Ben Glover


Ben Glover is a third-year Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies major from South Florida. He is a huge fan of rap music and is also a rapper himself, who goes by the stage name Chief Wicked. Last month he released his second mixtape, Pink Waves, and last week he shot a music video with Atlantic Records for one of its songs. When he graduates he plans on pursuing a career in rap music full-time. Make sure to check out his music on Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora!


Priyanka Prakash

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Priyanka C Prakash is an MBA student and an acclaimed Classical Musician, trained for 18 years in Indian Carnatic Music.

With strong cultural and artistic roots in the Indian subcontinent, she explores two dualities – One, of being a global citizen through performing art & music; and Two – of converging the two worlds of Business & Music. In her talk, she will explore converting this ‘duality’ into ‘singularity’ – by integrating music, business, philosophy & mathematics. She believes that Music is a cathartic and uplifting experience, much like the intellectual stimulation that comes from solving complex business problems.

Priyanka has spent her studying and early work years in India, pursuing her dual passion of Music and Finance – a large part of Priyanka’s family lives in the US. Winner of the Governor’s Award for Classical Music & over 17 coveted awards for Music, she has performed 220+ concerts across India, United Kingdom and United States. At Chicago Booth, she specializes in advanced Finance, and graduates with concentrations in Finance & Analytic Finance. After her MBA, she will be a Strategy Consultant.

Priyanka is passionate about community building and giving back: she was involved with India’s one of its kind student-driven outreach program that raised awareness of Art among 1,500+ school children. At Booth, she is a Career Advisor, working actively to mentor first year students with career decisions. She was recently selected as a student speaker at the Chicago Booth CFO Conference, speaking on Millennial Perspectives to a group of 75+ global CFO’s.

She continues to explore the interconnectedness between the worlds of business & art and was selected among top-20 from 3,000+ applicants to present a paper at the World MBA Summit in 2016.

She is a big proponent of the UChicago interdisciplinary wisdom – and strives to integrate Art, Finance and Community Engagement. Her interests include exploring new cuisines, watching soccer, and taking off-the-beaten-track vacations.


Björn Jóhann Olafsson

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Björn Jóhann Olafsson is a second year at the University, studying Psychology, Cinema and Media Studies, and Human Rights.

Björn has been conducting cognitive research at the Center for Decision Research for the past year. Before college, he designed and implemented an original behavioural science research project - eventually winning an award from the American Psychological Association at the state level. He is most interested in the ways that psychology connects to various other fields of study. This summer, Björn hopes to conduct original research about the psychology of empathy in light of recent global events.

Other than his studies, Björn is a competitor for the University of Chicago Mock Trial program. He also curates Theater [24], a thrice-annual 24-hour theater festival, and has worked on several student-made films, plays and scripts. He is currently the Social Chair for Hitchcock House where he also served as an Orientation Aide and Treasurer. Björn was a leader of the first-place team in the UChicago Scavenger Hunt 2016.

When he enjoys a respite from University life, Björn enjoys creating trivia games for Sporcle, eating copious amounts of Twizzlers while watching bad movies, and puns. He is rarely seen without sporting a curious pair of socks.


Kristian Hammond


As Chief Scientist and co-founder, Kris focuses on R&D at Narrative Science. His main priority is to define the future of Advanced NLG, the democratization of data rich information and how language will drive both interactive communications and access to the Internet of Things (IoT).

In addition to being Chief Scientist, Kris is a professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University. Prior to Northwestern, Kris founded the University of Chicago’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His research has always been focused on artificial intelligence, machine-generated content and context-driven information systems.

Kris previously sat on a United Nations policy committee run by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). Kris received his PhD from Yale.


Chicago Folklore Ensemble

From the Serbian mountains of blood and honey to the passionate coasts of Argentina, rattling buses tearing through Thai countryside and back to sweet home Chicago, embark on a journey around the world atop a carpet of music and story. String quartet and storyteller come together to narrate the sounds, tastes, and emotions stored in the memories of Chicago immigrant musicians.

Chicago Folklore Ensemble performs traditional music and personal stories collected from Chicago immigrants in a dramatic show featuring string quartet and storyteller. Audiences are swept along a journey of melody, laughter, tears, and joy, realizing the human behind each story, the worlds contained in each song.


Diane Redleaf

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Diane L. Redleaf is the founder and Legal Director of the Family Defense Center. A child and family advocate since she graduated from Stanford Law School in 1979, Ms. Redleaf has brought more than three dozen major systemic reform cases on behalf of families, has been involved in over 60 cases with published opinions, including a large number of precedential appellate decisions, has spearheaded major legislative and regulatory reforms in Illinois, and has represented parents in hundreds of juvenile court and administrative proceedings. Ms. Redleaf is widely considered a national leader in the field of parent representation in child welfare proceedings. She has served as the President of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform and sits on the Steering Committee of the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law’s Parent Representation Project.  She has taught child welfare law at the University of Chicago Law School and client counseling at the Loyola University School of Law.


Ms. Redleaf began her distinguished career at the 18th Street Office of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago (LAF). There, she started the Children’s Rights Project in 1984, where she remained a supervisory attorney until 1996. From 1991 to 1996, she was the Sidley & Austin Fellow at LAF, coordinating extensive pro bono work with Sidley & Austin attorneys. Faced in 1996 with severe congressional restrictions on the work legal services attorneys could perform for their clients, she formed, with LAF’s Litigation Director Robert Lehrer, a public interest law firm dedicated to continuing social policy and child welfare litigation (“Lehrer & Redleaf”), which she co-led for nine years. In August 2005, Ms. Redleaf opened the offices of the Family Defense Center,  working 20% time as the Center’s sole attorney. In 2010, under Ms. Redleaf’s leadership, the Center won the first “Excellent Emerging Organization Award” from the Axelson Center on Nonprofit Management.  The Center now has six attorneys on its full-time staff. Over 100 lawyers handling pro bono cases with the Center in 2016 alone, donating legal services valued at over $3 million.


