Featured Speakers

Dr. Lee Bird currently serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs at Oklahoma State University-Stillwater and leads numerous functional areas including the Student Union, Campus Life, University Counseling, University Health Services, Career Services, Dining, Residential Life and the Department of Wellness. Dr. Bird is an adjunct professor in OSU's Student Development graduate program. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 1991. She has worked in some aspect of student affairs for 36 years.

Lee served as the President of the National Board of Directors for the Association of Student Judicial Affairs (now ASCA) and co-authored The First Amendment on Campus: A Handbook for College and University Administrators (2006), published by NASPA. In addition, Lee has authored and co-authored several book chapters on crisis management and the First Amendment.

Lee received both the Donald D. Gehring Award and the Parker D. Young Award for her work with ASCA. Lee served on the University of Vermont's Board of Advisors for the Legal Issues in Higher Education conference for over a decade. Lee consults and speaks regularly on topics such as student development, student conduct, campus threat assessment and crisis management, and the First Amendment rights of students. Bird previously served as the Vice President of the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals. She is a member of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars in recognition of her work in Chinese higher education. Lee serves as the chair of the OSU Behavioral Consultation Team and is a FEMA CERT and Incident Command Instructor Trainer.

Lee serves on a number of civic and professional boards including the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Council on Student Affairs and the Campus Safety and Security Task Force, Central Oklahoma American Red Cross board  and Stillwater Medical  Center  Foundation board.

The Dean of Students Office is delighted so many distinguished and remarkable speakers will participate in this year’s symposium. 

Derek Bambauer is Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, where he teaches Internet law and intellectual property. His research treats Internet censorship, cybersecurity, and intellectual property. He has also written technical articles on data recovery and fault tolerance, and on deployment of software upgrades. A former principal systems engineer at Lotus Development Corp. (part of IBM), Professor Bambauer spent two years as a Research Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. At the Berkman Center, he was a member of the OpenNet Initiative, an academic consortium that tested and studied Internet censorship in countries such as China, Iran, and Vietnam. At Arizona, Bambauer is the founder and director of the IP & Entrepreneurship Clinic, which offers legal services to start-ups. He is one of the authors of Info/Law, a popular blog that addresses Internet law, intellectual property, and information law. He holds an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Dan Barr, a partner in the litigation practice at the Phoenix office of Perkins Coie L.L.P., has more than 30 years of experience in the area of civil litigation involving constitutional, employment, media and political law issues. He represents several news media organizations, including the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona and is the chair of the Phoenix office's Pro Bono Committee.
Kenzie Bevington is a student organizer and activist who is getting her BA in law at the University of Arizona. She is the Vice-President of VOX: Voices of Planned Parenthood. She and her fellow reproductive justice advocates do advocacy work in the Tucson community, particularly with the Latinx community in Tucson, around healthcare, voting registration, and comprehensive sexual education. She recently attended the White House symposium; The United States of Women. She is also the incoming Executive Diversity Director of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. She seeks to improve the experiences of her campuses diverse student body by being an advocate for marginalized students, and has done so by being involved in the creation and continuation of the Marginalized Students of the University of Arizona.
Kevyn Butler is a recent graduate from the University of Arizona School of Dance. As the former Co-President of the Black Student Union, Kevyn created countless events around the intersection of social justice, wellness of the college student, and blackness. For two years Kevyn served over 50 students as the Resident Assistant for the Building Leaders and Creating Knowledge Living Learning Community which focused on first year African American academic outreach, retention, community and cultural engagement. Mr. Butler currently lives in Queens, NY and is pursuing a career in dance.
Dr. Kevin Byrne, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Theatre Studies in the School of Theatre, Film, and Television at the University of Arizona.  His research and publications center on African American drama, racial performativity, and minority cultural representation.  He was recently named to the Advisory Board of the Journal of American Drama and Theatre.  He also serves on the University of Arizona Diversity Task Force.  

Mónica Contreras is a University of Arizona alumni where she majored in Mexican American studies and dedicated her time to student organizing. She is involved in M.E.Ch.A., a Chicana/o student activist organization, and is also a strong advocate for migrant rights activism in Tucson. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and grew up in Arizona.

Sarah Garrecht Gassen, a columnist and editorial writer at the Arizona Daily Star, has taught within the UA School of Journalism for more than a decade. In addition to managing UA students who work in the Star newsroom as part of the UA/Arizona Daily Star apprentice reporter program, she also has worked extensively with high school journalism instructors and students – including through the New York Times Student Institute at the UA – and is a former editor in chief of The Daily Wildcat, the UA’s student-run newspaper.
Celeste González de Bustamante, Ph. D, is Associate Professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Arizona and an affiliated faculty of the UA Center for Latin American Studies.  During the 2013-2014 academic year she was a distinguished visiting professor at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. She is the current head of the Border Journalism Network/La red de periodistas de la frontera, and head of the International Communication Division of the Association for Journalism and Mass Communication. 
Frank LoMonte is an attorney, journalist and educator, serving since 2008 as director of the nonprofit Student Press Law Center, which trains young journalists how to intelligently exercise their rights of free expression and access to government information. His columns have been published in Education Week, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed and many other publications. Before law school, LoMonte was an award-winning investigative journalist and political columnist for daily newspapers in Florida and Georgia.
Najwa Nabti, J.D., is the Director of Undergraduate Law and Master of Legal Studies programs and a Professor of Practice at the University of Arizona.  Her work at the University of Arizona builds pathways and opportunities for students to receive instruction in critical legal skills as well as explore educational opportunities outside of the classroom.  Her research and legal specialization is in international criminal law and accountability and redress for gender-based violence.
Helena Rodrigues, Ph.D. is the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources at the University of Arizona (UA), where she oversees benefits, compensation, consulting, professional development, organizational effectiveness, recruitment, and stakeholder engagement for the University’s 15,000+ faculty and staff. She also holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the School of Government and Public Policy where she has taught courses on political movements and political behavior.

Dr. Joseph Russomanno, Ph.D, is an associate professor with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He joined the Cronkite School in 1994, and his teaching and research since has largely focused on First Amendment Law and theory. He is also a faculty affiliate in ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and previously enjoyed a decade-long career as a broadcast journalist at television stations in St. Louis and Denver, working as a news reporter, news writer, newscast producer and executive producer.

Dr. Karen Seat, Ph.D., specializes in U.S. religious history, American evangelicalism, and gender studies. In 2012, Dr. Seat began serving as director of the Religious Studies Program, and in 2015 she was appointed head of the Department of Religious Studies and Classics. Her publications include “Providence Has Freed Our Hands”: Women’s Missions and the American Encounter with Japan (Syracuse University Press), on nineteenth-century Protestant women's mission movements and their impact on American ideologies regarding gender, race, Christianity, and civilization. Her current research focuses on conservative Christians' engagement with American politics in modern American history. She teaches courses on American religious history and gender studies in religion.

Timothy J. Shaffer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and Assistant Director of the Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy at Kansas State University. He is also principal research specialist with the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona. Dr. Shaffer’s research centers on historical and contemporary forms of deliberative democracy and civic engagement in higher education and community settings. He is associate editor of the Journal of Public Deliberation, has published in multiple journals, and is co-editor of two forthcoming books—the first on engaged scholarship of university faculty to be published by Kettering Foundation Press and the second is focused on deliberative pedagogy in higher education settings to be published by Michigan State University Press. Shaffer received his PhD from Cornell University.