Convention Speakers and Special Guests

Prepare to be inspired by our keynote speakers, Colby Award Winners and Honor Initiates! 


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Keynote Speakers

Click the pictures below to learn more about our keynote speakers! 


Welcome Banquet Speakers – Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur 

Entrepreneurs and best friends Erica Cerulo  and Claire Mazur have discovered the unique power of female friendship to fuel successful businesses. In their first book, Work Wife, and their inspiring talks, Cerulo and Mazur highlight the ways in which vulnerability, openness, and compassion – qualities central to so many women’s relationships – lend themselves to professional accomplishment and innovation. 


For a Lifetime Luncheon Speaker

Celebrate the impact our members can have when they connect, enjoy, learn and give with Sigma Kappa and their communities. Gain insight from Dr. Maria Carrillo, Theta, chief scientific officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, as she shares a keynote on her professional journey. She will talk about her journey and share the wins and struggles of being a woman in a STEM field. Dr. Carrillo is an honor initiate of Sigma Kappa and you will be blown away by her work and determination to end Alzheimer's disease. 


Keynote Speakers

Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur

Authors and Entrepreneur

Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur met as undergrads at the University of Chicago in 2002 and founded Of a Kind in 2010. They continued to build it until it was closed by the parent company in 2019. All the while Cerulo and Mazur developed a reputation as influential curators at the forefront of the maker movement, with a knack for identifying “the next big thing” when it’s still a small thing. In addition to unearthing America’s most talented up-and-coming designers for feature on their website, Cerulo and Mazur have also become known for their popular 10 Things newsletter and its podcast companion A Few Things, where they expand their enthusiasm for new discoveries across product and lifestyle categories. Accolades for Cerulo and Mazur have included being named to Forbes’s “30 Under 30,” InStyle’s “Best of the Web,” and Fashionista’s “Most Influential People in New York Fashion Right Now.” Along the way, they have discovered the unique power of female friendship to fuel successful businesses. In their first book, Work Wife, and their inspiring talks, Cerulo and Mazur highlight the ways in which vulnerability, openness, and compassion—qualities central to so many women’s relationships—lend themselves to professional accomplishment and innovation.

Dr. Maria C. Carrillo

Chief Science Officer Alzheimer's Association

As chief science officer, Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., sets the strategic vision for the Alzheimer's Association global research program. Under her leadership, the Association is the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's research and an internationally recognized pioneer in convening the dementia science community to accelerate the fieldAs a noted public speaker, Dr. Carrillo plays an instrumental role in the Association's efforts to lobby both the public and private sectors for increased funding for the disease. 

Under Dr. Carrillo's direction, the Association's leadership in Alzheimer's research continues to thrive through its International Research Grant Programwhich has invested more than $475 million in promising and innovative science since 1982 

 As an internationally respected Alzheimer's expert, DrCarrillo has been featured in numerous international media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine and "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt." Dr. Carrillo earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University's Institute for Neuroscience and completed a postdoctoral fellowship focused on Alzheimer's brain imaging and risk factors at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. 

Colby Award Winners

The Colby Award, named in honor of Colby College where Sigma Kappa was founded in 1874, is presented at each national convention to Sigma Kappa alumnae in recognition of their career achievements. Nominees for this award must be nationally known in their area of expertise. For this reason, the Colby Award is the highest honor bestowed upon alumnae members by the national organization. Fields considered include but are not limited to arts, literature, public service, business, industry, education, science and athletics. 

The Colby Awards will be presented at convention. We look forward to welcoming these outstanding members and hearing more about their journey. 

Honor Initiates

More information to come!