Leadership Speaker Series

The Office of Student Involvement is excited to present "Authentically Leading through Identity," our Spring 2022 Leadership Speaker Series! All of these events will be held in person only, for the workshops listed please signup at this link.

Any questions about this leadership series can be directed to getinvolved@iwu.edu.


February 9 at 7:00 PM

Mikah Meyer: The Power of Authenticity and Turning Passion into Profession

We are excited to welcome Mikah Meyer to our IWU community for an in-person keynote talk about The Power of Authenticity and then a workshop on Turning Passion into Profession. Mikah is an adventurer and leader of diversity and inclusion efforts in the outdoors industry, especially for LGBTQ+ people. Mikah has visited all 419 sites in America’s National Park System and became the first openly gay man featured in an outdoors recreation ad and used that credibility to expand access for LGBTQ+ people in outdoors culture by founding the “Outside Safe Space” program. Through the lens of his historic national parks road trip, Mikah shares the “Why” of the importance of leadership, the “How” of using one’s unique strengths to bring out the best in others, and the “Now” benefits of leadership that aim to serve others.
Click here to learn more about Mikah Meyer!

February 23 at 6:00 PM 

Dr. Lauren Cook: Name Your Story

As a therapist and social justice advocate, Dr. Lauren Cook provides an open, honest, and safe space to discuss how to navigate and cope with the challenges surrounding mental health. The talk is broken down into three parts: Name It, Face It, and Embrace It. You’ll learn how to recognize some of the signs and symptoms of the more common disorders and also learn how to access and share resources. Lauren also covers self-care and how you can integrate wellness into your life on a daily basis. Her breakout session following her talk will focus on how leaders on campus can bring their own mental health journeys into their roles in organizations. Participants will have the opportunity to talk with Lauren about her strategies and explore what approaches will work best for them.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Lauren Cook!

March 9 at 7:00 PM

Samantha Ramirez-Herrera: Live. Create. Inspire

For twenty years Sam’s ethos has been “Live. Create. Inspire.” manifested through life experiences as an undocumented immigrant searching for her identity, survival, and purpose ranging from dishwasher to DJ,  blogger to failed YouTuber, waitress to a now award-winning filmmaker, entrepreneur, and advocate. In this talk, Sam takes the audience on a visual journey through the last decade of her creative career, the highs and lows, the failures and successes, and everything in between. The goal of “Live. Create. Inspire.” is to ignite students to build on every life experience until they discover their passions and purpose in this world. Sam believes that we all have the ability to contribute toward a new and reimagined world that is inclusive, equitable, and vibrant. She believes that we all have the power to demolish barriers and push past the impossible as leaders in our own communities.

Click here to learn more about Samantha Ramirez-Herrera!
Check out @involvediwu on Instagram for more updates on the leadership series!