Journeys in Leadership

Established in 2020 by the College of Liberal Arts “Forward” task force, Journeys in Leadership (JIL) is a nonpartisan, non-political speaker series generously supported by the Becker Endowment fund.  The aim of the series is to highlight the successes (and challenges) of an eclectic mix of local, state, national and international leaders from across a range of professional and academic experiences.

Stressing the importance of a liberal arts education, the common thread of the JIL speakers is their commitment to community discourse and living active, healthy lives.  Whether considering the life skills of a renowned poet, the musical and business acumen of a symphony CEO, or the dedication to international service of an aid worker, each of these carefully selected speakers has been invited to Benedictine University to share their life’s journey, with the primary goal of teaching and inspiring our students.

Journeys in Leadership events are held via Zoom and there are plans to have in person speakers back on our campuses in the near future, as part of this series.  All JIL events are free and open to the public, and feature not only a keynote speaker but also a unique group of student, alum, faculty and community panelists that participate in each event.

Wednesday, November 9 | Goodwin 411 and ZOOM 

Kristen is the former Police Chief of the Aurora IL Police Department (Ret.). During a 30 year career in law enforcement, Kristen was a trailblazer – – the first woman Lieutenant in 2008, first woman Commander in 2010, and eventually the first woman Chief in her department’s history in January of 2016. Kristen was also the Chief on watch during a mass shooting in her hometown Aurora, IL.

Since retiring from the department, Kristen’s work focuses on leadership strategies, women empowerment, positive psychology, and mass shooting prevention.

She is the author of Reimagining Blue: Thoughts on Life, Leadership, and a New Way Forward in Policing, a passionate and personal memoir of a misunderstood profession through the vantage point of a female police chief.

REGISTER HERE to attend via ZOOM

Journeys in Leadership Featured Speakers

  • Sean Casten

    Sean Casten

    House of Representatives, 6th Congressional District of Illinois
  • Terence Clark

    Terence Clark

    Drummer, Producer and Creative Artist
  • Todd Durkin

    Todd Durkin

    Trainer, Author, Motivational Speaker
  • Martha Gilmer

    Martha Gilmer

    CEO, San Diego Symphony
  • Grant Harris

    Grant Harris

    CEO, Connect Frontier LLC
  • Maurice Hobson

    Maurice Hobson

    Historian, Author & Associate Professor, Georgia State University
  • Alexa James

    Alexa James

    CEO, NAMI Chicago
  • Sharon Lazich

    Sharon Lazich

    United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • AJ Mendez

    AJ Mendez

    Author, Screenwriter, Mental Health Advocate, Former Professional Wrestling Champion
  • Aimee Nezhukumatathil

    Aimee Nezhukumatathil

    Poet and Author
  • Peter Roskam

    Peter Roskam

    Attorney & Former U.S. Congressman
  • Scott Seiver

    Scott Seiver

    Producer, Editor, Mixer and Musician
  • Laura Spinney

    Laura Spinney

    Author and Science Journalist
  • Amina Waheed

    Amina Waheed

    Producer, Fault Lines - Al Jazeera English
  • Kristen Ziman

    Kristen Ziman

    Retired Police Chief, Motivational Speaker

Phillip Hardy, Ph.D.
[email protected]
(630) 829-6292