Midland University to host With Purpose Speaker Series

Midland University to host With Purpose Speaker Series

Friday, September 23, 2022

Midland University will be hosting the With Purpose Speaker Series during the 2022-23 academic year. All events are free and open to the public. Each speaker series event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Presidential Dining Room on the Midland campus. 

The series will feature four speakers, each Midland University alums, who will share their stories of perseverance, resilience, and living out the Midland mission in their chosen profession. Each of Midland’s four colleges (Walker School of Education, Luther College of Science, Dunklau School of Business, and College of Health Professions) will have an alum representing their college who personifies Midland’s mission to learn and lead in the world with purpose.

“As we began thinking about this year’s speaker series, we decided to focus on the Midland mission to Learn and Lead in the World With Purpose,” said Todd Conkright, Dean of the Dunklau School of Business. “With a couple of challenging years of getting through COVID, we thought it was important to have a positive message about thriving, resilience, and leading with purpose to the other side of the pandemic. The alumni we invited to campus have compelling stories to tell that will benefit our campus and the larger Midland community.”

Featured speakers included Dr. Tyler Jirka (September 28), Joe Wagoner (November 2), Margaret Cowan McGrath (February 15), and Heidi Quintanilla de Nuno (March 29).


Dr. Tyler Jirka

Dr. Tyler Jirka – Dr. Jirka ‘10 was born in Thailand. He was adopted when he was three and raised in Omaha by a family of healthcare professionals. Dr. Jirka currently serves as Rehabilitation Manager with Nebraska Methodist Health System. “My passion in life is helping others with what they see as debility and making it a strength,” he said. “Midland gave me what I needed to be real, know myself, and prepare for my future. I enjoy learning, teaching, and bridging together programs and resources to better the lives of others.”

Joe Wagoner

Joe Wagoner – Wagoner ‘97 is a professional sports entrepreneur based out of Sacramento, California. Wagoner has spent 23 years operating professional sports and entertainment organizations in hockey, football, soccer, and live music. He has helped deliver ten national attendance records, 16 organizational revenue records, four professional sports organization start-ups, four organizational restructuring efforts, three stadium renovation projects, and two new stadiums.

Heidi Quintanilla de Nuno

Heidi Quintanilla de Nuno – de Nuno ‘18, is currently in her fifth year teaching third grade dual language at Washington Elementary School in Fremont. She is a mother to four young children (two boys and two girls) and loves helping coach her two girls in soccer. “I am always on my toes and busy with work and family,” she said.

Margaret Cowan McGrath

Margaret Cowan McGrath – McGrath ‘93 currently serves as the Graduate Community Steward with New Ventures West and also works as an integral human development coach. McGrath received her Master’s Degree in American Studies from Columbia University in 2003. She has worked in various fields in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors and is a published romance novelist.