2012 Hatton W. Sumners Undergraduate Student Leadership Conference
John Bul Dau
Lost Boy of Sudan Featured in the Film God Grew Tired of Us
John Bul Dau has experienced journeys in life that most people never imagine. Dau was born in war-torn Sudan, and in 1987, his village was attacked by government troops involved in the civil war between the Muslim-controlled government in northern Sudan and the non-Muslims in southern Sudan. The violence scattered his family, and Dau was forced to travel on foot for three months until reaching the relative safety of Ethiopia.
Dau stayed in a refugee camp in Ethiopia for four years, but when civil war broke out in the region, he was once again forced to flee. As one of thousands of "Lost Boys of Sudan," Dau wandered hundreds of miles and faced disease, starvation, and violence, until arriving in Kenya. While living in the Kenyan Kakuma refugee camp, he attended school for the first time and earned a prestigious Kenyan Certificate for Secondary Education in 2000. In 2001, he was brought to Syracuse, New York along with 140 other young Sudanese refugees.
Despite the initial culture shock - women driving cars, huge stores filled with food - Dau has succeeded in the United States and can proudly say that he is living the American dream. Not only was he able to bring his mother and sister from Sudan, but while working 60 hours a week as a security guard, he received an Associates degree from Onondago Community College. He is currently pursuing a degree in Policy Studies at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
Additionally, Dau is an experienced social entrepreneur. He has founded three non-profit 501(c)3 organizations. In 2003, he helped establish The Sudanese Lost Boys Foundation of Central New York which raised over $35,000 for books and medical expenses for Lost Boys living in the United States. In 2005, Dau was instrumental in founding the American Care for Sudan Foundation which solicited funds to build and operate the Duk Lost Boys Clinic in Southern Sudan. He has raised more than $400,000 for the clinic. Currently, Dau is the President of the John Dau Sudan Foundation which was founded in July of 2007 to develop health facilities that currently do not exist for most of the populations of Duk, Twic East and Bor South Counties in the State of Jonglei in Southern Sudan.
Dau's move to the United States and early experiences in the country are the subject of the film God Grew Tired of Us, which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. His memoir, also entitled God Grew Tired of Us, was released in January 2007 by National Geographic Press. His second book is Lost Boy, Lost Girl: Escaping Civil War in Sudan.
Dau's command of the English language has helped assure that his voice and the voice of the Sudanese is heard in the United States and around the world. He has become a successful national public speaker, focusing speeches on his life story and the importance of perseverance against all odds. His moving talks also focus on the importance of human rights and on ending the tragedy in Southern Sudan.
In his brief time in the United States, Dau has earned many awards for his public achievements and charitable work. He received a National Geographic's Emerging Explorers Award and was named a Volvo for Life Award finalist in the Quality of Life Category in 2008 which carried a contribution of $25,000 to the John Dau Sudan Foundation. As he continues to work to succeed in the United States he envisions a positive future for Sudan. He says, "I hope for my country to get out of war and secure a good government. I want Sudan to become a place where people are welcome and hope is restored."
Dr. Prince is the Director of the Center for Ethical Leadership and holds the Loyd Hackler Endowed Chair in Ethical Leadership in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs (LBJ School) at the University of Texas at Austin. He was initially appointed to the Sid Richardson Chair in Public Affairs as Visiting Professor in September 1999. He has received numerous teaching awards including the Texas Excellence Teaching Award as the outstanding teacher in the LBJ School for AY 2001-2002 by nomination of the student body. In 2008 he was chosen by The Eyes of Texas, a student organization, for The Eyes of Texas Excellence Award for outstanding contributions to student life.
Dr. Prince is a 1962 honor graduate of West Point and also holds the Master of Arts degree in International Relations from American University. During 1965-67 he studied economics, history, law, political science and sociology at the University of Bonn in Germany as an Olmsted Scholar, and earned the Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975. A clinical psychologist, he is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. He is also a graduate of the U. S. Army War College. In 2006 he was selected for the highest honor given by West Point to its alumni, the Distinguished Graduate Award.
Dr. Prince is an accomplished educator and leader who has held positions of increasing responsibility throughout a lifetime of public service. He is an experienced teacher who also has published widely on contemporary leadership topics and is the senior editor of a leadership textbook. He has been active in promoting leadership education and leader development on the national and international levels for many years as a consultant and speaker. In 1996 the Association of Leadership Educators honored Dr. Prince with its Distinguished Leadership Service Award. In 2009 Division 19, the Society of Military Psychology, of the American Psychological Association presented him with the John R. Flanagan Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Previously he served as founding dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies and Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, where he was responsible for the development of the first undergraduate leadership degree program in the world from October 1, 1990 until June 30, 1996. He then held the George and Virginia Modlin Endowed Chair as Professor of Leadership Studies until July 31, 1997. Before going to Richmond, Virginia, Dr. Prince was Professor and Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, New York from July 1978 through September 1990 where he developed both graduate and undergraduate leadership programs and was instrumental in reshaping leader development throughout the U. S. Army.