A 2012 Chicago Tribune profile of Ms. Redleaf quoted the DCFS spokesperson as saying that, “we have a better, fairer child welfare system because of her advocacy.”  She has received several prestigious awards, including the KLEO “Angel” Award in 2013, the Chicago Bar Foundation Alliance for Women’s Founders’ Award in 2014 which is given to accomplished women leaders for mentoring others, and in 2016, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award by her alma mater, Carleton College, on the occasion of her 40th college reunion.


Shirley Engelmeier

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For over two decades, Shirley has advised Fortune 500 companies and emerging organizations on creating inclusive, high performance leaders and enterprises. Prior to founding InclusionINC, Shirley held senior management positions in global consumer product organizations Brown & Williamson and Frito-Lay. She is a systems thinker and one of the leading pioneers around workplace initiatives that improve business results through engagement and inclusion.

In Engelmeier’s latest book, Becoming an Inclusive Leader, she addresses the new leadership skills, experience and tools necessary to succeed in an increasingly diverse and participative world that will generate positive business results globally.

Since founding InclusionINC, she has introduced significant corporate training, leadership development, strategic business constructs (such as the Key Employee Demographics Required For Growth™ (KEDRG), customized web-based assessments, strategic and customized metrics and solutions for Learning Over Time®.

She is a frequent speaker at universities, national HR, leadership, workplace and business strategy conferences in the US and abroad.

A highly regarded business strategist, Shirley has consulted with C-Suite executives globally on workplace Initiatives across a broad range of industries that include Michelin, Mortenson Contruction, Cargill, PetSmart, Hershey’s, ESPN, Denny's/Advantica, 3M, Caterpillar, U.S. Bank, JM Smucker and others.

Shirley earned her B.S. degree from the University of Minnesota and resides with her family in Minneapolis.


Madeleine Grynsztejn

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Madeleine Grynsztejn is Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Under her leadership, the MCA has become a new model for 21st-century contemporary art museums—an artist-activated, audience-engaged space for generating art, ideas, and conversation around the creative process. She has balanced this creative vision with her commitment to sustainable financial growth and driving cultural tourism.

Grynsztejn has curated many major exhibitions on renowned contemporary artists including Doris Salcedo, Luc Tuymans, Olafur Eliasson, and curated the work of Alfredo Jaar for the Chilean Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2013. Prior to the MCA, Grynsztejn was Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where she curated the critically-acclaimed traveling exhibitions Take your time: Olafur Eliasson and The Art of Richard Tuttle, which received a “Best U.S. Monographic Museum Show” award from the Association of International Art Critics. Previous to SFMOMA, Grynsztejn was Curator of Contemporary Art and curator of the 1999/2000 Carnegie International, a globally focused quadrennial exhibition, at the Carnegie Museum of Art. She was also Associate Curator and acting department head for 20th-century painting and sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago where she curated Affinities: Chuck Close and Tom Friedman and About Place: Recent Art of the Americas. Grynsztejn was born in Lima, Peru, and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, and London, England.

She studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and received her BA in art history and French from Newcomb College of Tulane University, and her MA in art history from Columbia University. She is a former Helena Rubenstein Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and a 2007 graduate of the Getty Foundation’s Museum Leadership Institute. She has been a lecturer, interviewee, moderator, and panelist on film, TV, radio, web, and other public forums on art-related topics including exhibitions on view, museological practices, and general culture topics. Grynsztejn was recently knighted by French President François Hollande to the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France. She is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and the International Committee for Museums (CIMAM), and has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Galeria de Arte Nacional in Caracas, among others.


Kevin Coval


Kevin Coval is a poet and community builder. As the artistic director of Young Chicago Authors, founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, and professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago—where he teaches hip-hop aesthetics—he’s mentored thousands of young writers, artists, and musicians, including Chance the Rapper.

He is the author and editor of 10 books, including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and Schtick, and co-author of the play, This is Modern Art. His work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Drunken Boat, Chicago Tribune, CNN, Fake Shore Drive, Huffington Post, and four seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. The Chicago Tribune has called him “the voice of the new Chicago” and the Boston Globe says he's “the city’s unofficial poet laureate.” Coval’s forthcoming collection, A People's History of Chicago drops in April 2017 on Haymarket Books.


Jacqueline Russell


Jacqueline Russell (Co-Founder and Artistic Director, Chicago Children’s Theatre) served as the previous Executive Director of Lookingglass Theatre Company, during which time she led the company’s build and move into Lookingglass’ current performance space in the Water Tower Water Works. Prior to that, she served as Lookingglass’ Director of Education and Outreach. Before joining Lookingglass, she spent five years as creator of Children’s Programs at Old Town School of Folk Music. In addition to leading CCT’s main stage and education programs, Russell is the creator of the Red Kite Project, a CCT program dedicated to bringing theatre into the lives of children with special needs.

In 2010, she was appointed by the U.S. State Department to serve as Cultural Envoy to Canada, and was honored with the 2013 “Hero of the Year Award” from the Chicago chapter of Autism Speaks. She was named “Tastemaker” by Time Out Chicago Kids, and has three times been highlighted in New City’s “Players” list of “People Who Really Perform for Chicago.” Jacqueline spent her early childhood in Beirut and is originally from Houston, Texas  Her daughter, Shiri Nicole attends the University of Pennsylvania.