This Year’s Speakers

This Year’s Speakers


2022 SPEAKERS


Heather Von Bank: “The Importance of Risky Play”

Why is it that, while many may shy away from the idea of “risky play,” Heather Von Bank encourages it? As the Department Chair of Family Consumer Science at MNSU, Heather is going to discuss the importance and benefits of play. Learn how play, especially “risky play,” supports children’s physical, mental, and social-emotional development.  

Dan Sachau: “A Key to Happiness”

It’s true money can’t buy happiness, but do you know why? Dan Sachau teaches in the Psychology Department at MNSU and studies life satisfaction. He will talk about the link between money and happiness and the problem of rising expectations.  

Amanda Halabi: “Redefining Success & Spreading Education Globally”

How would you help to fight community-wide poverty? Amanda Halabi, the Vice President of ThroughYOU, has worked to raised $200,000 to help answer this question. Having led cutting-edge corporations through the murky waters of global technological change, Amanda will share her knowledge of success and global education.  

Coralyn Musser: “How to Amplify Your Workplace Through Community Service”

We hear about company core values, but how can compassion and generosity be built into the core of company culture? Coralyn Musser, currently pursuing her MBA here at MNSU, has attempted to answer this question by ramping up volunteer efforts of companies. The positive outcomes uncovered by the initiative of helping others will be discussed in Coralyn’s talk.

Cindra Kamphoff: “How to Think Like the World’s Best”

Being a top athlete requires physical training, but how do they mentally train? Cindra Kamphoff, professor of Sport, Performance, and Exercise Psychology in the Department of Human Performance, will explain how to apply the same mental principles used by elite athletes to the events of everyday life.  

Jonathan Hicks: “Exploring Wildlife-Inspired Awe”

Can you think of a time when nature just left you in “awe?” Jonathan Hicks, associate professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services at MNSU, most definitely can. Fascinated with wildlife at a young age, Jonathan will seek to explore the stories of wildlife-inspired awe and how such stories can apply to the management setting.

Brian Frink: “Taking Risks in Art and Life”

How can art be seen throughout the many aspects of life? Interested in art from a young age, Brian Frink’s experiences expanded in the art-forward neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Brian has since received his Master’s of Fine Arts, been named a Distinguished Faculty Scholar at MNSU, and maintains a studio practice. He will discuss the art of taking risks in life.

Abigayle Oxborough: “Empowering Young Adults to Become Better Leaders”

If businesses reviewed you, as a customer, what would they say? Abby Oxborough, director of Leadership Programming at a Northern Minnesota resort, has recently obtained her Master’s degree in Experiential Education at MNSU and will talk about how customer service work empowers young adults to become better leaders. 

Erin Gonzalez: “Healing Your Relationship with Food”

The shortcomings of dieting are something that Erin Gonzalez is very familiar with. As a registered dietitian at the Mankato Clinic, Erin uses her knowledge of diet culture and relationships with food in the practical as well as the educational setting. She will use her expertise to discuss freeing ourselves from food rules and listening to our own internal hunger. 

Thad Shunkwiler: “Saving Lives by Building Resilience”

Since 2019, U.S. life expectancy has declined due to addiction and suicide. Thad Shunkwiler, Licensed Behavioral Health Provider and Professor in the Department of Health Science, studies how resilience prevents these “deaths of despair.” He will teach us how to build resilience in our own lives. 

Kristen Cvancara: “Verbal Aggression in Relationships”

While verbal aggression can be seen across all types of close, interpersonal relationships, how can we make a difference in reducing it? Kristen Cvancara, Professor of Communication Studies at MNSU, will discuss the prevalence of verbal aggression in close relationships. Listeners will learn the importance of mindful efforts in disrupting negative communication patterns.  

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