TIME TO PAUSE SPEAKERS
Mark is a Professor of Labor and Employment Relations, and Political Science at the Pennsylvania State University. He is the founding director of the Penn State Center for Global Workers' Rights and the founding director of the Penn State MPS program in Labor and Global Workers' Rights. Mark holds a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University and a master's degree in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. He is the author of more than 50 academic publications on workers' rights in global supply chains. Before beginning his academic career, he worked with labor rights groups in El Salvador where he survived two life-threatening events.
Sam is an environmental activist, filmmaker and co-founder of the Make A Change World organization. Together with his two siblings, Sam has been getting the world to pay attention to plastic pollution, using awareness campaigns that highlight the urgency to act now. His campaigns included running 3055 miles (4917 km) across the United States with up-cycled plastic shoes, to traveling down the world’s most polluted river on plastic-bottle-kayaks. The latter inspired the Indonesian President to deploy 7,000 military troops to clean the river, claiming it as Indonesia’s biggest mass clean up. Make A Change World videos have garnered over 600 million views across social media.
Dr. Seria Chatters is the Director of Equity and Inclusivity of State College Area School District in State College, PA and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Counselor Education at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Dr. Seria Chatters has dedicated her life to cultivating, creating, and sustaining more equitable spaces. Through an invite to be a 'book' in PSU's Human Library, Dr. Chatters publicly spoke about growing up legally blind and the impact it has had on her life through her experiences of bias, bullying, and self acceptance of a disability that was for some, invisible. Dr. Chatters works to define and create spaces in which people can be accepted for who they are and bring their whole self to all that they do.
Shah is an award-winning Environmentalist and Social Entrepreneur based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he is currently spearheading an NGO called 'Footsteps-Bangladesh' which addresses social challenges in the fields of environment, health, and education. His work is impacting over 100,000 people in Bangladesh through 13 different social ventures and campaigns. Shah was mentored by former US Vice President Al Gore on Climate Leadership, and after achieving his degree in Environmental Economics and Policy from Pennsylvania State University in 2018, he returned to Bangladesh to chase his dreams of empowering communities through 'Footsteps-Bangladesh'. Shah received the Diana Award and the AFS Prize for Global Young Citizens in 2020 for his invaluable contributions towards the development sector in Bangladesh.
Molly is a beloved Associate Teaching Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State's University Park campus. Her unique teaching style combines storytelling, humor, and conversation to create lively and engaged classes. She has received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Health and Human Development for eight years and running. Her students often say her classes changed their lives, which is the best award she could ever get. Molly is also well-known as a local musician, performing regularly with her band, Ted and the hi-fi's, at downtown bars and restaurants. She lives in State College with her husband, 3 children, 2 dogs, and 2 cats.
Perry Dripps is an educator, sustainability professional, musician, and cook who was formally diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) combined type at the age of 33. He holds a Master's degree in both School Counseling, and Sustainability, along with a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Music. In his current role, Perry brings together his passions of student development with his desire to make the world a better place for current and future generations by promoting resilience in the face of mental illness, and speaking out about mental health.
Jen is the Director of the AURORA Outdoor Orientation Programs at Penn State University. This program gives students the opportunity to transition into college life through backpacking expeditions across the country. Jen is also heavily active in outdoor leadership at Penn State. She is the Associate Director of Leadership Development at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and instructs Outdoor Leadership courses in the RPTM Department. Through these positions and programs, Jen helps to cultivate the leaders of tomorrow.
Dr. Liechty is a Professor at the Smeal College of Business with a PhD from Cambridge University. He has developed solutions for top Marketing Research firms and Investment Banks; and, he’s an expert in marketing research, computational statistics and high-performance computing, and derivative pricing and asset allocation. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Royal Statistics Society. He is published in top academic journals in Marketing, Statistics, Psychology and Finance.
Michael Mitole is a sophomore in the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University studying Finance and Economics. He is a member of the Sapphire Leadership and Presidential Leadership Academy programs, and serves as the Chief of Staff in the University Park Undergraduate Association. What drives him is leadership—dating back to serving 2 terms as Class President during his junior and senior years of high school & his primary passion is people—learning about the stories and experiences that shape them, encouraging them to pursue a path towards realizing their potential, and making meaningful contributions to each space he finds himself in. Michael worked as an orientation leader for the incoming freshman class of Penn State during the summer of 2020, a time of great difficulty for many. Through this experience, he had the opportunity to talk to students from over 20 countries around the world, each possessing captivating stories in the face of challenging circumstances.
Isabelle Snyder is a senior at the State College Area High School, where she is serving her second term as Student Government President, is active in Thespians, journalism, mock trial, and is the chair of the International Thespian Officer Board. In the spring of 2018, Isabelle and her Student Government team advocated for the installation of free menstrual hygiene product dispensers school wide. In the summer of 2018, Isabelle began 'Go With the Flow' an organization that utilizes community engagement and donations to package take-home kits of menstrual hygiene products, available in k-12 schools and community centers district-wide. Since then, 'Go with the Flow' has provided almost 3,000 kits to the State College community. More recently, due to the adverse impacts of COVID-19, they reached out to local families facilitating them with lunch pickups arranged by the school district.
As a strong believer in the empowerment of young people, Marisa Vicere founded and became president of the Jana Marie Foundation in 2012. The experience of losing her sister, Jana Vicere, to suicide in 2011 cemented her commitment to helping young people navigate the tough transitional years and educating adults about mental and emotional health. With over 15 signature programs, the Jana Marie Foundation provides education and support services to thousands of youth, teachers, parents, and community members throughout Central PA each year. Marisa is a Certified Gatekeeper Instructor for Question Persuade Refer (QPR), a mental health intervention training, and a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor for Youth, Teens and Adults. She currently serves as chairman for the Centre County Suicide Prevention Taskforce and on the Board of Prevent Suicide PA. Marisa holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Susquehanna University and MBA from Penn State Smeal College of Business.