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Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote Speaker: Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck, PhD 

"Be More. Involve More: Rising to the Challenge"

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST | Harborside Ballrooms ABC

Description: Implicit and explicit associations and biases can influence our thoughts, judgments, decision making, and therefore outcomes- thus preventing us from “Being More and Involving More.”

Utilizing real life examples, active engagement, and a hint of research, this keynote will empower attendees to: 

  • Understand the ways biases can distort perceptions and negatively impact the treatment of those we most need to reach 
  • Identify and use strategies for disrupting and reducing biases in the workplace 
  • Reduce the influence and sabotage biases can have on ourselves, our work environments, and the strategic goals of our institutions.

Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck, PhD
Inclusive Excellence Lecturer
University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, College of Education & Professional Studies

When she is not pulling out identification to prove her name really is Marijuana Pepsi, Dr. Vandyck serves as an Inclusive Excellence Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the College of Education & Professional Studies, a funded postdoctoral program with the goal of increasing the numbers of faculty of color in the professoriate. Prior to taking on this role, Dr. Vandyck served as the director of the Department of Education funded TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Program at Beloit College serving first generation, low income, and multi-ability students. Dr. Vandyck holds a PhD in Higher Education Leadership, a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Her research interests include college access, persistence and graduation, and factors impacting academic achievement in marginalized student populations. A firm believer in giving back and uplifting others, Dr. Vandyck established the Marijuana Pepsi Scholarship for first generation African-American students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, her alma mater.

In addition to her work as an educator, she is an unapologetic lifelong entrepreneur and proponent of deliberately and strategically living life to the fullest. She is proud to practice what she preaches and in addition to teaching her college students, Dr. Vandyck serves as a licensed real estate investor and a life strategy coach- offering hands on interactive workshops and multi-day residential retreats focused on helping attendees build a life of design rather than default.

Marijuana loves reading historical romance novels, camping, fishing, and kayaking alongside her husband Fredrick and son Isaac when not working on their rural three acre homestead which typically houses two pigs, 13 ducks, 15 chickens, and 110 guinea fowl. Her next big goal is to purchase and operate a small to midsize 12-50 lot mobile home park in either the Midwest or a southern state close to Florida.


 Closing Keynote Speaker: Farouk Dey, PhD 

"#ReimagineU - Designing Equity in Higher Education and Talent Acquisition"

Friday, August 7, 2020 | 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM EST | Harborside Ballroom C

Description: Economic changes, technological advances, and generational trends are the impetus behind the rapid paradigm shifts we are witnessing in education, career development, and the world of work. These shifts are changing how people design their lives and careers, how universities structure curricula and academic experience, and how organizations hire and retain talent.

Based on his research and extensive experience at Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Farouk Dey identified inequities in life and career outcomes for under-represented minorities that are largely due to the transactional systems in higher education and talent acquisition. In this provocative keynote about the future, he shares the new themes that define how people achieve their life purpose and recommends future directions for educational institutions and hiring organizations in order to achieve equity for all graduates.

In the new and evolving digital age, equity must be our ultimate vision and outcome, scale should become our main value proposition, data drives our decisions and resources, and the path to one’s life purpose must transcend conventional transactional approaches in order to be accessible to all regardless of background or social capital.


Farouk Dey, PhD
Vice Provost of Integrative Learning and Life Design
Johns Hopkins University

In his inaugural role as Vice Provost for Integrative Learning and Life Design at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Farouk Dey leads programs and services that bridge curricular and experiential learning with life aspirations for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and alumni across the university’s schools and divisions. In his former role as Dean of Career and Experiential Education at Stanford University, he successfully built and scaled career and experiential learning by creating a vision of meaningful work and a networked approach of personalized connections and inclusive communities. He is now working with education and industry leaders at Johns Hopkins University to launch a new vision of equitable access to life purpose for all students regardless of background or social capital using principles of integrative learning and life design.

Dr. Dey has held senior leadership and board roles at Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, the University of Florida, the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE), the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), and various startups and non-profit organizations. His credentials include a PhD in Higher Education Administration, EdS in Higher Education Administration, MBA, MEd in Counseling Psychology, and BBA in Finance.

A native of Algeria, Dr. Dey has been involved in education since a young age and has developed a passion for helping people and organizations achieve their ultimate potential. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Ten Voices in Education and is recognized in higher education circles for his thought-provoking writings, engaging speaking, and transformational leadership. Dr. Dey has served as a consultant for many organizations and universities, faculty at several institutes, and keynote speaker at many conferences in the US and around the world. Most notably, he led a four-year Department of State initiative to build career education and talent development programs at universities throughout the Philippines, taught transformative leadership courses for the Ministry of Education in Singapore, hosted dozens of international delegations from around the world, and delivered keynotes at conferences in Austria, Algeria, Egypt, France, Germany, Korea, Russia, and across the United States. The central theme of his work has been inclusion and equity of access to education and opportunity for all people regardless of background or social capital.