5:30pm in the Duesenberg Recital Hall

Award-winning singer/songwriter Nichole Nordeman discusses the process of incorporating her evolving views on faith, justice and relationships into her music, as well as what it takes to step away from the spotlight and return on your own terms. Interview will be followed by a performance.

5:30pm in the Helge Center

Director of National Programs for the Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival, Nate Marshall is an MC, award-winning poet, author of Wild Hundreds and an editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. He’ll share his story of growing up on the South Side of Chicago, his formation as an artist and citizen, and treat us to some spoken word.

5:30pm in the Helge Center

Daniel Pieper ‘05 is the Executive Director of InspirAction, a sister organization to Christian Aid, a UK-based international NGO with over 70 years of experience working with local communities, organizations and individuals. Pieper will share his professional journey through sustainable development, social justice, political advocacy and humanitarian responses, as well as highlight some of the current work of InspirAction.

5:30pm in the Helge Center

Steven Lehmann ‘09 is the Assistant Director at The University of Chicago Innovation Fund, a multi-million-dollar fund that invests in promising start-ups from an ecosystem that includes The University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab and the Marine Biological Laboratory. He’ll discuss his experience in starting an international start-up as well as how he supports researchers in turning their innovations into ventures that advance cutting-edge technologies, generate significant financial returns and create lasting impact for humankind.

5:30pm in the Helge Center

We are bringing together a small panel of women and men who have served in the Armed Forces to discuss the ways that experience impacted the work they do now that they are home.

Meosha Thomas is the founder of One Savvy Veteran. She served 10 years active duty in the United States Navy before she was injured in support of the Global War on Terrorism. She was honorably discharged and medically retired from military service due to her extensive injuries and sent home in 2010. When she returned home, she found it difficult to find a place that had all the information she needed to help her transition from military service to civilian life. The few organizations she did find gave inaccurate information. She also noticed that as few services as there were for veterans, there was even fewer services for women veterans. She decided to create an organization that encouraged, educated and empowered women veterans, helping them successfully navigate from military service to civilian life.

Mike Espinda honorably served within the Indiana Army National Guard for over 27 years of service including 26 years on Active Duty. He retired in the rank of Sergeant Major. Mike is a disabled veteran and enjoys serving those who have served alongside him and fought for our country’s freedom. As the Training and Recruiting Manager for Central Indiana, his primary focus is recruitment, coordination and implementation of the Veteran Employment Transition Seminar (VETS) in Indianapolis and the surrounding regions.

Dr. Jason Gehrke is part of the 2018-2020 cohort of the Valparaiso University-based Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, focused on religious studies. In 2010—three years after he completed his master’s degree—Gehrke joined the Army Reserve. In 2013 he was awarded the Bronze Star for his service providing direct support to combat operations in Afghanistan. In 2016 he was awarded the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award.

Dr. Makeba Butler is the Associate Director, Veteran Programs. In this role, she works with veterans, active military, reserve, guard, and military spouses in providing them education, information, and resources to operate as a successful business owner. An educator by design, Dr. Makeba believes that education is the key to empowerment and the application of education brings success. An Air Force veteran, she combined her military training and educational experience with the love she had for business and successfully launched an educational services company where she managed 30 tutor consultants and generated $150,000 in part-time revenue within the first 4 years. She has also provided business consulting to start-up and existing businesses in the educational sector for many years. Dr. Makeba strongly believes in building genuine and connective relationships and undoubtedly ties the art of successful business to doing so.

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