Meet Our Speakers

Our Speakers Are Available to Speak at Your Next Event

Our professionals are available to speak to public and private school systems, libraries, service clubs and organizations, historic societies, as well as civic and non-profit organizations.

Speaker Topics

Our speaker topics include Art, Literature & History, Business, College Readiness, and College Life, Education, Medicine, Science & Natural History, Social Science, and Travel.

Trent Ball

Trent Ball

Trent Ball is the Agriculture Program Chair and an Agriculture Instructor. He has a B.S. in Food Science and M.A. in Agribusiness. He has expertise in agricultural marketing and research interest in wine quality impacts. He teaches an extraordinary range of courses, including Introduction to Washington Wines, Farm Management, Winery Management, Essentials of Winemaking, Winery Operations, and Wine Sensory. Mr. Ball is also the advisor for the Agribusiness and Wine Club on campus. In addition to all these on-campus duties, Mr. Ball enjoys volleyball, skiing, and softball.

One of the industries in the state that has continued to see rapid growth and development is the Washington wine industry. In this seminar, you will learn about what makes the wine industry-unique, the economic impact of the industry on our statewide economy, and the career and job opportunities that are available.

Winemaking is a complex process that marriage between art and science. This seminar will provide an overview of the elements of grape growing and winemaking to craft quality wines. Topics will include fermentation, winery operations, and other processes to go from harvest to the bottle

Claire Carpenter

Claire Carpenter

Claire Carpenter is a biology instructor with diverse academic interests and a passion for communicating complicated subject matter in an accessible way. She enjoys giving presentations to both adult and school-aged audiences. Although her graduate research (MS from UNM) focused on heat shock protein expression in fish, her repertoire of talks includes topics ranging from the microbes that live in and on us, to the biology of honey bees or the history of science and exploration in Antarctica.

How our immune systems protect us from microbes and the changes that occur with aging.

An explanation of the biology of viruses and vaccines, with a focus on what we know about the virus that causes covid-19.

How we acquire the microbes that live in and on us, and how they affect our health in surprising ways.

This presentation can be geared to adults or children (fourth grade and up), and presents information about both the history of Antarctic exploration, the current scientific research being conducted in Antarctica, and the details of what it is like to live and work on the frozen continent. The presentation showcases photographs of Antarctic scenery and animals.

How do bees make honey? How do beekeepers get honey from bees? What determines whether an egg develops into a queen, a drone, or a worker bee? How do bees communicate in the hive? This presentation (appropriate for any age group) will address these and other questions about the lives of honey bees.

What makes some cells become cancerous? How do cancer cells differ from normal body cells? This presentation is appropriate for an audience (high school age or older) with some knowledge of the fundamentals of biology. We will review normal cell function as we learn what goes wrong when cells become cancerous. This presentation incorporates hands-on activities and requires at least two hours.

This presentation covers the basics of the effects of temperature on living things, and how some organisms can survive or thrive in extreme temperatures. This discussion is adaptable for high school or adult audiences.

Joy Clark

Dr. Joy Clark

Joy Clark teaches English Composition and Literature at YVC. She has a Ph.D. from Boston University. Joy is especially interested in helping students develop rhetorical strategies, and make choices as writers to meet the needs of their audience. She has a passion for teaching media literacy, and working with students to explore messages in popular culture.

In this presentation, students will be guided to examine how popular culture (Movies, television, music) contains messages and reveals to us (and sometimes helps to shape and question) what we value. (High school audiences, Slidedeck, projection required)

What tragedy happened in the life of Dante Alighieri to produce the Divine Comedy?  What did he read that shaped his ideas and caused him to create one of the most compelling characters in Western literature?  This presentation discusses Dante’s role in geopolitics, local politics, and the creation of the Divine Comedy from an intense life spent in exile.  (Ages: High school and adult audiences; In-person, Zoom live, or a recording available on request)

Brock Eubanks

Dr. Brock Eubanks

Brock Eubanks earned a B.A. in Finance and an M.B.A. from Washington State University, as well as a Ph.D. from the University of Idaho in Adult and Organizational Learning and Human Resource Development. Joining Yakima Valley College in 2008, he has taught courses at Yakima Valley College including Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Small Business Management, Entrepreneurship, Organizational Behavior, Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, and Managerial Economics. He currently teaches courses in economics and organizational behavior at Yakima Valley College.

