Tickets now available for Northwest Missouri State University lecture featuring Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin

Dr. Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University who has established herself as a pioneer and globally recognized authority for improving the welfare and handling of farm animals, will deliver Northwest Missouri State University’s 2017-18 James H. Lemon Lecture.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, in the Mary Linn Auditorium at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, Grandin will tour livestock facilities with agricultural sciences at Northwest’s R.T Wright Farm, and she will participate in an afternoon talk with special education and recreational therapy students at Northwest. 

Tickets for the lecture are free but must be reserved in advance by visiting and clicking “Distinguished Lecture Series.” Tickets are available now to Northwest students and employees; remaining tickets will be released to the public Friday, Jan. 19.

People attending the lecture are advised to park in lots 59 and 60, located north of the Ron Houston Center.

About Temple Grandin

Kenton Wilcox, the chair of the Distinguished Lecture Series Committee and an English instructor at Northwest, said Grandin appeals to a diverse audience, and her evening lecture, titled “Developing Individuals Who Have Different Kinds of Minds,” will issue a challenge that educators – and everyone with a stake in education — ought to take seriously.

“What would have happened to her if she had been a child in today’s schools? Would she have been diagnosed earlier, but as a result of her diagnosis, weeded out of her school, robbed of the opportunity to develop, to build a successful career, to make her contributions?” Wilcox said. “Dr. Grandin will help us see what we may do to demonstrate that we value the minds of people who see the world differently.”

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Grandin’s achievements are more remarkable because she was an autistic child, who, at age 2, had no speech and all the signs of severe autism. Grandin spent hours in speech therapy and intensive teaching – while being cruelly teased as a teenager – and found mentors in a high school science teacher and aunt who motivated her to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.

Grandin obtained her bachelor’s degree at Franklin Pierce College in 1970. In 1975, she earned a master’s degree in animal science at Arizona State University, and she completed her Ph.D. in animal science at the University of Illinois in 1989.

As a result of her extensive work, half the cattle in the U.S. and Canada are handled in equipment she designed. She developed animal welfare guidelines for the meat industry and consulted with companies on animal welfare. She has published hundreds of industry publications, book chapters and technical papers on animal handling, alongside 73 refereed journal articles and 12 books.  Her book, “Animals in Translation,” was a New York Times best seller, and she also has a popular TED Talk.

She also has received numerous awards and accolades, including recognition in Time magazine’s 2010 “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.” In 2011, she was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and, in 2015, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Farm Bureau Federation. An HBO movie about Temple’s early life and career with the livestock industry received seven Emmy awards, a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award, and, in 2016, Temple was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

For more information about Dr. Temple Grandin, visit

Funding support 

The Lemon Lecture is funded through the generosity of Beatrice E. Hanson, who graduated from Northwest in 1936. The program is named in honor of James H. Lemon, her grandfather and a founder of the Fifth District Normal School, which is now Northwest Missouri State University.

Additional support is provided by Northwest’s School of Education special education programs and the Northwest Missouri Local Administrators of Special Education (NWMO LASE).

Northwest offers special education programs, including bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, that allow graduates to teach special education in kindergarten through 12th grades; 100 percent of Northwest students who graduate from bachelor’s degree programs in special education obtain employment or continue their education within six months after graduation. The Master of Science in Education in special education prepares educators to teach students with mild and moderate disabilities in a variety of school settings. Additionally, Northwest offers an online M.S.Ed. program that provides data-driven instruction and innovative evidence-based strategies to prepare graduates for certification. The affordable, 30-hour program offers accelerated seven-week courses that allow students to complete in as few as 12 months.

NWMO LASE serves as the local branch of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), serving more than 20 districts in northwest Missouri and is led by co-chairs Tamara Lynn, a Northwest instructor of professional education, and Laura McComb, a special education teacher in the Maryville R-II School District. NWMO LASE is one of 20 regional groups in Missouri and serves as a unique network of educators focused on improving practices for exceptional learners.