March 18th, 2023

The most pressing issues of our generation require effective leadership in engineering. In recognition of this, the University of Colorado Engineering Council, in collaboration with Pro-Ready, is excited to host the first annual Student Leadership Summit on March 18th from 10am-4pm at the DISCOVERY LEARNING CENTER (building across from the ITLL).

The summit will focus on ethical engineering practices for a sustainable future and include a keynote speaker, catered lunch, and various workshops.

Please RSVP here! Please check this page to stay in the loop!


Time Activity
10-10:30am Check-in & Breakfast
10:30-10:45am Opening Remarks
10:50-11:50am Workshop 1
11:50-12:30pm Lunch
12:30-1pm Keynote - Chris Sherry
1:15-2:15pm Workshop 2
2:20-3:20pm Workshop 3
3:25-4:00pm Closing Remarks, Reflection

Key Notespeaker - Chris Sherry

From his interview with CU Boulder's Ellen Fike: In 1985, not long after obtaining his bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder, Chris Sherry was scanning the classified ads and found a structural engineering job that sounded right up his alley. He never expected to stay at Merrick & Company for decades. He definitely never expected to become its president, chairman of the board and fifth-ever CEO, either. “I want the students to walk away with the knowledge that there is a place in the world for them, as engineers and leaders. The world needs them as leaders. If we had more engineers leading the country today, we’d be in a hell of a lot better place." ~ Chris Sherry

Mr. Sherry will discuss emotional intelligence and how engineers can truly make impact by being knowledgable in STEM and leaders. 

Chris Sherry


“Getting Past Impostor Syndrome to Claim your Leadership Style and Identity as an Engineering Leader” - Dr. Janet Tsai

This workshop will ask you to consider who you are (your identities) and ask you where you want to go from here. We’ll discuss aligning your values and identities in the context of your leadership style, moving beyond feelings of being an impostor to find ways to authentically belong in any environment – engineering or otherwise. We will practice how to activate our leadership skills and develop comfort in the role of leadership even through challenging situations involving conflict or confrontation, ultimately reinforcing your identity and power as an engineering leader.

"Resilient Evolution;  Applying an Ethic of Authentic Adaptation" - Dr. Angela Thieman Dino

As leaders, how do we lead ourselves and our organizations amidst complexities that require we both sustain and change? Join anthropologist and Engineering Leadership Program professor,  Dr. Angela Thieman Dino, to practice applying a concept borrowed from paleontology to address these challenges that get to the heart of authenticity, resilience, and survival. Expect to engage in collaborative analyses of personal and organizational values, goals and contexts, and expect to leave with concrete next-steps for enhancing sustainability. 

"Leading to a Better Future" - Ron Duren Jr.

In this interactive workshop we will start with a blank canvas to reimagine what the leader of the future needs to be to sustain excellence in our communities and organizations. Are we attracting the right kind of people to leadership, for the right reasons, in the right way? Let’s create a better future driven by better leaders.


Speaker Bios:

Janet Y. Tsai is a researcher and instructor in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on ways to encourage more students, especially women and those from nontraditional demographic groups, to pursue interests in the field of engineering. A second vein of Janet's research seeks to identify the social and cultural impacts of technological choices made by engineers in the process of designing and creating new devices and systems. Her work considers the intentional and unintentional consequences of durable structures and standards in engineering education, to pinpoint areas for transformative change.


Angela Thieman Dino

Angela Thieman Dino is a cultural anthropologist at home in the Engineering Leadership Program in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.  From local communities to global movements,  her ethnographic fieldwork, and human rights and development work, have focused on youth and social change.  Her teaching engages students in interdisciplinary inquiry that informs ethical leadership in complex contexts. 


Ron Duren Jr. is, at his core, a teacher. In fact, his core purpose/mission is to elevate and inspire others to do hard things and relish challenges. He does this through value creation, leadership development, teaching, and inspirational speaking. This purpose drives his passion to groom the next generation through leadership development and what he calls, "leading to a better future." Serving in this role as an assistant professor of leadership and management at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is also the founder of Forging Mettle®, Inc. which specializes in leadership training and development.With his unique background, including adventures as a rodeo bull rider, aerobatic aviator, builder of an award-winning airplane, Leadville 100-mile run participant, Ironman triathlete, TEDx speaker and semi-professional baseball player. He has a keen interest in pressure performance; regulating arousal/emotion and harnessing the awesome power of fear, anxiety, and stress when it matters most. After 18 years working in the corporate world as a Mechanical Engineer, he pivoted to his new role to make a bigger dent in the universe. He strives to make an impact by giving back and helping others find their path on the hero’s journey. Serving a greater good is foundational to his work. His diverse melting pot of wisdom from business entrepreneurship, academia, sports, aviation and as host of the popular Forging Mettle® Podcast, make him a sought-after resource on "embracing hard stuff and savoring small stuff." He loves to explore the intersection of hard science, ancient philosophy, and psychological skills training. Life is the ultimate endurance sport. He believes we are all athletes in the game of life and mastery of the mental game is crucial to optimal enduring performance in and out of the boardroom. For him, the jet fuel for his engine is the never-ending curiosity to unlock the secrets of how we can be our best selves by learning from those who have shown the way. From ancient philosophers and warriors to modern thought leaders and gladiators fighting the good fight. Join him in this vision quest.