This presentation will look at the potential earnings from participating in various levels of higher education, as well as some of the ways to look at college as an investment in your future.

Dodie Forrest

Dodie Forrest

Dodie Forrest is an English instructor and writing center director at Yakima Valley College. She teaches all levels of composition along with women in literature and writing center theory/practice. Dodie designs courses with targeted themes for student engagement and uses culturally responsive practices. She enjoys learning with and from students in the community of her classes.

More than a source of popular entertainment, superheroes–particularly their origin stories–have much to teach us about the world we live in (or wish to live in) and ourselves. Their stories have historical, cultural, and literary significance and raise all kinds of interesting questions about identity, justice, and overcoming adversity to name but a few. In our presentation, we will show that using superheroes as a theme in a composition or introductory literature course can provide a bridge between the lived worlds/identities of students and the world of academia. (Ages: High school and adult audiences; Zoom live or a recording available on request) 

Olivia Hernandez

Olivia Hernández

Olivia J. Hernández is a Chicana scholar of literature and composition studies who was born in the Yakima Valley. She is currently completing a dissertation for her PhD at the University of Washington about the importance of using multilingual Chicano and Chicana literature in the writing classroom. At YVC, Hernández is an instructor of introductory composition and is invested in creating educational spaces that encourage students to draw from personal experience and expectation to write compositions about identity in popular culture.

How do we define “Latina”? How do we define “Chicana”? This presentation draws from Chicana feminist scholarship, art, activism, and local history to provide an introduction to Chicana studies.  (Middle School, High School, General Audience; Requires projector)

This presentation explores how writing classrooms can center punk music, and especially punk music by artists of color, in order to help students to engage with the voices and expressive possibilities of punk music as a resource and a site for analysis and understanding of identity, history, and activism in communities of color. In addition to the music as analytical text, punk music also introduces students to DIY practices such as blogging and zine-making that prompt students to create community-facing composition projects about their own experiences and interests. (Can be tailored either for other educators or for high school students; Requires projector and speakers)

This presentation provides a historical introduction to the Latinx superhero before exploring different textual examples of Latinx heroes in comics, films, television, and literature. Next, audiences will be asked to reflect on the importance of representation in heroic narratives. In groups, audiences will be asked to brainstorm heroes that represent their own communities. (Middle School, High School, General Audience; Requires projector and speakers)

In this presentation, I will discuss my own relationship with Yakima Valley College over three key experiences. My first experience with YVC was as a child attending evening classes with my mother. As a teenager, I attended YVC as a Running Start student. Now, I am part of the YVC English department faculty as an instructor. I would like to share my impressions of the importance of institutions like YVC for community members, especially for Latinas navigating the challenges and frustrations of higher education. (Middle School, High School, General Audience)

Ritva Kinzel

Ritva Kinzel

Ritva Kinzel earned her B.S. in Business Administration from California State University Sacramento and her MBA from Washington State University. She’s been employed by YVC since 1996 and currently is a faculty member in the Business Administration program. Ms. Kinzel instructs Marketing, Supervision Techniques, Introduction to Business, and Human Relations in the Workplace. She is also an active member at Toastmasters International.

Being able to interact well with others goes side by side with leadership to create desired outcomes through collaboration, trust and mutual support. The impact of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in how we work, think, and interact with others determines our success as leader.  In this presentation, you will learn more about Emotional Intelligence and Human Relations, and how these concepts determine your success as a Leader.

David Lynx

David Lynx

David Lynx has been an adjunct instructor at YVC for 21 years, teaching Art Appreciation, Asian Art History, and Art of Yoga. He is also the director of Larson Gallery. He has a B.A. from the University of Washington in Theatre, and an M.L.S. from the University of Oklahoma in Museology. David is certified in Primordial Sound Meditation, Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, and Perfect from Chopra Center University and in 2015 received the title of Vedic Master. He is currently an RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) and teaches for the Yoga Collective of Yakima.

