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Rebuilding The American Dream

Education Podcasts

In this podcast we introduce you to thought leaders who are shaping the lives of the next generation, to discuss the challenges and innovations shaping higher education and how it can adapt to give students a strong foundation for their futures. Through in-depth conversations with leading voices in education, we discover what it takes to give students the tools they need to excel and succeed in order to rebuild the American Dream.

In this podcast we introduce you to thought leaders who are shaping the lives of the next generation, to discuss the challenges and innovations shaping higher education and how it can adapt to give students a strong foundation for their futures. Through in-depth conversations with leading voices in education, we discover what it takes to give students the tools they need to excel and succeed in order to rebuild the American Dream.


United States


In this podcast we introduce you to thought leaders who are shaping the lives of the next generation, to discuss the challenges and innovations shaping higher education and how it can adapt to give students a strong foundation for their futures. Through in-depth conversations with leading voices in education, we discover what it takes to give students the tools they need to excel and succeed in order to rebuild the American Dream.






President Nicholas Perrin - The value of mentoring in higher education

Nicholas Perrin is President at Trinity International University. Appointed to the role in 2019, he became the 16th President of the evangelical Christian university headquartered in Illinois. Before this, he served as Franklin S. Dyrness Professor of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College, and also as dean of Wheaton Graduate School for five years. In this conversation, President Perrin discusses diversity on campus - why it’s so crucial and how it can shape the conversation around academic...


Dr. Guiyou Huang: Attracting and retaining students in a post-pandemic future

Dr. Guiyou Huang is president of Western Illinois University. Appointed to the role this year, he is focused on increasing student attendance and retention, and encouraging University innovation. Prior to this, he spent nearly four decades at educational institutions in China and the United States. In this conversation, Dr. Huang reflects on his unexpected path into the higher education sphere - how he never initially intended to become a teacher, nor a University president, and what then...


Nouman Kante - The cruciality of financial aid and adapting to new a College environment

Nouman Kante is student body president at Southern Utah University. He was elected into this role in March last year, and is currently in his second term. A business student, he completed his undergraduate degree in business and is now pursuing his MBA. His role is to act as a bridge between students and the administration, by representing the interest of the whole community. In this conversation, Nouman discusses his own experience attending College and the difficulties he found adapting to...


Ephraim Kum: Addressing the cost barriers to inclusive education

Ephraim Kum is student body president at University of Utah. Working on a major in political science, he was elected into the role earlier this year. A US immigrant who left Ghana aged one, he is the third Black student body president, and the first Ghanian-born president in the University’s history. His student voice work centers around affordability, transparency, connectivity and being able to “redefine the access students have.” In this conversation, Ephraim delves into his College...


Dr Beth Akers: The financial burden of College - when it doesn’t pay off

Dr Beth Akers is an academic, author and economist. Currently a resident at the American Enterprise Institute, she was formerly a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and staff economist with the ‘Council of Economic Advisors’ under President George W. Bush. Also a writer, she co-authored ‘Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt,’ and her writing has also been featured in; The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. In this conversation, Beth shares her...


Danielle Corbett: Why effective student representation in College is crucial

Danielle Corbett is student body president at Utah Valley University. In her current position, she focuses on taking a systemic approach to combat social problems; centered around mental health, sustainability and accessibility to educational opportunities. Danielle is the first female student to be elected into the role since the 90s, and is proud of UVU’s mission to “come as you are.” In this conversation, Danielle reflects on being a first-generation student, and the people who inspired...


Carol Aslanian: The end of the classroom, and a future of hybrid-learning

Carol Aslanian is president and founder of Aslanian Market Research. Established in 2009, the Education Dynamics company is a leader in higher education intelligence - assessing increased enrollment, in-demand programs, student satisfaction and more. Previously, Carol was chief executive of the Aslanian Group in New York City, which focused on assisting colleges and universities in the recruitment and servicing of adult students. In this conversation, Carol delves into the significance of...


Ryan Tipton: Ridding of the educational bureaucracy that stifles innovation

Ryan Tipton is provost and vice president at the University of The Southwest (USW). Founded in 1962, the New Mexico based-institution is a private, four-year Christian University offering wide-ranging degrees both on campus and online. Starting out his career as an entrepreneur growing an oil company, he pivoted into education when he enrolled at Walden University. He later joined USW as Dean, before being appointed to his current position in 2019. In this conversation, he discusses how...


Mike Nietzel: The current lack of confidence in the value of higher education

Mike Nietzel is the former president of Missouri State University. Starting out at the University of Kentucky, as director of the Clinical Psychology Program he then moved on to become the chair of the department of psychology, dean of the graduate school, and finally, provost. Author of two books ‘Degrees and Pedigrees: The Education of America's Top Executives’ and ‘Coming to Grips With Higher Education,’ - following his retirement he became senior policy advisor to Missouri Governor Jay...


