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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.


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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.






Senator Ann Millner - Building On What You've Already Completed

Utah State Senator Ann Millner is intensely focused on improving Utah through education and workforce development. She is a Regents Professor of Health Administration and former President at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. A proponent of flexible certifications and pathways in higher education, Senator Millner shares more about what Dual Mission Institutions are, and why they are necessary for today's students - those working adults who want to move up the ladder and those emerging...


President Jonathan Alger - Everybody Sees Diversity and Inclusion As Part of Their Job.

With a legal background steeped in higher education and diversity, President Jonathan Alger of James Madison University quickly learned his passion was in combining the three fields. As he says in this episode of Rebuilding the American Dream: "I've always been interested in using education and knowledge to make a difference in the world. That's what I loved about being a lawyer, frankly, is that you can use the tools of the law and legal reasoning to improve society's responses to major...


Dr. David M. Mellott - An Instrument of Justice in the Wider Community

Dr. David Mellott is the head of Christian Theological Seminary, a unique institution with a series of core values upon which their mission is focused. Not just from the perspective of training clergy, but Dr. Mellott and CTS are focused on teaching the values of human dignity, justice, diversity to their students and impacting real and lasting change across communities. As Dr. Mellott shares: "I do see our students really coming to life when they realize that so much of what's important...


Dr. J.P. Barfield - Accessibility for All Student-Athletes

With a unique topic not often addressed in conversations in collegiate sports, today we discuss the disability sports communities and the importance of bringing those communities and student-athletes within the umbrella of formal college athletic departments. Our guest is Dr. J. P. Barfield. With over 25 years of experience in the adaptive physical activity and sports fields, Dr. Barfield's work focuses on health related and quality of life outcomes of adaptive physical activity and...


Dr. Gregory Washington - Finding the Right Paths and Highlighting Those Paths For Others

Dr. Gregory Washington, President of George Mason University, could not have imagined during his childhood that he would have the experiences and opportunities that would lead him to now be the President of GMU, one of the largest public universities in the country. What he has seen, while reflecting on his youth, are the ways in which pathways were presented at critical times, ways lit for him by those who went before. Join us for this episode of Rebuilding the American Dream to learn more...


Dr. Marc Parlange - Investment In Higher Education Is An Investment Into Our Future Communities

The University of Rhode Island, while located in a small state, has a tremendous amount of impact in the local communities and even state-wide. In building coalitions and partnerships with local, state and federal officials, Dr. Parlange has been able to create great champions for the work that URI is doing to better the citizens of the state and entice folks from out of state to enroll and enjoy the incredible programs and beautiful nature URI has to offer - which has shown in its increase...


Stevie Baker-Watson - Putting Yourself At The Table and Using Your Leadership To Build Relationships

A woman of many hats and many committees and many responsibilities, Stevie Baker-Watson, Associate Vice President for Student Wellness and Theodore Katula Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports at DePauw University, is still focused on the individual and building relationships. In this episode of Rebuilding the American Dream: The Student-Athlete Experience, she shares some of her best practices and purposeful actions to create those meaningful relationships and be able to use her...


Dr. Jim Henderson - Leveraging Individual Excellence Towards Collective Good

Higher education institutions face many of the same challenges, but often work alone in finding solutions. In this episode of Rebuilding the American Dream, Dr. James Henderson, President of the University of Louisiana System, shares several programs and specific experiences where the UL System (a public, nine campus university system) has been able to come together and support each other, find solutions for collective problems and empower individuals to create larger system-wide impact -...


Mike Kinnison - Education Is A Game Changer

Director of Athletics, Mike Kinnison, embodies Delta State University athletics and the family environment. At DSU for over 40 years as a student-athlete, teacher, coach and now Athletic Director, he has had astounding success on the fields (particularly in baseball). More importantly his pride lies in the exponential positive influence on thousands of young people over the years. Join this conversation on how Coach Kinnison and DSU invest in their student-athletes by setting expectations...


President Geoffrey S. Mearns - Changing The World By Changing Our Communities

President Geoffrey S. Mearns has a unique and exciting history: a student-athelete preparing to compete in Olympic trials, a trial lawyer and prosecutor in high profile cases and now 17th President of Ball State University. President Mearns shares how those experiences prepared him for leadership in higher education and the inspirational stories that motivate him and the staff, students and faculty to change the world every day - by changing their communities. Find out more on our website:...