David Lynx discusses the history of yoga through art and practice. He will discuss the origins of yoga in India and its representation in art in the art of India, China, and Japan. He will also present the eight branches, inviting audience participation in yoga, pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation (mindfulness).

Success in many professions is based on creative solutions to problems. This is why we study art, to develop creative skills that we utilize in a myriad of professions including graphic design, marketing, app developers, and chefs.

Travis Margoni

Travis Margoni

Travis earned a BS in English and Secondary Education with minors in history and journalism from Northern Michigan University and an MA in English Writing and Rhetoric from Oregon State University. At YVC, he teaches English Composition. Travis is a judge and organizer for the regional Poetry Out Loud high school recitation competition, a member of the campus equity team, and a discussion panelist for theater productions. His research focuses include media studies, embodied writing and learning practices, sonic rhetoric, argumentation/classical rhetoric, equity and diversity in education, visual and information literacy, research methodology, and critical discourse analysis in a variety of pop culture and academic contexts.

Public education serves a vital role in the United States, and the need for enthusiastic young teachers is greater than ever. This presentation explores the opportunities and challenges educators face in a range of institutions and grade levels, and attendees are introduced to programs at YVC and other regional institutions. Travis draws on both research and experience, having taught in K-12 settings, flagship state universities, adult basic education, and ESL/ELL classrooms. (Adaptable for different age groups. Projector with web access ideal, but can be presented without tech upon request.)

With online discourse having increasingly important sociopolitical implications, many researchers feel a set of ethics for thoughtful, compassionate conversation are necessary. Travis lays forth some basic principles all social media users can follow to help create a more inclusive, less polarized world.  (Adaptable for different age groups. Projector with web access required.)

The sports world can be cold, heartening, brutal, and compassionate—all within the same moment. In this presentation, Travis and audience members explore the rhetoric of sports. What’s over the line? Why? How can “trash talk” be fun without becoming offensive? What are the roles and responsibilities of parents at sporting events? How can coaches create an environment that both empowers and motivates players? (Adaptable for different age groups and contexts. Projector with web access can be used, but can be presented without tech as well.)

Colin Kaepernick. Billie Jean King. John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Mohammad Ali. Over the years, scores of athletes have used their platforms to promote civil rights and equality in the United States (and elsewhere). At every turn, they were met with resistance and criticism. Why, then, do athletes continue to protest on and off the playing field, knowing they will draw backlash and potentially damage their careers and earning potential? What has been the result of their protests? Are they, as critics suggest, anti-patriotic? Should high school and young athletes follow suit? In this presentation, Travis explores the sociopolitical and rhetorical effects of becoming an “activist athlete.” (Adaptable for different age groups. Projector with web access required.)


John T. Menard

John T. Menard received his MA in history from Washington State University. He has taught history, geography, and political science at YVC since 2019 and currently serves as the chair of the Social Sciences Department.

This talk explores the origins and development of Bert Grant’s Yakima Brewing and Malting Company. Grant opened the nation’s first post-Prohibition brewpub in Yakima in 1982. This talk examines YBMC and Grant’s legacy and places the company within the larger social and cultural context of the craft beer revolution which swept the United States in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.


Héctor Sáez-Nuñez

Héctor Sáez – Núñez has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. He has taught economics at the University of Vermont, at Chatham University and at Yakima Valley College. He worked as a staff economist for the Center for Popular Economics, as an agriculture extension faculty member at Washington State University and as a Program Manager at Technoserve.  

Why did the government spend so much money stimulating the economy during Covid-19? Will the U.S. government debt drive the country to bankruptcy? Will you have to pay for this debt? Why do we have inflation? This presentation focuses on what everybody should understand about the U.S economy in the era of Covid – 19, with emphasis on some common misconceptions about the wisdom of this economic policy, the risks associated with it, and the future of the country.

