We are pleased to announce the keynote & breakout speakers for the 2021 World Affairs Seminar!
Dr. Kelly Ottman
Professor, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Rader School of Business (Milwaukee)
Saturday, June 19th at 1:00 P.M. CDT.
The intersections of Dr. Kelly Ottman’s professional accomplishments, educational history, service experience, and personal mission position her to make a positive difference to the health and success of a corporation. As an executive, she successfully led complex organizations. For the past 25 years, her focus has been on developing leaders, often executive teams. Her multi-disciplinary academic leadership training includes a two-year executive development fellowship. An understanding of board functions emerges from her serving on various professional, educational and not-for-profit boards, as well as reporting to and consulting for boards. Dr. Ottman’s knowledge, skills and experiences center on the growth of individuals, teams and organizations. Key areas of expertise and impact include leadership and team development, mission and value, strategic planning, organizational culture, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, and global mindsets.
As an independent consultant, Dr. Ottman works with local, national and international executive leaders, management groups and boards of directors from an array of industries and professions. These range from executive steel workers to executive nuns. She has conducted on-site consultation and education with Asia-Pacific leaders and teams, and facilitated strategic planning for businesses and professional organizations. As an Executive Coach, she assists individuals in the areas of leadership and career development.
She has a passion for exploring different cultures through travel and believes in diversity and inclusion from multiple perspectives. Aligned with Servant Leadership, she has been transformed through coordinating/engaging in local and international service projects. Locations have included China, Mexico and Vietnam. For over 25 years she has coordinated a Christmas Eve program for the homeless in Milwaukee, WI.
Principal Product Manager, Amazon Headquarters (Seattle)
Saturday, June 19th at 4:00 P.M. CDT.
Neal Patel is Principal Product Manager for Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. Prior to arriving at Amazon, Patel was Head of Human/Social Dynamics at Google, where he led a team of software engineers and data scientists charting the terrain of human emotion: how, why, and what we feel. He is also a computational sociologist. His approach to product management applies advanced empiricalmethods and frameworks for understanding motivation, social structure, and people to connect products with users. Patel founded and was Technical Project Lead with Google’s Advanced Technology & Projects (ATAP), developing three hardware and software R&D efforts advancing scientific and business application of emotional processing. He has also authored many research projects including Project Oxygen—a Wiley Award-winning study quantifying the impact of effective management—featured in The New York Times and Harvard Business Review. Patel holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
Mary Louise Schumacher
Independent Journalist & Critic
Keynote #2: Democracy and the City
Tuesday, June 20th at 1:30PM CDT
Mary Louise Schumacher is an independent journalist and critic. She was the longtime art and architecture critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and is currently at work on a documentary film about art critics. She was the 2019 Clarice Smith Distinguished Critic at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and also the 2017 Arts & Culture Fellow with the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, where she studied forms of community-engaged journalism and the history of urban development, among other things.
Kevin J. Miyazaki
Artist & Photographer
Keynote #2: Democracy and the City
Tuesday, June 20th at 1:30PM CDT
Kevin J. Miyazaki is an artist and photographer born and raised in Wauwatosa. He has made portraits of various communities in the Midwest, including political activists, artists, tourists in the Wisconsin Dells, and people who work and live near the edge of Lake Michigan. “This is Milwaukee” builds on that decade-long practice. His artwork has been exhibited at the Haggerty Museum of Art, Museum of Wisconsin Art, Hyde Park Art Center, and Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. His magazine clients include AARP, Food Network, Southwest Airlines, HGTV, and Architectural Digest. He is the author of Perimeter (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2014), an examination of Lake Michigan through portraits made in the four states bordering the lake.
Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, St. Olaf College
Keynote #3: “Demolition, Loss, and Recreation”
Monday, June 21st at 11:00 A.M. CDT
David Schalliol is an associate professor of sociology at St. Olaf College who is interested in the relationship between community, social structure, and place. His work has been supported by institutions including the Graham Foundation, the Driehaus Foundation, and the European Union and been featured in publications including Social Science Research, MAS Context, and The New York Times. He is the author of Isolated Building Studies (UTAKATADO) and co-author of The City Creative: The Rise of Urban Placemaking in Contemporary America (The University of Chicago Press). David exhibits widely, including in the 2015 and 2017 Chicago Architectural Biennial, the Centre Régional de la Photographie Hauts-de-France, and at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and he additionally contributes to documentary films, including Almost There and Highrise: Out My Window, an interactive documentary that won an International Digital Emmy for Non-Fiction. His directorial debut, The Area, premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and has been broadcast as part of America ReFramed.
