2019 Speakers


Kathy Johnson

Success Starts Small

Dr. Kathy Johnson serves as Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), a core campus of Indiana University and the state’s urban research and academic health sciences campus. She is a professor of psychology and has previously served as Dean of University College and Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education, where she led the creation of a Division of Undergraduate Education as well as a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of the undergraduate experience while also improving on-time graduation rates. She is trained as a cognitive developmental psychologist and has published extensively in scientific journals in areas related to expertise acquisition and concept development, serving as PI or Co-PI on a number of grants awarded through the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes for Health. Nationally, Dr. Johnson has served on steering committees for the Coalition of Urban-Serving Universities, as president of the Association of Deans and Directors of University Colleges & Undergraduate Studies, and on the executive committee for LEAP Indiana. She currently serves as president for the Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO), as a Board Member for the Council on Academic Affairs for the Association of Public and Land Grant universities, and as a Fellow with Complete College America.  


Chad Childers

Conversations, Planning and Death

Chad Childers graduated from IUPUI in 2017 with a BA in Medical Humanities and Health Studies. He was awarded the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion, top graduating Medical Humanities Student, and Faculty Medal of Distinction - the highest award given by the school of liberal arts to one graduating student for his academic rigor, intellectual curiosity, and commitment to service. Since graduation, he has worked in the hospice industry as an analyst, researched mental health history, volunteered at camps for sick children, and continued to serve as a hospice volunteer and researcher. He is currently a first year medical student and is interested in pursuing a speciality in palliative care.


Kristen "KB" Newton

9 Ways To Tell If Your Friends Are Trash

Kristen “KB” Newton has been an international recording artist, performer and DJ for over the last decade. She is most known for being an official arena DJ for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and the WNBA’s Indiana Fever (2013-2018).  Over the past two years KB has been building her second business endeavor, HEART CONVOS. Through HEART CONVOS, she helps millennial women navigate unhealthy friendships by encouraging and equipping them to make, maintain, and mend friendships intentionally. As a wife, mom, artist, and entrepreneur, she is living vulnerably to help further others. KB values the ability to have her life and past experiences on display as a resource for others, and she believes every person truly has the ability to thrive once they embrace the importance of community, particularly within friendship. With much conviction, KB believes being in healthy friendships is the catalyst to relational success in dating, marriage, workplace relationships, and our interpersonal interactions with one another. Join her as she endeavors to change the world one friendship at a time!


Gloria Renollet

Tell Me Your Story

Gloria Renollet is a service-hearted individual with a passion for echoing the voices of the unheard. She enjoys volunteering for TEDxIndianapolis, developing the event experience. Gloria is enlivened by understanding the misunderstood, traveling internationally, and reveling in the beauty of people and places. Most recently, Gloria traveled to the Middle East for a research study working to change the American single-story narrative of the region and Arab culture. She sees the path to social justice being through dialogue, and dreams of one day helping people open their minds to communicate honestly with people that may be different from themselves. Gloria is passionate about seeing people valued as the individual that they are, not who society wants them to be. When she’s not cranking out work at her favorite coffee shop, you may find her whimsically pausing to smell every flower and offering free hugs. 


Siva Visvesvaran

Let Recycling Be Last

Siva develops new solutions to existing environmental problems. He has developed numerous innovations to improve everyday recycling including the Linear Water Storage system for his school, which enables rainwater to be stored in a fraction of the space usually required. Siva is currently studying electrical engineering, and hopes it will allow him to deliver more sustainable and affordable sources of energy to developing countries. In addition, he is the co-founder of a social enterprise called Project Paplet. The organization set up a ‘Reuse Initiative’ which takes paper already used on one side and turns it into booklets. The booklets are donated to 50 refugee schools throughout Malaysia through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. The group also provides toolkits to institutions globally explaining how to make the booklets and to empower people to create new products out of everyday rubbish. Since its launch in 2016, it has saved around 5 tons of paper. Siva is also an associate fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society and one of the 60 Queen’s Young Leader of 2018 bestowed by HM Queen Elizabeth II.