by Tom McBride


Looking for Great and Time-Tested Public Speakers? 

Tom McBride and Ron Nief, co-authors of The Beloit College Mindset List® and The Mindset Lists of American History (Wiley, 2011) and The Mindset List of the Obscure (Sourcebooks, 2014) speak frequently about the generation gap around the country and to a wide variety of organizations. 

We’ve spoken, led workshops  and delivered the keynote addresses to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national convention, to library associations, museum staff, and to educators at all levels, to state retirement fund administrators and to to educators and specialists dealing with youth and financial literacy,   And all this is but a small sample.

We work with our clients and custom-design our presentations about any and all aspects of the generational divide as it relates to the particular interests of specific groups.

If you’re interested in a witty and informative presentation, described by attendees as “interesting…engaging…directly related…offering a completely new and interesting perspective,”  for your own organization or conference, you may need to look no further than us.

Here are FAQs and Answers:

 Who Are We? 

 Tom McBride, For 42 years Tom taught English at Beloit College, and for 23 years he was Keefer Professor of Humanities there. Now an emeritus professor, he’s an  expert on Milton, Shakespeare, and critical theory. He has team-taught a variety of interdisciplinary courses with both classicists and anthropologists. His interests in comparative discourse have most recently led him to an extensive project on Darwinian approaches to the study of literature. With Professor Shawn Gillen, he is co-founder of the department’s new program in Rhetoric and Discourse. He has published both critical essays and creative non-fiction in journals as diverse as Texas Studies in Language and LiteratureThe Baker Street Journal, and Two Cities. For four years, he was a popular commentator on language for Wisconsin Public Radio. On campus he is known for the twice-yearly Keefer Lectures on a variety of subjects. Most recently he has authored essays for on Raymond Carver and Allan Bloom, and for open on Saul Bellow. He is an editor of the Beloit College Mindset List.

Ron Nief is emeritus director of public affairs at Beloit College in Wisconsin, stepping down this year after 14 years of service. His work at Beloit concludes four decades communicating the work of higher education starting with his alma mater, Boston College, in the late 1960s and including Brandeis and Clark universities, and Middlebury College. He is the editor of several books and has written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, the Gannett Newspapers and National Public Radio’s Marketplace. The recipient of a Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America he also received a Distinguished Service Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. He created the Mindset List in 1998 and joins Tom McBride in many media appearances and talks around the country throughout the year.

As co-creators of a famous and mind-bending List from Beloit College, and an acclaimed new book about American history through the eyes of eighteen year olds, they’re a one-stop shop for America’s generation gap.

They tailor their comments to individual audiences as they examine how understanding the mindsets of eighteen year olds can

Promote more successful education, workplaces and other organized endeavors,

Revolutionize the nature of teaching, especially instruction in history,

Foster inter-generational dialogues within families,

Improve the current younger generation’s financial literacy, and

Help the older generation understand how to communicate better with the younger one.

 What Are Our Most Popular Presentations?

 They’ve Never Dialed a Telephone – Retelling American history from the viewpoint of eighteen year olds is a mind-bending way of revisiting the past—and re-investigating the present.

How to Transform Teaching By Helping Students Think Generationally – In government, literature, history and the social sciences, students take to subject matter much more avidly if they can link it to themselves as part of a generational parade.

Financial Literacy: How to Read a Dollar Bill – Young people become financially literate by studying eighteen year olds who lived back in the days when paper money was still visible.

The Five Mistakes Managers Make With Gen Y In the Workplace, and How to Avoid Them –mangers can manage new workers better if they understand what makes this generation different.

The Epitaph of Generation Y--The current younger generation is on its way to becoming a blue-ribbon panel generation that forges the compromise that their elders have found elusive in order to solve mammoth national problems

From IOUs to ATMs–By studying how previous generations have handled the challenges of financial literacy, today’s young people can discover how better to manage their own dollars and sense.

Who’s Afraid of Beulah the Buzzer?--A trip down the Memory Lane of 50s and 60s–when Boomers were young–reveals new insights into the current cultural scene.

Where Have We Spoken?(Selected List)

 Library Associations: The American Library Association; The Missouri Library Association; The New England Library Network

Charitable Organizations: The Rotary International North American Youth Exchange Network

Professional Conferences: NCHELP National Debt Management; National Association of State Retirement Administrators; The Independent College Bookstore Association

Educational Organizations: ACT National Compass Conference, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin College Admissions Counselors; Framingham (Mass) State, Utah State and Murray (Ky.) State Universities and Northeast State Community (Tenn.) and Highland (Ill.) Community Colleges; Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; Madison (WI) Area Technical College; National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); Jump$tart Coalition; National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA: Goodard Space Flight Center); Great Plains Association of College Admissions Counselors; Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities

 Where Can You See Us On-Line? Visit With Us Here:

We’re also on internet radio:

What Do They Say About Us?

 “It was a wonderful mix of humor, nostalgia, philosophy and thought-provoking content — just right for a dinner speech.” 

 “Overall, an interesting and inspiring program.”

 “I walked away with a better understanding of student library users and their expectations based on culture and circumstance.”

 “The President’s Program [at the American Library Association] was a wonderful experience for me, a highlight of my year as President, and one I will always remember. Best wishes to you.”

“Thank you for an excellent [workshop] presentation. My surmise is that there will be a call for a return visit next year.”

“The sense of humor and trip down memory lane”

“Interesting, engaging speakers, interesting idea for social history project”

“Love that the speakers directly related their project to the collections!” 

“Offering of a completely new and interesting perspective on teaching history.”

“Excellent ideas for work with students”

“Thanks again for speaking at our conference! I thought the session went really well and was extremely thought provoking!”


 How Can We Contact You For Further Information?

For information about our fees and for references, you can reach us or 608 312 9508 (Tom) or at or 608 770-2625 (Ron). We’ll be happy to furnish you with contacts at organizations we have served.

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