Valparaiso University’s Institute for Leadership and Service announces its fall 2016 Pathways to Purpose speaker series featuring speakers and topics focusing on professional development.

The speaker series primarily features field experts and service-based leaders who respond to the deepest challenges of our time and help to inspire students to pursue purposeful work.

All events will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Helge Center unless otherwise noted.

Topics include:

  • Chuck Marohn: “Strong Towns, Strong Citizens: How Individuals Can Impact Local Communities for Good,” Sept. 8. Strong Towns’ mission is to support the development of cities, towns and neighborhoods to become financially strong and resilient. As the Founder and CEO, Chuck Marohn speaks to towns and cities across North America and creates original content to further the organization’s mission.
  • Jason Kunesh: “Civic Networking: Evolving Approaches to Online Organizing and Giving,” Sept. 28. Jason Kunesh boasts a wide array of leadership experience in tech, from his current position as CEO and co-founder of Public Good Software Inc., to serving as the director of user experience for Obama for America — the first design position of its kind in presidential campaign history.
  • Kurt Senske: “Faith, Character and Calling: Leadership that Transcends Organizations,” Oct. 5. Kurt Senske ’81, CEO of Upbring and author of “Wine and the Word: Savor & Serve,” works to further his agency’s mission of breaking the cycle of child abuse in Texas through the empowerment of children, families and communities.
  • Gwen Jimmere: “Demystifying Entrepreneurship: Out of the Shark Tank and Into Reality,” Oct. 24. Gwen Jimmere took her personal real-world problem of chemical-ridden hair care and created a marketable solution by becoming CEO and founder of Naturalicious, a company specializing in nontoxic hair products. She is the first African-American woman to hold a patent on a natural hair care product.
  • “An Evening with Leymah Gbowee,” Nov. 2, 6:30 p.m., Chapel of the Resurrection. Liberian Peace Activist and Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee presents the 2016 Louis E. and Janice M. Zeile Lecture on Christian Vocation in partnership with Christ College — The Honors College and the Office for Inclusion.
  • Tezra Osthus: “Getting Paid to Make Things Right: How one SALT Alum Made Her Passion Her Job,” Nov. 9. As a development manager at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos USA, Tezra Osthus ’08 helps her organization raise more than 3,400 orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children in Latin America and the Caribbean while providing aid to an additional 1,600 children.

In addition to these events, the Institute for Leadership and Service will partner with the Computing and Humanity Speaker Series to present Tijana Milenkovic, head of Complex Networks Lab at Notre Dame, on Oct. 12 and Raffaella Settimi-Woods, associate director of the Center for Data Mining and Predictive Analytics at Depaul University on Nov. 16. Each event will be held at 5 p.m. in the Helge Center.

All events are free and open to the public.

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