Bialik gives ‘bang’-up lecture



Mayim Bialik, who spoke in the GBPAC on April 11, has been nominated for four Emmys, though President Ruud mistakenly announced she had been nominated for three. Bialik later corrected him in good humor

LEZIGA BARIKOR, Campus Life Editor | [email protected]

At the start of Mayim Bialik’s lecture on Monday, April 11, she could not help but correct the blunder President Bill Ruud made when introducing her as a three-time Emmy nominated actress, when she has actually been nominated a total of four times.

The audience erupted in laughter at the correction Bialik made as Ruud threw his hands up.

“Oh, she gave me a big hug afterwards and said, ‘I’m sorry to pick on you,’” Ruud said. “I said, ‘I know, I made a mistake…the information we had was three, and we had incorrect information.’”

The Joy Cole Corning Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series brought Mayim Bialik to UNI’s Gallagher Bluedorn to give a lecture titled, “Art + Sciences = Big Bang,” where she told of her life experiences in relation to how she got to be the person she is today.

There was a Q&A session in Strayer-Wood Theatre before the talk where Bialik answered questions that may not come up in her Gallagher lecture.

Students who attended were able to obtain VIP tickets for a post-lecture reception with Bialik.

When Bialik introduced herself, she discussed her family’s background. Her grandparents were Holocaust survivors, which deeply impacted the lives of her parents and herself.

“I liked how she talked about what she came from and like how she let that help her grown into what she became,” said Megan Widner, 17-year-old Cedar Falls High senior.

During the Q&A, Bialik discussed how she navigated the realm of science and arts, saying that she sees the world as a scientist. This perspective helps her as an actress to approach her characters with a critical, yet open lens.

“It’s a lot about the emotion behind it,” Bialik said. She explained how her science background helps her to better analyze the reasoning behind characters’ emotions as well as people around her in life.

During both the Q&A and the lecture, Bialik was asked about how she balances a successful career with childcare.

Bialik openly discussed how she sets time aside and collaborates with her ex-husband in co-parenting their children when she’s busy, but she insisted that she did not have a special secret to managing her family life.

“When she was talking about […] how it’s hard to be a woman in science, especially when it comes to children and having a career and all,” said Anna-Marie Black, sophomore environmental science major, “that really resonated with me, because I think those are problems that will be significant in my future as a scientist.”

Bialik’s lecture went in detail discussing how she started her acting career, while she comically explained what it was like getting her parents to find her a talent agent in the yellow pages and using typewriters.

At one point, Bialik gave the audience a small sample of herself singing “Soft Kitty.”

“I enjoyed listening to her story,” said Adukwa Atadoga, graduate communication studies and public relations major. “[Her story] makes me want to work harder and makes me feel like I can do a lot of stuff.”

It was during the Q&A earlier that Bialik discussed how during her run on NBC’s “Blossom,” she received academic help from a female science tutor who helped her fall in love with a subject that she was never naturally good at.

Even as Bialik was getting her neuroscience degrees, she joked about studying Hebrew to keep her GPA up.

“She was a fabulous speaker,” said Ruud. “I wish she could have gone on longer because she was making an impact.”

Bialik is currently in the middle of a book project to help guide young girls through middle school and has more activist efforts underway which can be found on her website, GrokNation.