Linda Rosen

Since 2010, Linda P. Rosen has been the chief executive officer of Change the Equation, which works with and through its corporate members to ensure that K-12 students are STEM-literate by collaborating with schools, communities, and states to adopt and implement relevant policies and high quality programs.  Dr. Rosen’s career has focused on scaling up research-based best practices, and working with states, localities, and corporations to ensure long-term sustainability and success. In 2015, she was appointed by Education Secretary Arne Duncan to a four-year term on the National Assessment Governing Board, which helps set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card.

Dr. Rosen previously served as president of Education and Management Innovations, Inc., and as senior vice president of the National Alliance of Business, with a focus on math and science education policy. She was also a senior math and science adviser to Education Secretary Richard W. Riley where she led the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, known familiarly as the John Glenn Commission.  Prior to joining the Department, Dr. Rosen was Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Academy of Sciences’ Associate Executive Director of the Mathematical Sciences Education Board. Early in her career, Dr. Rosen taught mathematics to high school through graduate school students.

Jerlando Jackson

Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education and the Director and Chief Research Scientist of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As Director of the Wei LAB, he is responsible for managing the Innovation Incubator (I2), National Study of Intercollegiate Athletics (NSIA), and the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education. Dr. Jackson is working to advance the Wei LAB’s Translational and Commercialization Division, which fosters new education products and ventures based on the LAB’s scientific and intellectual property assets stewardship. These efforts have led to two new university start-up enterprises: Compete Brands LLC and Beyond the Game (BTG) Solutions LLC. Prior to establishing the Wei LAB in 2010, he served as founding Executive Director of  the Center for African American Research and Policy (CAARP), which is a nonpartisan, independent, nonprofit research organization. CAARP was founded in 2005 as part of his faculty work and professional service obligations, and was spun-out in 2007 as a 501(c)(3).

His central research interest is organizational science in higher education, with a special interest in hiring practices, career mobility, workforce diversity, and workplace discrimination. He also has a portfolio of research focused on interventions designed to broaden participation for underrepresented groups in the scientific workforce. He is credited with over 100 publications that appear in high-impact journals that include Research in Higher Education, IEEE Computer, American Behavioral Scientist, Teachers College Record, Review of Higher Education, and West’s Educational Law Reporter. His books include Measuring Glass Ceiling Effects: Opportunities and Challenges for Jossey Bass (2014),  Introduction to American Higher Education for Routledge (2010), Ethnic and Racial Administrative Diversity: Understanding Work Life Realities and Experiences in Higher Education for Jossey Bass (2009); Strengthening the African American Educational Pipeline: Informing Research, Policy, and Practice for SUNY-Albany Press (2007); and Toward Administrative Reawakening: Creating and Maintaining Safe College Campuses for Stylus Publishing (2007). Dr. Jackson has delivered over 200 research papers and keynote addresses globally.

Laura Packer

Laura Packer knows the best way to the truth is through a good story. She is a nationally recognized storyteller, teacher and the sole proprietor of thinkstory llc, one of the foremost organizational storytelling groups in the United States. She has told, taught, ranted, raved, consulted and considered storytelling around the world. Laura has helped for- and non-profit organizations around the world identify, hone, capitalize upon and celebrate their stories. Previous clients include NASA, iRobot Corporation, The Society for Information Management, University of Kansas Hospital, Dreamfar, Unbound and others.

She has performed at venues as wide-ranging as Ciudad de las Ideas, the National Storytelling Festival Exchange Place Stage, the National Storytelling Conference, Tejas Storytelling Conference, Sharing the Fire, Type-A Parent, The International Listening Association fringe and arts festivals, schools, assisted living facilities and more. Laura is the winner of the 2010 National Storytelling Network Oracle Award, the 2012 League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling Brother Blue Award and was a finalist in the Boston Story Slam series for three years running. Her 2016 Kansas City Fringe show won Best in Fringe. Most recently she was co-awarded the 2017 J.J. Reneaux Mentorship grant from the National Storytelling Network.

When she isn’t working with organizations or performing from the stage, Laura teaches, runs venues, coaches, writes, and helps individuals find their voice and use their story to make the world a better place. For her story and more, go to To learn more about her organizational storytelling work go to and For her personal and storytelling blog go to

Jamie Mayo

Jamie Mayo has served as a youth librarian for the Kansas City Public Library for 15 years. She was a member of the original team that landed a MacArthur Learning Labs grant, and continues to work to bring STEAM learning opportunities to the youth of Kansas City through library programming. A significant focus of that grant proposal and the subsequent work remains helping teens to change the stories they’ve been handed about who they are and what is possible for them. To that end, Jamie has trained with the Story Center, a national non-profit based in Berkeley, CA, where she learned to create personal digital stories and to facilitate the process with others.

She is active in the National Storytelling Network and the Healing Story Alliance. She is currently working with the HSA to compile stories significant to the GLBTQ community. As a member of HSA, she is also working with a group of Kansas City storytellers and healers on a social justice project designed to empower people who have been marginalized by helping them to step into their own stories, shape them, and share them with others.

Joyce Slater

Joyce tells the stories she loves, whether they are fairy tales, folktales, ghost stories or true tales about her life in Kansas City.  She learned how to tell stories from her grandmother and her father.  She has been a professional storyteller for 25 years.  She tells to audiences ranging from 3 years old to Adult. She also teaches storytelling, art and theatre.  She is the Artistic Director of the KC Storytelling Celebration and she serves on the board of River and Prairie Storyweavers, a local storytelling guild and on the board of MO-TELL, a storytelling guild in Missouri.  She is the recipient of the NSN Oracle Award for Service and Leadership and the Oracle Award for Distinguished National Service.

In a former life, Joyce was a banker in the Employee Benefits Department.  She loves the arts and is a visual artist in her own right.

Leigh Anne Taylor Knight

Leigh Anne engages partnerships to redefine the path to preparedness in the 21st Century and ensure democratized access to upward mobility across the lifespan. She is driven to lead the leveraging of resources across sectors for learning, research and community collaboration in order to improve economic development. A teacher at heart, she has also served as a K-12 assistant superintendent and led a bi-state consortium that provides powerful tools for data-driven educational research to inform practice and policy.  She holds graduate and advanced degrees in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Missouri, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Kansas.  “I value working across a variety of sectors to build consensus, synthesize information and crystallize actions, paying special attention to inclusion of diverse views and eliminating barriers that could cause alienation and impede progress.”

Chris Cate

Dr. Chris Cate joined the professional staff of Student Veterans of America in September 2012, as Vice President of Research. Having several relatives who served — a great-uncle in World War II, his father in the Marine reserves, uncles in Vietnam, and cousins in the Navy — he grew up supporting and respecting service members and veterans.

After hearing his college friends’ stories of returning to civilian life and school, Dr. Cate’s support and advocacy for veterans grew further when he realized that colleges and universities were not prepared for student veterans. He began advocating for them on campus by helping to provide information to administrators through his research. His position as Director of Measurement and Learning allowed him to continue his early work, using research to advocate for student veterans, on a larger scale.

Most recently, Dr. Cate served as Associate Director for the Center of Advanced Studies of Individual Differences (CASID) at the University of California at Santa Barbara. While there, he continued to work with student veterans and school administrators to improve services and develop programs to benefit student veterans.

Dr. Cate graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a Master of Arts in Research Methodology and a Doctorate in Special Education, Disability, and Risk Studies. His dissertation examined student veterans’ college experiences and academic performance.