2021 — Lara Q. Noah, Alpha Chi Executive Director (virtual conference)
2020 — Lyla June (Johnston), poet, singer-songwriter, hip-hop artist, human ecologist, public speaker, and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages, was slated to speak at the 2020 convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but COVID-19 led to its cancellation.
2019 — Dr. Raymond P. Onders, Chief of General Surgery at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Professor of Surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, has focused his research efforts on ways to help people with spinal cord injuries and other patients breathe naturally using their own diaphragm
2018 — Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times best-selling author of the Southern Reach trilogy
2017 — Dr. John Janovy, Jr., award-winning writer, professor, and researcher with a focus on parasitology and parasite ecology
2016 — Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Enrique’s Journey
2015 — Nnedi Okorafor, award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism for both children and adults
2014 — Dr. Dennis Richardson, distinguished helminthologist and professor of biology at
Quinnipiac University and cofounder of the Bawa Health Initiative
2013 — Justice William C. Koch, Jr., appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in June 2007, previously served 23 years on the Tennessee Court of Appeals
2012 — Sharyn McCrumb, New York Times best-selling author famous for her Appalachian “Ballad” novels set in the mountains of Tennessee and her native North Carolina
2011 — Carol H. Rasco, CEO of Reading is Fundamental, a devoted advocate for children, youth, and families, as a professional and as a volunteer
2010 — Carlotta Walls LaNier, the youngest of nine students chosen to integrate Little Rock Central High School in 1957, authored her memoir, A Mighty Long Way: My Journey To Justice At Little Rock Central High School, founded her own real estate brokerage firm in 1977
Panelists in 2010: Carol H. Rasco, Janis F. Kearney, and James L. (Skip) Rutherford
2009 — David L. Harrison, children’s author and poet, whose first book, The Boy With a Drum, has sold more than 2 million copies. He received the Christopher Award for The Book of Giant Stories.
2007 — Dr. Don McCabe, a professor at Rutgers University and a widely published researcher focused on academic integrity