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Future of Work: University of Kansas Speakers

More speakers are being added as the event gets closer; check back to see the latest!

Joshua Rosenbloom

Joshua Rosenbloom, Iowa State University 

Joshua L. Rosenbloom is an economic historian with broad ranging interests that include the development of the United States economy, the evolution of labor markets, and the economics of science, innovation and technological change. He is a Professor of Economics and Chair of the Economics Department at Iowa State University and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. From 2012 to 2014 he served as Director of the National Science Foundation’s Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) program. He received his A.B. degree in History from Oberlin College in 1981 and his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University in 1988.


Brian McClendon, University of Kansas

Brian “BAM” McClendon co-founded the startup which became Google Earth and famously made his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas the centerpoint of the Google Earth globe. He built the teams and programs behind Google Earth, Google Maps, Streetview, and Ground Truth, which revolutionized both mapping and the application of satellite and aerial imagery. Brian developed a world-class mapping program for Uber, enabling it to operate and compete more efficiently in the here and now, while simultaneously preparing for the coming dawn of autonomous driving. The National Academy of Engineering, The American Geographical Society, and The United Nations have honored McClendon for his work. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2016 by The University of Kansas and was inducted into the Hall of Honor at his alma mater, Lawrence High School. McClendon returned from Silicon Valley to work with faculty and students at his alma mater, The University of Kansas. He advises and collaborates in big data and machine learning research, but also makes himself available to other departments including: Geography, Urban Planning, City Management, Education, and Transportation Engineering. McClendon makes public education in Kansas, particularly STEM education, the focus of his volunteer work. He enjoys talking with students about technological innovation in the context of world history and geography.

Chris Harper, The University of Kansas Health System

Chris Harper is Vice President of Healthcare Information Technology for University of Kansas Health System. He has over 15 years of business and technology experience, with expertise in multiple practice areas including, application development, governance, engagement, and advanced analytics strategy. Chris has spent past 10 years applying his skills in health care industry that includes provider, payor, and pharmaceutical organizations. Chris holds a Master of Arts degree in International Business Administration (MBAi) and Master of Science degree in Project Management

Hyunjin Seo, University of Kansas

Hyunjin Seo is an associate professor of digital/emerging media and Docking Faculty Scholar in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas as well as the founding director of the KU Center for Digital Inclusion. She is also a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University where she was a resident fellow from fall 2018 to summer 2019. Her research focuses on identifying emerging properties of networked communication and understanding their implications for social change, collective action and civic engagement. Recently, she has focused on community-based projects offering technology education including online privacy and security workshops to underserved populations. She is currently the Principal Investigator on an NSF-funded project aimed at supporting women recently released from jail or prison in learning digital skills relevant for their reentry including job searches.

Ryan Spaulding, University of Kansas Medical Center

Ryan Spaulding is the Acting Director of the KU Center for Telemedicine & Telehealth (KUCTT), the Vice Chancellor of Community Engagement, and a Research Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Data Science at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC). Previously Dr. Spaulding was the Director of KUCTT for 12 years. He also is the Communications Core Director for the Kansas INBRE initiative, a 10-university bioscience program funded by the NIH. In his current roles, he oversees multiple university departments that provide health care services and education to underserved, rural communities in Kansas, including the KUMC Project ECHO program. Dr. Spaulding has authored several articles and book chapters on the use of health information technologies in the delivery of health care to underserved areas. He is a member of the American Telemedicine Association and the National Rural Health Association.

Gregory Thomas, University of Kansas

Gregory Thomas, BFA, MFA, is a professor and Director for the Center for Design Research (CDR) at the University of Kansas. He is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts and Yale University. Current research centers on integrating design and smart devices in the development of new health technologies that will enable/enhance diagnostics and patient treatment. From 2011-13 he developed a mobile vehicle to bring critical care support to the home. It provides transitional care management to improve the speed and quality of recovery and to reduce the risk of recurrence or readmission. As founder/director of the CDR for the past eleven years, he has developed a multidisciplinary collaboration research center focusing on product, service, healthcare technology integrated in design solutions. The center has done industry projects for Bayer HealthCare, Ford, Intel, Sprint, Cerner, Children’s Mercy Hospital and more.

Donald Wright, Army University Press

Don Wright holds a doctorate in history from Tulane University. He is currently the deputy director of the Army University Press. He has served as an Army historian since 2003 when he joined the Combat Studies Institute (CSI). While at CSI, Don was the chief of the Contemporary Operations Study Team and in 2008, Don co-authored the team’s first publication, On Point II: Transition to the New Campaign, which focused on the Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He then served as the lead author for A Different Kind Of War, the team’s first study of the U.S. Army in Afghanistan published in 2010. Between 2010 and 2015, Don led CSI’s Research and Publications program and in that period oversaw the publication of approximately 100 books. In 2015, he became the deputy director of the Army University Press.

