First-Year Experience Speakers

These First-Year Experience speakers build community among students while challenging, engaging, and inspiring them to start their college career with a fresh perspective.

Dr. Michele Harper

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

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

National Book Award-winning historian and New York Times-bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist

Chanel Miller

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

Kwame Onwuachi

James Beard award-winning chef, Top Chef contestant and judge, and author of Notes from a Young Black Chef

Bren Smith

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

More First-Year Experience Speakers

Omar El Akkad

Award-winning journalist and author of the debut novel American War

Moustafa Bayoumi

Journalist and author of How Does it Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America

Geraldine Brooks

Author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning March and the international bestselling People of the Book

Bill Burnett

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

Francisco Cantú

Former US Border Patrol Agent and author of The Line Becomes a River

Ta-Nehisi Coates

#1 New York Times-bestselling author of Between the World and Me and The Water Dancer

Dr. Matthew Delmont

Expert on African-American history and author of Black Quotidian and Half American

Hernan Diaz

Author of finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award In the Distance

Dave Evans

Co-founder of Electronic Arts and co-author of the #1 New York Times-bestselling book Designing Your Life

Franklin Foer

National correspondent for The Atlantic, New America Foundation fellow, and former editor of The New Republic

Anand Giridharadas

Author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World and on-air political analyst for MSNBC

Yaa Gyasi

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

Kristen Iversen

Award-winning author of Full Body Burden and public health speaker

Phil Klay

U.S. Marine Corps veteran and author of Redeployment, winner of 2014 National Book Award for Fiction

Carlotta Walls LaNier

Youngest of the Little Rock Nine, civil rights advocate, National Women's Hall of Fame inductee

Jill Leovy

Author of the New York Times-bestselling book, Ghettoside

Ian Manuel

Advocate for criminal justice reform, poet, and motivational speaker

Josh Neufeld

Award-winning comics journalist and author of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge

Jenny Nordberg

Award-winning investigative reporter, foreign correspondent, and author of The Underground Girls of Kabul

Marjane Satrapi

Academy Award-nominated director, cartoonist, and author of Persepolis

Daniel Sherrell

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

Gary Shteyngart

New York Times-bestselling author of Little Failure, Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan, and Our County Friends

Suzanne Simard

Leader of The Mother Tree Project and author of Finding the Mother Tree

Bina Venkataraman

Author of The Optimist's Telescope and Editorial Page Editor at The Boston Globe

Colson Whitehead

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

Isabel Wilkerson

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

Zachary R. Wood

Former President of Uncomfortable Learning at Williams College, author of Uncensored, and free speech advocate