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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Sept. 8, 2016

Student Activities Council announces 2016-17 lecture series

The Student Activities Council (SAC) at Northwest Missouri State University has announced its lecture series for the 2016-17 academic year.

This year’s lineup features Daniel Rodriguez, a former wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams and military veteran; Hilary Corna, a motivational speaker, author and former senior executive officer for Toyota Asia; Ross Szabo, an author and mental health expert; Kyle Maynard, an ESPY Award-winning athlete born without arms and legs; and Janaya Khan, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter-Toronto.

Shyla Kallhoff, SAC’s director of lecture programming, said the lecturers will inspire, challenge and educate students.

“We are going to be focusing on diversity, equity, leadership and self-awareness,” Kallhoff said. “We are bringing in lecture guests who can motivate, provide new viewpoints, diversify and allow students to develop themselves as people.” 

All SAC lectures are free and open to the public. Lectures begin at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m. and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Lectures will take place in the Charles Johnson Theater at the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building, with the exception of Hilary Corna, who will present in the Mary Linn Auditorium at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.

The series begins with Rodriguez’s lecture Monday, Sept. 19.

SAC plans and administers activities for Northwest students to contribute to a more well-rounded social, recreational and cultural life for the campus and community. SAC provides entertaining alternatives to students with late night activities and events throughout the year including concerts, lectures, movies and comedians.

More details about the lectures is provided below. For more information, contact SAC at 660.562.1226 or

Monday, Sept. 19 | Daniel Rodriguez

Rodriquez survived the bloodiest clash of war in Afghanistan and then left the military and walked onto the Clemson football team to fulfill a promise to a friend who died on the battlefield. He received the Purple Heart award and Bronze Star for bravery but suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

He started playing football at the age of 6 with his father serving as a mentor and coach from the beginning. Losing his father to a massive heart attack led to Rodriguez enlisting in the military. To learn more, visit

Daniel Rodriguez

Monday, Oct. 10 | Hilary Corna

As a first-generation college student raised in a single-parent family, Corna has shared her message with more than 30,000 students at leadership conferences, orientations and first-year programs around the country. Her program is designed to increase student engagement with a mission of developing individually responsible global leaders. 

Corna’s motivational speech, “#DareYourself,” is a student programming lecture about global leadership, student engagement and personal growth. She has been seen in Forbes Women, The New York Times and TED Ideas Worth Speaking. To learn more, visit

Hilary Corna

Wednesday, Nov. 9 | Ross Szabo

Szabo is a social pioneer who has led the youth mental health movement. He is an expert at creating sustainable mental health curriculum and programs that reach large audiences. His presentations and the speakers he has trained have inspired millions of people to address their mental health. His lecture is titled “Behind Happy Faces: Talking About Mental Health.”

Ross Szabo

Wednesday, Jan. 25 | Kyle Maynard

Maynard is a motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur and athlete. Despite being born with arms that end at the elbows and legs near the knees, he has wrestled, set weightlifting records and fought in mixed martial arts. He also became the first man to crawl on his own to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.

He has been honored with two ESPY Awards – 2004 Best Athlete with a Disability and 2012 Best Male Athlete with a Disability – and he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. His book, “No Excuses,” describes his life testament to accepting challenges and exceeding potential. To learn more, visit

Kyle Maynard

Wednesday, Feb. 8 | Janaya Khan

Khan, known as “Future” in the Black Lives matter movement, is a black, queer, gender nonconforming activist, staunch Afrofuturist, social-justice educator and boxer based in Toronto. 

She has become a leading voice in the global crusade demanding social transformation, justice and equality. To learn more, visit

Janaya Khan

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468