Tim Pleskac, University of Kansas

Tim Pleskac is Professor of Psychology at the University of Kansas where he directs the Behavioral Science Lab. He is also the Program Director for the Brain, Behavior, & Quantitative Science Graduate Program and Senior Scientist at the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research & Treatment. He studies how people make judgments and decisions; how these processes shape behavior at the individual, group, and organizational level; and how we can help people make better judgments and decisions. He investigates these questions with computational modeling and methods from the behavioral and neurosciences. When he is not at his desk you can find him training his dog, running, biking, rowing, or out in the woods fishing or hunting. In a parallel world he owns his own bike shop somewhere in the Midwestern U.S..

David Parkes, US Army

COL Parkes is a native of San Jose, CA, and was commissioned as a 2LT of Infantry from San Jose State University. COL Parkes completed the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Course, and deployed to Iraq. He then attended school at Fort Leavenworth, KS and worked at the National Simulation Center (NSC). Colonel Parkes next attended the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), earning a Masters in Modeling of Virtual Environments (MOVES), followed by 3 years on the Joint Staff. He further attended, and graduated from, the US Army War College. He currently serves as Director of the National Simulation Center (NSC).

Tyler Nottberg, U.S. Engineering Company Holdings

Tyler is the fifth generation of the Nottberg family to lead U.S. Engineering, where he has served as a Project Engineer, Project Manager and Vice President. Prior to joining the Company, Tyler helped co-found the Legal, Economic and Regulatory Affairs practice for Gerson Lehrman Group. Before that, he worked as a Policy Analyst at The Eisenhower Institute and for Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), both in Washington, DC and on the Senator’s 1996 Presidential Campaign. He serves on the Board of Labconco Corporation, as well as a number of non-profit Boards, including The University of Kansas Health System’sAdvancement Board and The GreenLight Fund’s Selection Advisory Committee. He is a Trustee of Colorado Succeeds and founder of Aligned, a group of business leaders focused on improving education in Kansas and Missouri. Tyler is a graduate of Middlebury College and Oxford University, where he was a Keasbey Scholar.

Sharon Graham, Professional & Continuing Education, The University of Kansas

Sharon D. Graham serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Professional & Continuing Education based at the Edwards Campus in Overland Park. Professional & Continuing Education serves a wide variety of professional training and outreach needs through Professional Programs, the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, and the Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute. In addition, the KU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute provides statewide and Kansas City metro area educational outreach to citizens 50 years of age and older. With a staff of approximately 100 FTE, Professional & Continuing Education offers 1100+ educational events annually to more than 30,000 students in all 105 Kansas counties, 50 U.S. states, and 67 countries. Sharon has held positions in Continuing Education and with the Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship at the University of Kansas. She previously was the Director of the Division of Continuing Education at Washburn University. Sharon received her Master of Business Administration at the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She also is an alumnus of Leadership Overland Park.

Nate Kelly, Cerner Corp

Nate Kelly is a Sr. Director and GM for Health Networks at the Cerner Corporation. He has worked with more than 100 health systems across the country on their staffing needs with special interest in staffing to predicted demand of patients and workload on clinicians. As a leader in health care information technology he focuses on the expansion of provider and payer networks, the rise of artificial intelligence across health system operations, the effect the internet of things will have on healthcare delivery, and modeling future payment models against health system strategies. He holds a bachelors degree from the University of Minnesota and a MBA from the University of Missouri. He is also a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Leigh Anne Taylor Night, The DeBruce Foundation

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight is Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of The DeBruce Foundation where she leads strategic and operational efforts to advance the mission to expand pathways to economic growth and opportunity. An accomplished educator and community leader, Dr. Taylor Knight served as Executive Director of the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium, facilitating the collaborative efforts of four research institutions to provide powerful tools for data-driven educational research informing practice and policy. As a former high school teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent, she has expertise in bringing together stakeholders to improve learning experiences. She has advised school districts across the nation, as well as led the curriculum development for an international technology company. Dr. Taylor Knight values identifying talents and strengths in others, coaching them to improve their capabilities and finding roles in which each can maximize one’s potential to result in optimal team success. She’s a certified Gallup Strengths Coach who has facilitated leadership training for groups including the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge and the Griffiths Leadership Society for Women. Dr. Taylor Knight also serves as a Director on the Governing Board of the Mizzou Alumni Association. Dr. Taylor Knight holds graduate and advanced degrees in educational leadership and policy from the University of Missouri, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Kansas.

Donna Ginther, University of Kansas

Donna K. Ginther is the Dean’s Professor of Economics and the Interim Director of the Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her major fields of study are scientific labor markets, gender differences in employment outcomes, wage inequality, scientific entrepreneurship, and children’s educational attainments. Dr. Ginther has published in several journals, including Science, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Demography, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, and the Papers and Proceedings of the American Economic Association. She has also received research funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Her research has been featured in several media outlets including the Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, NPR, and the Boston Globe. Dr. Ginther testified before the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education of the U.S. House of Representatives on the Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Act of 2008. Dr. Ginther has advised the National Academies of Science, the National Institutes of Health, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation on the diversity and future of the scientific workforce.