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The Aspire Program

Conference Program

The Aspire Conference begins with evening programming on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and continues through Friday, Oct. 16. As a participant in the conference, you can attend and interact in virtual, high-quality experiences led by nationally-recognized industry experts, prominent alumni, and even some current Carthage students!

If you’ve registered on or prior to October 13, 2:00pm, our virtual conference host has sent you an email titled, “Carthage College’s Aspire Conference - IMPORTANT Next Steps & Welcome to Cadence”. Please check your email and follow the directions given in the email to access the conference platform. Don’t forget to check your spam folder, in the event that it inadvertently goes there. Take the next steps and join us! 

Tuesday, Oct. 13

NatterDoodle6-7 p.m.

Keynote Speaker — Natalie Keller Pariano of NatterDoodle
Some of Natalie’s favorite topics to tackle with groups include team building, effective communication, self-assessment and evaluation, servant leadership, and emotional intelligence. Her thoughtful, researched, and authentic approach — coupled with her sense of humor and knack for fun, make her a dynamic voice for salient learning and development.
Tracks: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Career Development, Wellness & Self-Care

Wednesday, Oct. 14

Rose Halama8-9 a.m.

Yoga for Social Justice Fatigue — Rose Halama
Many of us are dealing with stress, anxiety, and fatigue from witnessing the injustices in our society. As a result, we may experience a variety of emotions that can get stuck in the body. Without moving these emotions through, we may feel a deep sense of brokenness personally, culturally, politically, socially, and spiritually. This yoga session is an invitation to feel our emotions, release the pressure, and calm our nervous system through yoga sequences, mindfulness, and deep breathing.
Tracks: Creativity, Leadership, Community Engagement, Wellness & Self-Care

Master of Music Theatre Vocal Pedagogy students, 2020.Noon-1 p.m.

Mid-Day Concert with a Question & Answer Conversation, featuring Carthage’s Master of Music Theatre Vocal Pedagogy Students
Our music theatre graduate students will each sing a music theatre piece — so you can just enjoy the music! They will also do a Q&A about the music theatre business after the concert portion. You’ll have a chance to ask a Broadway Veteran about performing on Broadway in Aladdin. Or ask a Disney princess about belting out “Let It Go” on Disney Cruise Lines. Find out about performing in CATS in China, teaching music theatre in Wisconsin, and working with a company like First Stage. Each one of our graduate students has powerful advice about life after undergraduate study - and you’ll want to connect with them!!
Tracks: Creativity, Career Development, Networking, Wellness & Self-Care

Cicely Hunter and Roger Moreno5-6 p.m.

Siestas: Relax and De-stress — Cicely Hunter and Roger Moreano
Are you interested in decompressing in a virtual space with your peers? Join the Equity and Inclusion Office on Reading Day as we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month in this session designed to let students relax, unwind, and also meet their fellow Carthaginians. 
Tracks: Wellness & Self-Care

Thursday, Oct. 15

Aspire's Career Specialists: Sarah Gorke, Trevor Jung, Haley Perez, and Tom Wood8-9:30 a.m.

Virtual Coffee Chat — Career Specialists Sarah Gorke ’04, Haley Perez, Tom Wood ’13, and Trevor Jung
Start off your day on the right foot with a casual conversation with your Career Specialist to help identify some goals based on your skills, interests, and values. No need to set up an appointment in advance. Just hop into the Zoom link! *ONLY open to current Carthage students & Carthage alumni.
Tracks: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Career Development, Community Engagement, Networking

Michelle Mehlis10-11 a.m.

LinkedIn Tips of the Trade — Michelle Mehlis
Join top recruiter Michelle Mehlis for an insider’s peek into using LinkedIn and other networking platforms to enhance your connections. Eighty percent of jobs are never even posted to a job search engine. Learn how to leverage the “hidden” network to enhance your odds and standing out amongst a sea of other applicants.
Tracks: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Career Development, Networking

Matt Thome

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Be An Opportunity Chaser — Matt Thome ’17
Only 27 percent of college grads have a job related to their major (Washington Post). The first few years of your career can be challenging, confusing, and some of the most rewarding years of your life. You may not end up pursuing what you thought you would do, and that’s great! In this session, hear from Matt Thome ’17 on how he landed in the world of professional sports after studying public relations and music at Carthage. You’ll learn what it means to be an opportunity chaser, how to evaluate different career opportunities, strategies to find your “why,” and receive insight into the sports and live entertainment industry.
Tracks: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Career Development, Networking

Isaac Rothenbaum1-2 p.m.

Designing a Life Built Upon High Achieving Habits — Isaac Rothenbaum ’11
In the spirit of Carthage’s liberal arts curriculum, this interactive session will cover some habits, perspectives, and experiences that can be useful to all degree types. The session will dabble with learning the benefits of side projects, thinking logically, problem-solving algorithmically, project management, and much more! Gain strategies on not only how to build success, but what to do when you fail.
Tracks: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Career Development

Kalia Bingen and Nick Huff2:30-3:30 p.m.

