Past Speakers

These are some of the most memorable speakers that we've been able to bring over the years.

Jessie Close

Author Inspirational Mental Health

Ms. Close has spent her entire life battling severe depression, anxiety, and mania. Her speech, being very open and to-the-point about her struggles to find medication and help, was a great segue into a conversation among community members, staff, and students to feel comfortable talking about menta...

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Kim Barker

Politics Author Travel

Kim was the South Asia Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune in the early 2000s. She shared about her experience with the “forgotten war” of Afghanistan. Her book about her time abroad (titled The Taliban Shuffle) was recently adapted into a film (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot) produced by and starring T...

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Gayle Lemmon

Diversity Author Race Travel

Gayle’s presentation was Platform’s annual contribution to the United Conference. She spoke about her experience writing her latest book “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana,” which chronicles the successes of women entrepreneurs in the middle east. She shared her experiences as a woman, having to...

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Richard Preston

Author

The best-selling author of The Hot Zone, Demon in the Freezer, and The Cobra Event provided a startling, relevant look into the threats ebola, small pox, and anthrax pose to the human population. 267 people attended this lecture with 22 of them being non-students.

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Ralph Nader

Politics Author

Honored by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential Americans of the Twentieth Century, consumer advocate and presidential candidate for the Green Party, Ralph has devoted his life to giving ordinary people the tools they need to defend themselves against corporate negligence and government...

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Maya Angelou

Politics Race Diversity Author

Poet, educator, best-selling author, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer, and director.

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