Distinguished Speaker Series

 You Are Not Who They Say You Are"

Dis-labeled: You are not who they say you are

Inspirational and humorous insights on curiosity, adaptability and fearlessness for successfully pursuing audacious goals

Lecture Details

Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Time: 3:30 p.m. Reception, 4:00 p.m. Lecture
Location: Ruth Pike Auditorium, 22 Biobehavioral Health Building

The event is free and open to the public.

Susan Robinson

Susan Robinson, business adviser, TED Talk speaker and Penn State alum, will share her inspirational and humorous insights on curiosity, adaptability and fearlessness for successfully pursuing audacious goals. The talk will be held in the Ruth Pike Auditorium, 22 Biobehavioral Health Building on the University Park campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Robinson, who earned a health policy and administration degree at Penn State in 1994, is a consultant and adviser to global business leaders, a corporate and TED speaker, blogger and entrepreneur with a consistent ability to create and operationalize innovative strategies, as well as successfully engage high performance talent to increase business and individual success, enhance culture and reputation, reduce costs and ultimately impact lives.

In 1992, Robinson was diagnosed with a genetic visual impairment (Stargardt’s disease) and is legally blind. Unable to pursue her dream of becoming an orthopedic surgeon, she focused on the business administration of health. A variety of low vision aides and a unique combination of coping strategies, intelligence, memory and humor have supported Robinson’s impressive academic and professional achievements that have extended beyond the health care industry.

Despite her visual challenges, Robinson has a diverse and successful background with leadership roles in the non-profit, corporate pharma and government sectors driving organizational turn arounds, new program/function start-ups and disaster response programs.

Most recently, as a resident with TED, Robinson presented her first TED Talk, “How I fail at being disabled,” which has nearly 1.3 million views and humorously describes her rejection of being labeled “disabled.”

Her residency project combined her background as an executive leader and experience as an individual with a vision impairment in order to effectively examine how “disability” is viewed in the workplace and how top talent can be cultivated to enhance both individual and business success. She engaged Fortune 500 companies, prestigious academic institutions, leading not-for-profit organizations, individuals who excel despite having “disabilities” and others, finding that there is great opportunity to leverage natural skills and pioneer new levels of diversity and inclusion.

As CEO/founder of Global Health AspirAction, Robinson launched a start-up consulting group specializing in complex, patient-centric projects that have significant impact on long-term success, culture and reputation for not-for- profit, corporate and other start-up organizations. Robinson received a master of public administration degree in health policy and management from New York University and a bachelor of science degree in health policy and administration with minors in business and economics from Penn State.

Robinson received a master of public administration degree in health policy and management from New York University and a bachelor of science degree in health policy and administration with minors in business and economics from Penn State.

Robinson is a council member of the Penn State Alumni Association and a board member of the New York State Preferred Source for the Blind.

Distinguished Seaker Series

The Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series was established by the Board of Directors of the College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society in order to feature prominent graduates of the college who are leaders in their fields. The board's mission is to facilitate and promote the participation of alumni in activities that support the college's pursuit of excellence.