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Thursday Opening Plenary

April 13, 2023 | 8:30-10 a.m. | Zorn Arena
Featuring Kao Kalia Yang and Bizhiki Culture & Dance Company


Portrait photo of Kao Kalia Yang

"A Morning with Kalia Yang"

Kalia will speak on refugee and immigrant experiences, touching on many issues including: Literacy and education, race, class, and gender.

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer, filmmaker, and teacher; she is also a co-founder of ‘Words Wanted,’ a company dedicated to helping immigrants with writing, translating, and business services. Her work is passionate and eloquent as she seeks to deepen the understanding of the human condition in order to garner more compassion in the world(https://tuesdayagency.com/kao-kalia-yang/)

Image of dancers posing in tribal dance attire

"Bizhiki Culture & Dance Company"

Bizhiki Culture & Dance Company was founded in 2016 on the pillars of public engagement and education, with the goal of furthering people's understanding of Indigenous cultures through interactive wordshops, presentations, consultations, and exhibitions. Bizhiki seeks to create meaningful relationships and assist entities in establishing a firm understanding of Tribal resiliency while instilling cultural revitalization.  (https://www.bizhikiculture.com/about)

Friday Parallel Plenaries

April 14, 2023 | 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Multiple locations

The following three plenaries will occur during the same time frame in different locations across campus.
Winners from the pre-conference Quick Pitch competition will open each session with their winning "pitch."


Portrait photo of Dr. Jeff Thompson

"Leading, Serving and Competing"
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Centennial Hall, Room 1614 (also streamed to Centennial Hall, Room 1704)

This session will be a conversation about how rising leaders can build a path forward to serve, innovate and lead. We will hear stories of amazing women and men, as well as the systems insights they used to compete and excel.

Dr. Jeff Thompson is a pediatrician, author, Executive Advisor of Practice Greenhealth, and Chief Executive Officer Emeritus at Gundersen Health System.

Portrait photo of Dr. Lisa Schulte Moore

"Unlock Your Genius through Undergraduate Research"
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Schofield Hall, Room 109, Auditorium

Dr. Schulte Moore will discuss how the knowledge, skills, and networks students build through undergraduate research provide a launch pad toward future success. She will exemplify by sharing her path from first-generation college student to MacArthur Fellow, and also the stories of several amazing students she has had the honor to work with as a university professor.

Dr. Lisa Schulte Moore, a UW-Eau Claire graduate and 2021 MacArthur Fellow, is the Associate Director of the Bioeconomy Institute, and Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management and Iowa State University.

Portrait photo of Dr. Tim Nelson

"Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Solve Neglected Challenges in Health Care"
11 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Centennial Hall, Room 1415 (also streamed to Centennial Hall, Room 1204)

Health care is broken. That is a general perspective that is grounded on experiences from the full spectrum of participants. Technology has never been better positioned to fundamentally improve and disrupt the broken ways of the past. Building an ecosystem of partnerships is critical to define the gaps, to build the cross-functional teams, and to solve the impossible problems. Research and innovation must be coordinated and synchronized for the future of a better health care experience.

Dr. Tim Nelson, a UW-Eau Claire graduate, is a physician and researcher at Mayo Clinic Health System Eau Claire. Dr. Nelson will present insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the delivery of short and long term health care both at Mayo Clinic Health System and across the entire system in the United States. 

Friday Keynote Plenary

April 14, 2023 | 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Zorn Arena (also streamed to Pablo Center at the Confluence)

Portrait photo of Melina Laboucan-Massimo

"Paving a New Way Forward: Solutions to the Climate Crisis"

To combat the climate crisis, Melina explores climate solutions and just transition principles. In the age of climate denial and despair, Melina discusses how it is essential to deepen our understanding of our sacred responsibility we have to live in reciprocity with the Earth and all living beings.”

Melina Laboucan-Massimo is founder of Sacred Earth Solar, co-founder and Healing Justice Director at Indigenous Climate Action, and a Climate Fellow at the David Suzuki Foundation. She also hosts a new TV series called Power to the People, which profiles renewable energy in Indigenous communities. Ms. Laboucan-Massimo will be speaking on environmental and climate justice issues and solutions, and her experience addressing these issues and implementing solutions in native communities.

Saturday Closing Plenary

April 15, 2023 | 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. | Schofield Hall, Room 109, Auditorium

Portrait photo of Dr. Tayo Sanders

"Fascination, Failure and Flexibility: Undergraduate Research as a Platform for Growth"

Beyond applying classroom concepts to the real world, the research process sharpens our curiosity, hones our ability to pivot, and reminds us that failure is more common than success. This session will explore how these core aspects of undergraduate research support personal and career development and more.

Dr. Tayo Sanders, a UW-Eau Claire graduate, is the inaugural director of the Southern Research Venture Studio, an organization focused on rapidly commercializing early-stage life sciences technology in Birmingham, Al. Prior to his current role, Tayo spent the last seven years working with investors and startups in the biotech and industrial technology space. He led due diligence on more than 15 companies, totaling over $130M in deployed capital as a senior investment team member at the Boston-based VC firm, Anzu Partners. Tayo received a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and pursued a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.