Get HYPE'd: Speakers for 2024-25 academic year revealed

The 2024-25 academic year will mark the ninth year of the HYPE Career Ready® Program. We are thrilled to announce our speakers for the upcoming year and are proud to continue to provide a speaker set that contributes to the overall mission of HYPE - the cultivation of career competencies that are crucial for students’ post-graduation - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, Financial Literacy, Career Search & Placement, Technology, Communication and Collaboration & Conflict Management.

Here are our upcoming HYPE speakers:

Lee Jourdan

Chevron’s Former Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

September 10, 2024

Lee Jourdan is the former Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Chevron. He also is the co-author of From Shoeshine to Star Wars. The book is a memoir about his parents and their rise to great accomplishments. His father rose from shining shoes during the Great Depression to become a logistician playing a critical role in the development of the “Star Wars” U.S. nuclear defense system. His mother was a teacher and later an information technology manager who worked as a “computer” for aeronautical manufacturers in the 1950s, a role akin to the women memorialized in the movie Hidden Figures.

Gabriella Parente

People-Centered Leader

October 16, 2024

In 2002, as a young graduate student, Gabriella Parente attended the International Forum on Human Resources in Rome, Italy. Sitting in the room she noticed that 95 percent of the audience and speakers were comprised of men. Bewildered, she thought, “How could the world’s top voices in leadership be mostly men?”

With that in mind, she made a pact to herself that one day she would be one of the voices speaking in front of an international forum. And when that happened, she vowed that the audience and speakers would be equally comprised of both male and female leaders. Thus began her journey into the world of professional speaking.

Since that day, having worked in the corporate world for 18 years, Gabriella has shared her expertise in leadership, organizational development and HR. With a deep understanding of how people are motivated, she was repeatedly sought after to help her previous employer’s clients tackle tough issues in a compassionate, logical and people-centered manner.

Gabriella is the very first Heidelberg graduate to serve as a HYPE keynote speaker. She graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology,

Joe DeLoss

Serial Entrepreneur, Investor, Business Advisor

February 19, 2025

Joe DeLoss has become one of the most talked-about social entrepreneurs in the country. Joe’s latest venture, Hot Chicken Takeover, a fast-casual restaurant chain taking over the Midwest. He has a wealth of tactical, step-by-step best practices to engage teams and improve retention and morale, based on a professional career that proving that social impact isn’t just good for the community, but in the best interest of business. With strategies seen on The Today Show and in the classrooms of Harvard Business School, Joe’s story is one of service, entrepreneurship, and change for good.

Lauren Simmons

Personal Finance Expert, Host, Author

March 27, 2025

Breaking the glass ceiling is no easy feat, and certainly isn’t at the age of 22. However, that is exactly what Lauren Simmons did when she became the youngest and the second African-American female equity trader at the New York Stock Exchange. Now 28 years old, Lauren remains passionate about empowering women and youth to take ownership of their lives and finances. She continues to spread her message through her Spotify podcast, Mind Body Wealth with Lauren Simmons. She is the host of the show, Going Public, and will be executive producing her biopic with AGC Studios and Chloe Bailey. Harper Collins will be releasing her memoir/self-help book, Make Money Move, a guide to financial wellness.

Latest News & Announcements


The Marketing Team wants to extend a giant thank-you to the many students, faculty and staff memb

Summer Internship Opportunity. Applications due May 6th.

Jeep (Stellantis) is accepting applications for internships in Toledo, Metro Detroit, and Kokomo,

The Aurora, Heidelberg’s yearbook, is currently on sale.

The HYPE Career Ready and Placement Office is accepting donations for the Career Closet.

Looking to put your education to work and give yourself a competitive edge in the real world?