Academy Speaker Series

Academy Speaker Series

The Academy Speaker Series

The Academy for Leadership Development brings national and international speakers to campus to introduce students to the diversity and complexity of leadership needs in contemporary society.  Presenters are asked to identify a pressing social issue and discuss how they have worked to address that issue in their community or share about their own personal leadership journeys - their obstacles as well as their successes.  The series is open to the public.


Sherron Watkins

September 12, 2019  6:00-7:30pm

Marrs McLane Science Building, Rm. 101

Sherron Watkins is better known as the Enron whistleblower. She speaks around the globe to a broad range of audiences about ethics, flawed leadership, and the toxic label of whistleblower. Sherron was employed for over two decades as an executive for three large global companies, the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, Metallgessellschaft AG, the German metals giant, and Enron Corp. All were multi-billion dollar multinational companies brought down by scandal. Sherron has seen firsthand the cost of an erosion in values and her journey through the Enron crisis has inspired many, and has crystallized her focus to improve the lot of whistleblowers and would-be whistleblowers.

Sherron will be talking about optimism as it applies to integrity and leadership. As a woman in leadership at Enron at a time in our culture when standing up to power was more 'frowned' upon, her story touches on themes of being resilient, trusting yourself, and keeping focus on positive outcomes when all the cards seem stacked against you.

Claire Diaz-Ortiz

October 8, 2019  6:00-7:30pm  

Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, Rm. 250

Author, speaker, innovation advisor and angel investor who was an early employee at Twitter.  Named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company and called "The Woman Who Got the Pope on Twitter" by Wired.  She holds an MBA and other degrees from Standford and Oxford and has been featured widely in print and broadcast media.  She is the award-winning author of eight books that have been published in more than a dozen countries.


Alexander Jun and Chris Collins

November 19, 2019  7:00pm

Cashion Academic Center, 5th floor

Dr. Jun and Dr. Collins have coauthored two books related to racism and dominance; White Out: Understanding White Privilege and Dominance in the Modern Age (2017) and White Jesus: The Architecture of Racism in Religion and Education (2018). They have a third forthcoming book, White Evolution: The Constant Struggle for Racial Consciousness, that is planned to be released early 2020. Dr. Jun and Dr. Collins will talk about their book and discuss socially conscious leadership.


Academy for Leadership Development and Community Engagement & Service

Academy for Leadership Development
One Bear Place #97370
Waco, TX 76798-7370

(254) 710-3106