Elon University freshman Kailey Stark, who is on a pre-med track at Elon, received an email about having dinner with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and said she was shocked, but excited, at the opportunity.

“I thought, is this the right Dr. Gupta?” Stark said. “I did not think that that was ever going to happen or something that was possible.” 

Gupta, a multiple Emmy-Award-winning chief medical correspondent for CNN, will deliver the 2023 Baird Lecture on Tuesday March 28 at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym. The lecture is a part of Elon University’s Speaker Series, presented by WUNC North Carolina Public Radio, “Living Well in a Changing World.” 

Stark is one of a few Elon University students who will join Gupta for dinner prior to his lecture. Gupta will also sit down with Elon News Network and speak with Baird Scholars throughout his visit to Elon. 

As someone who wants to go into public health, Stark said she is most excited to hear about how Gupta got to where he is today. Gupta is a practicing neurosurgeon, a New York Times bestselling author and host of the CNN Original Series “Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.” 

“How did it happen?” Stark said. “He's a neurosurgeon. You maybe don't go into that thinking that you'll be on the news and a pretty prominent figure during the pandemic in terms of medical advice, so, how did it all evolve? What's his take on everything?”

In addition to his work at CNN, Gupta is an associate professor of neurosurgery at Emory University Hospital and associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. 

The Baird Lecture is moderated by Interim Dean of the School of Communications Kenn Gaither. Gaither said that the talk this evening will focus on brain health, which is also the subject of Gupta’s latest book, “Keep Sharp: Build A Better Brain at Any Age.”

Gaither said he is most excited to hear about the combination of Gupta’s two professions: neuroscience and journalism.

“It's incredibly exciting to spend time with somebody who has such insights into not just our brain, and how the brain functions, but also as a working journalist who's covered some of the most pressing problems and issues in society today,” Gaither said.

The event this evening will be at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym. Tickets are free with an Elon University ID or $15 for community members.