UMSL commencements feature three speakers

Three guest speakers will address graduates and guests at the University of Missouri-St. Louis commencement ceremonies Dec. 19. The 10 a.m. ceremony will feature Karen Kalish, the 2 p.m. ceremony will feature Debra Hollingsworth, and the 6 p.m. ceremony will feature David L. Steward. All ceremonies take place in the Mark Twain Athletic & Fitness Center.

Karen Kalish is executive director and founder of Cultural Leadership and the Teacher Home Visit Program. Cultural Leadership is a year-long educational leadership program for high school students and the Teacher Home Visit Program raises academic achievement of students in low-income, underperforming schools by sending teachers to their homes.

She also is president of Books and Badges, a literacy program, and she is president of the Estelle W. and Karen S. Kalish Foundation, which focuses on literacy.
Kalish wrote “How to Give a Terrific Presentation,” “Dealing Effectively with the Media” and “I’ll See You on the Radio.” She has served on many boards including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and has won several awards for her community involvement.

Debra Hollingsworth is vice president for external affairs at AT&T Missouri.
She manages community relations programs for AT&T and directs public affairs functions for the president of AT&T Missouri.

She serves as chairwoman of the United Way of Greater St. Louis’ Women’s Leadership Giving Initiative and she is vice chairwoman of the St. Louis Minority Business Council. She also serves on several boards including St. Louis OASIS. Hollingsworth’s many honors include the Hellenic Spirit Athena Award and she was named one of the Most Influential Business Women by the St. Louis Business Journal.

David L. Steward is founder and chairman of World Wide Technology, Inc. Headquartered in St. Louis, the 19-year-old company is the leading supplier of advanced technology to the United States government, providing products from more than 3,000 companies around the world. Steward also serves as chairman of, a WWT affiliate.

Steward wrote “Doing Business by the Good Book: 52 Lessons on Success Straight from the Bible.” He also serves on several boards including Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis. He has received the National Urban League’s Business Pioneer Award and the St. Louis County Economic Council Dr. William D. Phillips Technology Award.


Short URL: