2022 Keynote Speaker
Dr. Tristesse Burton
Dr. Tristesse Burton is a Westside Chicago native with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in Crop Sciences, a Master of Science in Law from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago in Pharmacognosy.
She has over 10 years of interdisciplinary and collaborative research experience, including working within the fields of phytochemistry, pharmacognosy, anthropology, nutrition sciences, and health disparities research that collaborates with American Indian communities. Dr. Burton has received over 15 awards, fellowships, and grants including two NIH awards, and was a previous IBHE Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Fellow. She presented her research at over 20 conferences, first and co-authored eight papers and two book chapters. She previously served as a Faculty Instructor for the UIC Urban Health Program’s Research Training and Career Development Program and a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
She is also a previous Board Member for Expanding Your Horizons in 2018 and served on the organizing committee from 2013-2017. She is currently a UIC T32 Precision Lifestyle Medicine and Translation Research (PREMIER) Postdoctoral Fellow and a collaborator within the UNLV, Center for Health Disparities Research. She is a first-generation college and graduate student, a wife, and a mother to an energetic toddler. Her passions are in increasing minority representation in STEM careers and higher education and eliminating perinatal health disparities that affect African American and American Indian women.
2021 Keynote Speaker
Karen K. Harris, Senior V.P. – Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA)
Karen K. Harris is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA), a trade association representing over 200 hospitals and 50 health systems. In addition to her corporate legal responsibilities, Ms. Harris also assists in the development of policy positions on issues affecting hospitals and their communities, and in the advocacy of those positions at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Ms. Harris also serves as Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys, a trade association representing over 600 health law attorneys.
Immediately prior to joining IHA, Ms. Harris was a partner in the Health Care Practice Group in the Chicago office of Saul, Ewing, Arnstein & Lehr LLP. Her practice focused on transactional and regulatory health care law on behalf of all types of health care providers and entities, including hospital systems, physicians, IPAs, ambulatory surgical centers and other health care professionals, managed care companies, pharmaceutical companies, and HMOs. Ms. Harris also previously served as regional general counsel at Aetna U.S. Healthcare, Inc.
Among other awards/honors, in 2018 Ms. Harris was named a Women of Influence honoree by the Chicago Business Journal, and in 2017 one of the Most Influential Minority Lawyers in Chicago by Crain’s Business Journal.
An avid sailor, Ms. Harris is a Past Commodore of the Jackson Park Yacht Club (2017-2018) on Chicago’s south side. She is the current President of the Jackson Park Yacht Club Foundation and oversees all of the youth sailing programs. She is also the Interim Chair of US Sailing’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She races aboard the vessel Mise En Place.
A Chicago native, Ms. Harris is a graduate of Princeton University (B.A. 1991) and Harvard Law School (J.D. 1994). She resides in Hyde Park with her family.
2020 Keynote Speaker
Nadya Mason, Ph.D. – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Nadya Mason is a professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she specializes in experimental studies of materials. She received her B.S. from Harvard University and her PhD from Stanford University, both in physics. Dr. Mason’s research focuses on the electronic properties of small-scale materials, such as nano-scale wires and atomically thin membranes. Her research is relevant to applications involving nano-scale and quantum computing elements. She currently serves as Director of the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (I-MRSEC), a $16.1 million multidisciplinary research and education center funded by the National Science Foundation.
In addition to maintaining a rigorous research program and teaching, Dr. Mason works to increase diversity in the physical sciences, particularly through mentoring, and is former chair of the American Physical Society (APS) Committee on Minorities. Dr. Mason can also be seen promoting science on local TV, at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, and in a TED talk.
Dr. Mason has been recognized for her work with numerous awards, including the 2009 Denise Denton Emerging Leader Award, the 2012 Maria Goeppert Mayer Award of the APS, the 2019 APS Bouchet Award, and as one of Essence Magazine’s “Woke 100” of 2019.
2019 Keynote Speaker
Jo-Elle Mogerman, Ph.D. – Vice President, Learning and Community
Jo-Elle Mogerman is a native Chicagoan who grew up with a love of animals, Mogerman applied that love to her academic pursuits, obtaining a B.A. in biology from Macalester College, an M.A. in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in biology with a focus on foraging ecology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition, she is currently adjunct at DePaul University’s School of New Learning, teaching a course that engages students as citizen scientists.
Currently, she oversees the vision and strategic direction for all learning and community programs at Shedd Aquarium. She brings extensive executive experience in informal education and community relations and is well-versed on topics related to the conservation and zoological community through nearly 14 years at Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo.
Mogerman has served as an Illinois Nature Preserves commissioner, chaired the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Diversity Committee and been a member of the Society for Diversity and the former Chicago Wilderness Executive Council. She has garnered more than 10 awards for the organizations, programs and projects under her lead.
2018 Keynote Speakers
Dr. Enid Montague received MS and PhD degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2008, specializing in human factors and ergonomics engineering, the future professoriate, women’s studies and human computer interaction.
Dr. Montague is currently an Associate Professor in the college of computing at DePaul University and adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. She is the director of the Wellness and Health Enhancement Engineering Laboratory (WHEEL). Dr. Montague has received numerous awards for her research including the Francis Research Fellowship for research that emphasizes “longer, safer and healthier lives” and a Kl2 early career award from that National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore trust in health care systems.
Dr. Montague’s research uses human factors and human-computer interaction methodologies, design principles and theories to understand health care systems to promote safety and patient-centered care. At present, Dr. Montague explores the role of trust between people and technologies in health care work systems. She looks at organizational and design factors that affect both workers and patients with the overall goal of understanding technology.
Corlis D. Murray is a 28-year veteran of Abbott, a $20 billion global health care company, where she is responsible for the company’s engineering, regulatory, and quality assurance functions in more than 150 countries. She began her career at Abbott in 1989 and has held a number of senior roles, incl. senior manufacturing engineer, production manager, and engineering manager.
In 2012, Murray launched Abbott’s high school STEM internship program targeting under-represented students. To date, nearly 90 young people have participated and 97 percent are pursuing a STEM degree or have a STEM job.
Corlis has been named to Black Enterprise’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business list twice and been named Black Engineer magazine’s Scientist of the Year. She was recognized by the Society of Women Engineers with its Advocating Women in Engineering award and by the Lions Academy for mentoring. She sits on the Clara Abbott Board of Directors and on multiple Abbott executive committees. Corlis holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering degree from Southern University.
2017 Keynote Speakers
2016 Keynote Speakers