Open Hearts & Open Minds

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Guest Speakers

A variety of guest speakers visit Rowland Hall to engage students with personal and professional stories of how one lives an ethical life.

  • Rev. Aimee Altizer, executive director of Flourish Bakery and Flourish Ventures, on retributive and restorative justice

  • Glenn Bailey, executive director of Crossroads Urban Center, on the legislative challenges of supporting unsheltered people

  • Leah Barker, executive director of Choice Humanitarian
  • Jeremy Beckham, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
  • Marion Blumenthal Lazan, Holocaust survivor and author of Four Perfect Pebbles
  • Dr. Deanna Byck, Rowland Hall parent, on Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War, an award-winning documentary she co-executive produced
  • Dr. Tim Catlin from the Wild Utah Project; David Garbett and Terri Martin from the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance; and David Pacheco from HEAL Utah spoke with environmental science classes
  • Silvia Catten, Millcreek City representative (District 1), on building compromise locally through active listening and empathy building
  • Brittney Cummins, senior education advisor to the Utah Governor’s Office, on working across division and the issues affecting education in Utah
  • Debra Daniels, director of the University of Utah Women’s Resource Center, on being an ally and upstander
  • Rev. France A. Davis, Rowland Hall trustee and retired Calvary Baptist Church pastor, on the bravery of leadership for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Tim deChristopher, an environmental activist prosecuted for disrupting federal oil/gas leasing auction, on civil disobedience
  • Geralyn Dreyfous, executive producer of the documentary Audrie and Daisy; Katie Lieberman, Rowland Hall trustee and licensed clinical social worker; and Nubia Pena, advocacy and prevention training specialist for the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, held a post-screening discussion of the documentary
  • Geralyn Dreyfous and Jacki Zehner, producers of the documentary The Hunting Ground, which deals with rape culture on college campuses
  • Becky Edwards, senatorial candidate and former Utah state representative, on the importance of respectful dialogue to create change
  • Dr. Lesa Ellis, Westminster College neuroscience professor, on sleep and adolescents
  • Lt. Col. Steven Fairbourn, Utah National Guard (UTNG) public affairs officer and commander of 1/145 Field Artillery Battalion, and Col. Adam Robinson, UTNG G1 and commander of 65th Field Artillery Brigade, spoke at a Veteran’s Day Chapel
  • Dr. Bonnie Feola, pediatrician and Rowland Hall parent, and Dr. Matt Wooley from the University of Utah’s Neuropsychiatric Institute spoke on a panel following a showing of the documentary Screenagers
  • Felicity Fouche, Rowland Hall parent, on living under Apartheid in South Africa
  • Alex Gardner ’07, Rowland Hall trustee and alumni chair, and a development officer for the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, on the university’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute
  • Caroline Gleich ’03 and Brody Leven, professional athletes and Protect Our Winters representatives, on how young people can help prevent climate change
  • Dr. Sara Grineski, University of Utah professor of sociology and environmental and sustainability studies, on how the environment affects human health
  • Lauren Gustus, executive editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, on the role and future of local journalism
  • Dr. Thad Hall, University of Utah associate professor of political science, on elections and the Supreme Court case Citizens United vs. The Federal Elections Commission
  • Gary Herbert, Utah governor, on community and political activism and finding issues that stir you to action
  • Darren Herren, state department, on pathways to careers in diplomacy and foreign service
  • Lee Hirsch, director of Bully, on tackling this emotional subject for a documentary film
  • Dr. Jon Hoekstra, executive director of Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and former chief scientist and vice president of the World Wildlife Fund
  • Sandra Hollins (District 23) and Angela Romero (District 26), state representatives, on social justice
  • Dulce Horn ’20 on getting youth to vote and how she’s supporting underserved communities in Los Angeles, where she’s attending college
  • Dr. Bryan Hotchkins, University of Utah professor, on the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Darryl Hunt, founder of the Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice, on his 20 years of incarceration for a crime he didn’t commit, and his subsequent exoneration
  • Dr. Kelli Hyland, Salt Lake City psychiatrist, spoke to English classes reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Things They Carried on trauma recovery and her work with local veterans
  • Britney Jarvis, International Rescue Committee
  • Maz Jobrani, Islamic comedian from the group Axis of Evil, on using jokes to combat the stereotyping of Muslims
  • Mat Johnson, author of Incognegro, on adapting the graphic novel form for the story of African-American reporters “passing” in the South to expose lynching
  • Jeremy Jones, professional snowboarder and founder of Protect Our Winters, on the effects of climate change
  • Dr. Rina Jordan, retired physician and alumni parent, on food insecurity and improving nutrition
  • Scott Jurek, ultra-marathoner, on personal motivation and pushing beyond one’s perceived limits
  • Derek L. Kitchen, Utah state senator (District 2), on the importance of youth political involvement
  • Kweku Mandela, son of Nelson Mandela, promoting a film on forgiveness and dialogue called Beyond Right and Wrong: Stories on Justice and Forgiveness
  • Blake Moore, Utah congressional representative (District 1) on the 2022 congressional session, midterms, and building from agreement
  • Tom Moyer, state coordinator for Utah Citizens’ Climate Lobby, on environmental and economic stewardship
  • Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, CEO and president of the Global Fund for Women, on empowerment projects for women in developing countries
  • Dr. Lawrence Parker, University of Utah professor of educational leadership and policy, on the experience of students of color in independent schools
  • Dr. Kelly Patterson, Brigham Young University professor and former Rowland Hall trustee, on keeping dialogue civil during elections
  • Charles Randall Paul from the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy on the importance of considering the perspectives of other religions
  • Dr. Susan J. Matt, Weber State University History Department chair, on advertisers at the turn of the 19th century using envy to legitimize consumer desire
  • Dr. Olivia Mattis, president and co-founder of the Sousa Mendes Foundation, on the heroic work of Aristides de Sousa Mendes during the Holocaust
  • Imam Muhammed Matar, leader of the Utah Islamic Society, on the relevance and importance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message to people of all backgrounds
  • Hannah McKeand, world-record holder for skiing from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole, a 690-mile journey she completed in just over 39 days
  • Jessica Roadman, community outreach coordinator for the Crossroads Urban Center, kicked off Rowland Hall’s October Food Drive
  • Michael Spurgeon ’88, author of Let the Water Hold Me Down, on writing professionally and his novel’s geopolitical themes, including choosing to act rather than being a bystander
  • Dr. Jackie Thompson, coordinator of the Educational Equity Department in Davis School District, on Rosa Parks and activism for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Brian Tonetti, executive director of Seven Canyon Trust, on uncovering and restoring Utah waterways
  • Laura Vernon, Great Salt Lake coordinator for the Utah Department of Natural Resources' Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands, on the economic and ecological impacts of a declining Great Salt Lake
  • Ted Ward, head coach of the University of Utah’s women’s volleyball team, on the need for and positive impact of Title IX
  • Jeff Whitbeck, Momentum Recycling managing partner, on the challenges of starting up a glass-recycling business in the Salt Lake Valley
  • Kilo Zamora from Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable presented to the Lower School Home and School Association about raising culturally aware young people
  • Nathan Zick-Smith ’11 on the effects of climate change and how students can make a difference
  • Michael Zimmerman, former justice of the Utah Supreme Court, on Zen Buddhism and mindfulness

You Belong at Rowland Hall