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Family and Consumer Sciences

Ohio State University Extension



Brooke Cartus

Brooke CartusWednesday, 9:30 a.m.

Brooke Cartus is the director of Business Development and senior facilitator with ImprovEdge. A graduate of Ohio State’s Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Brooke is a licensed attorney who has been published in the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice and the Huffington Post, among others.

As an experienced facilitator, Brooke regularly works with groups and one-on-one to help professionals build confidence and effectiveness in communications. Her work spans industries – legal to pharma, media to government – with clients such as: AstraZeneca, Gilead, Advarra, Mallinckrodt, Bricker & Eckler, International Trade Administration, and NBCUniversal.

A part of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2019 in Columbus, Ohio, Brooke collaborates with statewide and national organizations to facilitate on the importance of acknowledging unconscious bias in the workplace. She has led public discussions on Diversity and Inclusion with a wide range of organizations and individuals, including the NFL.

Brooke started her career at The Crane School of Music in New York studying classical music and performed as an opera singer throughout the US. She serves on the board at Equality Ohio, the Pride Advisory Board of the Columbus Symphony, and volunteers at the Legal Aid Society of Columbus.

Featured keynote speaking engagements include:

  • Simmons Leadership Conference
  • Association for Talent Development International Conference and Expo
  • AstraZeneca Inclusion & Diversity Summit
  • BioOhio Diversity in Bio Series

Karen Hewitt

Karen HewittWednesday, 9:30 a.m.

ImprovEdge facilitator Karen Hewitt has been speaking, facilitating and coaching since 2005. She started singing, performing and creating at the age of 12, and­­ was classically trained as a singer with The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Mini Singers. Karen has always found home in words, writing poetry and songs since she was able to write. She is a published author with the launch of her collection of healing spoken word poetry, Grounded. Karen has also been very present in the Columbus, Ohio artist scene, appearing in many local improv shows and even curating her own musical, spoken word and improv poetry variety show.

A native of Cincinnati, Karen earned her BS in Mathematics (minor in Education) at St. Francis University (PA) and then coached Women’s basketball there, Ohio University, and University of Kentucky. She came to Columbus to acquire her MA in Educational Policy and Leadership at The Ohio State University. It was at this time she found her passion for people, education, and leadership working in human resources and workforce development.

Lena Tenney

Wednesday, 1:30 p.m.

Lena Tenney is coordinator of Public Engagement for the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. As part of the Race and Cognition Program, they travel around the nation to facilitate educational sessions about topics such as why it is so hard to talk about race, what it means to be anti-racist, how to be an active bystander, implicit bias, and whiteness.  During their time at Kirwan, Lena has facilitated over 200 sessions reaching more than 30,000 participants in 18 states and Washington, DC. Lena is a co-author of the 2017 edition of the Kirwan Institute’s State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review publication and a co-creator of three free, publicly available online learning platforms geared toward addressing implicit bias in K-12 education, child welfare, and healthcare.

Lena TenneyFormally trained in Intergroup Dialogue and in Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter, Lena has a background in inclusive education and coalitional activism work. They are a founding member of two grassroots community activist groups that have sought to ensure legal protections for and institutional inclusion of LGBTQ individuals at the municipal and campus levels.  Lena previously served on the LGBTQ Student Success Task Force for The Ohio State University and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for TransOhio—a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for transgender individuals and communities. For their work, Lena has been recognized with the 2019 Transforming Care Conference Community Advocate Award, as well as the 2020 University of Oklahoma’s College of Education Emerging Educator Alumni Award.

Lena holds a Masters of Education and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. They also graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies and History from the University of Oklahoma. They currently reside in Columbus, Ohio with their beloved cats: Ruth Bader Ginspurr and Purrgood Marshall.

Jackie Kirby Wilkins

Jackie WilkinsWednesday, 9:15 a.m.

Jackie Kirby Wilkins is interim director of OSU Extension in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. She also serves as director of Operations for OSU Extension, and is primarily responsible for providing leadership to the statewide Extension operations, comprised of 88 counties, including all matters affecting personnel, finance, and business operations.

As interim director of OSU Extension, she will continue her leadership for the Operations team including supervision of staff; assume supervision of the OSU Extension administrative staff; and serve on the CFAES VP Cabinet and assist the VP/Dean and college leadership with college strategic planning and implementation of strategic priorities.

Jackie received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ohio Dominican University and her master’s and doctoral degrees in human development and family science from The Ohio State University. Jackie, an associate professor, began her career at Ohio State in 1994 as an Extension associate in the Department of Human Development and Family Science.