Featured Speakers

The Kummer Institute supports visits to campus made by accomplished alumni and other guests, who provide students the opportunity to contextualize what they learn in the classroom with real-world experience and insight. 

Kathy Walker

Kathy Walker, who earned a master’s degree in engineering management from Missouri S&T in 1982, returns to campus to discuss with Kummer Vanguard Scholars her lessons learned as a leader. Walker is managing director of OpenAir Equity Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology, and she serves on the boards of several public and private companies. Before joining OpenAir, she served as chief network officer for Sprint Nextel, leading 14,500 employees. 

Maj. Gen. Samuel “Bo” Mahaney

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Samuel “Bo” Mahaney, who earned a bachelor of arts in history in 1985, visited campus in April 2022. He first served as an electronic warfare navigator in the Air Force. Today he’s a two-star general serving as chief of staff for Air Mobility Command (AMC) headquartered at Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Illinois. A native of St. James, Missouri, Mahaney discussed his four tenets of leadership: take care of your people and they’ll take care of the mission; create a culture of respect; expect excellence; and encourage and welcome feedback.  

Dr. Sandra Magnus

Former NASA astronaut and S&T alumna Dr. Sandra Magnus, a two-time S&T graduate who served aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and flew on the final space shuttle mission, visited campus in March 2022. While on campus she met with Kummer Vanguard Scholars and Kummer Innovation and Entrepreneurship Doctoral Fellows to talk about what she’s learned since earning a bachelor of science in engineering in 1986, followed by a master of science degree in electrical engineering in 1990. Topics included being true to one’s passions, knowing when to change course and dealing with the inevitable jerks. Read more about her visit with students here.