Fourth Annual UnCommon Core: Mid-Florida style

Our signature event, the fourth annual UnCommon Core: Mid-Florida style, provides a day of thought-provoking lectures and discussions.

Cost: $35

This year will feature the following speakers:

Professor David Schloen from the faculty of the Oriental Institute will talk about his archeological digs in Turkey and Israel, why he loves the Phoenicians and the ancient world’s surprisingly sophisticated financial tools.

Professor Sara Ray Stoelinga, director of the University’s Urban Education Institute, will explain how her schools are a real-life lab for finding solutions to failing urban schools and getting those students successfully into college.

Laura Reiley, restaurant critic of the Tampa Bay Times.

This is a chance to relive those days on the Quad when you couldn’t wait to continue the discussion outside of class. If you like the Harper Lecture, you will love this. Join us for a full day of lectures, including a round table discussion with the speakers at day’s end. Breakfast and lunch are included in the price. Wine and beer will be available at additional cost at lunch and after the program. For out-of-town visitors, a special hotel rate of $149 plus tax is available at the Courtyard Marriott.  Please see instructions below.

Professor David Schloen: David Schloen is a faculty member in the Oriental Institute and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of the University of Chicago, where he is also an associated faculty member of the Divinity School. He specializes in the archaeology and history of the ancient Levant (Syria and Palestine) from ca. 3000 to 300 BCE. Over the past two decades he has conducted archaeological excavations in Israel and Turkey. In Israel, he has directed excavations at the Early Bronze Age site of Yaqush in the Jordan Valley, and from 1994 to 2002 he was the associate director of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon on the Mediterranean coast, for which he remains the co-editor and joint author of a series of excavation report volumes. In 2003 and 2004 he was the associate director of excavations at the Middle and Late Bronze Age site of Alalakh (Tell Atchana) near the Syrian border in what is today southern Turkey. Since 2006 he has been the director of the University of Chicago's Neubauer Expedition to Zincirli (pronounced "Zin-jeer-lee"), a nearby site in southern Turkey, working with a large multinational team to excavate the Iron Age walled city of Sam'al for two months each year.

Professor Sara Stoelinga: Sara Ray Stoelinga is the Sara Liston Spurlark Director of the Urban Education Institute (UEI), where she leads all aspects of the UEI, overseeing operations, development of teachers, rigorous applied research, operation of schools, and the distribution of models to improve schools nationally. The UEI works on some of the biggest challenges in urban education today. In Chicago, the UEI is helping solve the high school dropout problem; so far the UEI has helped nearly 7,000 students stay on track to graduate!

Sara is also a faculty member at the University of Chicago, engaging in the teaching and advising of undergraduate and graduate students. Last spring, she received the Quantrell prize for undergraduate teaching. The award is the University's most prestigious undergraduate teaching award, and is based on student nominations. Sara herself is an alumna, having received her BA and PhD in sociology from UChicago!

Laura Reiley: Laura Reiley, restaurant critic for the Tampa Bay Times, will discuss her investigative series “Farm To Fable,” that received national attention for uncovering how “Farm To Table” restaurants and farmers’ markets are routinely feeding their customers a menu of myths and misrepresentations. A former critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Baltimore Sun, she has cooked professionally and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. Read her entire series at

For a special discount on hotel reservations, visit, fill in all of the normal information, click the “Special Rates” tab, type C1J in to the “Corporate/promo code” box and it will add the special rate.

Questions?  Please contact Suzanne Verhulst, AB’81, at