On the eve of the 2010 Kent Lecture I must admit that I am a bit nervous about the lecture. To give a little background, the Kent Lecture is in honor of Dr. George E. Kent, the first tenured Black professor at University of Chicago. In past year’s Dr. Cornel West, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, and Amiri Baraka were the lecturers. This event is being put together by the Organization of Black Students (OBS), in which I am the current publicity chair. This year OBS and the University of Chicago community are bringing Dr. Ian Smith to come speak at the Kent Lecture. I know, I know, when I first heard the name, I said to myself “who.” But Dr. Smith is actually a great honor to bring to campus. His resume speaks for itself.

Dr. Smith graduated from Harvard College with an AB and received a master’s in science education from Teachers College of Columbia University. He attended Dartmouth Medical School and completed the last two years of his medical education and graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He is currently the medical/diet expert on VH1’s highly-rated “Celebrity Fit Club,” the creator and founder of The 50 Million Pound Challenge and a medical contributor on the nationally syndicated television show “Rachael Ray.”

Dr. Smith is also the host of his own nationally syndicated radio show “HealthWatch” on American Urban Radio Networks. He is the former medical correspondent for NBC News network and for NewsChannel 4 where he filed reports for NBC’s “Nightly News” and the “Today” show as well as WNBC’s various news broadcasts. He has appeared extensively on various broadcasts including “The View,” “The Tyra Banks Show,” “Larry King Live,” “Anderson Cooper 3600,” “Showbiz Tonight,” and “The Verdict with Dan Abrams.” He has written for various publications including Time, Newsweek, Men’s Health, and the New York Daily News, and has been featured in several other publications including, People, Essence, Ebony, Cosmopolitan, and University of Chicago Medicine on the Midway.

If all that is not enough, he also is also the author of six books, including the #1 New York Times Bestseller Extreme Fat Smash Diet, and he has been honored by several organizations, including the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. So a guy with all this positive baggage must have a downside right, like maybe he is doing everything for the money? Not Dr. Ian, he is also very active in charitable causes, serving on several boards including the New York City Mission Society, American Council on Exercise, and the New York Council for the Humanities.

So in the light of all of these great accomplishments, comes my nervousness about this event. The topic that Dr. Ian will be speaking about is living a healthily life in the black community. The only problem with this is that I am quite literally the unhealthiest person that I know. I haven’t exercised since 7th grade, my idea of a diet is a McDonalds Big Mac, and vegetables are not exactly in my daily meal consumption. So in essence, I’m going to feel like a sinner going to church on Easter Sunday. But it will be great, I will change my unhealthy habits, and the event will go off without a hitch.

For anyone interested in coming, the lecture will be held April 8, 2010 at 7PM in Rockefeller Chapel (5850 S. Woodlawn Ave. Chicago IL)