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Wide Angle Lunches at the Charleston Library Society



Press Release

How can we stay creative and productive in a world of 24-hour news cycles? When do we find time to refresh our minds and process the information overload we experience?  Research shows that lunch time is the exact time when we should take a break, digest our food, and think outside the box. The Library Society’s Wide Angle Lunch Series provides the solution.

Focusing a wide-angle lens on contemporary cultural and literary ventures and international issues of interest to Charlestonians, the series provides a quick injection of thought-provoking information, followed by questions and discussion. The emphasis is on fresh perspectives on familiar issues, as well as new themes, all through the lens of nationally and internationally recognized authorities on their respective subjects. This season’s speakers range from a political cartoonist to a couple who started an aerospace business and managed to stay happily married.

The talks take place in the Library Society’s Main Reading Room at 164 King Street. Admission is $20 for members and $30 for non-members (including lunch). Lunch will be available from 12:15 p.m., and talks will begin at 12:30 p.m. and last 60 minutes (including question and answer session). Seating will be limited. For more information about the series and how to become a member, please call the Charleston Library Society at (843)723-9912 or visit

Thursday, September 27: Rebecca Ufkes


12:30 p.m. ($20 members, $30 non-members, includes lunch)

Rebecca Ufkes is the co-founder and past President of UEC Electronics (Arotech Corporation), an engineering, design, prototyping, and manufacturing provider located in Charleston. Founded in 1995, it is a successful and thriving business. Ufkes will discuss how she created a highly successful aerospace company while balancing a healthy marriage with the other co-founder: her husband.

Speaker Bio:

Ufkes and UEC’s innovative engineering team have developed products for multiple markets and continue to provide Product Development & Realization services to local entrepreneurs.  Rebecca was selected as the 2010 SBA South Carolina Small Business Person of the Year and was subsequently honored as a National Award Winner at the 2010 SBA National Small Business Week Conference in Washington, DC.  Early in 2012, Rebecca was recognized as a “Champion of Change” at the White House for Innovation and Manufacturing in the hybrid and renewable energy market.

Thursday, October 4: Dr. Sundar Balasubramanian


12:30 p.m. ($20 members, $30 non-members, includes lunch)

Come look into the mechanisms of ancient mind-body practice, Yogic breathing.  Dr. Balasubramanian will discuss the science of Yogic breathing (Pranayama). Attendees will become acquainted with the concept of Yogic breathing, various ways in which it is practiced, and the potential benefits of Yogic breathing for good health.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Sundar Balasubramanian is a Cell Biology/Yoga Biology researcher. He is currently studying mechanisms involved in resistance to cancer therapy at the Medical University of South Carolina. His recent research papers provide evidence on how Yoga practices could promote our well-being. Sundar is a member of International Association of Yoga Therapists and the Integral Yoga Teachers Association, and is an IAYT-certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT). He is the Founder/Director of PranaScience Institute, and was a speaker at TEDx Charleston 2015. He has recently published a book titled PranaScience: Decoding Yoga Breathing.

Thursday, October 11: Jeb Hallett


12:30 p.m. ($20 members, $30 non-members, includes lunch)

Did curiosity kill the cat, or did curiosity save its life? Dr. Jeb Hallett will explore why curious people may be more engaged, healthier and happy with life. Through science, Dr. Hallett will illustrate how curiosity expands health and happiness and suggest a “personal curiosity plan” for each attendee.

Speaker Bio:

John (Jeb) Hallett, MD, a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, was recently recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus at Duke Medical School for his clinical research and educational innovations as Dean of the Faculty at Mayo Clinic. As Clinical Professor at MUSC and past Chief Medical Officer at the Roper Saint Francis Heart and Vascular Center, he is known for his innovation, integrity, and perseverance in dealing with some of the most important issues facing the field of vascular surgery. He is a gifted educator who has built strong training programs for medical students, residents, and fellows. Under Hallett’s leadership, Mayo was one of the first medical centers to create a leadership program to encourage more women to go into vascular surgery.

Thursday, October 25: Steve Stegelin


12:30 p.m. ($20 members, $30 non-members, includes lunch)

 As editorial cartoonist at the local alt.weekly Charleston City Paper, Steve Stegelin has spent the past 14+ years skewering current events near and far with his cynical social commentary. Steve will share his insight on the creative process in general and the role of the editorial cartoonist in particular. Part career retrospective, part philosophical discussion, Steve’s lunchtime talk delves into the importance of social commentary, and how that political discourse has evolved during the current American political administration.

Speaker Bio:

Once known for his 90s-era small press comic Boondoggle, Steve Stegelin went from indie comic book creator to editorial cartoonist at the Charleston City Paper. For 14+ years, Steve has used that forum to skewer current events near and far — from Charleston flooding to Presidential shenanigans and international dictatorships — with trademark cynicism. When not sketching his West Ashley home studio, Steve creates content experiences at one of Charleston’s numerous tech firms.

About The Charleston Library Society:

Founded in 1748, The Charleston Library Society is the oldest cultural organization in the South, and the second oldest circulating library in the United States. Dedicated to serving its membership and promoting a culture of lifelong learning, The Charleston Library Society is located at 164 King Street, in the heart of historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, and offers a variety of educational and entertaining programs throughout the year.

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