Meet Our Speakers And Our Team At the First-Year Experience® Conference 2024


Every year, attending the First-Year Experience® Conference is a highlight for our speakers and our team. We enjoy meeting with our academic partners from across the country and sharing ideas on programming that inspires and empowers students during their initial year of college.

Where can you find us?

  • If you have registered for any of the Penguin Random House author events, we’ll see you at the Author Breakfast on Monday, February 19th 7:15AM – 8:45AM and/or at the Author Lunch on Monday, February 19th from 12:15PM – 1:45PM. All details can be found here.
  • Booth 45-46

What speakers can you see at our breakfast and lunch events?

Pervical Everett

Internationally acclaimed author and Pulitzer Prize finalist
FYE Percival Everett

John Hendrickson

Staff Writer for The Atlantic, author of Life on Delay
FYE John Hendrickson

Emi Nietfeld

Software engineer, writer, and author of Acceptance
FYE Emi Nietfeld

And whether you are coming to Seattle or not, we look forward speaking to you about what speaker and title is best suited for your campus.

Some of the titles by our speakers that we’ll be featuring in our booth:

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Dr. Aomawa Shields

Astronomer, astrobiologist, and Professor of Physics and Astronomy

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Bill Burnett

Executive Director of the Design Program at Stanford and co-author of the #1 New York Times-bestselling book Designing Your Life

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Dave Evans

Co-author of the #1 New York Times-bestselling book Designing Your Life

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Bo Seo

Two-time world champion debater and author of Good Arguments

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Bren Smith

Restorative ocean farmer, co-founder of GreenWave, and author of Eat Like a Fish

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Brit Bennett

Novelist of National Book Award nominated, New York Times-bestselling The Vanishing Half, and National Book Foundation 2016 5 Under 35 Honoree

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Celeste Ng

Author of the New York Times bestseller Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere

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Chanel Miller

Artist, activist, and author of the New York Times bestseller Know My Name

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Colson Whitehead

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys


Cristina Henríquez

Critically acclaimed author of The Book of Unknown Americans and The Great Divide

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Daniel Sherrell

Environmental advocate and author of Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World

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Ed Catmull

Co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, former president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and author of Creativity, Inc.

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Emi Nietfeld

Software engineer, writer, and author of Acceptance


Private: Hisham Matar

Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Return, In the Country of Men, and My Friends

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Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

National Book Award-winning historian and #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist

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Isabel Wilkerson

Pulitzer Prize winner and author of the critically-acclaimed bestsellers The Warmth of Other Suns and Caste


Javier Zamora

Memoirist, poet, and author of Solito, and a winner of the 2023 American Book Award.

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Jedidiah Jenkins

Travel writer, environmental advocate, adventurer, and memoirist.

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Jenny Odell

New York Times-bestselling author of How to Do Nothing and Saving Time

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John Hendrickson

Staff Writer for The Atlantic, author of Life on Delay

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Kwame Onwuachi

James Beard award-winning chef and Top Chef guest judge

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Leila Mottley

Award-winning author of Oprah’s Book Club selection Nightcrawling and former Youth Poet Laureate of Oakland

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Dr. Matthew Delmont

Expert on African American history and author of Half American

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Dr. Michele Harper

Emergency room physician and author of the New York Times-bestselling The Beauty in Breaking


Michelle Zauner

Frontwoman of Japanese Breakfast and author of New York Times bestselling Crying in H Mart

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Dr. Mona Hanna

Physician, scientist and activist who exposed the Flint water crisis

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Ocean Vuong

Poet and author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Speaker Percival

Percival Everett

Internationally acclaimed author and Pulitzer Prize finalist

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Dr. Simran Jeet Singh

Motivational speaker, author, and human rights activist

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Dr. Thomas Fisher

Emergency room physician and author of The Emergency: A Year of Healing and Heartbreak in a Chicago ER

Speaker Tommy

Tommy Orange

Bestselling novelist and author of There There and Wandering Stars

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Dr. Uché Blackstock

Founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, emergency physician, and bestselling author of Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine

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Yaa Gyasi

Author of Homegoing and Transcendent Kingdom, and recipient of the National Book Foundation’s ‘Under 35’ award