2022-23 Wilder Foundation Community Equity Program membership. She works to improve child safety and disability policy.

Meghan Ashburn is an educational consultant, speaker, parent mentor, and co-author of the newly released book, I WIll Die On This Hill. She’s passionate about accessibility, inclusion, and communication rights. Her website, Not An Autism Mom, is loaded with resources to help educators and parents support Autistic children inside and outside the classroom. 

Moderator Prof. Melissa Chabot