Cardinal Talks returns to bring inspirational speakers to campus

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Student Life will continue its biannual Cardinal Talks Extended speaker series this week on Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge.

The event, modeled after TED talks, has been an ongoing series of speakers from all walks of life in an attempt to connect with and inform audiences by hosting speakers who demonstrate what it takes to be a leader in one’s own community.

Once a semester, Student Life asks various members of the SVSU community to speak about their life experiences and their roles as leaders. These presentations can be anything from a motivational speech to an informative lesson, all laid out in a casual and engaging environment.

“We want students to come to Cardinal Talks Extended at least once in the undergrad experience to hear from other SVSU leaders,” said Assistant Director of Student Life Cara Deschermeier. “Essentially, we want students to be able to take away pieces of information from other successful SVSU leaders. ‘How did they get to where they are?’ ‘What leadership roles do or did they hold?’ ‘What may have been some of their roadblocks?’ And so on.”

For this semester, Cardinal Talks Extended will feature five speakers, four solo presentations and one joint presentation which all represent different facets of the SVSU community.

The speakers will be criminal justice professor Joseph Jaksa, Assistant Director of Admissions Katrina Murrell, alumni Frank Sanders and the 2017 Homecoming Queen and King, current SVSU students Mikaela Ashton and Mitchell Kennedy.

All of the presentations will be focused on specific experiences that taught each speaker a valuable lesson that has allowed them to achieve success, as well as some examples from their own lives demonstrating how they have used those skills in situations of leadership. The only criteria given to the speakers prior to preparing their presentations was that they must discuss life lessons and leadership development.

“We selected the speakers we have this semester because we feel they all bring something valuable to the table,” Deschermeier said. “They have experienced a lot here at SVSU during their undergrad or as an employee, and are willing to share those experiences with other SVSU students in hopes that they may learn something from their stories.”

Cardinal Talks Extended is free for all students. A catered meal will be provided for those in attendance, though seats are limited. For more information or to RSVP for the event, visit