ASU college to launch Speakers Bureau focused on health topics

Goal is to connect health experts with community through TED-style talks

Close-up view of a microphone.

The Edson College Speakers Bureau launches Feb. 15 at SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.


Dean Judith Karshmer believes a misnomer exists about Arizona State University’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

Namely, attention is only paid to the first part of the college’s name.

“We’re nursing and health innovation, right?” Karshmer said. “But many people stop with nursing. They have no idea that we have an incredible array of researchers.”

Karshmer hopes that misperception will soon change with the advent of the Edson College Speakers Bureau. The launch event, which will feature researchers giving short, TED-style talks and is open to community members, will take place Feb. 15 from 9 a.m. to noon at SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.


Edson College Speakers Bureau Launch and Mini Health Conference

9 a.m.–noon, Thursday, Feb. 15
1475 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85257

Edson researchers and faculty members will talk about a variety of health topics, including why residential care matters for healthy aging, health risks related to military exposures, sleep’s impact on pain and opioid use, and the needs of the bereaved.

“One of the things that we really are trying to advance as ASU becomes ASU Health is making sure that the community takes advantage or is aware of the kinds of expertise that resides in the college,” Karshmer said. “I think all too often people who live in the Valley think about health care as something that you get when you’re sick. What we’d really like to do is say, ‘We have a lot of resources that can help you think about your wellness practices.'”

Karshmer said the primary purpose of the Speakers Bureau is to connect the college’s experts with care centers, community groups, community colleges, high schools — virtually any group that would like someone to come to their facility and speak to them.

Edson will match the group with the right speaker and book the engagement, free of cost.

“What we are really trying to say is that we want to be your resource,” Karshmer said. “We’re willing to bring the people to you, whether it’s about understanding health care, the health care system, getting access to potential resources or learning about research projects that are going on. It’s really a way to better embed ourselves in the community when it comes to health.”

The launch event will be a two-way dialogue, as well.

“We want to know what community members would like to hear about,” Karshmer said. “We may not have someone there talking about diabetes, but you know what? We’ve got a lot of diabetes educators. Or (say) you’re really worried about the elderly in your family; we’ve done a lot of work on family caregiving.”

Lisa McQuerrey, director of strategic marketing and communications in the Edson College, said the plan to is hold at least one event a year, and at some point, expand the program, possibly to the ASU California Center.

McQuerrey said the speaker events will be recorded and available online.

“I thought that might be a good way to do some faculty recruiting,” she said. “To say, ‘Hey, this is the work being done here. How do you see your work maybe aligning with this?’ We’re also going to use it for student recruiting.

"One of the first things students look at is the kind of research being done at the college. We’re really hoping that this shows what we have, how it speaks to our values and even the ASU Charter when it comes to serving our communities.”

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