Drs. Curt and Christie Brungardt are inspirational speakers with a powerful message! Individually or collectively, Curt and Christie share their message of hope over despair, courage over fear, love over hate and peace over violence. Following the murder of their daughter in 2008, they have traveled the U.S. promoting gender and partner violence prevention. Equally important, as leadership educators they call on all of us to answer our personal call to action. Their message is ideal for all audiences and individuals who are interested in making a difference.

“We believe it is important to speak-out about gender and relationship violence. Our purpose here is two-fold: first, we want to shed light on a social problem that too often is seen as a private matter; and secondly, we want to encourage others to act and be a part of the solution.”

-Dr. Curt Brungardt

About Curt and Christie Brungardt

Dr. Curt Brungardt and Dr. Christie Brungardt have a passion for making this world a better place! They are best known as social entrepreneurs who have worked tirelessly to address issues of injustice and inequality. Between them, they have 39 years of experience in higher education where they have been active in the fields of leadership development and civic engagement.

Dr. Curt Brungardt is the Voss Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies and the Director of the Center for Civic Leadership at Fort Hays State University (Hays, KS). Dr. Christie Brungardt is an Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies and the Director of the Women’s Leadership Project.

On July 3, 2008, Curt and Christie’s lives changed forever. Their daughter, Jana Mackey, a 25 year-old law student at the University of Kansas, was  murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Like her parents, Jana was also a committed social activist. She was well known throughout Kansas for her advocacy for women’s rights.

Since Jana’s death, Curt and Christie have been active nationally in the effort to reduce violence against women. They have established Jana’s Campaign Inc. with the single purpose of reducing domestic and dating violence. They believe it is their responsibility to use both the story of Jana’s life and the story of her death to reduce violence. Today, they channel their grief into social action for positive change.

Speaker Fees and Other Considerations

Individually or collectively, Drs. Curt and Christie Brungardt are available on a limited basis for campus, conference and community event speaking engagements. Contact them here about your event/activity, date(s), and information about speaker fees and other support. All proceeds from speaking engagements go directly to supporting Jana’s Campaign Inc..

Sample Presentations and Descriptions

Get Involved. Take Action. Make a Difference. Curt and Christie Brungardt present a compelling call for civic responsibility and leadership. It is their belief that each one of us has the civic responsibility to make this world a better place and to act on behalf of the greater good. Using their own personal story, Curt and Christie ask their audience members to serve as citizen leaders for the purpose of addressing social needs and injustices.

NO MORE. Stopping Domestic, Dating and Sexual Violence Now. Curt and Christie Brungardt bring awareness to the issues of domestic, dating and sexual violence by sharing the story of their late daughter Jana. Curt and Christie talk about the “red flags” of dangerous and abusive relationships and promote healthy relationship behaviors. They also call on action to address this world wide epidemic.

Inspire. Empower. Lead. Women Leading the World. Christie Brungardt helps women of all ages understand that the greatest barrier to women achieving leadership success is oftentimes themselves. By sharing a historical perspective on women of the past, she helps today’s women achieve new insight into their own leadership potential. Her empowering presentation is designed to help all women believe that they can be involved in the process of leadership – at any level.

Looking For More Than Just a Few Good Men. Curt Brungardt shares Jana’s story and then calls on men to be part of the solution, not the problem. He talks about the root causes of violence against women as the fundamental conditions of gender inequality and the harmful and controlling aspects of masculinity. He calls on men and boys to redefine masculinity and be a positive role-model for others.


“I have never heard a speech that moved me so much! I think from now on I will start to live my life more for others and be less selfish. Thank you for opening my eyes and sharing your story!” —Erin Weathers, Fort Hays State University student

“The presentation that Curt and Christie put on is a wonderful combination of testimony, education and a call to action. An auditorium full of college students can be a difficult audience but every member was engaged and the question and answer session was just as impressive as the actual presentation. Certainly one of the best presentations I’ve attended in four years.” –Danielle Onions, University of Kansas student

“By sharing their person tragedy in a way the inspires hope, we all left the day believing each and every one of us are able to make a difference in the world.” –Michelle McCormick, Florence Crittenton Conference Chair

“The Brungardts know how to engage a college audience. I was expecting just another speaker, and I got so much more.” —Alexa Roy, University of Kansas Student

“Jana’s Story was an eye opening experience for me. This made me more aware of harmful dating relationships.” –Emily Torson, Colby Community College student

“Curt- In the past two days I have had so many conversations about your presentation! Each conversation includes many exclamation points and ‘wow’s! You are making an incredible impact telling Jana’s Story! If you ever doubt it, let me know and I’ll remind you of what I’m hearing here!!” –Allison Basinger, “The Outrage” Program Coordinator

“The Brungardts’ presentation was not only a reminder to Doane College that dating violence can happen to anyone, it encouraged many students to speak out against dating violence. Their presentation had a lasting effect on students, encouraging them to be proactive towards the issue of domestic violence.” —Sarah Taylor, Doane College student

“I have seen Curt Brungardt speak three times now and have never been disappointed! With each presentation, each moving story, I become increasingly passionate about women’s rights and motivated to stop domestic and dating violence.” –Marissa Fye, University of Nebraska- Kearney student

“From listening to your speech, I would never guess you have been through a trauma in your lifetime. You are so happy! I love it! You send a message to everyone to keep living your life no matter what! You inspire me and picked me up as an individual. Thank you for that!” —Sydney Jo Flock, Fort Hays State University student

“Curt and Christie shared the most recent gender-based violence research, while also sharing their own personal story of this topic. This combination was a powerful way of promoting action and change towards a social disease.” –Debbie Mercer, College of Education Dean, Kansas State University

“Christie- My daughter and I enjoyed attending your session… Your words were very enlightening and touched the hearts of the many young adults. My hat goes off to you for taking a stand to ensure that others are aware of the hurt and pain caused by domestic and dating violence. Thank you for touching the hearts of so many young people.” –Mary Volk, Conference attendee

“The amazing ability of Curt and Christie Brungardt to motivate advocates and other professionals was evident at the Kansas Governor and Attorney General’s Victim Rights Conference this year. Many conferees commented that they were impacted by the Brungardt’s presentation. It is clear that the passion, professionalism, and power of this dynamic duo are both remarkable and memorable to their audience. Curt and Christie artfully weave their personal story, the loss of their daughter, Jana Mackey—and what they have learned from their loss—into an inspiring vision of a truly collaborative response. Their message, that we all can do better, is provided with a humility and honesty that inspires the listener to be true to their purpose, and leads to a greater commitment to improve our domestic violence response.” – Dorthy Stucky Halley, Office of the Kansas Attorney General

Other Jana’s Campaign Speakers

Kelley Parker, Jana’s Campaign Executive Director

In addition to the Brungardts, Jana’s Campaign has other high quality speakers available to provide presentations for your organization, association or school.

Jana’s Campaign staff members, board members, and volunteer advocates speak often on the important issues of gender and relationship violence prevention. Speakers include Kelley Parker, Danielle Dougherty, Dr. Heather Lambert, Michelle McCormick, Sara Fleenor, Sara Brungardt, and Dr. Stephanie Davis to name a few. Please contact Jana’s Campaign with your speaking requests.