Desperate Times Call for Innovative Measures — Kaila Bingen ’15, M.M. ’20 and Nicholas Huff ’15
Kenosha Opera Festival is a new opera company launched in 2020. It’s been an interesting year for a young company to establish itself, and Nicholas Huff ’15 and Kaila Bingen ’15/’20 are here to share their story, what worked and what didn’t, and advice for ambitious professionals looking to start their own nonprofit even in the most challenging of times. Kenosha Opera Festival is a nonprofit opera company serving the greater Kenosha area. They strive to create high-quality art and provide accessible, excellent classical and operatic music experiences to the greater Kenosha community. Co-founders Mr. Huff and Ms. Bingen are Carthage alumni with diverse and unique industry experience in the areas of operatic performance, nonprofit management, education, and theatre arts.
Tracks: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Career Development, Community Engagement, Networking

Joe Poeschl4:30-5:30 p.m.

Tapping Into Your Innovation Mindset — Joe Poeschl
There’s opportunity for innovation all around us… But what does that even mean? Join The Commons team for a fast-paced and highly interactive session where we’ll explore the innovation process, meet some other like-minds, and have a little fun on a Thursday afternoon. All areas of study, all ages, and all backgrounds are welcome.
Tracks: Career Development, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Networking, Creativity

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Roger Moreano

MAN UP!: Understanding Toxic Masculinity, Sexism, and Misogyny in Professional Settings — Roger Moreano 
This session will look at sex, gender, and gender identity-related issues in professional settings. Participants will learn about patriarchal systems of power and the oppressive outcomes which they produce. Specifically, we will visit the topic of toxic masculinity and learn how this social construct harms communities and individuals. We will also empower men to take ownership and change the constructs of how we define “masculinity” which requires us to tear down and dismantle the old paradigms and create new models of masculinity that lift up all.
Tracks: Career Development, Community Engagement, Leadership, Networking, Wellness & Self-Care

6:30-8 p.m.

A photo of Culture Kitchen

Culture Kitchen
Culture Kitchen is a fun, interactive online team workshop. The program uses state of the art cloud gaming to put you in situations to practice interdependent teamwork. You take the role of one of four chefs running a fictional restaurant. While every chef can do any task, no chef can do every task! You have to work together. The program is professionally facilitated, and players learn the latest in positive psychology to promote bonding and camaraderie.
Tracks: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Networking

Friday, Oct. 16

Dominique Pritchett 079:30-10:30 a.m.

Do You Smell Gas? Gaslighting and Its Impact On Mental Wellness and Success – Dr. Dominique Pritchett ’07
Gaslighting can have a huge impact on mental, physical, spiritual and relational wellness. It affects how we think, feel and act and can leave a person feeling lost. By understanding the concepts of gaslighting, you can learn how to recognize it and prevent it from interfering with your goals towards success. This discussion will unpack 6 steps to spotting and shutting down gaslighting.
Tracks: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Career Development, Community Engagement, Networking, Wellness & Self-Care

Jake Bowen and Heather Thompson10:30-11:30 a.m.

Public Libraries Without the Public — Jake Bowen ’13 and Heather Thompson
When COVID-19 hit, public libraries across the nation were faced with the same challenge: how to best serve the public when the public couldn’t come through the doors. With flexibility and open minds, the staff at the Kenosha Public Library became leaders in modifying existing services and innovating new programs to meet community needs. In this session, Heather Thompson, head of Youth and Family Services, and Jake Bowen, Youth Services Programming Librarian, will talk about their experience with leaning into creativity to navigate the challenges of serving the public in this changing world.
Tracks: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Career Development

Michaela Ross '08 and Raja Banarjee '08Noon-1 p.m.

Networking with Two People Who Hate Networking — Michaela Ross ’08 and Raja Banarjee ’08
Carthage graduates Michaela Ross ’08 and Raja Banarjee ’08 offer real talk on the work of networking. Learn about what to expect with networking and specific tools and tactics these two alumni use to be effective networkers both before and on the job. Questions are welcome — the thornier the better! 
Tracks: Leadership, Career Development, Networking

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Becky WindbergHow to Infuse Community Engagement in Your Student Organization and Courses — Becky Windberg
You know giving back and being engaged in the community is important, but how can you do it so that it goes beyond just fulfilling service hours? Join a discussion to identify strategies and resources to infused community service and engagement within your student organizations and course work.
Tracks: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Career Development, Community Engagement, Networking

Grant Harris and Professor Anthony Barnhart3-4 p.m.

A Journey to the White House — Grant Harris and Professor Anthony Barnhart
Former Presidential Advisor Grant Harris will discuss his professional journey and what he learned along the way as he navigated successes and failures. As the world continues to evolve, learn insights into the skills necessary to navigate high stakes situations and create change. As an entrepreneur, consultant, lawyer, and presidential advisor, Mr. Harris has traveled to 95 countries addressing global problems as a leader.
Tracks: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Career Development, Community Engagement, Networking

Register for The Aspire Conference!
If you’ve already registered, our virtual conference host has sent you an email titled, “Carthage College’s Aspire Conference - IMPORTANT Next Steps & Welcome to Cadence”. Please check your email and follow the directions given in the email to access the conference platform. Take the next steps and join us!