Award-winning documentary filmmaker Ian Cheney will take the spotlight at Angelo State University’s 2014 E. James Holland University Symposium on American Values Monday in the Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont Drive.Cheney’s presentation, “There’s Corn in My Hair? And Other Strange Tales From My Adventures With Food,” will be covered in two sessions, a keynote address at  2 p.m. and a discussion and question-and-answer session at 7:30 p.m., both in the University Center’s C.J. Davidson Conference Center.

Informal receptions at 3:15 p.m. and 9 p.m. will follow each session in the University Center Tower Lobby. Both the presentations and the receptions are free and open to the public. Cheney will also be guest of honor at a luncheon with the campus community, will visit ASU classes and will be the special guest at an invitation-only ASU Honors Program dinner.

After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Yale University, Cheney joined with fellow Yale graduate Curt Ellis to create the feature documentary “King Corn,” shedding light on the origins of the obesity epidemic. Premiering on PBS’ “Independent Lens” in 2008, “King Corn” was released theatrically in 60 cities and won a George Foster Peabody Award in 2009.

Cheney and Ellis next joined to transform a pickup truck into a mobile vegetable garden for their documentary “Truck Farm,” then co-founded FoodCorps, an Americorps farm-to-school program aimed at improving school nutrition. Cheney and Ellis won the Heinz Award in 2011.

Cheney also directed “Two Buckets,” a short documentary about a reclusive loner living in the woods of Maine, and “The Greening of Southie,” a feature documentary about Boston’s first residential green building. His 2011 feature documentary, “The City Dark,” about light pollution, was a New York Times Critics’ Pick and aired nationwide on PBS’ “POV.” His latest production, “The Search for General Tso,” about the origins and ubiquity of Chinese food in America, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. He lives in Cambridge, Mass., where he is a 2014-15 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT.

The Holland Symposium was established in 1984 by then-College of Liberal and Fine Arts Dean E. James Holland. When Holland retired in 2003, the board of regents named the symposium in his honor. In its 30 years, the symposium has brought more than 60 nationally prominent figures to the ASU campus to spur thought and debate on issues relevant to American society. The ASU Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs sponsors the symposium.

For more information, contact Dr. Amaris Guardiola, chair of the 2014 Symposium Committee, at 325-486-6634, or go online to

courtesy ASU