Past Convention Speakers

Convention Speakers

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 VanderMeerNew 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 McCrumbNew 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. RascoJanis 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