Opening Keynote

Friday, November 22, 2019 | Noon–2:30 pm

The Laws of Trill

Jeff Dess and Lenny Williams

The Laws of Trill will take your success to a creative and motivational height. Through this interactive presentation hear key strategies to achieving high levels of excellence as a student. Listen to the Trill or Not Trill founders, MrJeffDess and Professor Williams as they both drop the gems that are guaranteed to enhance your college career and beyond. Each law will provide participants with specific tips on building a successful lifestyle during and after college. Tips include ways to overcome hurdles, techniques on improving one’s focus, ways to avoid distractions, and more!

Know Your Presenter:
Jeff Dess is a dynamic public speaker, author, emcee, and professor. Of Haitian descent, the native New Yorker known as the Disruptive Educator is also the co-founder of the educational platform Trill or Not Trill. The company bridges the gap between popular culture and student development. Dess is the author of five books, including Trill Motivation, which through imagery, poetry, and commentary tackles leadership and motivation from a contemporary perspective.

After studying at St. John’s University and earning a BA and MA in English literature, he worked in student affairs for more than 10 years. He has delivered lectures at more than 25 universities including Columbia and Princeton University, has performed globally in Indonesia, Italy, and South Africa. He’s been featured in Ebony Magazine, The Root, and Urban Cusp Magazine.

Lenny Williams

Lenny Williams holds an MBA from New Jersey City University where he currently serves as a professor of entrepreneurship within the School of Business. He also teaches in the business departments of Union, Hudson, and Brookdale Community Colleges. Within higher education, he has a strong background in enrollment management, admissions, and retention. Still under the age of 30, he’s already impacted many students inside of the classroom and has assisted hundreds more get into college. Williams has traveled nationwide and abroad speaking to many companies and schools to spread the message of being an effective entrepreneur. He has overcome hurdles and has a masterful storytelling ability. With every engagement, he strives to achieve his mission of reaching generations and reminding them that greatness can be achieved against all odds. In addition, he has created a scholarship program in his hometown, and worked with schools and organizations such as: Yale University, Columbia University, Rutgers University, Towson University, YouTube sensation Latoya Forever,, Free from 106 and Park, The Root, The Breakfast Club, NFL Players Association, and many more.

Morning Keynote

Saturday, November 23, 2019 | 8:15–9:30 am

The Student Leadership Challenge® Experience

Collegiate Empowerment

Based on the award-winning, best-selling book, The Student Leadership Challenge® by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, The Student Leadership Challenge Experience takes the wisdom of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® and nuclear-infuses it with the high-energy, engaging activities, and relevant facilitation style of Collegiate Empowerment to bring you a leadership address that will impact your student leaders like never before!

In this dynamic and practical keynote, participants will…

  • Learn the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership and how to transform into highly influential leaders.
  • Create a common leadership language among student leaders and campus organizations.
  • Adopt commitments and behaviors to put into practice immediately to start making a campus-wide impact.

“Leadership is the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations.” That’s what we know after 40 years of research. And now you’re asking: But HOW? How do you get other people to WANT to follow you? How do you get people to move toward a COMMON PURPOSE? How do you get people to feel ENERGIZED to work together and get things done that everyone can feel PROUD of? This is what The Student Leadership Challenge® Experience is all about.


Closing Keynote

Sunday, November 24, 2019 | 3:00–4:30 pm

Become Who You Are: The Self as Sustainable Solution

Holley M. Murchison

Become Who You Are reminds emerging artists, students creative professionals, leaders, and entrepreneurs of the necessity of shaping a world in their vision. Contextualizing its larger call to action within today’s ever-precarious socio-political climate, it urges them to actively articulate and own their purpose, mission, and usefulness in the world. Yes, even when it comes to building big business. Based on her book, Tell Me About Yourself, Holley encourages a future-focused audience to see a world where people not only feel comfortable sharing and learning from the richness found within and around their communities, but they also use this power to drive personal and societal transformation.

Holley Murchison

Know Your Presenter:
Holley M. Murchison is an author, education producer, and learning strategist whose purpose lies at the intersections of education, communication, and culture with a focus on amplifying marginalized voices to catalyze change. As the founder of Oratory Glory and HOLI. Brands, Holley's work oscillates between education strategy, multimedia storytelling, instruction and facilitation, speaker coaching, and leadership development. Her talent lies in activating executives, students, artists, and creative entrepreneurs to source their passions and desires while using their voices to shape the world.

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