Stephanie O’Brine


Stephanie O’Brine (B.A., CPhT) is the Coordinator of YVC’s Pharmacy Technician Program and an instructor in the program.

Pharmacy technician jobs are on the rise, and it’s no wonder with the marvel of modern medicine and an increase need for prescriptions.  Pharmacy workplaces can be in retail stores, hospitals, long-term care facilities, mail-order pharmacies, and medical clinics. Technician duties not only include preparing medication for dispensing under the guidance of a pharmacist, but continue to expand into specialty roles like billing for services, medication therapy management, nuclear medicine, and sterile compounding.  It’s an exciting time to be in this advancing career.

Allied health professionals may work in a variety of healthcare settings to contribute and optimize quality patient care. Professions that are often categorized as “allied health” include many of the well-known non-nurse, non-physician health care providers such as medical assistants, pharmacy assistants and technicians, surgical technologists, phlebotomists, and medical coders. Training for some of these careers may take as little as 2 quarters, but most of the time it takes 1-2 academic years. Allied Health Programs may help students prepare for national exams so recognized industry credentials can be earned. Applicable licenses through the Washington Department of Health may also be required to practice certain professions in our State.


Dan Peters

Dan Peters is currently in Norway as a Fulbright Roving Scholar.  He returns to YVC and Speakers Bureau availability in Fall 2022.  

Dan Peters has worked in education for 25 years, including stops at middle schools and high schools. For the past 20 years, he’s been an English instructor at Yakima Valley College (YVC) where he teaches composition, creative writing, and literature. One of his favorite current classes uses graphic novels to make connections between the US Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and ’60s and our world today. His other favorite class to teach deals with the way artificial intelligence and automation are changing our schools and society. So in short, he’s obsessed with race and robots. Dan is also an award-winning poet and publisher. His press has won national recognition and he has been a frequent and popular presenter at creative writing workshops.

On January 1st, 1963, the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves, James Baldwin published an “open letter” to his nephew, explaining the racism he will experience as a Black man in America. In 2015, Ta-Nahisi Coates published an updated version, advising his young son. These two letters are part of a tradition in the Black community called “The Talk.” For people like me, white, middle class, The Talk was an awkward and very short discussion with our parents about puberty. For people of color, The Talk is about life and death. For Black parents, The Talk describes what to do when you come in contact with the police, store owners, or other authority figures. In this workshop, we will look closely at this advice, reflect on how we become aware of our racial differences, and develop ideas for what we can do about it.

A new era of Black civil rights protest began in the summer of 2015 and exploded in 2020, following the murder of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. The Black Lives Matter movement is not only a turning point in public opinion, it represents a split with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s as well. In this workshop, students will learn about how BLM and CRM differ in their approach to activism. We will investigate the changing perception of riots, feminism, LGBTQ rights, and the historical role of the Black church in the struggle for civil rights.

Selah, Washington, has always been a sleepy, rural community where families move to raise their children. I grew up here in a perfect bubble in the 1970s and ’80s. 2020 changed all of that. Our town, known as the “Apple Juice Capital of the World,” erupted in open conflict over a Black Lives Matter march, COVID restrictions, and even chalk art. At the center of it all were two Dons: Donald Trump and our city administrator, Donald Wayman, a former Marine with a history of sexual misconduct and a love of conflict rivaled only by the president. The battle for our town has gone to court, landed in the New York Times, twice, and resulted in resignations, firings, and a sense that the perfect bubble we lived in is lost for good. Together, we will examine the way the national debate trickles down to the local level. Did either side take it too far, and what can be done to bring us together?

There is a wave coming, and we have our back turned to it. In 2013, Oxford University published a report that concluded nearly half of all jobs were automatable “over the next decade or two.” My students have been researching this question for the past five years. We have yet to find a career that is completely safe. In this workshop, students will learn what skills we can automate and where humans still hold the advantage. We will ask, what should we be learning to protect our future? How should we be learning it? And who should be teaching it to us?

