With so many options in an ever-increasing complex world, choosing a particular path may not be as easy as it seems. To help navigate the ”next,” Wittenberg’s newest podcast-based experience looks to explore the “Art and Science of Indecision.” Headlining this unique conversation on the Why Witt? program this month will be 2006 graduate Brandon Slade, founder and CEO of Untapped Learning, who will join the stage Wednesday, Nov. 29, in Founders Pub on campus and via a livestream.
Slade’s Boulder, Colorado-based company, Untapped Learning, is an executive function coaching organization dedicated to helping students tap into their full potential. Using research-backed methods, the company helps students of all differing abilities work through their learning challenges.
“We created Untapped Learning to help students hone the skills they need to succeed, in school and beyond,” Slade said on his company’s website. “ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety, and other executive function challenges can negatively impact students’ academic experiences, and it’s our job to introduce strategies that play to their strengths and tackle those obstacles.
Slade brings more than a decade of experience as a special education teacher, working in the foster care system and as a school psychologist. He believes in mentoring's transformative power to cultivate confidence and independence in learners, which is why he created Untapped Learning in July 2017 for tailor-made coaching to middle school through college students struggling with such skills as organization and self-advocacy. He graduated from Wittenberg with a degree in early childhood education and special education, before going on to earn an M.A. in special education from Arizona State University followed by an Ed.S. in psychology from the University of Colorado Denver.
To date, Slade and his insights have been recognized and featured on such platforms as Forbes, Grown and Flown, and in colleges nationwide. Slade was named to the Forbes Next 1000 list in 2021, and the success of his company has made him an in-demand presenter for teachers, counselors, libraries, members of the medical community, and more.
Slade brings personal experience to his work, as well, having been diagnosed with ADHD at an early age. It wasn't until college, however, that he fully recognized his brain did not work like those of his neurotypical peers. Since then, Slade’s goal has been to better understand the ADHD brain. After teaching special education for 12 years, he started Untapped Learning, which also attempts to address obstacles by adding exercise and movement to help young learners focus, a technique Slade learned mostly by accident. He looks forward to sharing the lessons he has learned and his expertise with students, faculty, staff, friends, prospective students, and the broader community next week.
"I am beyond excited to return to Wittenberg for the Why Witt? Podcast,” Slade said. “My time at Wittenberg was instrumental in helping me find my passion for learning and helping others. I’m so grateful for my time at Wittenberg and for all the staff that helped me. It’s an honor to return for the podcast.”
The brainchild of entrepreneurs Timmy McCarthy, class of 2002 and Wittenberg’s first-ever Professional in Residence, and John “HUD” Hudson, business owner, friend, and former classmate, Why Witt? debuted this summer and airs in front of a live studio audience every fourth Wednesday of the month. Featured guests are Wittenberg alumni from all walks of life, who are expected to mentor a current Wittenberg student following their participation in the program.
Why Witt? asks the following primary questions of all its guests: What led them to Wittenberg? What happened while they were here? How did they navigate the path after leaving Wittenberg? Each show is approximately one hour – 50 minutes for conversation and 10 minutes for audience questions, both from those in person and from those watching via the livestream. A link to listen will be posted on the program’s website closer to the event time. Contact information for connecting with the Why Witt? creators can also be found on the website.