Westminster University inaugurated Bethami Dobkin, PhD, as the 19th president in a formal installation ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Richer Commons.
President Dobkin's Inaugural Speech
"At its core, Westminster is about developing people, bringing students together in community, where they learn the freedom to think, the wisdom to know, and the aptitude to act. Each part in the Westminster education is indispensable to the others, and together with our unique place, make Westminster a truly remarkable institution."
Which Values Will Endure in a Digital World?
About the Symposium
Digital technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship have brought changes to human interaction and experience that, while improving lives, may also challenge fundamental notions of what it means to be human.
This symposium explores ways that technological innovation might improve or damage lives and asks us to consider: What role does higher education have in not just preparing students to live and work in digital environments, but also critically understand and align those environments with a commitment to human dignity and equity?
Keynote Address: Learning Leadership in an Era of Digital Transformation
None of us are immune to the effects of the digital era in which we live. How we work, play, bank, drive, study—the digitization of the most mundane to the most complex elements of our lives is ubiquitous and will only deepen as new technologies like artificial intelligence improve. But how do these changes influence our roles as parents, friends, siblings, co-workers, learners, and leaders? We live in a time when social media takes priority over social services, where what counts as meaningful is measured in likes rather than life-defining changes. This keynote focuses on the question of how higher education and the liberal arts can play a critical role in defining the social, moral, and intellectual foundations of digital leadership.
Amy Loomis, PhD
Founder, Loomis Digital Learning
Co-Founder, IBM Think Academy
Loomis is the founder of Loomis Digital Learning, through which she consults with a range of clients from Fortune 100 organizations to start-ups. She currently sits on the advisory boards of Boston University’s Digital Education Incubator; start-up Demingway; and the UMass, Amherst Graduate Communication Program.
Loomis spent 15 years at IBM in various leadership roles across the communications function. In 2013, she co-founded IBM’s Think Academy—a global digital learning platform and program for 380,000 employees across 170 countries. Think Academy is designed to enable IBMers and business partners to effectively engage with clients and peers around IBM’s strategic imperatives.
Loomis’s research focuses on the relationship between technological innovation, organizational change, and business results. She has published in trade, academic, and industry outlets, and continues to consult, write, and speak on the topics of digital education and transformation.
Leaders in medical technology, religion, law, social science, and product development will share perspectives on the ways that technology aids or threatens our health, dignity, and privacy, as well as ways that technological innovation has prompted new ways of collaborating and learning. After a panel discussion and keynote talk on these challenging issues, audience members will be asked to consider the various perspectives shared during the symposium and explore strategies for becoming informed and ethical creators and consumers in digital environments.
Erin Coleman, MFA
Assistant Professor of Communication, Westminster University
Erin Coleman is assistant professor of communication at Westminster University specializing in visual communication, design thinking, and user experience design. She chaired the BFA program in visual design at Broadview Entertainment Arts University from 2012 to 2016.
Coleman received her MFA in studio art from Northern Illinois University and BA in art education from Goshen College. She is a freelance designer focusing on creating human-centered designs and has a mixed-media, art-making practice spanning sculpture, video, wearable arts, prints, installation, and relational aesthetics. Since moving to Salt Lake City in 2011, she has been chosen as an artist for the 35 x 35 exhibition of Utah Art Professionals under the age of 35, held solo exhibitions Efflorescence and In the Distance Between Here and My Heart, and curated several art shows at Kaye Meyher Gallery, including Envision: Art Addressing Sexual Violence.
Her current work, Lacrimae Rerum, a series of collograph prints and a custom typeface designed around the teardrop icon, will be exhibited in January 2019 at Bountiful Davis Art Center.
Nicole Bedera (Honors, ’14)
PhD candidate in sociology, University of Michigan
Nicole Bedera is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Michigan and a graduate of Westminster’s Honors College. Bedera’s work focuses on gender and sexuality with an emphasis on college sexual violence and masculinity. In particular, how undergraduate men interpret sexual consent and lesbian and bisexual college women’s experiences with sexual violence. While at Westminster, Bedera worked as a victim advocate on the Hospital Response Team at the Rape Recovery Center, and she was honored upon graduation with Westminster’s Trustees’ Character Award. Bedera is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship.
