Mark Your Calendar for the Next World Leaders Forum Inspirational Series

Dr. Shawna Pandya

The World Leaders Forum Inspirational Series will welcome Dr. Shawna Pandya, a physician, aquanaut, and scientist-astronaut candidate from Alberta, Canada to Judson University in Elgin. The main event will be held at 5:00 p.m. Thursday, October 12, at Herrick Chapel.

The event with Dr. Pandya is the fifth Inspirational Series event and the second developed and hosted by Jacqueline Ruiz, an entrepreneur, author, and Latina pilot.

Dr. Shawna Pandya is passionate about the two ‘extremes’ of humanity – surviving and thriving. She’s interested in furthering technological innovation and human knowledge and tackling humanity’s grandest challenges to affect positive social change. 

After leaving her career in neurosurgery she went from repeatedly telling herself “I am an absolute disgrace,” to gaining a new sense of being. In her talks, Shawna talks passionately about resilience and the lifelong learning she came to embrace from her time with sociopaths, Navy SEALs, martial arts, medicine, astronauts, and from her father. She successfully completed Scientist‐Astronaut Candidate training in 2015 with Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere) and was part of the first crew to test a commercial spacesuit in zero gravity. 

In 2016, Shawna was named as prime crew for Project Poseidon, which aims to further ocean and space exploration, while setting a world record for “most days spent under the sea.” She also received the Global Women of Vision Award in 2016. 

Proceeds from this event will fund leadership, entrepreneurship, diversity, and RISE program scholarships for students at Judson University. Beginning at 3:30 p.m., VIP ticket purchasers can attend an hors d’oeuvres reception and will have a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with Dr. Pandya prior to the event.

Tickets start at $50. For more information, visit

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