In addition to his sociological, photographic, and filmic activities, David is actively involved with several websites and was an editor of Gapers Block for more than a decade, where he worked with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust to increase journalistic coverage of underserved communities.
David earned his MA and PhD in the Department of Sociology at The University of Chicago and his BA from Kenyon College.
National Director of Organizing, Dream Corp Justice
Keynote #4: “Smart Decarceration: How Do We Get There?”
Tuesday, June 22nd at 11:00 A.M. CDT
Founder, Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation
Wednesday, June 23rdat 9:30 A.M. CDT
Born in Afghanistan, Razia moved to the United States in 1970. The proprietor of a small tailoring business in Duxbury, Massachusetts, for 20 years she served as president of the town’s Rotary Club. In the aftermath of September 11, Razia rallied her adopted New England community to send over 400 homemade blankets to rescue workers at Ground Zero after September 11. Her efforts expanded to include sending care packages to US troops in Afghanistan. Through her involvement in the military’s Operation Shoe Fly, she coordinated the delivery of over 30,000 pairs of shoes to needy Afghan children. Her handmade quilts commemorating September 11 have been exhibited at Madison Square Garden, the chapel at the Pentagon, and at fire stations in New York and Massachusetts.
Razia has received many awards for her humanitarian work, including a 2012 CNN Top 10 Hero award, the 2007 Woman of Excellence award from Germaine Lawrence Inc., multiple Rotary Club International Peace Awards, and certificates of appreciation from the Army Corps of Engineers and the American Legion. She has spoken on women and children’s issues at venues across the United States as well as in Europe and Afghanistan. In 2014, Razia was named Social Innovator by the Lewis Institute at Babson College and in 2015 she was awarded a Woman of Action award from Rotary International at the United Nations in New York City. In 2016, she was honored with Rotary International’s Service Above Self Award.
Razia has served as a member of the Interfaith Council, the No Place for Hate Committee, and Jordan Hospital’s board of directors.
Today, in order to continue her humanitarian work, school administration, fundraising efforts, and spending time with family, Razia travels between Afghanistan and the United States.
Professor of Undergraduate Architecture, Pratt Institute
Wednesday, June 23rdat 11:00 A.M. CDT
Meredith TenHoor is an architectural and urban historian, and the coordinator of undergraduate architectural history and theory at Pratt.
Her research examines how architecture, urbanism and landscape design participate in the distribution of resources, and how these design practices have produced understandings of the limits and capacities of our bodies. She has written extensively about the relationships between agriculture, architecture, and cultural and territorial change in twentieth-century France, and about the intellectual history of 20th century architectural theory. She is working on new projects about the recent global history of toxic building materials, and about the architect Nicole Sonolet.
Her publications include Black Lives Matter (2015), Street Value: Shopping, Planning and Politics at Fulton Mall (2010), and articles and book chapters on food, architecture, race, media, and biopolitics in Log, French Politics, Culture and Society, Zeitschrift fur Medienwissenschaft, the Journal of Architecture, The Architects’ Newspaper, Revista Plot, Pidgin, Pin-up, and Pratt’s own Tarp Architecture Manual. Her design projects and performances have been shown at the Rotterdam Architecture Biennial, the Venice Biennale, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the House of World Cultures in Berlin, common room, and the Storefront for Art and Architecture.
TenHoor received her a Ph.D. in Architecture from Princeton University, and a B.A. in Art-Semiotics from Brown University. She is editor, a founding board member, and former chair of the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, a group devoted to publishing and advancing scholarship in architectural theory and history, and board member of the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University. In 2018-19 she was a Fellow at the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities at Princeton University.
Monday, June 21st at 2:00 PM CDT
“Rural Urban FLOW: A Search for Balance, Reciprocity, and Joy in a Climate of Extremes”
Rural Urban Flow and Deputy Editor for Community Engagement at Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Tuesday, June 22nd at 2:00 PM CDT
Director of Parks & Attractions
Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (Philadelphia, PA)
“Pollution and Young People in the City – Insight into Running Your Own Research”
Environmental Science BSc
University of Birmingham England (UoB)