Having completed her MA in sociology at the University of Maryland, Bedera has turned her attention to a dissertation that will explore how colleges handle sexual misconduct complaints. She has published essays in a variety of books, academic journals, and popular outlets, including Contexts, Teaching Sociology, Sexuality and Culture, Inside Higher Ed, and The New York Times. Her work has been featured on NPR, Huffington Post, and Daily Beast.
Ray Bradford (Honors, '07)
Founder and CEO, Spruce Health
Ray Bradford is founder and CEO of Spruce Health, a digital healthcare platform that makes collaborating around patients’ needs simple, pleasant, and efficient. An Honors College alumnus of Westminster—where he was also student body president—Bradford received his MBA from Stanford University’s School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.
Before becoming CEO of Spruce five years ago, Bradford worked for Amazon as head of product management, databases, and then as an investment partner at Kleiner Perkins. Bradford sits on the Advisory Board of Stanford University’s School of Medicine and was honored in Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” issue. While he lives in San Francisco, Bradford says his heart is still in Salt Lake City.
The Right Reverend Scott B. Hayashi
Eleventh Bishop of Utah, The Episcopal Church
The Right Reverend Scott B. Hayashi was consecrated as the Eleventh Bishop of Utah on November 6, 2010, following his election in May 2010. Bishop Hayashi was ordained a priest in 1984. He has served as a parish priest from 1984–2005, serving in congregations in Washington, Utah, and California. In 2005, he became the Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Chicago.
Bishop Hayashi attended Harvard Divinity School where he met his wife, Amy, who was then a student at Episcopal Divinity School. They have been married for 34 years and have three daughters. He has served in rural, urban, and suburban parishes, thus drawing on a variety of experience in a broad spectrum of the Episcopal Church.
In addition to his duties as the bishop of the Diocese of Utah, Hayashi serves as a member of the Executive Council for The Episcopal Church. Bishop Hayashi has fought for the dignity of all humans in our immigration laws, health care for all, gun safety, and equal treatment for people who are LGBTQIA+. He is one of the five sponsors of the ballot initiative to expand Medicaid in Utah: Proposition 3. He has also worked to strengthen the relationships of people of differing religious traditions.
Kristine Edde Johnson
Attorney and Shareholder, Parsons Behle & Latimer
Kristine Edde Johnson is a shareholder at Parsons Behle & Latimer, the largest law firm in the state of Utah, and concentrates her practice on intellectual property litigation, particularly patent infringement and trade secret litigation. She also has experience in commercial litigation, including insurance, breach of contract, and non-compete disputes.
Johnson received her BA from Trinity University and her law degree from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, where she was a William H. Leary Scholar. She has engaged in appellate practice before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in patent infringement cases and has represented clients in industries ranging from medical devices and biotechnology to software. She has appeared before courts in numerous jurisdictions, including California, Utah, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Delaware.
Johnson formerly served as chair of the Intellectual Property litigation practice group and as a member of the firm’s hiring committee. She is currently a member of the firm’s board of directors, where she serves as secretary.
Nate Walkingshaw is the chief experience officer at Pluralsight Inc., a technology-learning platform. Walkingshaw began his product-experience journey in 2004, when his first company, Paramed, revolutionized the medical patient-transport industry with Paraslyde. Paramed was acquired by Stryker Medical in 2009 and Walkingshaw became the lead of global R&D in the Stryker emergency services division. In the years to follow, Walkingshaw grew his reputation within the UX world through developing successful apps such as Cycleface, which he created through his product-development company, Brightface. Cycleface was acquired by Strava Corporation, the best fitness app for endurance athletes in the world. Walkingshaw was later recruited to serve as the chief of research and innovation at Tanner Labs, a technology research and development division inside O.C. Tanner Recognition Company.
Walkingshaw joined Pluralsight in 2015 as chief product officer. In February 2016, his role expanded to chief experience officer (CXO) to oversee the company’s engineering, content, and author teams. As CXO, Walkingshaw rebuilt Pluralsight’s platform experience from the ground up, empowering businesses around the world to acquire the tech skills they need to thrive in the digital age.
Walkingshaw is the co-author of the best-selling book Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams.