Speaker Resources

Plenary and Executive Speakers
Hancock Symposium 2019

For community members wanting advanced information about our plenary and executive speakers, here are brief introductions, including links to previous talks or articles about their work. An introduction to Dr. Madeleine Albright, who will close the Symposium by giving our prestigious Green Foundation Lecture, is included, as well.

Dr. Derek Greenfield. Well known as a motivational speaker who promotes diversity in higher education, Dr. Greenfield is also an excellent writer who describes in his doctoral dissertation his experience of being a white ‘outsider’ hired to promote diversity at a historically black college. Prior to developing his career as a public speaker, Greenfield spent more than 20 years as a college professor and administrator.

Jim Bowen. An executive with over 30 years of experience in procurement, operations, and manufacturing consulting, Bowen is CEO of First Trust, one of the fastest growing money management firms in America. His focus for the Symposium is the potential of the free market for solving the most complex problems of our time.

Gretchen Kinder. Kinder ’94 has spent the past 25 years since graduating from Westminster in Hollywood, helping produce more than 30 reality shows, as well as commercials, music videos, and independent films. She will talk about gender disparity and stereotyping in the reality TV business.

Jeremie Loncka. Loncka has spent much of his career working alongside Tim Robbins (of Shawshank Redemption) running the Actors’ Gang Prison Project, which uses drama therapy to help with rehabilitation of men and women in California prisons. Loncka will be joined by Terri Lynn Scrape and Richard Loya, alumni of the project.

John Rollins. An attorney practicing in Kansas City since 1991, Rollins enjoyed photography for many years, but has only been a serious photographer for about a half-dozen. He will talk about the importance of finding our creative potential by telling the story of finding his own “inner artist.” He will also explain his deep connection to the natural world as expressed by his photography.

Beth Houf. Houf is the principal of Fulton Middle School and the co-author of Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff. In addition to being recognized as an exceptional principal, Beth was named one of 27 National Association of Secondary School Principals Digital Principal of the Year for 2019. In training teachers to use technology, she created FMS Passionate Learning, which is a focus on personalized learning for each child. She will talk about harnessing technology in healthy and creative ways to benefit teaching and learning.

James R. Hansen. Dr. Hansen is a professor emeritus of history at Auburn University. A former historian for NASA, Hansen is the author of twelve books on the history of aerospace and a two-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in History. He served as co-producer for the major motion picture First Man, which is based on his biography of Neil Armstrong. Hansen will help us understand the significance of the moon landing both for Armstrong, for America, and for all of humanity.

George Smith. Dr. Smith is Curators’ Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018, and known as an outstanding professor and mentor to countless Mizzou students. But Smith believes that scientists must engage with the broader world, and therefore has been speaking out about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for many years. The key question to be answered through his plenary session is this: what has drawn a Nobel Prize-winning chemist to devote his time and attention plight of Palestinians?  

An introduction to Dr. Smith:

Ellen Jorgensen. Dr. Jorgensen is a molecular biologist known for her devotion to scientific literacy.  In 2009 she created Genspace, the first nonprofit community biotech lab.  In 2017 she founded Biotech without Borders, which offers hands-on experience to communities lacking access to biotechnology. Of particular interest to Jorgensen is the impact of DIY (do-it-yourself) biotechnology on genetic engineering.

An introduction to Jorgensen’s work:

Derick Dailey. As a Westminster student, Dailey became intensely interested in understanding the relationship between religion and government in the fight against poverty and racial injustice. He went on to earn his M.A. in Religion and Ethics at Yale University and his J.D. at Fordham University School of Law. After working as a litigation associate at Dowd Bennett LLP for two years, Dailey is now an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware. He continues to speak out in support of racial justice and the eradication of poverty through serving on the Boards of both Justice Revival and Bread for the World.

Madeleine Albright. Dr. Albright served as a member of the National Security Council and as Ambassador to the United Nations before becoming America’s first female Secretary of State in 1993. Her most recent book, Fascism: A Warning begins with a reminder that her interest in the subject is not merely academic: the year after she was born Germany occupied her native Czechoslovakia and three of her grandparents died in Nazi concentration camps.