From Harvard to the TEDx stage, to the Chautauqua Institute, Dr. Powers has shown herself to be a powerful speaker able to engage any audience in deep meaningful conversation and reflection.
Here she is on a panel at the Chautauqua Writers' Festival speaking about "Teaching Writing in Times of Crisis," with fellow educators and writers.
Below is Dr. Powers' TedX Talk from the Pine Crest School. In this talk, Dr. Powers examines her own identity and shares her experience as a person who lives "betwixt and between". This identity is becoming the "new American normal", and Dr. Powers argues that there's a way to accept and understand that identity as a "state of being that transcends the categories that divide us".
"Jillian possesses a unique ability to connect with PhD students in the social sciences and humanities. Representing a consulting company, Jillian spoke to an audience of 30+ doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars at the University of Chicago in an honest, engaging and empathetic way about the advantages and tradeoffs of working in the private sector. She effectively tapped into the students’ desire to pursue intellectually stimulating work while leveraging their advanced research skills. She earned the trust of a hyper-critical audience through a mix of relevant personal anecdotes and a no-B.S. perspective on working for a profit-seeking enterprise. More PhD students should hear Jillian’s thoughtful wisdom on the path through and beyond the academy."
- Michael Tessel, PhD. Director, Graduate Career development & Employer Relations, University of Chicago
"Jillian drew record numbers of graduate students to her talk about navigating academic and non-academic careers. She shared her experiences after graduate school, including the triumphs of finding work she loves to do and the pitfalls of finding the right institutional fit. She also showed students that there are ways to apply their research skill sets to non-academic careers, such as consulting companies that employ business anthropology. Her talk was the frank and encouraging push that many of our students needed to explore careers and conduct an effective job search. The students found her perspective so engaging that there was a 20-minute line to speak with her after her presentation."
- David McDonald, PhD. Assistant Director, Graduate Student Career Services, Duke University
"Inspiring, powerful, and contemplative are some of the words that come to mind when thinking about Professor Powers’ workshop “Clamoring for the American Dream and Social Justice” for Diversity Conference 2016, the inaugural conference centered on discussing topics of diversity in the United States. Using three different historical points (Hawaiian plantations and coalition building, NYC sweatshops and unions, and post WWII and civil rights movements) as lenses, Professor Powers engaged a room of 20 university students and faculty/staff members and facilitated conversation about our understanding and interpretation of the American Dream. It was amazing listening to people share their family backgrounds and our unique experiences with the American Dream. Professor Powers’ workshop was exactly what the conference was looking for. Its attendees left the workshop still conversing with one another and raving about it on social media. As the conference moves forward with its second year, we would love to have Professor Powers return to host another workshop and we really value her expertise on matters of race and ethnicity and migration and mobility."
-Sharon Cai '18, Brandeis University Diversity Conference Director
"Dr. Jillian Powers stimulated a thought-provoking discussion with our group of thirty Americorps/Community Healthcorps members. She served as a wealth of knowledge, a true “filing cabinet,” regarding the immigrant experience and, as such, offered a distinctly fluid lecture that was able to go in whichever direction participants wished to explore. She drew from historical and current examples to discuss and dissect with the group. Dr. Powers also encouraged members to draw upon personal experiences, and connected these with a broader story of the immigrant experience throughout history. Dr. Powers’ engaging lecture prompted a dynamic discussion about our current abilities and responsibilities as American citizens in breaking down barriers to accessing the American Dream and offered hope as to how we can implement such changes."
-Arielle Stopa, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless