Alvin Law and Paul Wesselmann will help kick off and wrap up the 2015 NIRSA Annual Conference & Rec Sports Expo

Alvin Law
Alvin LawOpening General Session keynote speaker
Alvin Law is an independent, professional speaker whose many awards include Outstanding Young Canadian, Inaugural Inductee of the Professional Speakers Hall of fame, Mount Royal University’s Most Distinguished Alumnus, and Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal recipient. He is the author of the Canadian Bestseller Alvin’s Laws of Life, and has helped to raise over $175 million for various charities.
Law’s unique road to success makes him a perfect fit for the “Moving Our Values Forward”-themed conference. The challenges he has overcome—and blossomed with—not only reveal the extraordinary capabilities of the human spirit, but illustrate where hope, strength, determination, and love can take a person if given the chance.

Law was born without arms after his birth mother—who, like thousands of mothers across the world at the time, believed the drug was safe—took a couple pills of Thalidomide for morning sickness. His stricken parents gave him up for adoption with the hope that someone out there was more prepared for the challenges of raising him.

Foster parents Hilda and Jack Law took in neglected and abused children, giving them the love and encouragement they needed to one day become eligible for adoption. In 1960, they were presented with the most disturbing case they had ever seen—and they still decided to take in the sickly, deformed baby whose short future seemed certain.

Hilda did manage to nurse Alvin back to health and through the Law’s faith and dedication, little Alvin learned to use his feet for hands. He attended regular schools in a day when handicapped children were relegated to institutions or schools that segregated them from the “normal” students. Fortunately, remarkable teachers saw his potential and worked with the family to help develop it. Alvin later became an award-winning musician, and graduated from both high school and college with honors before embarking on a career in Broadcasting.

“I am very excited to have Alvin as the opening keynote for NIRSA 2015,” says Demon Pryor, a 2015 Conference Program Committee Member. “After speaking to him I get a real sense that he understands what we do and how we contribute daily to the lives of students on our campuses. Alvin will be able to speak to the diversities of our Association and our values. His ability to motivate and encourage will be an awesome start to what we feel will be an amazing conference!”

Learn more about Law’s inspirational journey on his website, and get excited to hit the ground running at NIRSA 2015!

Paul Wesselmann, “The Ripples Guy”
Paul Wesselmann, “The Ripples Guy”Closing General Session keynote speaker
Paul Wesselmann, “The Ripples Guy,” is not only returning to NIRSA for the 2015 Annual Conference, he will act as the Closing General Session keynote speaker. Wesselmann will wrap up NIRSA 2015 with a motivating, thought-provoking, inspirational call to action.
Over 30,000 people currently subscribe to his Ripples emails, and thousands more engage with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Wesselmann is treasured as an outstanding NIRSA supporter and has presented at dozens of NIRSA national, regional, and state gatherings. He consistently receives rave reviews, and we are excited to have him close NIRSA 2015!

In 1999, while working at Beloit College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wesselmann began sending out a weekly splash of inspiration that earned him the nickname “The Ripples Guy.” He has been on the go ever since, visiting hundreds of campuses and organizations around North America, encouraging students and staff to “bring their FULL and BEST selves to school, work, and life.”

“I am both deeply humbled and incredibly excited to deliver the closing keynote address next spring,” says Wesselmann. “My intention is for an upbeat and reflective ‘capstone experience’ that will inspire conference participants to reflect on the topics and ideas they explored in workshops, identify individuals to connect with, and identify concrete actions before we reconvene in Florida for NIRSA 2016. I also plan to provide a fresh take on [NIRSA’s Strategic Values] and offer some specific ideas on how to use them as guideposts or goals.”

Kim Schmidt, Co-Chair of the Conference Program Committee, says she “cannot think of a better or more enjoyable way to close out the 2015 conference. Paul’s humor, high-energy, and ‘tell it like it is’ style has made him a crowd favorite!”

