Dr. Jillian Peterson
Dr. Jillian Peterson is a Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Hamline University and director of their forensic psychology program. Jill launched her career as a special investigator in New York City, researching the psychosocial life histories of men facing the death penalty. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology and social behavior from the University of California, Irvine, and went on to lead large-scale research studies on mental illness and crime, mass shootings and school shootings, which have received global media attention. Jillian is a sought-after national trainer and speaker on issues related to mental illness and violence, trauma, forensic psychology, and mass violence. She is trained in restorative practices, violence mediation, crisis intervention, de-escalation, and suicide prevention.
Dr. James Densley
Dr. James Densley is Professor and Department Chair of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Metro State University. Born and raised in England, James' first job in the United States was as a special education teacher in the New York City public schools. After earning his D.Phil. in sociology from the University of Oxford, he quickly established himself as one of the world’s leading experts on street gangs and serious youth violence, including violence online. James is the author or editor of 11 books and over 150 journal articles, book chapters, essays, and other works. He has been an invited or plenary speaker on four continents and his work has attracted acclaim, awards, and global media attention.
Nicole Hockley chose to transform unspeakable grief and anguish into action after her youngest son, Dylan, was murdered in his first-grade classroom during the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. As the co-founder and CEO of the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, Nicole works every day to protect children from gun and school violence. Driven by Nicole’s extensive background in strategic marketing and communications, Sandy Hook Promise has become a thought leader on school safety and at the forefront of the gun violence prevention movement. The award-winning and provocative PSA campaigns she helped co-create with BBDO New York have amassed hundreds of millions of views worldwide. Under Nicole’s leadership, the research-driven Know The Signs violence prevention programs were created and are now available to schools nationwide. Nicole received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Fairfield University in 2022 and was recognized in 2016 by People magazine as one of 25 Women Changing the World. But her favorite recognition is for being the best Mom she can be to her surviving son, Jake.
Morgan Gerhart is the Director of Global Workplace Security Programs at The Walt Disney Company. She drives the strategy and execution of enterprise-wide workplace violence prevention strategies, training design, program management, and threat assessment. She is the organization’s subject matter expert on active assailant response options, de-escalation strategies, and WPV prevention. Prior to joining Disney in 2019, Morgan worked as a Forensic Mental Health provider in both the U.S. and Australia where she conducted risk assessments, forensic evaluations, and offense-specific treatment. Morgan has a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology from Marymount University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Criminal Justice focus.
Bryan Muehlberger is the father of Gracie Anne Muehlberger, who was tragically shot and killed at a mass shooting at her high school on November 14, 2019. Gracie was one of five victims involved in the shooting, and one of two killed. Just minutes before the shooting, she had bought a ticket to her first High School dance. A dance she never got to attend. Bryan has been a vocal advocate for change and is passionate about changing the way we approach gun violence and the root causes of these violent attacks. He has also formed The GracieStrong Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, in honor of his daughter. The mission of The GracieStrong Foundation is to empower, inspire, and support youth to speak up, realizing their voice is powerful and matters, and enable them to fight for their values and impact change for their future. You can find out more at www.graciestrong.org.
Director, K-12 School Shooting Database
David Riedman is the creator of the K-12 School Shooting Database, a widely inclusive, open-source research project documenting gun violence on school property regardless of the number of victims, time, day, or reason. David is one of the world's leading experts on school safety. He holds an M.A. in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School and a B.A. in English from Georgetown University.
Curtis Shanklin is a former Deputy Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) and is now statewide Co-Director of the Minnesota Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), the most successful juvenile justice reform effort in Minnesota, and a community faculty member at Metro State University. Curtis is also a U.S. Department of Justice accredited Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) auditor. With over 20 years of experience, Curtis has worked directly with clients, along with corrections program management, in secure and non-secure correctional facilities and as both an adult and juvenile probation/parole agent, as well as a re-entry services supervisor for Arrowhead Regional Corrections (ARC) in Duluth. He earned his MS in Criminal Justice from Metro State University and BS from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Jenny Stone is the Founder and CEO of Partner Forces LLC, a consulting firm that helps government and commercial clients manage risk, enhance security, and strengthen mission impact. She is a recognized expert in infrastructure protection and the homeland security doctrine, regulations, and partnership framework built post 9/11 to manage the risk and threats to our country. Jenny received a MA in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a BA in Economics and English from Washington and Lee University.