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Commencement Speakers

Graduate Alumni Speaker | Michael Rady

Michael Rady has been with PepsiCo for 14 years and had multiple assignments in the field and at headquarters supporting sales, manufacturing, marketing, and strategy before moving to Orlando, Florida for this role. Prior to his time at PepsiCo, he had several critical experiences such as leading a global staffing effort, University Relations, various HR Generalist roles, as well as time outside of HR where he led a LEAN process improvement effort and ultimately general management of a business.

Michael’s father is in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, coached for 50 years, and is one of the state’s most winningest coaches. From a very early age, and throughout his childhood, he watched coaches closely and became a student of “the coaching game.” For him, elite-level leadership has a foundation deeply rooted in the leader as a coaching concept. His belief in the benefits of the leader as a coaching method led to him hosting the podcast Pepsi Coach’s Corner with Michael Rady. The concept is centered on driving leadership capability in a format that gives our leaders the opportunity to conveniently access it at any time.

In his free time, Michael loves spending time with his wife Amanda and their two sons, Brooks (13) and Miles (10). He enjoys being outdoors and cooking on his Kamado Joe. Michael has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Indiana State University.

Graduate Student Speaker | Polina Kaniuka

An international student from Cherkasy, Ukraine, Polina Kaniuka came to Indiana State University to pursue her passion for learning foreign languages, ESL, and linguistics and to obtain her MA in TESL/ Language Studies. In 2013, Kaniuka could not imagine that Terre Haute, Indiana, and ISU would become her home for the following 7 years. As a graduate assistant at the Center for Global Engagement, Kaniuka met international students from around the world, built friendships with them, and facilitated cross-cultural connections among both domestic and international students. Through all these important and meaningful experiences at ISU, Kaniuka realized her true devotion to international education and global learning in higher education.

Kaniuka will never forget the multiple academic and experiential learning opportunities ISU had to offer, including learning French, German, Arabic, and Farsi; presenting at national conferences; getting her research articles published in peer-reviewed and recognized journals; teaching undergraduate and graduate-level courses, and being recognized with a number of academic scholarships and awards. Most importantly, Kaniuka is grateful for the strong relationships she made with students, faculty, staff, and administrators at Indiana State University, as well as life-changing mentorship from extraordinary and caring faculty and staff. The Ph.D. program’s curriculum and faculty in Higher Education Leadership helped Kaniuka gain knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for becoming a competent servant leader of higher education. In the future, Kaniuka aspires to make a positive impact on the lives of students through outstanding teaching and research supporting diversity, equity, and international understanding in higher education and beyond.

Undergraduate Alumni Speaker | Shannon Anderson

Shannon Anderson is the co-founder and COO of SmileML—a Techstars Air Force company that is taking the guesswork out of emotional interpretation by using AI to help individuals and teams communicate effectively. SmileML’s product, SaleSpot, uses emotion recognition during sales video calls to provide feedback and coaching for sales representatives.

Anderson’s work with SmileML spans both commercial and defense applications. Her startup has won contracts with the United States Special Operations Command, United States Air Force, and government contractors. They are working on projects involving the use of emotion recognition for malintent detection and detecting malicious actors in crowds before harm is caused.

SmileML evolved out of an idea Anderson began working on during her senior year at Indiana State University. Anderson graduated with Honors and holds a bachelor’s degree in Operations and Supply Chain Management and a minor in French. She loved her time at Indiana State and was active in many organizations including Delta Sigma Pi, Sigma Kappa, APICS, Student Government, the President’s Scholars Association, and the University Honors Program.

Undergraduate Student Speaker | Chloe Elise O'Sullivan

Chloe began attending ISU in August of 2018. She chose a major in Human Resource Development with a minor in Civic Leadership. To further enrich her college experiences, Chloe has been an active participant in the Honors College. She is employed in the ISU Career Center as an assistant in Student Employment Programs and also works as a front desk assistant. In addition to being a student employee, Chloe has served as an intern for the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, an ISU student organization, in an outreach and fundraising role. In her spare time, she likes to bake, play with her cat, Bobo, and spend time with her fiancé, Jacob. After gaining experience in the HR field, she hopes to return to ISU to earn her master’s degree in Human Resource Development.