Bridge to Brilliance speaker series to focus on resilience

Daniel Botero
Justin Velten
Tyler Waye

Four nationally acclaimed speakers are lined up for the spring Bridge to Brilliance series at the University of Houston-Victoria, including a career coach, a college football coach, a workplace culture expert and a motivational speaker.

The Bridge to Brilliance series is about unlocking the secrets to living an exceptional life and brings together guest speakers who offer tips for successfully fast-tracking careers and improving personal wellbeing. The free series is hosted by the UHV College of Business. This year, the series will focus on the importance of resilience, said Rosie McCusker, manager of student recruitment and community outreach for the UHV College of Business.

Rosie McCusker

“The planning team chose the theme of resiliency because everyone at every stage of life needs inspiration,” McCusker said. “These speakers will share what they have learned from experience, real life, research and others, offering insights for anyone to find the courage and grit to push through difficult situations to improve personal wellbeing and performance.”

Aaron Deason
Aaron Deason

The speakers will give a presentation and interact with participants virtually through Microsoft Teams from 4 to 5 p.m. once a month from February through May. Participants will learn ways to stand out and get ahead, including breaking into the career of their dreams, thinking like an entrepreneur, finding fulfilment and personal peace, and using challenges to their advantage.

“We’re bringing speakers who can inspire our students and show them a bigger world view,” said Aaron Deason, a communication studies lecturer in the UHV College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences who was instrumental in obtaining the speakers. “They’re volunteering their time to share real-life experiences and speak about how resiliency has helped them get through hard times. They have all had failures but have overcome them and are doing great things in the world.”

This spring’s speakers are:

Daniel Botero, Feb. 8 – Botero’s life work is helping first-generation and minority college students receive internships and job offers from top companies. Whether feeling stuck in a career or planning to launch a new one, attendees will gain tips and strategies to move forward. He is a national best-selling author and the host of a top-rated podcast. He also founded “Mastering College to Career,” which guides and mentors students seeking internships as well as early professionals looking to advance or switch careers. He has helped many students land jobs with top companies such as Google and Amazon.

Jeff Traylor, March 8 – One of the nation’s top coaches, Traylor is the head football coach at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Known for leading with passion, fire, integrity and responsibility, he motivates athletes to reach peak performance. A four-time Texas High School Coach of the Year, he led high school teams to five state championships, three state titles and 12 district crowns, and led UTSA’s football team to become Conference USA champions last year in his first full year as head coach. Join this event to hear his leadership insights in a Q&A format and be energized to reach your own goals.

Justin Velten, April 12 – A diversity, equity and inclusion entrepreneur, Velten is the co-founder and CEO of Go Culture, a Dallas-based company that helps organizations engage with employees and measure inclusivity in the workplace. He shares his passion for strengthening organizations and creating better workplaces through intercultural, diversity, equity and inclusion practices. He has developed his passion for inclusivity through 20 years of research spanning 40 countries. Attendees will learn how to cultivate ideas to help individuals, businesses and communities adapt, grow and thrive.

Tyler Waye, May 3 – Tyler Waye is a renowned leadership and work strategist, educator and entrepreneur who has made it his life’s mission to help people understand the power and potential of mindset for themselves and their teams. He is the co-founder of the Mindset app and an executive in residence for Motiversity, YouTube’s largest motivational media company. He recently completed a research journey around the world, living in 12 countries to explore influences into the future of work. As a motivational speaker, he helps people learn how to cope with hard times and make great things happen in their lives.

Speaker events will be moderated by UHV alumnus Kyle Motal and UHV student Cobey Wasicek, who also is a UHV Student Success Advocate.

The speaker series is open to students, faculty and staff members, and members of the public. Participants may attend online at home or in person at watch parties at the Victoria and Katy campuses, where screens and other technology will enable participants to interact with the speakers. Admission is free, but participants must register in advance at

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.