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Leaders Speak Series

Mission: The Leaders Speak Series is an annual initiative that reaches out to the community with diverse leadership-based themes.

2018–2019 Theme: This year’s theme is “Voices” and aims at bringing in speakers to give voice to societal issues and concerns.

Details: Speakers will be presenting in the Musco Technology Center on William Penn University’s campus at 6:00PM. All presentations are FREE and open to the public.

Watch Previous Speakers 2018–2019

Kamyar Enshayan

Kamyar Enshayan, Agricultural Engineer

Kamyar Enshayan speaks for this place we call Iowa, which is not being treated very well under our watch. His presentation “Breaking Bad in Iowa: An Immigrant Urges Iowans to become Native to Iowa” challenged the audience to take on the responsibility of becoming native to this region and protect it so that future Iowans would be able to live here.

Melissa O'Neil

Melissa O’Neil, CEO of Central Iowa Shelter and Service

In the spirit of thankfulness and giving, the week prior to Thanksgiving has become known as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Melissa O’Neil, CEO of Central Iowa Shelter and Services, inspires to get involved in this national event to end one of the biggest pressing issues in our communities, hunger and homelessness.

On Thursday, November 15, 2018 Melissa presented “The Answer is in the Room”.

Dr. Tracy Lucht

Dr. Tracy Lucht, Journalism Professor and Media Historian at Iowa State University

Dr. Tracy Lucht, associate professor at Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, shared what she has learned from researching women journalists in the Midwest and encouraged audience members to reflect on the leadership and contributions of women in their own lives. Thursday, February 21, 2019. “Why Community Matters: Lessons from Midwestern Women’s History”.

Dr. Jonathan Claussen

Jonathan Claussen, PhD, Assistant Professor at Iowa State University

Dr. Claussen presented “How Nanotechnology Can Solve Some of Society’s Most Pressing Agricultural and Biomedical Challenges” on Thursday, March 21, 2019. Agricultural fertilizer run-off, food borne pathogens, spinal cord injuries, and late-stage cancer are agricultural and biomedical challenges that create high health and economic tolls throughout our society. The solutions to these issues are currently being addressed right here in Iowa at Prof. Jonathan Claussen’s ‘Nanoengineering Laboratory’ at Iowa State University. This presentation by Prof. Claussen focused on the science and technology behind developing efficient methods to produce sensors, energy harvesters, and biotechnology with nanomaterials for solving these important agricultural and biomedical challenges.

The presentation focused on large-area, solution-phase printing of nanomaterials that enable the production of low-cost, flexible and highly efficient electrical circuits. These graphene-based electrical circuits can then be used to monitor concentrations of fertilizer ions, foodborne pathogens, or cancer biomarkers much like someone with diabetes monitors his or her glucose levels. Use of nanomaterials allows for printable fabrication techniques to create higher quality sensors, allow for more flexible applications, and are cost effective to produce. The presentation concluded with thoughts on how this research can be transitioned into commercialized products.

Rocio Calderon
Rocio Calderon
Elizabeth Smith

Rocío Calderón, Casa Mariposa Detention Visitation Program Coordinator

The United States government maintains the world’s largest immigration detention system. Every day, 44,000 individuals are languishing behind bars in more than 200 immigrant prisons and jails across the country. Is there one in your backyard? Yes. They are everywhere (including Iowa!) and the system is designed to be as isolating as possible.
The Casa Mariposa Detention Visitation Program resists the idea that immigrants behind bars should be isolated and lonely. Through weekly visits and letters, they strive to alleviate the isolation felt by immigrants in Eloy Detention Center (Eloy, AZ). On Monday, April, 2019 Program Coordinator Rocío Calderón shared about her time in Eloy Detention Center as a detainee and the impact it had on her life. In her presentation titled “Connection as Resistance: Breaking the Isolation of Immigration Detention” she described the important role visitation programs play in caring for those in our communities.
This lecture was presented in Spanish with interpretation to English by Elizabeth Smith.

Dr. Debra Delaet

Dr. Debra Delaet, Professor of Political Science at Drake University

Join us as we welcome Professor Debra DeLaet on Monday, April 15, 2019, who will be presenting “Human Rights in the Everyday”. Debra will explore how the contestation over human rights takes place in our everyday lives and how efforts to promote those rights needs to be integrated accordingly. She seeks to broaden the vision of what constitutes human rights and social justice and to investigate the potential for non-state actors and citizens to engage in transformative practices intended to advance their rights outside of the context of formal law and governance.