Michael Brickman: Ensuring students and institutions are aligned on their purpose and goals

Michael Brickman is a national policy leader and principal at Sheer Partners. The Washington D.C-based advisory focuses on guidance at the intersection of education and careers. Previously, he served as a senior advisor for the U.S Department of Education, and was National policy director of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. In this conversation, Michael explains how his experience in higher education spurred him on to improving the institution for the next generation, and his hopes to make...


Emily Hernandez-Alzamora: Financial barriers to Higher Education

Emily Hernandez-Alzamora is student association President at Salt Lake Community College. A first-generation student of the school, she was elected in 2020 to “act as a bridge between the students and administration by representing and expressing the opinions and interests of SLCC students.” In this conversation, Emily reflects on how she was taught about the meaning and value of higher education from a young age; explains the impact the pandemic has had on College life, and the difficulties...


Dr. Randy Pembrook: Higher Education is a force for public good

Randy Pembrook is chancellor of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Appointed in 2016, he returned to the campus where he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education and piano performance. A long career in the sector, he has taken on roles including; vice president for academic affairs at Washburn University; dean of the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; and interim provost and vice president for enrollment management at...


Jeff Selingo: Innovation as a tool to improve Higher Education

Jeff Selingo is a New York Times best-selling author and special advisor for innovation to the President of Arizona State University. A regular contributor for The Atlantic and The Washington Post, he was previously the top editor for The Chronicle of Higher Education, where he worked for 16 years. In his latest book ‘Who Gets In & Why: A Year Inside College Admissions,’ he takes readers on a journey through the college selection process to reveal what really matters to the gatekeepers. In...


Salen Churi: Higher Education is a worthwhile investment

Salen Churi is co-founder and general partner at Trust Ventures. The venture capital fund facilitates the next generation of start-ups with funding, policy and innovation advice to help unleash their potential. Before this, he was a law professor at the University of Chicago where he founded its Innovation Clinic, and also worked at international firms - Kirkland & Ellis and Sidley Austin. In this conversation, Salen reflects on educational complacency and how the pandemic has spurred much...


Ruzwana Bashir: Access to education continues to be a barrier for many

Ruzwana Bashir is co-founder and chief executive of The award-winning platform is a one-stop shop to book high-quality activities, while also empowering tour operators to automate their business and grow revenues. Starting her career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, she then moved into private equity at Blackstone. She was also named in Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ and was one of Fortune's ‘Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs.’ In this conversation, Ruzwana describes how going to...


Johnny C. Taylor, Jr: A degree can be an entrance into the game

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management. Author of the popular weekly USA Today column, "Ask HR” he is a member of the White House American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, and was appointed by former president Donald Trump as Chair of the President's Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In this conversation, Johnny reflects on his College experience, being the first-generation in his family to attend, and the...


Davis Warnock: Higher education opens you up to a breadth of opportunities

Davis Warnock is managing director at Mercato Partners Prelude, which supports entrepreneurs and experienced founders who are building deep customer relationships through product leadership and nimble execution. Before this, he was at the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) - the global community for middle market M&A dealmakers and business leaders focused on driving growth. In this conversation, Davis discusses the value of higher education in developing personal character and...


Burke Davis: The value of higher education to society

Burke Davis is a partner at Sorenson Capital. He joined in 2014 as a member of the firm’s technology practice, focused on the way that data and information shape the world. Previously, he was a financial analyst with Citigroup’s Global Technology Group, where he advised some of the world’s most influential technology companies, before serving as a senior financial analyst at Samsung NEXT. In this conversation, Burke describes how finishing higher education with a degree enables you to add...


Darcy Howe: Universities - ask your students about innovation

Darcy Howe is founder and managing director of KCRise Fund, a Kansas City-based venture capital firm designed to connect high-net-worth individuals and corporations with those in need of investment. She has served on the boards of multiple companies, with over 20 years’ experience as an angel investor, and a founding member of Women’s Capital Connection, who invest in women-led, early stage business. In this conversation, Darcy discusses the importance of Colleges in thinking about the...


Marie Sanderson: Putting education at the forefront of public debate

Marie Sanderson is a partner at Guidepost Strategy - a federal strategic consulting and government affairs firm assisting in message positioning, legislative strategy, issue management and advocacy. Starting her career in public service on Capitol Hill for Senator Thad Cochran, she then worked alongside Governor Haley Barbour as their policy director. Last year, she co-founded the MS 30 Day Fund, a nonprofit to support small businesses impacted by the pandemic. In this conversation, she...