Brent Jones - There Are No Shortcuts, Expect To Take The Stairs

In this podcast episode, we interview Brent Jones, Director of Athletics at Troy University. Brent discusses his drive and enthusiasm for the programs they are building at Troy and the hard work necessary to achieve those goals. He also shares with us great advice for how he builds his coaching staff at Troy and what it takes to be a great leader. (Hint: It's not as hard as you would think, but "There are no shortcuts", he says. "We are going to take the stairs.") Brent is a 2013 graduate...


Dr. Ivy Taylor - Outcomes That Are Not Dictated Based On Where You Started

An incredible career trajectory that ranged from a city planner to mayor of San Antonio and now President of Rust College, Dr. Ivy Taylor has a unique perspective on the impact that a college experience and the environments from which the students begin, can change life trajectories. "[I] have an interest in understanding how people interact with the built environment around them and how it can either inspire or not inspire them. That definitely comes in handy as president of a college...


Dr. Thomas Newsom - Minding the Gaps

Dr. Thomas Newsom, President of Southeastern Oklahoma State University shares important insights about widening gaps in our higher education systems. Gaps in normative learning experiences due to the effects of COVID, helping students cross the gap from two-year to four-year institutions, connecting with partnerships for community success and the correcting the misperception of the value of college. These gaps, while they existed prior to the pandemic, have become very prevalent. Dr. Newsom...


Wendy Reid - The Importance of Responsible Communication

Wendy Reid brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as an athletic director but also a communications professional. She shares with us the importance of - and advice for - developing stronger communication skills, both online and in-person. Wendy is a graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Before her current position, she was the Director of Athletic Communications at Trinity Christian College, the Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at Calumet College of St. Joseph,...


Dr. Stanton F. McNeely III - The Key to Leadership is Connectedness

Since his election to the presidency of University of Holy Cross in Louisiana in 2019, Dr. Stanton F. McNeely III, has led the university to great success through the twin challenges of COVID-19 and Hurriance Ida. The key to this success, says Dr. McNeely, is the connectedness of the university to its students, to the campus faculty and staff and to the larger community. That connectedness can sometimes be as simple, and lifesaving, as a text. Dr. McNeely, an undergraduate of the...


Glen Brittich - Finding Your Passion Through Sports in Higher Education

Elmhurst University Athletic Director Glen Brittich discovered his greatest passion was helping each student-athlete discover their own passions and get to graduation day with the most well-rounded experience Elmhurst could provide. Join the conversation to learn more about what Glen and Elmhurst are doing to build experience for their student-athletes. Glen holds a bachelor’s degree from Albion College and a master’s degree from Adams State University and is currently pursuing his...


Dr. Mary Darden - Entrepreneuring the Future of Higher Education

Dr. Mary Darden, President and CEO of Higher Education Innovation, LLC, an independent company with the mission to research, study, and provide entrepreneurial training for higher education leaders to help their institutions thrive. Dr. Darden holds a doctorate in higher education administration and leadership from Baylor University. She is the author of two books, and in her recent book, Entrepreneuring the Future of Higher Education: Radical Transformation in Times of Profound Change, she...


Andy Carter - Learning to Do the Hard Things Better

Andy Carter, Director of Athletics at Missouri Western State University has over 30 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics. Now, as he enters what he calls the 4th quarter of his career, he shares some great truths and frank advice about how we (student-athletes, administrators and listeners alike) can make the most of rewarding experiences we are given. Andy earned a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Baptist University and a MBA from Lindenwood University. He was appointed to the...


Gordon Drummond - Articulating the Outcomes of Higher Education and Skills Training

As an entirely online institution focused on graphic and web design and digital media, Sessions College is in a unique position to lead out on online learning trends and technology growth. But they also spend a great deal of time developing how instruction happens and the importance of getting a student ready for the constant changing needs of the workforce. And, more importantly, helping students become "successful advocates of their own work at the same time as being proficient." As...


Matt Tanney - Alumni Impact

"We might be the best school in America" reads the Wabash College website, just above a list of over a dozen top rankings from The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Princeton Review and others. The small all-mens college in central Indiana offers unique experiences inside and out of the classroom, an engaging alumni network and competitive athletic programs. Matt Tanney, Wabash's Director of Athletics and Campus Wellness joins us to share more about the singular, nationally recognized,...