Mental Health Advocate & Actor Sean Astin to Speak at MCC

FLINT, MI – March 16, 2016 – Mental Health advocate and award-winning actor Sean Astin will speak about mental health issues and bi-polar disorder as part of the Ballenger Eminent Persons Lecture Series at Mott Community College (MCC) on April 7, 2016.

The presentation will be at 7 p.m. in the Ballenger Field House on the main campus at 1401. E. Court Street in Flint. The event is free and open to the public.

Using his public notoriety to help bring awareness to social and health-related issues, Astin is a vocal advocate for literacy, mental health awareness, bi-polar disorder and civic engagement. Son of Academy Award winning actress Patty Duke and acclaimed actor John Astin, Sean Astin scored a career defining, triumphant success in the inspirational and universally applauded college football biopic Rudy, about the life-changing struggles and rewards of the title character, Daniel Ruettiger.

In addition to his public address, Astin will also meet with MCC Health Sciences students during his stay.

About Sean Astin:
Sean Astin’s career includes acting, directing, voice artistry and producing. He is best known for his film roles as Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mikey Walsh in The Goonies and the title character of Rudy. In 2004, Astin broke into the publishing world and authored the New York Times bestselling There and Back Again, a memoir – co-written with Joe Layden – of his film career with emphasis on his experiences with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Recently, he starred in the Sony Pictures romantic comedy Mom’s Night Out.

In the early 2000s, Astin experienced a career breakthrough with his role as Samwise Gamgee in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, released in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Along with the many awards bestowed upon the trilogy – eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture – Astin received nominations for his own performance. He took home the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor and awards from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society, the Seattle Film Critics, the Utah Film Critics Association and the Phoenix Film Critics Society.

Astin has been a long-distance runner since his teens. To date, he has participated in four LA Marathons, the San Francisco Marathon and the Chicago Marathon, running in all three cities in 2013. While training for the LA Marathon in 2012, he began a Twitter campaign using #Run3rd, a way to dedicate his runs to causes and ideas that mattered not just to him, but to others. From July 2006 through August 2013, he amassed more than 3,000 miles using his Nike+ sensor.

He attended the Crossroads High School for the Arts and later a master class at the Stella Adler Conservatory in Los Angeles. Astin graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in History and English. An alumnus of Los Angeles Valley College, he served on the school’s Board of Directors of the Patrons Association and the Arts Council.

The Ballenger Eminent Persons Lecture Series:
The Ballenger Eminent Persons Lecture Series, named for benefactor William S. Ballenger, Sr., brings prominent individuals to the college to lecture on topics of social, cultural, economic, scientific and historical significance. It was created to enhance educational opportunities for MCC students as well as creates a public discussion of issues facing the greater Flint community.

Since its inception in 1955, speakers have included national and international thought leaders and influencers such as rocket scientist Werner Von Braun, journalists Alistair Cooke and Peter Jennings, art critic Stanley Kaufman, talk show host Geraldo Rivera, writers Alex Haley and William Buckley, humorist Art Buchwald and Black activist Julian Bond.

Every two years a Ballenger Chair is selected from among MCC faculty by a select committee. The Chair’s responsibility is to lead the charge for this initiative in his/her field of expertise. The focus for this biennial cycle is Health Care and the chair is Michelle Montpas, RN, MSN, EdD, CNE, a professor of Nursing. She has more than 20 years of experience as a registered nurse in a variety of medical operations. She is a graduate of Mott Community College’s nursing program with advanced nursing degrees from UM-Flint and Oakland University. She holds a Doctorate in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from Wayne State University.

Mott Community College is committed to excellence in education and services that cultivate student success and improve the overall quality of life in a multicultural community. More than 100 academic and occupational degree programs prepare students for the new economy through university transfer agreements, and high-demand associate’s degree programs or one year certification programs. Mott. Your Path to Excellence.

As an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution, the College encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. The College does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, veteran’s status, age, disability unrelated to an individual’s ability to perform adequately, height, weight, marital status, political belief, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Inquiries by students regarding compliance with Title IX should be directed to:
Dean – Enrollment, Retention, and Registrar – Records & Registration, 1401 E. Court St., Prahl College Center – PCLL, Flint, MI 48503, (810) 762-0370.

Inquiries by students regarding compliance with Section 504 compliance should be directed to:
Director – Admissions & Student Success Services, 1401 E. Court St., Prahl College Center – PCC1130, Flint, MI 48503, (810) 232-8225.

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