School of Health Sciences

Oakland University’s Healthology Symposium to celebrate ‘Healthy Diversity’

U.S. Marine Corps veteran and amputee Kirstie Ennis will serve as keynote speaker

icon of a calendarMarch 5, 2024

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Oakland University’s Healthology Symposium to celebrate ‘Healthy Diversity’
Kirstie Ennis
Oakland University will welcome Kirstie Ennis, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and amputee, adventure athlete, and philanthropist, as the keynote speaker during the 2024 Healthology Symposium on March 14.

Celebrating Healthy Diversity in knowledge, ability, family, mental health and nutrition, the seventh annual Healthology Symposium will take place on March 14 in the Oakland Center Ballrooms on the campus of Oakland University.

As the keynote speaker, Oakland University will welcome Kirstie Ennis, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and amputee, adventure athlete, and philanthropist.

“A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Kirstie is climbing mountains — literally and figuratively,” said Dr. Kevin Ball, dean of the School of Health Sciences. “After her helicopter crashed while serving in Afghanistan, resulting in more than 40 surgeries, including the amputation of her leg, the U.S. Marine Corps veteran has set out to climb the Seven Summits — and has completed six of them already — as she tells her story of hope and overcoming adversity. Kirstie embodies our vision of Healthy Diversity, and we are honored to welcome her to Healthology.”

The knowledge, ability, family and mental health sessions will each consist of four lightning talks from OU and community presenters, followed by interactive discussions that will take place around the room. The nutrition session will include dinner from different cultures, presented by several chefs.

“We are excited to host this wonderfully interdisciplinary program with the support of our diverse partners from across our region and the campus at large,” Ball said. “We strive to promote the public good and grow healthy communities.”

The 2024 Healthology Symposium is free to attend thanks to the support of generous sponsors, including: Apricity Foundation, Telva and David McGruder, Kroger Health, McLaren Oakland, Easterseals MORC, Medical Network OneOakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, OMPT Specialists, Direct Rx, Kevin A. Ball & Margaret J. Afheldt Symposium Endowment, McGraw Catalpa, John and Patricia Waugh, and Wright & Filippis.

While offered without cost, the School of Health Sciences would greatly appreciate your contributions to help provide funding for student and faculty research and to ensure the sustainability of future Healthology events. Please click here to give.

For more information and to register, visit hq.lightupmypictures.com/shs/community/healthology.

About the Keynote Speaker

Kirstie Ennis was severely injured when her helicopter crashed while serving in Afghanistan. After more than 40 surgeries, including the amputation of her leg, the former Marine sergeant responded to her challenge. First competing as a Paralympic snowboarder and then venturing into mountaineering, she has set out to climb the Seven Summits — and has completed six of them — while raising funds and awareness for a variety of causes.

The Kirstie Ennis Foundation is a nonprofit sponsoring mobility-based equipment and providing therapeutic climbing clinics for disabled, veteran and minority communities. Ennis is an ambassador for the nonprofit Building Homes for Heroes and is on the board of Merging Vets and Players.

Ennis has completed three Master’s degrees (Human Behavior, Business Administration and Public Administration) and is currently completing her doctorate in Education. She was the recipient of the 2020 ”Higher Ground Award” at the Salute to Greatness Awards held by the Martin Luther King Jr. family.

Ennis is the youngest ever to be inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the ESPY’s 2019 Pat Tillman Award. Ennis’ story, giving people hope and building community, is featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s “Body” issue, appears in People magazine, was featured on the Tamron Hall show and in a Sports Emmy nominated segment on HBO’s Real Sports.

Event Schedule
2-3 p.m. | Knowledge presentation
3-4 p.m. | Ability presentation
4-5 p.m. | Family presentation
5-6 p.m. | Mental Health presentation
6-7 p.m. | Nutrition presentation, culinary demonstration, dinner
7-8 p.m. | Keynote address, desserts/coffee
8 p.m. | Afterglow and networking

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