After serving for over twenty-eight years in the United States Army, upon his retirement in 1990 he was advanced on the retired list to the rank of Brigadier General and presented with the army's highest award for service, the Distinguished Service Medal. While on active duty he held a variety of troop command and staff positions in the 82nd Airborne and 1st Cavalry divisions before joining the permanent faculty at West Point. His other military awards and decorations include two awards of the Purple Heart for combat wounds, two Bronze Stars for valor, the Bronze Star for service, the Distinguished Flying Cross for valor, the Silver Star for valor, and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. He was also an Army Ranger and a senior parachutist.
Salvatore "Sal" Augustine Giunta was born on January 21, 1985 in Clinton, Iowa. The oldest of three children of Steven-a medical equipment technician and Rosemary-a pre-school teacher, Giunta grew up in Cedar Rapids and Hiawatha, Iowa. At age 17, while working in a Subway sandwich shop, he decided to enlist and he joined the Army in November 2003. He attended Infantry One Station Unit Training and the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, before being assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy, on May 24, 2004. Promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant in 2009, Giunta completed two combat tours to Afghanistan totaling 27 months of deployment.
On October 25, 2007, while conducting a patrol as team leader, Giunta and his team were navigating through the treacherous terrain of Afghanistan's Korengal Valley when they were ambushed by a well-armed and well-coordinated insurgent force. While under heavy enemy fire, Giunta immediately sprinted towards cover and engaged the enemy. Seeing that his squad leader had fallen and believing that he had been injured, Giunta exposed himself to withering enemy fire and raced towards his squad leader, helped him to cover and administered medical aid. While administering first aid, enemy fire struck Giunta's body armor and his secondary weapon. Without regard to the ongoing fire, Giunta engaged the enemy before prepping and throwing grenades, using the explosions for cover in order to conceal his position. Attempting to reach additional wounded fellow soldiers who were separated from the squad, Giunta and his team encountered a barrage of enemy fire that forced them to the ground. The team continued forward and upon reaching the wounded soldiers, Giunta realized that another soldier was still separated from the element. Giunta then advanced forward on his own initiative. As he crested the top of a hill, he observed two insurgents carrying away an American soldier. He immediately engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding the other. Upon reaching the wounded soldier, he began to provide medical aid, as his squad caught up and provided security.
For his extraordinary gallantry, unrivalled courage and selfless leadership in action on October 25, 2007, Giunta was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony on November 16, 2010. Staff Sgt. Giunta was the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq or Afghanistan, the first living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War and the eighth service member to receive the nation's highest military decoration for valor in Iraq and Afghanistan. His other military decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal w/oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, two Army Good Conduct Medals and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal to name a few.
He retired from the Army in June 2011 to attend college. He currently resides in Colorado with his wife Jennifer Giunta.
Ginger Kerrick began working for NASA/Johnson Space Center as a summer intern in 1991 and a co-op in 1992. She started her first permanent assignment at JSC in May of 1994 with the Safety, Reliability and Quality Assurance (SR&QA) directorate as a Materials Research Engineer. In September 1995 she was reassigned to the Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) as an instructor for the International Space Station (ISS) Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS). Her responsibilities included training development, simulator development, and training conduct for both crew and flight controllers.
In December of 1997, she was selected for a newly-formed position, Russian Training Integration Instructor (RTII), which was designed to address the integration of Russian and US training programs for all Expedition Crews, with special focus on the Expedition 1 crew. She supported all Expedition 1 training both in the US and Russia. This experience enabled her to provide integration not only in the area of crew training, but also assist the operations community with the integration of US and Russian displays, procedures, and operations nomenclature. Following the launch of the Expedition 1 crew, she supported operations from Mission Control Center, Moscow (MCC-M) as a Crew Support Engineer. Shortly after the Expedition 1 crew's return to Earth in March of 2001, she was presented with a unique opportunity - to become the first non-astronaut ISS Capcom (short for Capsule Communicator) in Mission Control Center, Houston (MCC-H). As a member of the Capcom Branch she worked console for Expeditions 3 - 11, and held positions as the Expedition 5 Lead Capcom, ISS Lead Capcom, and Capcom Deputy Branch Chief.
Ms. Kerrick was selected as a Flight Director in February of 2005 and completed her International Space Station (ISS) certification in September 2005. She has worked console as an ISS Flight Director for Expeditions 12 - 25, which included serving as the Lead Flight Director for Expedition 14 and lead for US EVA #13 (spacewalk). She supported three docked Shuttle missions from the ISS Flight Control Room (FCR-1) -- STS-118/13A.1, STS-123-1JA, and served as the Lead ISS Flight Director for STS-126/ULF2 in November 2008. In addition, she served as Chair of the Generic Joint Operations Panel (GJOP).
In March 2010, she completed her certification as a Shuttle Orbit Flight Director and supported the planning shift for STS-131/19A and STS-132/ULF4, as well as the Orbit 2 shift for STS-133/ULF5 from the Shuttle Flight Control Room (WFCR).
Ms. Kerrick recently completed a nine-month rotational assignment serving as the Deputy Manager of the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Office at Johnson Space Center. She is currently back in the Flight Director Office in the role of Assistant to the Chief for ISS.