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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Oct. 15: Documentary Film Screening on Youngest Woman to Earn Ph.D.

One of the film's executive producers will take questions from audience at the event.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 10-8-2015

Mankato, Minn. – Patti Kenner, one of the executive producers of the documentary film, “Ahead of Time,” that tells the story of journalist Ruth Gruber—the youngest woman ever to earn a Ph.D. degree—will screen the film Oct. 15 at Minnesota State University, Mankato and take questions from the audience after the film.

The event, free and open to the public, will take place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 in Ostrander Auditorium, located in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union.

According to the award-winning film’s website, Gruber received her doctorate at the age of 20 in 1931. Described on the website as a “feminist before feminism,” and the first Western journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic, Gruber was also an undercover journalist during Adolph Hitler’s rise to power and an operative for the Roosevelt Administration during World War II.

Gruber subsequently covered developments in the Middle East as the state of Israel was coming to birth.

As one of the film’s executive producers, Kenner has presented “Ahead of Time” at numerous campuses and community venues throughout the United States.

For more information about the event, contact Jackie Vieceli, director of the Kessel Institute for the Study of Peace and Change, by phone at 507-389-6938 or by email at

The film and presentation are sponsored by the Kessel Institute for the Study of Peace and Change, which is dedicated to advancing the understanding and the existence of peace at all levels, from the individual to the global community. It is named after the late Abbas Kessel, a lifelong peace activist who received a doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1956 and was a Minnesota State Mankato political science professor for 19 years. Kessel died in 1987 of leukemia.

Activities of the Kessel Institute for the Study of Peace and Change are coordinated by an advisory council that works through the dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Minnesota State Mankato.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,376 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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