Keynote Speakers

Tish Norman

Tish Norman, M.Ed. - Executive Director, Transforming Leaders Now, Inc.

As one of the nation's premier campus keynote speakers with a commitment to creating a successful experience, Tish Norman's keynotes have become favorites among organizations, universities, and leadership conferences from coast to coast 

Known for her witty, entertaining style, Tish delivers energetic programs that ignite change. She is a contributing author of two books: Leading the Way: Stories of Inspiration and Leadership and From Mediocre to Magnificent: How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life. Additionally, she's written several articles featured in higher education magazines and was a finalist in Campus Activities Magazine's Speaker of the Year. 

Tish is a graduate of Kentucky State University, has a Master of Arts in Education from Pepperdine University and is in her 3rd year as a PhD pursuant in Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville, where her research focuses on the social and cultural capital of Black sorority collegians. Having spoken in 44 states and 11 countries and despite her rigorous academic obligations, Tish still maintains an active speaking schedule, keynoting at dozens of campuses and collegiate conferences every year. 

Dominque Christina

Dominique Christina is a mother, an educator, an agitator, a colored girl on purpose. Her grandfather was a shortstop for the Kansas City Monarchs. He is in the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame. Her Aunt Carlotta was one of nine students that desegregated Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas and is the recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Dominique is a National Poetry Slam Champion, and ​two-time winner of the Women of the World Slam Championship she is the only person to win that honor twice.​

The​ author of "The Bones, The Breaking, The Balm" published by Penmanship Books, "They Are All Me" published by Swimming With Elephants Publishing and "This is Woman's Work" published by SoundsTrue Publishing. Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post and Upworthy and can also be found in numerous literary journals, magazines and anthologies including: Heart and Soul Magazine, The Golden Shovel Anthology, and Hysteria. Dominique believes entirely in the idea that words make worlds. She writes to honor the people who preceded her. 

Rasheed Ali Cromwell

Rasheed Ali Cromwell, Esq. is one of the leading authorities on fraternity and sorority life on college campuses.  Through the Harbor Institute, he has presented dynamic keynote speeches and interactive and engaging training sessions, and consulting for thousands of students and administrators at over 225 colleges and universities on culturally based fraternities and sororities in 36 states across the country.

Mr. Cromwell currently teaches a Fraternal Values and Leadership Series at Howard University (Washington, DC) and served as a co-professor at The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) where he taught a Black Greek leadership class for the past three years. Additionally, he facilitates training for NPHC advisors across the country for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) at their national conferences (2010, 2011, 2013).  He is also an appointed member of the anti-hazing task force at Florida A&M University (Tallahassee, Florida).

He graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering where he served as Student Government President and Vice-Basileus (President) of the Mu Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

He graduated with a Juris Doctorate from Texas Southern University and later served as a federal law clerk in U.S. Federal District Court in the Southern District of Texas (Houston Division). Afterwards, he worked as an attorney at Finnegan & Henderson, a prominent intellectual property law firm in Washington, D.C. He later founded and is currently President of The Harbor Institute, an educational consulting firm, based out of Washington D.C and Los Angeles, CA. He currently serves as the co-chair for the International Committee on Stop the Violence for his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. where he is a member of his graduate chapter, Kappa Psi, in Washington, DC.  Additionally, he serves as the parliamentarian for DC-NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council).

Mark Dupree

Mark Anthony Dupree, Sr. was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. He is the youngest of 5 siblings, and is the son of Pastors Alvin and Linda Dupree, Sr. 

Mr. Dupree is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, and a minor in Leadership Studies. While at KU, Mr. Dupree served as the President of the Big XII on Black Student Government, KU Student Senator, and President of the Black Student Union. 

After graduation, Mr. Dupree was accepted into Washburn University School of Law. Mr. Dupree was an active law student, serving as the Student Body President of Washburn Law, Representative at Large, Dean's Search Committee, ABA Liaison, BLSA (Black Law Students Association) and HALSA (Hispanic American Law Student Association) member. 

Attorney Dupree has practiced in a diversity of legal capacities. He clerked for the Honorable Gregory Gillis in Jackson County, Missouri, served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney at the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office, served as an Assistant Public Defender at the Johnson County Public Defender's Office, and now he and his wife practice in their own firm, Dupree and Dupree, LLC – Attorneys at Law. 

Attorney Dupree's goal is to give back what was sowed into him, he does this by speaking at churches and schools inspiring and educating students and others to obtain their greatest potential. Mr. Dupree has hosted various “Legal Shadow Day" experiences, sponsored a free month long legal clinic, and hosted “Cut's and Confidence" providing ½ price haircuts to students in the Wyandotte County area. 

Mr. Dupree is an active member in the community. He is an ordained minister, and serves as an Associate Pastor at his local church. He is a Governor on the Kansas Bar Association Board of Governors, serves on the Kansas Legal Services Board of Directors, is a Committee Chairperson for the Wyandotte County Bar Association, is an Executive Board Member on the Earl E. O'Connor American Inn of Courts, Mark is a board member of Young Women on the Move, serves as a board member on the Johnson County Bar Association, and is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. 

Mark is married to his law partner, Attorney Shanelle Dupree and they have four children together. Attorney Dupree is also running for the office of Wyandotte County District Attorney. Mr. Dupree's goal is make Wyandotte County safer through innovative and holistic approaches in preventing and punishing crime. 

Michael Wade Smith

Michael Wade Smith is a KU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in English and American Studies and, most recently, an MBA.  A loyal Jayhawk, he has served as KU Student Body President and is currently a member of the KU Honors Program and Spencer Museum of Art Advisory Boards, and chair of the English Department Advisory Board. 

While teaching high school English in Newark, New Jersey with the national teacher corps, Teach For America (TFA), Michael founded and led a non-profit, IGNITE Greater Newark, to help further shrink the achievement gap in urban classrooms in the region.  The organization continues to impact students’ lives today. 

Michael has owned and operated a professional speaking and training firm, Intent on Success, since 2007.  He travels the country working with student leaders, community organizations, national nonprofits, and small companies to unlock and define their potential and lay concrete plans to achieve their success.   

Michael Wade Smith is the Director of External Affairs for the KU School of Business.  In this role, he leads the marketing, communications, events, and web strategy for the KU School of Business as it works to define where business is going.


E. Nathan Thomas III

Dr. E. Nathan Thomas III is the Vice Provost for Diversity and Equity at the University of Kansas and has more than 20 years of experience in working with leaders in secondary and higher education, health and human services and is especially skilled at developing and implementing diversity, mentoring and leadership initiatives. He earned his doctoral degree in Ecological-Community Psychology from Michigan State University and his Master's and Undergraduate degrees in Clinical/Community Psychology from Norfolk State University. 

As a consultant with Invictus Human Capital Management (HCM), his work has resulted in saving an organization approximately $1.4 million, improving managers’ skills to increase their department’s culture, and developing student leadership skills to promote campus engagement, service, college completion and professionalism. Dr. Thomas is known for his Thomas Principles mentoring model to increase college student retention and graduation rates, and co-founder of the Invictus HCM C²S²™ model (Cultural, Compliance, Strategy, and Structure) to improve organizational success.

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