A Former Missouri Governor, Talking Digital ‘Humans,’ and a World-Famous Artist Among More Than 20 Hancock Symposium Speakers

Fulton, MO – Former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, talking digital “humans,” a world-famous artist, a Paramount Pictures staff writer, and a teenage inventor/activist are just a few individuals heading up more than 20 presentations during the 17th Annual Hancock Symposium at Westminster College, Sept. 13-15, 2022.

Hancock Symposium has been compared to the popular TED Talks found on YouTube. The difference is Symposium features so many presentations, lectures and workshops often take place simultaneously at various locations throughout campus during the three-day event.

All sessions are free and open to the public and the media. Additionally, most lectures in Champ Auditorium will be livestreamed on Westminster’s Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages.

Hancock Symposium Chair Heidi LaVine, PhD, chuckles when she describes the event.

“It might sound a little bit like a three-ring circus, but it really does work, and everyone who attends learns a tremendous amount and has such a great time,” LaVine says, adding that she knows of a retired couple who travel from out of state each year to attend.

LaVine describes the Hancock Symposium as the College’s “signature event,” meaning it is designed to represent the finest aspects of a Westminster liberal arts education. Attendees are encouraged to draw connections between academic disciplines within a single topic.

Themed “The Changing Nature of Work & Play,” the 2022 Hancock Symposium brings together experts from a variety of fields to discuss how to balance work, life, and play in the modern world.

Classes at Westminster are paused during Symposium to allow students, faculty, and staff to participate. The public is encouraged to participate, as well.

“We’re excited for this event and want to be sure that visitors know they are cordially invited to our campus,” LaVine says.

Below is a listing of the larger lectures. Eight smaller break-out sessions with a variety of speakers — many of whom are Westminster alumni — will take place across campus at 2:15 p.m. on Sept. 14 and 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 15. For a complete schedule with detailed descriptions of the presentations, please visit Westminster’s website.

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022

6 p.m., Pre-Symposium Event: Coulter Science Center Lecture Hall: Colleen O’Brien, Author, Staff Writer, Paramount Pictures, “A Reading of Short Fiction”

Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022

9 a.m., Champ Auditorium, Tyler Merritt of UneeQ, Inc., “Digital Humans – Stepping into the Metaverse”

10:30 a.m., Coulter Science Center Lecture Hall: Linda Dunikoski, Senior Assistant District Attorney, Cobb County District Attorney’s Office will present “Bringing Justice to the Victims of Crime”

10:30 a.m., Hermann Lounge in Hunter Activity Center: Liberty Vittert, PhD, Professor of the Practice of Data Science, Olin Business School at Washington University, “Laying a Strong Foundation for the Workplace: Becoming an Informed Citizen”

1 p.m., Coulter Science Center Lecture Hall: The Hon. James E. Baker, Director, Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law; Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law; Professor of Public Administration, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

1 p.m., Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury: Colleen O’Brien, Author, Staff Writer, Paramount Pictures. “Both Sides Now: One Writer’s Path to Fiction and Screenwriting”

2:15 p.m., Coulter Science Center Lecture Hall: Harry O’Brien, Student Athlete and Former Professional Athlete, “The Walk”

3:30 p.m., Coulter Science Center Lecture Hall (Presentation is In-Person Only): Katie Sowers, First Woman and Openly Gay Coach to Coach in a Super Bowl

7 p.m., Champ Auditorium: Nick Cave, Chicago-Based Artist, Educator, and Messenger. This event is made possible by a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council and is sponsored by America’s National Churchill Museum, The Callaway Bank, and Mr. Victor Pasley.

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022

9 a.m., Coulter Science Center Lecture Hall: Former Gov. Jay Nixon, Missouri’s 55th Governor and Partner at Dowd Bennett LLP

9 a.m., Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury: Debbie Rhea, EdD, Professor, Founder, and Director of the LiiNK Project, Texas Christian University, “The Secret Sauce of a Healthy Life”

10:30 a.m., Coulter Science Center Lecture Hall: Successful Business Environments Panel,

Barbie Banks, Co-Custodian of the Ragtag Film Society; Jabbok Schlacks, CEO and Co-Founder of EquipmentShare; and Secily Devese, Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager, Veteran’s United Home Loans, “Creating Positive Work Environments”

1 p.m., Champ Auditorium: Jordan Reeves, Founder of Design With Us and co-author of Born Just Right

Launched in 2006, the Hancock Symposium is funded in perpetuity by a generous gift from alumnus David Hancock, ’67 FIJI, of Kansas City, MO.

ABOUT WESTMINSTER COLLEGE: Founded in 1851 and home of Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech, Westminster College in Fulton, MO, is ranked prestigiously by U.S. News & World Report as the only National Liberal Arts College in Missouri. Ranked by the independent think tank Third Way as one of the top institutions in the country for economic mobility and return on investment for low-income students and Pell Grant recipients, the institution is in the top 16 percent for graduate earnings and boasts a 98 percent placement rate. Westminster also is a Forbes Best Value College. Westminster focuses on educating and inspiring students to become the world leaders of tomorrow. To find out more about Westminster, please visit the College’s website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please call or text Sarah Backer at 573-220-9038, or email Sarah.Backer@WCMO.edu.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.