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Most Likely to Succeed: Anticipating the Future of Education and Careers

Featuring Future-of-Work Strategist and Author Heather McGowan

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With virtual teamwork becoming the norm and novel professions rapidly emerging, the ability to help students define their career paths and to develop relevant curriculum will be critical for future success.

Strategist and author Heather E. McGowan will outline a world where humans must continuously learn and adapt while avoiding the pitfalls of information overload. Ranked as LinkedIn’s number one global voice for education in 2017, McGowan helps leaders prepare their people and organizations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will bring a rapid advancement of technology tools into the domain of human knowledge work.

McGowan also will join a panel of education experts for a discussion about the key role that education will play in developing a future workforce that produces rewarding careers and a thriving economy.

  • College of DuPage President Dr. Brian Caputo
  • DuPage Regional Office of Education Superintendent Dr. Darlene Ruscitti
  • Glenbard High School District 87 Superintendent Dr. David Larson
  • Academic consultant and researcher Dr. Lourdes Ferrer-Allen 

Presented in partnership on March 9, 2021 with High School District 87's Glenbard Parent Series and the DuPage Regional Office of Education.

Heather McGowan photo

Heather McGowan

Heather McGowan

Future-of-Work Strategist & Author Future-of-work strategist Heather E. McGowan helps leaders prepare their people and organizations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will be notable for the rapid advancement of technology tools into the domain of human knowledge work.

In this world, humans must continuously learn and adapt, and with this transition comes information overload. Heather gives lucidity to this topic through her illuminating graphic frameworks and powerful metaphors, all backed by deep research.

In 2017, LinkedIn ranked her as its number one global voice for education. Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman frequently quotes Heather in his books and columns and describes her as “the oasis” when it comes to insights into the future of work.

Heather’s sessions help employees and leaders alike prepare for and adapt to jobs that do not yet exist.

Dr. Brian Caputo photo

Dr. Brian Caputo

Dr. Brian W. Caputo

Dr. Brian W. Caputo serves as the President of College of DuPage, bringing more than 35 years of strategic management and leadership experience drawn from a broad range of senior executive positions in higher education, local government, and the military.

Dr. Caputo currently teaches accounting courses at the College and has been a full-time faculty member at Central Michigan University as well as an adjunct faculty member at Northern Illinois University.

Before coming to College of DuPage, Dr. Caputo was the Chief Financial Officer/City Treasurer of the City of Aurora, Illinois, for nearly 19 years.

Dr. Caputo holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy, an M.S. in Accountancy from DePaul University, and an M.P.A. from Northern Illinois University. He earned a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University with public administration as a primary area of study.

Darlene Ruscitti photo

Dr. Darlene J. Ruscitti

Dr. Darlene J. Ruscitti

Dr. Darlene J. Ruscitti, the Regional Superintendent of Schools for DuPage County, is passionate about education. For four decades she has been inspiring students, teachers, and school administrators to achieve excellence in learning.

Working alongside education, civic, business, community, and political leaders across Illinois and the nation, Darlene shares her vision of making our nation’s educational system the best in the world.

As the first female chief administrative officer of the DuPage Regional Office of Education, Darlene’s achievements in education have increased graduation rates, decreased drop-out rates, and produced many of the top-scoring schools in Illinois.

Many “best practice” models originate from Darlene’s leadership, making DuPage County a leader in Illinois public education.

David Larson photo

Dr. David Larson

Dr. David Larson

Dr. David Larson is in his ninth year as superintendent of Glenbard Township High School District 87. Glenbard District 87 has four comprehensive high schools with 8,100 students from nine suburbs. Dr. Larson has been a school administrator for more than 30 years, including 21 years as Superintendent. He has served in three communities in Michigan, as well as the Singapore American School and Palm Beach County School District in Florida. 

Dr. Larson is a leader in closing the achievement gap and increasing enrollment of underrepresented students in Advanced Placement courses. He also has led Glenbard District 87’s work to increase the number of high school juniors who take advanced science and math; specifically, Physics and Algebra 2 with Trigonometry. 

Dr. Larson led the community engagement program to develop Glenbard’s Profile of a Graduate, which identifies the knowledge, skills and experiences students need to prepare for their future in a changing world.

Dr. Larson is a leader in DuPage public schools’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, facilitating important discussions with health department officials, state education officials and area school superintendents.

Lourdes Ferrer-Allen photo

Dr. Lourdes Ferrer-Allen

Dr. Lourdes Ferrer-Allen

Dr. Lourdes Ferrer-Allen is a National Academic Consultant, Researcher, Curriculum/Program Developer, Motivational Speaker and Author.

She specializes in academic and non-academic issues regarding English Language Learners, Hispanic and African American students, and families.

Dr. Lourdes has worked as an Education Consultant in DuPage County, Illinois, and other school districts across the nation.

She covers a wide range of topics that include cultural competency, achievement gaps between ethnic groups, parent empowerment, culturally relevant instruction, college and career readiness, math Common Core State Standards and state’s accountability testing.

She has developed numerous programs designed to increase the academic achievement of all students and close the stubborn academic achievement gaps between diverse student populations.

These programs include state-approved academies for school administrators, staff development opportunities, student seminars and parent empowerment workshops.

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Dr. Cynthia Sims

Dr. Cynthia Sims (Moderator)

Dr. Cynthia Sims has served as the Associate Vice President of Academic Partnerships and Learning Resources at College of DuPage since 2019. She oversees Articulation and Partnerships, Dual Credit & Dual Enrollment, Study Abroad & Field Studies, the Learning Commons (Tutoring) & Testing Center, four Regional Centers, and the McAninch Arts Center.

Prior to this role, Dr. Sims was the Associate Dean of the College of Education and Human Services and Department Chair of Workforce Education and Development (WED) at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL, where she also served as Professor. She has served as a Grant Reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education for ten years and Visiting Faculty for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (formerly School for New Learning) at DePaul University in Chicago for 25 years.

She is also an author of numerous publications, including books, book chapters, articles, and book reviews, mostly on diversity and workforce development topics.