The University Writing Center organizes an annual public lecture each spring with a distinguished, Christian professional who embodies its mission to cultivate purpose-driven writers, communicators, and influencers. The purpose of the lecture and award is for the CBU community to have an opportunity to engage with an exemplary model of what clear and persuasive writing looks like in the real world. Becoming a purpose-driven writer is not simply about getting a better grade on an assignment; it’s about making an impact in our spheres of influence. 

Recent Events

2024 • In Media Res @cbuwrites 

Ralph Winter
Award-Nominated Film Producer & Head of Creative for Sphere


Ralph Winter is Head of Creative for Sphere Entertainment Co. and an award-nominated film producer with over 50 films, including Hocus Pocus (1993), X-Men (2000), Planet of the Apes (2001), and many more. Most recently, Winter produced Postcards from Earth (2023), for which new technologies had to be invented for the Sphere’s immersive experience. His work in the business of storytelling and filmmaking demonstrates that purpose-driven writing doesn’t begin or end with the script or camera alone. His ability to communicate clearly and persuasively has been essential to his success in the industry and his witness as a disciple of Christ. His story will inspire you to connect your writing to your purpose.


In Media Res Photo Gallery
We would like to thank the CBU Film department for partnering with us on this event, including our film project gallery contributors: Tania Brooks, Ellie Dickerson, Brooke Donovan, Zea Faulkner, Alan Katcef, Hannah Lee, Jordyn Tilley, and Alyssa White.

Click the link above to view photos from the event.


Distinguished Public Lecture (YouTube)
Thank you to our Distinguished Speaker, Ralph Winter, and all our CBU partners for making this a successful event. We would like to give special thanks to the Office of the Provost and to President Ronald L. Ellis, as well as our other sponsors, the Office of Student Success and the College of Architecture, Visual Arts, and Design.

We were joined by 228 guests in person at the Wallace Theatre and an additional 34 tuning in for our livestream of the program.

Click on the link above to watch our recording of this event.

Event Program
0:25 • OSS Previews
7:07 • Welcome + Introductions
• Lecture from Ralph Winter
41:19 • Conversation with Ralph Winter and Tae Sung
59:34 • Presentation of Award
• Closing Remarks

Video Production: Nico Carrillo, Miguel Esparza, and Josiah Grant

Past Events

2023 • A Place of Hope @cbuwrites

Dr. Eric L. Motley
Deputy Director, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

group photo

Dr. Eric L. Motley grew up in the freed slaves’ town of Madison Park, Alabama. From this beginning in the black community, he rose to become a special assistant to President George W. Bush at the White House. He is now the deputy director of the National Gallery of Art based in Washington, D.C., and a former executive vice president of the Aspen Institute. 

Dr. Motley's 2017 memoir, Madison Park: A Place of Hope, details his upbringing in Madison Park, where he was taught constant lessons in self-determination, hope, and unceasing belief in the American dream. This charming, engaging, and deeply inspiring memoir shows that we can create a world of shared values based on love and hope. It is a story that reveals the amazing power of faith in God and each other. (Zondervan Publishing)

A Place of Hope Art and Photo Gallery
We would like to thank our art gallery contributors: Aaron Gamez, Alyssa Lee, Amalia Sosa, Amberly Garcia, Audrey Smith, Emily Flye, Emilie Golden, Emma Totaro, Grace Crandall, Gretchen Bartels-Ray, Isaac Escalera, Jasmine Severi, Jordyn McClellan, Kaylie Garcia, Lauren House, Michael Osadchuk, and Sammy Carter.

Click the link above to view their art pieces and photos from the event.

aerial view of gallery

Distinguished Public Lecture (YouTube)
Thank you to our Distinguished Speaker, Dr. Eric L. Motley, and all our CBU partners for making this a successful event. We would like to give special thanks to the Office of the Provost, as well as our other sponsors: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, and School of Education.

We reached max capacity with 101 guests joining us in person and an additional 88 tuning in for our livestream of the program.

