Featured Speakers

Breaking Barriers: An Astronaut’s Inspiring & Winding Road to Space

headshot of joan higginbothamSunday, October 23, 2022 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. (ET)

Joan Higginbotham
Retired NASA Astronaut, Rocket Scientist, Electrical Engineer, & Third African American Woman in Space

Hear the inspiring story of the power of seizing opportunities, a strong work ethic, and never giving up, which made Joan Higginbotham become the third-ever African American female in space. Captivating audiences by taking them aboard her STS-116 space shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Higginbotham reveals how preparation, passion, and perseverance were key to her successful voyage into space and how the lessons she learned during this journey blur the lines between Earth and space.


Disasters, Pandemics & Climate Change: Reflections on a Unique Nursing Career and the Power of Academic Nursing to Advance National Preparedness

headshot of TEnner Goodwin VeenemaJohn P. McGovern Lectureship Award
Sunday, October 23, 2022 | 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET)

Tener Goodwin Veenema, PHD, RN
American Nurse, Public Health Scientist, Senior Scholar and Professor

Tener Goodwin Veenema, is a Senior Scientist and Contributing Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Veenema is an international expert in disaster nursing and public health preparedness and her program of research focuses upon informing evidence-based policy related to health care systems and public health response for catastrophic events such as pandemics and radiation/nuclear disasters. At the Center, she conducts and leads research projects to explore health systems optimization and healthcare worker protection during disasters and large-scale biological events. She also serves as an Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Health Security (formerly Biosecurity and Bioterrorism). Dr. Veenema is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the Royal College of Nursing and Midwifery in Ireland, a former Fulbright Scholar and she was recently elected into the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Veenema was awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal of Honor and a lifetime achievement award by Columbia University.

AACN 2022 John P. McGovern Lectureship Award Recipient:
This award honors John P. McGovern for his noted clinical practice and research, and distinguished record of scholarship, skill, and service. Award recipients are chosen by the AACN Board of Directors on the basis of their scholarship and the notability of their contributions to nursing, health care, or higher education. Recipients regularly address the membership at AACN's Academic Nursing Leadership Conference.


Think BIG: Overcoming Obstacles with Optimism

headshot of Jennifer ArnoldMonday, October 24, 2022 | 9:30-10:30 a.m. (ET)

Jennifer Arnold, MD
Neonatologist, Simulation Educator, and co-star of TLC's The Little Couple

Dr. Jennifer Arnold is an award-winning educator and researcher and co-star of TLC's docu-drama, The Little Couple. She is a neonatologist by trade and recently accepted the position of program director at the renowned Boston Children's Simulator Program. While Dr. Arnold stands at just 3-feet-2-inches and has a rare type of dwarfism called Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia Type Strudwick (which involved more than 30 surgeries), her passion, inspiration, and purpose have been instrumental in her successful journey through life - breaking down barriers and giving back to future generations to lead healthy and happy lives.