Embracing Challenge and Failing Forward 

University of Colorado Engineering Council and ProReady are excited to invite all Engineering First Years to the first Emerging Leaders Summit on October 21st in the Will Vill Conference Room with check in and breakfast begining at 9:30am.

Learn about how you can become a better leader by overcoming challenges and failures. Speakers come from a range of backgrounds and are excited to share new skills and ways you can make an impact throughout your undergraduate career. 

Sign up here:

Schedule for the Event:

9:30am - Check in Opens, Breakfast

10-10:30am - Opening Introduction, Breakfast

10:30-11:45am - Workshop Session 1, Workshop A or Workshop B

11:50-12:40pm - Lunchtime, Alumni Panel

12:45-1:55pm - Workshop 2, Workshop A or Workshop C

2-2:30pm - Conclusion


Speaker Bios



Professor Becky Komarek serves as the Associate Director of the Idea Forge in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU Boulder. She teaches classes and workshops related to design thinking, prototyping, and professional skills for the Idea Forge and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She does research on leadership development among engineering students working in design teams. Her mission is to make sure engineering students take advantage of the infinite possibilities available to them during their time at college and beyond.  


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.