We're excited to present our invited speakers!

Charismatic and talented speakers are a wonderful addition to the over 120 ed sessions attendees will find at NIRSA 2015.
John P. Dugan
John P. DuganLoyola University Chicago | Personal and Professional Qualities, Research and Evaluation
John P. Dugan is currently an Associate Professor at Loyola University Chicago. He teaches courses on leadership, student development theory, and multiculturalism for social justice.
Additionally, he is the principle investigator for the Multi-institutional Study of Leadership (MSL), an international research program examining the influences of higher education on socially responsible leadership and other educational outcomes.

He has been retained by NIRSA to dive into the MSL data and align his findings with collegiate recreation program participation; his report was released by NIRSA in October 2014 and you can now review the executive summary. Dr. Dugan’s research has revealed ten best practices for how to advance leadership development on college campuses. These practices have informed the NIRSA Leadership Commission’s agenda.

Don Stenta, Recreational Sports Director at The Ohio State University and a Conference Program Committee member, says John “has an engaging presentation style and is eager to apply finding to our work.” NIRSA 2015 attendees should look forward to hearing Dugan speak about the leadership agenda for collegiate recreation professionals.

Aaron Lundberg
Aaron LundbergPraesidium’s Chief Operating Officer & Vice President of Account Services, Praesidium, Inc. | Legal Liability & Risk Management
Aaron Lundberg and Candance Collins of Praesideum will share their expertise in preventing offenders from gaining employment in your organization—as well as preventing sexual abuse in campus recreation facilities—with NIRSA 2015 attendees.
Candace Collins
Candace CollinsJD and Praesidium account manager for higher ed
As Praesidium’s Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Account Services, Aaron Lundberg works with administrators and executive directors of large-scale human service organizations across the United States to develop, implement, and monitor abuse prevention policies and training programs.
Candace Collins works with a variety of clients to assess risk, investigate incidents, and train organizations in abuse prevention. Prior to joining Praesidium, Candace practiced law for more than ten years and served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas.
Jamie Washington
Jamie WashingtonWashington Consulting Group | Personal and Professional Qualities, Leadership
Jamie Washington, President of Washington Consulting Group and President of the Social Justice Training Institute.
Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington serves as the president and founder of the Washington Consulting Group—a multicultural organizational development firm out of Baltimore—and as the president and a founding member of the Social Justice Training Institute.

He has served as an educator and administrator in higher education for over 30 years; he has been Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, an Instructor in Sociology, American Studies and Education, and an Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Tessa Michaels
Tessa MichaelsMichaels & Associates | Business Management
Tessa Michaels currently owns—and is Senior Operations and Information Technology Executive at—Michaels & Associates, a consultancy focused on executive management support and strategic business solution investment.
For over ten years, Tessa Michaels has also taught computer science at UCLA Extension. She has 20 years of cross-industry experience—she spent years assessing, developing, and implementing business solutions and systems—and so can be counted on for insight and advice regarding how to improve collegiate recreation IT and technology.

Tessa has served in the following positions: Chief Technology Officer, Administration for UC Berkeley; Chief Technology Officer for Parachute; Practice Manager at Oracle Corporation; and Senior Software Engineer at IBM.

Erin Schreyer
Erin SchreyerSagestone Partners | Human Resource Management, Personal and Professional Qualities
Erin Schreyer is president of Sagestone Partners, which uses a strengths-based approach to train and coach leaders of all levels on how maximize their potential.
She is an ICF-certified leadership and talent management coach, a certified strengths trainer for the Marcus Buckingham Company, and a founding member of the John Maxwell Team of Certified Coaches, Trainers, and Speakers.

Recognized as a passionate and talented leader, Erin coaches people and organizations to be purposeful and to become their absolute best.

She is a sought-after keynote and motivational speaker, as well as an aspiring author and a globally-recognized blogger and the Program Committee is excited to have her as part of the 2015 lineup.