Dux Esto: Leadership and Service (Alisa)
As a lawyer, I see my mission as to serve both the communities and people I encounter. Over the past dozen years, I’ve lived in six states and eight different communities, which created diverse challenges to being of service as a lawyer, BIPOC (Black Indigenous Person of Color), and childless woman. These experiences have challenged me to work beyond my own biases and find new ways to serve.
My Story as a Lakota Winyan (Carm)
My experience has taught me to keep my guard up as an Indigenous scholar, with compassion and understanding, to make change in our region where there is heavy racism, stereotypes, and misconceptions of my people. Come learn about how my people are resilient and grow an understanding of our culture. Your questions, curiosity, and insight are welcome!
Future Corpse: Putting the “Fun” in “Funeral” (Courtney)
How do you cope with the loss of a loved one when the other survivors practice different religious traditions? Can I talk about my dead relatives without being a downer? How can I plan my own wake without my friends and family putting me on suicide watch? Are goths really Satanists, or do they just need to cheer up? Come ask me these questions and more about death-positivity in a death-averse culture.
Japan through Gaijin Eyes: An Outsider’s View (David)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find yourself living in a different part of the world?
David lived in Japan where he interacted with Japanese people as a teacher, co-worker, and student. How was he received in Japan? What did he notice about how Japanese interacted with each other? Come visit with David about his experience as a “Gaijin” in Japan.
It’s Twins! And Twins! And a Tumor! (Haley)
Have you ever seen a parent juggling two babies at once and thought, “Wow! Better them than me!” I am that mom, and it happened TWICE! Two sets of twins in, I thought I was just an overachiever. Then I looked pregnant a third time. I wasn’t pregnant. What was thought to be a benign cyst turned out to be a rare form of ovarian cancer.
Juggling two 9-year-olds, two 3-year-olds, working full-time and towards my masters’ degree, all while having surgeries, coping with the word “cancer” and dealing with life in general: it’s been a weird year.
Recovering Drug Addict (Heidi)
For years I turned to drugs to escape reality. Which drug it was didn’t matter to me—as long as I could have the escape. Drug to drug, my life was centered on finding the next high, but living many lows…I am grateful to be living today as a recovering drug addict, rather than dying from drug use. I look forward to sharing some of my experiences as I answer your questions.
Through Her Eyes, Inside Her Mind (Kiva)
From the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to east coast elite institutions (and back again), Kiva experienced life on one of the nation’s most poverty stricken environments and attended classes with the 1%. She went from no running water to dining with billionaires.
This is a story about navigating her journey from one extreme to another, and all of the adventures along the way that have shaped Kiva into who she is today. Come hear what it was like to be a single, teen mother studying at one of the world’s most prominent colleges; feel the tension when she was told, “It was on an Indian reservation, they were probably too drunk to notice”; hitchhike with her across Alaska; and feel the strength and determination that drives her. Join Kiva, as you catch a glimpse through her eyes and experience life inside of her mind.
Power Through (Krisztian)
Born an immigrant, I became a U.S. citizen at 13-years-old--after 12 years of living in the U.S. Since then, I’ve dropped out of high school, completed high school, married/divorced, had my dad die, and served in the navy. I am a first generation college student who is working toward a nursing degree at 27-years-old. My advice? Hardship and adversity is expected in life: power through.
A Nation’s Scapegoat: The American Teacher (Martha)
No Child Left Behind. Teacher accountability. Standardized testing. Differentiation. More testing. Failing schools. English Language Learners. More testing. Legislation. World rankings. More testing.
As an educator for 20 years, Martha has faced being one of the scapegoats. She has experience teaching in different parts of the country, as well as in Catholic and public schools. Are there differences? Many assume that there is an education crisis. Is there really? Are teachers doing enough? Come visit with Martha. She looks forward to an insightful conversation as she answers your questions.