Murray Ruggles

Murray Ruggles

Murray Ruggles is a faculty member and serves as Department Head in the YVC Automotive Service Technology (AST) program. In addition to teaching core classes, he also is the SkillsUSA advisor and is a liaison to Vintiques and Sun Country Mustang Car Clubs.

ASE Education Foundation and professional certification divides light duty automobiles into 8 systems that compile the entire vehicle, bumper to bumper. Each component in a system has its function and operation to ensure the proper operation of that whole system in carrying out a task. There are subsystems in each major system that work together, to, say, provide braking. What happens when you press the brake pedal at a regular stop or emergency stop and the ABS is activated? How does an AC system remove heat energy from the cabin when it is hot outside?

Each of the systems above have required routine maintenance to avoid a system failure and the inconvenience of a breakdown. Service and Repair are needed when the useful life of a component has ended. What are oil changes, what do they include and when are the due? What does it take to remove a heater core, for the heating system, on today’s vehicle?

What are AST training options and how does YVC’s AST program compare or differ from all other training: local and national institutes and manufacturer training? What is the cost of each and how to locate it?


Johnny Roger Schofield

Johnny Roger Schofield is a coordinator for the YVC Writing Center. He has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Simpson University. After college, he spent many years touring in a band (570 shows/242,000 miles/live MTV performances/songs on TV and the Rock Band video game). He’s written three novels and loves the mighty fireworks of writing and performing poetry. For the past eight years he’s enjoyed working with YVC students on writing projects. He believes that writing has the power to vivify and change lives by augmenting critical thought and creativity!

Available as a recording

The YVC Writing Center is all about encouragement and empowerment. We strive to help students of all writing levels intellectually awaken to the exciting world of effective, robust writing. When scary writing assignments loom large, the Writing Center is a friendly place for students to level up their writing skills. This presentation explores the magic of the writing process by unpacking it in four distinct stages: prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing/proofreading. Writing is not a single-day task. Writers are not robots. It’s better to build a paper in stages (day by day) and give the brain and heart more time to create and revise a richer, more relevant paper. The writing process matters because writing projects forever change us. They become part of us. We learn about the world as we write—word by word, line by line. Ultimately, the writing process is a powerful tool that helps students become active thinkers and brighter individuals.


Dr. Heidi Shaw

Dr. Heidi Shaw, Psychology Instructor at YVC, earned Bachelor degrees both in Ethology and German and a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology. Prior to coming to YVC she worked for almost 20 years in various capacities with chimpanzees who use the signs of American Sign Language. At YVC, Dr. Shaw regularly teaches introductory psychology and child development. Her current research involves archiving historical records and investigating the use of sign language in cross-fostered chimpanzees. Students at YVC regularly assist Dr. Shaw in this research.

NOTE: Dr. Shaw is currently available to “Zoom live” with your students or organization.

In 1966 Allen and Beatrix Gardner introduced the infant chimpanzee Washoe into their human cross-fostering laboratory. They used American Sign Language as the means of two-way communication. Over several years the Gardners replicated their study with additional chimpanzees. This presentation will provide basic information about chimpanzees, about cross-fostering and about how these cross-fostered chimpanzees acquired and used the signs of American Sign Language. This presentation can be adapted for elementary school students.

Simple, common behaviors are often the most interesting. Developmental and cognitive psychologists consider it an important developmental milestone when human infants begin to point. This presentation will describe the developmental pattern of pointing in human infants and the importance that psychologists attribute to this milestone. It will also describe evidence of pointing in cross-fostered chimpanzees.

In 1692 over 160 people in Massachusetts Bay Colony were accused of witchcraft. At least twenty-five people died. Nineteen were executed by hanging, one tortured to death, and at least five died in jail due to harsh conditions. During the Salem trials, more people were accused and executed than in all the previous witchcraft trials in New England. This presentation will provide basic information about the events of 1692, but will focus on the nature of evidence used by the courts and the debates at the time about what constitutes good evidence. Dr. Shaw is a descendant of Sarah Averill Wilde, a woman hanged in 1692 under charges of witchcraft.

