American Dream Series Speakers | wisconsinacademy.org
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American Dream Series Speakers

American Dream Presenters

Greg Nycz is Executive Director of Family Health Center of Marshfield, Inc., (FHC) a federally funded community health center. Nycz has been involved with the planning and operation of FHC for over 44 years. He has been involved in service, research, and educational efforts aimed at improving the health of communities with particular emphasis on vulnerable population groups, principally rural and low-income populations.

Jane Elder is executive director of the Wisconsin Academy. She brings to the Wisconsin Academy a strong background in public policy leadership, nonprofit management, and involvement in Wisconsin arts. Her career has focused on environmental policy and communications, while personal interests include theater, modern dance and painting.

Jesus Salas is the descendant of a Mexican-American family who first came to Wisconsin during the 1940s. He worked throughout his early school years as a migrant farmworker. Salas led protests, marches, and organizing efforts to secure rights and improve conditions for himself, his family, and the migrant community during the 1960s and 1970s.

John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer and historian who has been studying his hometown since 1972. He is the author of twenty-one books, including histories of Milwaukee-area neighborhoods, industries, and places of worship.

Lisa Peyton-Caire is the Assistant Vice President of Life, Learning and Events at Summit Credit Union where she leads efforts on Diversity & Inclusion, Employee Wellness, Financial Education, Community Giving, and Events. Lisa is also the Founder of The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, a Wisconsin based 501c(3) non-profit organization committed to eliminating health disparities and other barriers impacting the lives of Black women.

Michael Bell is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He serves as Director of the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, and is a member of the faculty of the Agroecology Program, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and the Religious Studies Program.

Johnson currently serves as the President and CEO for Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County (BGC) and has made it a priority to ensure BGC continues to be a leader in youth development while enhancing partnerships to produce positive outcomes for young people and their families. In seven years as CEO, the Club has made some significant accomplishments. 

Patty Loew is a professor in the Medill School of Journalism and Director of the Indigenous Research Center at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Richard J. Davidson is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the W.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior, the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience and the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his PhD from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at UW-Madison in Wisconsin since 1984.

Sarah Lloyd is the Special Projects Coordinator for the Wisconsin Farmers Union and the Secretary of the Board and Director of Development for the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative. In addition to her off-farm work Sarah helps her husband Nels Nelson on the Nelson family dairy farm outside Wisconsin Dells. Sarah recently completed a term on the National Dairy Board and served two terms on the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

Terese Agnew began her art career as a public sculptor. Her early work included huge temporary installations that engaged hundreds of people in the art making process. In 1991 Agnew began making art quilts in addition to sculpture. Her quilts are intricately detailed; Practice Bomber Range in the Mississippi Flyway for example, is entirely embroidered with up to fourteen layers of hand guided machine stitching.

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