Clinical Assistant Professor
Prof. Dr. Christian Busch is the bestselling author of The Serendipity Mindset: The Art & Science of Creating Good Luck – “a wise, exciting, and life-changing book” (Arianna Huffington) that provides “excellent practical guidance for all” (Paul Polman, former CEO, Unilever) – and an internationally known expert in the areas of innovation, purpose-driven leadership, and serendipity. He is the director of the CGA Global Economy Program at New York University (NYU), and also teaches at the London School of Economics (LSE). He is a cofounder of Leaders on Purpose and the Sandbox Network, and a former director of LSE's Innovation Lab. His work has been featured by outlets such as the Strategic Management Journal, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The Guardian, Washington Post, and the BBC. He is member of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Expert Forum, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and on the Thinkers50 Radar list of the 30 thinkers "most likely to shape the future.
User Experience Designer; Author
Dhruv is an exuberant experience designer who believes in challenging the status quo in whatever he does. He is on a journey to spread happiness by harnessing the power of technology and design and is always on the edge for innovative and unaccustomed opportunities. He has built in him an armor of technical prowess that enables him to add values to organizations in more ways than the ones he has expertise in.
Dhruv specializes in product design and user experience and has received appreciations for his entrepreneurial outlook. His resolute belief in ‘the dreams are free but the hustle is sold separately’ has motivated him time and again to step out of his comfort zone and do what he loves!
Film & Philosophy Undergraduate Student
Gus Vaughn is a student at Connecticut College as a member of the Class of 2023. He is a double major in Film Studies and Philosophy and he is in the creativity pathway. Outside of academics, Vaughn has begun working on a documentary about his education experience outside of school. He grew up in Natick, Massachusetts and spends his summers working with kids at summer camps. Also, outside of the main courses he is also interested in government and psychology. He also enjoys reading, listening to music and spending time with his friends and family.
American Politics Professor
Mara Suttmann-Lea is a professor of American politics at Connecticut College specializing in elections. Their work is driven by an interest in strengthening access to and confidence in American democracy by ensuring that all who wish to participate in the democratic process have the information needed to do so, and providing a foundational understanding of how elections are run in the United States. They are a leading scholar of research on voter education, and their work has been published in a range of scholarly and public-facing outlets, including the Washington Post. Their research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council and the M.I.T. Election Data and Science Lab. They are also the founder of the podcast What Voting Means To Me, which features interviews with voters and non-voters about their experiences living in a democracy, and conversations with scholars and election officials about what can be done to improve American democracy
Michael McCullom is a cancer survivor and a sophomore at Connecticut College, majoring in Psychology and American Studies. He is an active member of the music production club, the Men of Color Alliance (MOCA), Relay for Life, and Mock Trial. His battle with cancer spurred his interest in Psychology and the importance of mental health. Specifically it highlighted the need for better mental health resources for cancer patients and survivors. He hopes to one day be an Oncology Psychologist. Additionally, his American Studies major focuses in part on health policy and legislature because he wants to learn about the legal and social barriers that patients and survivors face. His talk uses his cancer journey to highlight the importance of how you respond to challenges that you can’t control.
Dr. Hamlett is the William Meredith Assistant Professor of Psychology at Connecticut College. She previously served as an Instructor and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. She completed her pre- and post-doctoral fellowships in that same department. Her clinical and research interests include topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, child development, complex trauma, personality, and psychological assessment. For nearly two decades, beginning with a career in special education, Dr. Hamlett has worked with individuals, youth, and families managing the deleterious effects of racial and systemic inequities and related mental health and psychosocial problems. In addition to her academic work and research, Dr. Hamlett works as an independent psychological evaluator and consultant both locally and nationally.
Clinial Social Worker
Founder of A Way Forward and Co-Founder of the Community Care Network, Polly Hanson-Grodsky is a psychoanalytically-informed, clinical social worker, educator and community builder. She is recognized for her ability promote honest community dialogues leading to action and positive impact. With over 15 years of experience in partnerships with the City of Boston, Boston Public Health Commission, the Suffolk County House of Correction, local community health centers, social service agencies, and most importantly, people and communities harmed by racial and economic injustice, Polly continues to harness the power of connection to advance justice and healing. She lives in Malden, MA with her family, is an avid gardener, and coaches soccer.
Psychology and Philosophy Student Researcher
Rayan Magon is a Student Researcher, Innovator, and a Lester B. Pearson Scholar at the University of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada. In grade 12, Rayan took the first step towards realizing her research interests and developed a board game to reduce gender-based implicit biases with which she represented India at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Currently, she is pursuing her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Philosophy at UofT, hoping to become an academic and researcher. Rayan has also been an active public speaker and media communicator as a TEDx speaker on Carving our own path using Mindful Imagination. Her other interviews can also be found on Youtube with Reservoir now and Seekers of Unity.
Dancer, College Professor
Shani Collins Achille first joined Connecticut College in 2009 as a dance professor. A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Shani received a high school diploma from The North Carolina School of the Arts. Her professional growth developed at the American Dance Festival where she first met and studied with some of her most influential teachers. Shani is a worldwide renowned artist. She has choreographed and performed in the NYC Off Broadway Production of The Vagina Monologues at New World Stages and has participated, as a choreographer, in the Lincoln Center Director's Lab.
Shani is crowned a “Contemporary Revolutionary” by Lax Thomas in The Studio Museum Harlem Summer Magazine. Her company, Eternal Works Inc, is dedicated to fostering women’s healing empowerment and facilitating community and cross-cultural dialogue. Prior to coming to Connecticut College, Shani performed and taught extensively throughout the United States and internationally.
Tanya Rose Lane
Educator, Public Historian, and Museum Professional
Tanya Rose Lane is an Educator, Public Historian, and Museum Professional from Eastern Connecticut. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from University of Connecticut and a Master of Arts in history with a concentration in public history from Southern New Hampshire University. Her main research interest is contemporary themes across Turtle Island, which informs her approach to working in the cultural sector. Tanya has supported institutions including Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, Mystic Seaport Museum, and Connecticut Valley Tobacco Museum, most recently joining Connecticut River Museum. She lives in New London with her partner, Patrick.