In the middle of a successful career guiding businesses through tough times, Dr. Anne Harbison faced her own journey of moving forward after the unimaginable occurs. A Harvard educated researcher whose consultation on successful business best practices has been relied on by Fortune 500 companies and global thought leaders for over 25 years. Dr. Harbison was forced to find a way through personal suffering seven years ago to a place of healing and recovery today. After navigating through the process of grief and renewal, she strives to show others how to create the space and grace needed to live with both joy and sorrow at the same time.
Many people will never attempt to complete an Ironman competition, and it would be unthinkable after suffering from COVID-19. But as one of the first cases of COVID in North America, that’s exactly what Ben O’Donnell did. During his training for swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and then finishing up with a marathon run, O’Donnell was still suffering from long COVID symptoms, but he found his way from the lowest points of his life to the finish line. When not being an inspiration to others going through hard times, O’Donnell devotes his time to fundraising for the Ironman Foundation’s IRONAID program, which gives grants to non-profit organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Christy Haynes is passionate about solving the global food crisis by using tiny, engineered nanoparticles. Based on her leadership of an analytical and nanomaterials chemistry lab and as a co-founder of the NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, Dr. Haynes believes together we can find a way to a sustainable food system with less reliance on fertilizers or pesticides. Recognized as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, a Searle Scholar, a Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar, and a National Institutes of Health "New Innovator," there is good reason to follow her guidance to a better future.
A criminal justice professor at Hamline University and past president of the NAACP, Jason Sole is also an entrepreneur and a family man. Before becoming a Bush Fellow in 2013, Sole found his way through a rough past to a place of prosperity, hope and healing – not only within himself but also in his community. As a nationally-recognized educator, published author and co-founder of the Humanize My Hoodie Movement, he is forging ahead with the powerful work of changing harmful and incorrect perceptions about Black people. Sole accomplishes this through art exhibitions, workshops, and by creating collective leadership opportunities. By taking these steps of atonement, he creates a path forward for others to follow.
A Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Morse-Alumni Distinguished University Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Richard Lee explores how a person’s culture, ethnicity and race affect their mental and physical well-being as well as their future success. Through his career in psychology, Dr. Lee has discovered children become aware at any early age of how they are treated unfairly based on these factors. He believes that by teaching parents how to approach the conversation around discrimination, together we can start to heal racial trauma and improve outcomes for future generations.
Before she was the head of the department of entomology at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Sujaya Rao worked with farmers for over two decades to find insect pest management and pollination solutions. In the midst of her efforts, she realized that the goal of eliminating insect pests in crops conflicted with the need to conserve bees. By educating the public on the nutritional and agricultural benefits of insects as food, Dr. Rao hopes to gather support for eating bugs as a more sustainable way of feeding the global population, which is projected to be 9 billion plus humans in the year 2050.