We all like to believe that we are critical thinkers, and indeed evidence supports our belief. However, the strategies that are normally so effective can also lead us to make some major thinking errors under other circumstances. Psychologists study these thinking tendencies and provide insight into how to recognize faulty thinking. This presentation will introduce the audience to some common thinking errors and will provide strategies for recognizing and perhaps even overcoming some of these errors.

When many people hear “psychology”, they think of TV psychiatrist Frasier Crane or the mental health equivalent of Florence Nightingale. Shelves full of self-help books under “Psychology” at local bookstores promote this notion. The field of psychology is actually much more diverse and interesting than that. This presentation will introduce the audience to how psychologists form questions and develop methods for investigating them. In the process, it will highlight some interesting subfields of psychology.

Suki Smaglik

Suki Smaglik

Suki Smaglik earned her BA in Chemistry & Geology from Beloit College, her MSc in Geochemistry from the Colorado School of Mines, and did further graduate research on the chemistry of seafloor volcanoes at the University of Hawai’i-Mano’a. Her current research is the study of life in extreme environments, specifically thermal springs, as a model for the search for life beyond Earth. Suki had not planned a career in higher education, working for the U.S. Geologic Survey for a number of years, but she is passionate about our natural world and how it works and enjoys helping nonscientists understand the power of science education

Take a stellar journey through the universe and discover the origin of the elements of which we, and everything around us, are made. This program will discuss the nature of stars, including our own Sun.  Every atom and molecule in the universe, on Earth and in us, is built by nuclear fusion during cosmic explosions.  The nuclear reactions in our Sun provides the energy that drives the surface processes on Earth and allows life as we know it, to flourish.  How do we know?  Come and find out! (Suitable for all ages)

Unlike our Cascade volcanoes, the Yellowstone volcano is formed above a mantle hotspot, and still quite active today. It is a supervolcano, far larger and more explosive than the average volcano.  So explosive, it is capable of spewing 2500 times more material than the explosion of Mt. St. Helen’s did in 1980.  The landscape of Yellowstone is an inter-weave of volcanic and glacial features (fire and ice).  Today, hydrothermal features provide us with clues to the volcanic processes below the surface.  Many of these thermal features support the growth of microbial life, thought to be homologous for the original of life on Earth.  In addition to the volcano, in the not too distant past, Yellowstone country was covered by thick ice sheets which carved out the magnificent rivers and canyons that we enjoy today.  This interplay between fire and ice supports an astonishing and unique ecosystem, from microbes to megafauna.

Do you love rocks?  Me, too!  Let’s find out more about how they form and why we find different rock types in different landscapes.  This interactive program will help kids do more than just collect the pretties.  It will help them understand the formation and history of our planet. 
(This is an in-person presentation geared toward elementary-middle school, scouts, 4-H, etc.)

Water is essential to life, but where does it come from, and where does it go?  Are we running out of water on our planet?  What can we do to protect what we have?  For this interactive program we will travel around and through the water cycle, to better understand the critical need for water in supporting life on Earth. (This is an in-person presentation geared toward elementary-middle school, scouts, 4-H, etc.)


Joshua Swayne

Joshua Swayne is a coordinator for the YVC Writing Center. He has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Whitworth University and is also an alumnus of YVC, where he first entered the writing center world as a peer writing consultant. Josh thoroughly enjoys being a sounding board for students’ creativity and critical thinking, helping them gain confidence in their writing skills and become more adept writers.

The writing consultants at YVC give feedback to writers of all skill levels. We often do this by identifying and explaining how specific elements of a writer’s text affect us as readers, a process that offers the writer detailed feedback and causes us to reflect on the craft of effective writing. This presentation explores how, like a writing consultant, pinpointing and expressing the reasons for your reactions to a text can make you better at giving feedback and a better writer too.

