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Chris Kyselka  

Student Services at Arizona State University

Chris brings her unique perspective, experience and value to companies and organizations. She is an expert in the areas of cultural diversity, American Indian culture, multicultural communication as well as college success and youth leadership. Her insights come from personal experience, extensive world travel, educational background and as an accomplished leader and career professional.
Chris has worked in higher education administration for more than 20 years in several capacities. She also mentors college students and young working professionals. She began her career on the radio in northern Arizona, moved to Phoenix, and expanded her career to work in television and newspapers for more than a decade. Chris earned a Bachelor of Science in communications and Master of Public Administration from Arizona State University. Her leadership roles include several municipal and community boards as well as the Arizona State University Alumni Association and National Speakers Association Arizona Chapter. She is a Valley Leadership Class 29 alumna.


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Speech Topics

American Indian Realities

The words “Native American” or “American Indian” might automatically bring up mental images for some like teepees, casinos or scenes from old Westerns. Most people have had limited personal interaction or opportunities to obtain real information about native peoples and believe what they have learned from television, movies or hearsay. It is no wonder that inaccuracies and stereotypes tend to dominate the perception of native people considering these sources. Chris uses a blend of humor and tact with solid information to address a variety of common misperceptions around American Indian culture. She englightens audiences with the truths about the population to inform others of native peoples and what matters to them.

The Impact of Federal Policy on the First Americans

American Indian people often are referred to as the First Americans; it is accepted that they were the first to settle in the area that later became known as the United States. Many oral histories indicate that native peoples thrived on these lands since the beginning of time. European settlement encroached on the native way of life, leading to incredible loss – of land, livelihood and identity. The role of the U.S. government throughout settlement is profound. This informative overview addresses the history and treatment of American Indians and how extermination, assimilation and paternalism impacted tribal nations. Today, tribes continue to persevere and change the course of history.

Remembering the Navajo Code Talkers

The story of the Navajo Code Talkers presents a unique kind of heroism during WWII. As Navajo Indians, they were called upon to use their native language as a key part of the strategy in the Pacific Theater. Their service came at a time when the U.S. government also demonstrated intent to subdue the language, culture and tradition of American Indian tribes. This multimedia presentation describes how their efforts were integral to the war’s outcome.

Patient Care: Understanding American Indian End of Life

Healthcare practitioners encounter patients of a variety of cultural backgrounds. At no other time during the care of a patient is the end of life phase more critical and complex. American Indian culture presents unique challenges. This presentation begins with a discussion of basic American Indian cultural values and how those influence the interface between American Indian patients and non-Indian providers. Essential to this topic is the understanding of the American Indian perception of illness and end-of-life. Practitioners will understand how to ensure sensitivity and skill in working with patients and family members throughout this critical time.

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