Click on the link above to watch our taping of this event.


Event Program

00:00 A Place of Hope Gallery • CBU Students, Staff, and Faculty
21:01 Welcome • Dr. Tae Sung, Dean of Student Success
25:26 Welcome and Introduction • Dr. Chuck Sands, Provost
27:40 Introduction • Dr. Robin Duncan, Dean of the School of Education
33:58 Conversation • Dr. Eric L. Motley and Dr. Tae Sung
1:14:30 Presentation of Award • Dr. Tae Sung
1:17:23 Benediction • Dr. Tim Gramling, Dean of the School of Business


Propaganda is a Christian musician, poet, educator, and author, who specializes in hip hop and spoken word. He sees how cultures cross and inspire one another, and challenges us to see our unity through diversity. In 2021, Propaganda released his first book, Terraform. In this debut collection of essays and poetry, Propaganda inspires us to create a better, more redemptive world by paying attention to the stories we tell and words we use.  

Terraform Reading Questions
Click on the link for a list of reading questions to guide you through Propaganda's Terraform. Engage with these questions in the comments on our Instagram, @cbuwrites.


Distinguished Lecture and Award (YouTube)
Thank you to our Distinguished Speaker, Propaganda, and all of our CBU partners for making this a successful event. We would like to give special thanks to our Co-Sponsor, The Racial Equity Task Force, as well as our other supporters: the Provost Office, Office of Student Success, Student Services, School of Music, School of Education, and Department of Social Work.

We had 82 guests join us in person at our music studio in the School of Performing Arts and over 250 tuning in for our livestream of the program. 

Click on the link above to watch the program.

1:02 • Special Performance • Stephen Bankole-Wright
3:37 • Welcome • Noemi Alexander
8:01 • Diversity Statement & Prayer • Damon Horton
12:02 • Presentation of Award • Robin Duncan
17:47 • Conversation with Propaganda • Tae Sung
1:09:21 • Special Performance • Nate Peister
1:13:28 • Q&A with Propaganda and Alma Zaragoza-Petty • Kenya Davis-Hayes
1:39:44 • Special Performance • Taylor Wheatley, Angie Hope, Mykaila Jackson, & Audrey Smith
1:52:03 • Benediction • Charles Lee-Johnson

Special thanks to our House Band for this event: Terrance Alexander, Timothy Craig, Noah Fickel, Cadence Barnett, and Sarah Mislang.


Nancy Duarte, CEO & Principal of Duarte, Inc., which is the largest communication firm in Silicon Valley, as well as one of the top woman-owned businesses in the area. Nancy has won several awards for communications, entrepreneurship, and her success as a female executive. On the list of top 250 Women in Leadership, Duarte ranks #67 and on World’s Top 30 Communication Professionals for 2017, Duarte ranks #1. She has been a speaker at conferences and a number of Fortune 500 companies, and counts many more among her firm’s clientele. Her TEDx talk has over two million views. She speaks at business schools and has lectured at Stanford University several times.

DataStory Reading Group (LancerMail login required)
Click on link to watch our reading group recording. Those who purchase their own copy of DataStory can use the questions and chat feature to participate in the reading group. 
Meeting 1:  Assigned reading: Intro + Section 1
Meeting 2: Assigned reading: Section 2
Meeting 3: Assigned reading: Section 3
Meeting 4: Assigned reading: Section 4 + Summary

Distinguished Lecture & Award
Thank you to Nancy Duarte and all of our supporters for making this such a successful event. We had over over 300 people sign in during the program. 

Click on the link to watch the program.  
1. Reception 
2. Welcome from Dr. Chuck Sands and Introduction by Dr. Erin Smith 
3. Distinguished Lecture from Nancy Duarte 
4. Presentation of Distinguished Lecture Award to Nancy Duarte
5. Q&A Conversation 
6. Closing Remarks

Contact the Writing Center

Phone: (951) 343-4349

Lancer Arms 54
8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504