The Readiness Institute (RI) Speaker Series presents monthly webinars that connect industry, education, and community leaders with high school counselors to help them prepare their students to graduate with the skills and mindsets necessary to achieve success through community and future readiness. Each month, the RI Speaker Series will focus on a specific career field and take a deep dive into the experience and skills required to enter — and thrive in — the field.

Webinars will be held monthly from September through May. We encourage school counselors to join us live, but we recognize that schedules may not always allow that, so all webinars will be recorded and archived for future viewing. Participants are welcome to ask questions during the webinar, but may also submit questions in advance.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events scheduled at this time.

Recorded Events

Alumni Engagement

Date Recorded: February 23, 2023
Duration: 13 minutes

Watch our conversation with Fred Quinn III, the inaugural Alumni Network Coordinator at the Readiness Institute, as he discusses the importance of alumni engagement and how the Readiness Institute is leveraging relationships to unlock future opportunities for success.

Preparing for Sustainable Careers

Date Recorded: December 22, 2022
Duration: 25 minutes

We talked with Tom Bartnik, director of the Penn State Center Pittsburgh and urban sustainability leader. Tom shares his career path that led to his urban sustainability work in Pittsburgh. Tom explains current careers and tips and resources for students interested in entering sustainable careers.

Better Decisions, Better Lives

Date Recorded: November 17, 2022
Duration: 27 minutes

We talked with decision-analysis consultant and instructor Dan Wallem. Dan shared the decision-making processes he uses to help organizations improve the quality of their decisions. The tools Dan shared are helpful for professionals and students making decisions to achieve their goals.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0)

Date Recorded: May 19, 2022
Duration: 31 minutes

We talked with Dr. Kevin Snider, Chancellor of Penn State New Kensington. Dr. Snider explained what Industry 4.0 is and how Penn State New Kensington is preparing students and residents in southwestern Pennsylvania to engage with digital technologies that are changing business and the workforce.

What is Community and Future Readiness?

Date Recorded: April 21, 2022
Duration: 35 minutes

We sat down with Dr. Stanley Thompson, Senior Director of The Heinz Endowments’ Education Program and Executive Advisor of the Readiness Institute at Penn State, to discuss how we can equip learners with the skills, attitudes, and values necessary to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing world.

Learner Empowerment

Date Recorded: March 17, 2022
Duration: 33 minutes

Co-hosts Esther Wojcicki, CEO of Global Moonshots in Education, and Casey Mindlin, Executive Director of STEM Coding Lab in Pittsburgh, join the Readiness Institute to share how educators can empower their students.

Partnering for Good

Date Recorded: February 17, 2022
Duration: 19 minutes

Sam Moore, the executive director of the Moonshot Museum, shared how he is partnering for good to launch the new museum in the Manchester neighborhood in Pittsburgh.

Community Engagement

Date Recorded: January 18, 2022
Duration: 21 minutes

Delvina Morrow, Senior Director of Strategic Community Initiatives and DEI with the Pittsburgh Penguins, shared her professional career working in community engagement.

Future Career Pathways

Date Recorded: November 18, 2021
Duration: 21 minutes

Roozbeh Aliabadi, CEO of ReadyAI, discusses how artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the workforce and our day-to-day lives. He shares his career experience and how to prepare students to succeed in their future careers.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Date Recorded: October 21, 2021
Duration: 32 minutes

Karen Armstrong, director of inclusion, equity, and diversity for Penn State Outreach and Online Education, speaks about diversity in business and the many learning and economic benefits of collaborating with people with different perspectives.

Emotional Wellness

Date Recorded: September 16, 2021
Duration: 20 minutes

Elena Runco, director of student support social workers at Pittsburgh Public Schools, speaks about emotional wellness for educators and students to help them navigate a school year that looks different from past years.