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Leske Family Speakers Series

As a mechanism to create campus-wide conversation and to invite our broader local community to engage on campus, the Mitchell College Speakers Series 2019-20 has something for everyone! All Mitchell and Thames students, alumni, faculty, staff and community guests are invited and all speakers events are free of charge.

The Leske Family Speakers Series at Mitchell College is made possible through a generous donation by the family of Wyatt Leske, class of 2012 and Lucy Leske, former Mitchell College trustee.

Past Events

Speakers Series, Mitchell College

The Inclusion Solution

March 11, 7-8:30pm | The Red Barn


Joining us at Mitchell College on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 7-8:30pm, Hallie Hovey-Murray will speak on the need to foster inclusion for Americans of all-Abilities, why employment for individuals with different-abilities remains so low, why we need comprehensive education reform for students with different-abilities and what individuals can do to create a more inclusive culture on their campus and in their workplace. She will share her personal story and the work she has done as an advocate for all-ability inclusion.

This event is free and open to the public. The Red Barn at Mitchell College is located at 629-A Montauk Avenue, New London, CT 06320.

About the Speaker

Hallie Hovey-Murray is a law school graduate, disability advocate, speaker and author. She is the founder and Director of the One in 68 Foundation, a Richmond based 501(c)(3) which works to help provide college preparatory resources for high-school students on the Autism Spectrum. She is a 2019 graduate of William & Mary Law School where she was a leadership fellow and a 2016 graduate of Southern Methodist University. In 2019, she was named to the Gamma Phi Beta national 30 under 30 list, and her work as an advocate has been featured in numerous publications. Currently, she resides in Richmond, Virginia and runs Gordian Partners, LLC, an independent consulting and strategy firm with an emphasis on helping corporations to cultivate inclusive cultures, operations and policies; as well as strategies to help solve even the most daunting public policy challenges.

She is the Director of the 1 in 68 Foundation, a nonprofit which works to help middle school and high school students on the Autism Spectrum transition from high school to the workforce and into post-secondary education. Hallie has also self-published two books; available on Amazon: a memoir, Overcoming Expectations (which will be re-released in April) and Sadie Goes to School; a children’s book about students on the Autism Spectrum attending college for the first time. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog, Poppy, baking, running and reading.

Speakers Series, Mitchell College

Choose This…Not That: Boosting Memory and Focus Through Nutrition

November 6, 7-8:30pm | The Red Barn


Join us for a Leske Family Speakers Series event at the Red Barn, Wednesday, November 6 from 7-8:30pm as we take a look at how daily food choices contribute to mood, memory and overall well-being with Tim Grills, Director of Food Services at Mitchell College and his daughter, Megan Ressler, a certified Occupational Therapist and yoga instructor. Enjoy delicious food samples as you learn how to enhance every meal – from breakfast to late-night cravings – by making easy and nutritious food swaps that can turn your whole day around.

This event is free and open to the public. The Red Barn at Mitchell College is located at 629-A Montauk Avenue, New London, CT 06320. 

About the Speakers

Tim Grills has over 30 years of experience as an executive chef and restaurant/catering entrepreneur. He is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and has worked as the Director of Food Services at Mitchell College for the last four years.  

Megan Ressler graduated from Springfield College in 2012 with a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and a Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Disabilities Studies. In 2018, she became a certified yoga instructor. She remains dedicated to learning and living a full and balanced life filled with experiences that feed both the body and the mind. As a former student athlete and now, a professional, she uses firsthand experience to fuel fun and functional choices that make each day count.


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