Dr. Julie Swedin

Julie Swedin is an English instructor and grant director at Yakima Valley College. She enjoys working and learning alongside the students she is privileged to teach. As a lifelong learner, Julie has continued her education and is most happy when immersed in pedagogical pursuits, such as supporting Yakima Valley College programs and projects for the benefit of students in this changing academic world. The craft of teaching and the possibilities of what can happen in the classroom when particular attention is given to designing thoughtful and relevant curriculum is most exciting to Julie.

In this presentation on the life and times of Shakespeare and an overview of Renaissance theatre, Julie Swedin discusses what life was like for an actor living in Renaissance England and the colorful history of the Globe theatre. Other options for this presentation include a discussion of why we still read Shakespeare or Julie Swedin can provide a lesson introducing a specific sonnet or play.

Susan Wedam

Dr. Susan Wedam

Dr. Susan Wedam is the Director of the Veterinary Technology program at YVC and teaches in the department. She earned a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University. She started the Veterinary Technology program at YVC in 1997 and teaches Animal Science, Anatomy and Physiology, Small Animal Nutrition, Radiology, Anesthesiology, Critical Care, Large Animal Medicine, Surgery Lab, and Public Health. Dr. Wedam also maintains a veterinary license and practice in Prosser and is a member of the AVMA Committee that accredits the Vet Tech Program in the USA & Canada. Dr. Wedam’s wide experience and passion for the field of veterinary medicine make her a capable and inspiring speaker, and she enjoys speaking to audiences of all ages

The Veterinary Technology program at YVC trains students for a rewarding career that experiences a huge demand throughout the state and across the country. This program is one of only three such state-college programs in the state, in which students earn an A.A.S. and prepare to pass licensing requirements as a Veterinary Technician. Dr. Wedam will discuss prerequisites for this program, application procedures, coursework, and training, as well as the wide variety of career opportunities that are available to students completing the program. This presentation is especially valuable for high school students who are considering careers and how best to prepare for college.

Dr. Wedam discusses the range of careers available in Veterinary Medicine, and how students can get started on the path right here at YVC. Topics include: earning an A.A. at YVC and transferring to a four-year college, the process of applying to veterinary school, and career paths.

This presentation is geared toward middle school audiences and informs and inspires them to consider a career working in veterinary medicine. Dr. Wedam discusses how students might train for a job working with animals, and presents possible career paths. It’s not too early to start setting goals for the future!

This talk can be tailored to the needs of the audience. Susan Wedam, DVM, will talk with your group about animal husbandry and preventative care. Dr. Wedam has spoken to many 4-H groups and was herself a 4-H leader.

Ken Zontek

Dr. Ken Zontek

Dr. Ken Zontek’s career encompasses teaching about the history of the Americas, forestry service, writing about Native American efforts to restore buffalo, military service, documentary photography, and advocacy for women’s rights. He earned his B.A. from Montana State University, 1988, his Master’s degree from New Mexico State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Idaho. He has taught at five high schools in the Pacific Northwest, including Eisenhower High School in Yakima. He has taught at the University of Idaho and Heritage University, and has taught history at YVC since 2004. He teaches classes in American History, Pacific Northwest History, History of Mexico, and the History of Latin America.

Dr. Zontek has served the U.S. Military as a reserve officer in South Korea, Nicaragua, Italy, and Afghanistan and is a graduate of the Counter-Insurgency Academy. While serving in Afghanistan, he became involved in volunteering at a women’s shelter which resulted in his starting and leading the Afghan Women’s Education Project at YVCC. Dr. Zontek can speak to a wide variety of audiences about historical and contemporary issues, bring a wealth of experience and insight to the topic.

Dr. Ken Zontek shares his insights on Afghanistan after spending a year there in 2005-2006 and four more months in 2009 as well as working the Afghan topic on active duty in 2012.  Subsequent to his return to the United States, Zontek continued with humanitarian support for a women’s shelter in Afghanistan and launched an Afghan Women’s Education project at YVC.

Ken Zontek, PhD., compares imagery of Afghanistan from his 2005-2006 and 2009 sojourn there with the photos and text of National Geographic journalists dating back to the 1930s.  The presentation offers a timeless sense in a forbidding region.

Contact the Speakers Bureau for additional information.