What is Leadership Summit?

Leadership Summit is a half-day professional development opportunity designated to support students at all levels of their leadership development through featuring guest speakers, hands-on activities, and group reflection. Come one, come all! Be prepared to equip your leadership toolbox and while connecting with your peers. More information about the 2025 Leadership Summit will be updated later in the fall semester. 




For any general questions please contact Marilynn Gallegos, mgallegos@mines.edu.

Learn more about the 2024 Leadership Summit below.


 Leadership Summit 2024

Forging Your Path

January 27, 2024 | 9am – 12:30pm MT |

Ben Parker Student Center Ballrooms

Meet our Emcee - Dr. Braelin Pantel

A 21-year veteran of higher education, Dr. Braelin Pantel currently serves as Vice President for Student Life at Colorado School of Mines. As a member of the president’s executive cabinet, she plays an integral role in advancing Mines’ strategic priorities for student success, well-being, and professional development.

Prior to Mines, Dr. Pantel served at MSU Denver since 2010, first as Associate Dean for Student Engagement & Wellness, before being promoted to Associate Vice President of Student Engagement and Wellness in 2014. She has worked at several other Colorado institutions, including the University of Denver and Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, the latter at which she served as Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities.

Dr. Pantel holds a PhD in Higher Education Administration & Student Affairs Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado, an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Denver, and B.S. in Psychology from Union College.

Dr. Pantel has two young daughters. In her free time she enjoys reading, vegetarian cooking, and cheering for our Oredigger teams and student organizations.

Meet Our Speakers!

MATJAŽ BREN (Maa-tya-zh)

My unusual name comes from Slovenia where I grew up. My family moved to Minnesota where I went to U of M and studied International Relations, Economics and Art. A couple years after college I helped to organize a trek where four bicyclists set a world record biking from the top of Alaska to the tip of Argentina. I only joined them for part of the way, but the group made it all the way and I learned a lot about planning, persistence, organization, teamwork, and a whole lot of other useful things for work and life. And had some great adventures.

After graduate school, I began consulting and teaching. As a consultant I have worked with Fortune 500 corporations, the U.S. Government, and non-profit organizations. I worked on ecotourism projects in places like Dominican Republic, Belarus and Chile. I have helped organizations with feasibility studies, business development, marketing strategies, project management, leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. Bottom line, I love to learn and then put those lessons to practice.

As an educator I have taught at CU, DU, Regis and CSM teaching International, Economics, Business, Marketing, Strategy, Non-profit, and other courses. I was a recipient of the Fulbright European Lectureship award, a member of Colorado Advisory Council on Mexico and served on Board of Directors for the Boulder Technology Business Incubator start-up and on the Board of Directors for the International Business Association of the Rockies.

Doesn’t that sound like a lot of bragging? It does. Why? Because I want you to come to my lecture. I teach Marketing, so it’s a little promotion to get you to come and join me.

Learning is my passion and both of these career tracks have given me the opportunity to learn and ask “Why” questions for a living. I hope to share some of the interesting “Why and How” questions and answers with you.

Maia Warner

Maia graduated from Mines in 2020 with her BS in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. She’s held internships with companies such as Halliburton and NREL and immediately after graduating began working with Invitae in Boulder, CO. 

While at Mines, Maia was heavily involved on campus. By her senior year, she served as MAC’s E-Days Chair, a charter member of the Peer Educator program, and a member of exec for Pi Beta Phi. Maia was also a recipient of the Dan Fox Outstanding Student Service Award for her graduating class.

While Maia now works as a Project Engineer for Barry Wehmiller Design Group in Lakewood, CO, she still finds her “extracurriculars” to be fulfilling. In her spare time, she does freelance work as a graphic designer and occasional photographer but most notably, she started a podcast in May 2023 entitled Well, I Laughed with a friend turned co-host, Grant Thomas. Well, I Laughed averages around 40,000 monthly listeners and has quickly become a large part of Maia and Grant’s lives much to both of their surprise. 

Zack Bennett

25 years ago, Zack graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and headed off to Silicon Valley at the height of the dot com boom. He started his career as an engineer, a management consultant, and an executive at American Express. Not content with the success he found in corporate America, Zack turned to the fast-paced world of startups where he has founded and operated multiple companies and has had several exits (Idomoo – $65MM, EVRYTHING – $100MM, Abaxx Technologies – $250MM). In addition to building startups, Zack is also the best-selling author of Winning in the Future of Work, a book that walks readers through the biggest changes on the workplace horizon and delivers proven strategies to help everyone achieve new levels of empowerment, independence, and success.

 Zack is thrilled that his journey has brought him full circle as he returns to Mines as the Founding Director of the Beck Venture Center. In this new role, he is launching a brand new, 31,000 sq.ft. co-working, event, and innovation space; developing a community of amazing tech entrepreneurs with a focus on hard tech, environment, and the energy transition; helping deploy a $10MM early-stage investment fund; and giving the next generation of Mines entrepreneurs a head-start on their own journeys through education, networking, and access to capital.