Alumna transforms society through nonprofit

Apr 16, 2020

Newman University alumna Michelle Vann is passionate about empowering women, ministry, life coaching, public speaking and so much more. She is certainly doing her part to transform society for the better.

One of Vann’s passions led her to create a nonprofit in 2015 she calls Sistahs Can We Talk.

Its purpose is to empower women with the resources and tools they need to effectively change their lives. The organization provides quarterly teaching sessions and resources for women needing to move forward.

“It was a call to women that are struggling in their mental, physical and emotional health,” said Vann. “I believe that when they are given the right tools and hope, they can and will flourish. Until you know better, you can’t do better. Sometimes it takes someone to take you by the hand and lead you to better.”

However, her work doesn’t stop there. She is also the dual credit coordinator at Friends University, an adjunct professor at Tabor College, the voice of Spotlight on Business — a radio broadcast that highlights local businesses — and CEO and wellness coach with Vanntastic Solutions, which provides coaching solutions to women who are in the empty nest period of their lives.

She does public speaking and has written two books about her life experiences, “Stop the Merry-Go-Round I Want to Get Off” and “Help Along the Journey,” in hopes of inspiring others. She has also written several journals and planners designed to guide women on their spiritual journey.

Vann is currently in the process of starting a podcast titled, “Live with Michelle Vann.” The podcast will discuss open information for everyone about health. She also plans to provide information for African American men and said, “They are not the primary target but I know that many of them are following my Facebook page.”

On top of all that, Vann has pursued her education.

Vann transferred from Butler County College to Newman University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1996. She then went on to receive her Master of Liberal Studies in history while working in the Wichita public school district. After retirement, Vann continued on to receive a Doctorate of Christian Counseling with an emphasis in education. She also obtained her ministerial licensure from Victorious Life Bible College.

Vann’s background is in the Wichita public schools where she taught for 20 years after graduating from Newman.

“I was married young, so it was a great fit to come to Newman to the accelerated education program. I was able to get certified as a teacher in about 18 months,” she said.

“I had a wonderful array of teachers that opened my eyes to the world of education. Along with preachers, the next largest career in my family is education. I believe that having a Christian-based education was powerful in the fact that it was okay to center some of my projects around God.”

Vann believes her family history of preachers plays a large role in public speaking coming naturally to her — something she would love to make into a full-time career.

“I come alive when I am on stage. I can feel down, and when I get on stage to speak, my whole body feels it. I would love to be a Les Brown or Joyce Meyers when I grow up,” she laughed. “I would love for this to be my career. Traveling and speaking for crowds.”

Vann was chosen to speak at TedXNewmanUniversity on the topic of realigning when life gets busy. The overall goal of the TedX talk is to help women, entrepreneurs and others learn how to find peace in the midst of their sometimes overwhelmingly busy lives. Vann will lend her past experience and current expertise to provide tips on how to realign.

She was also recently accepted onto the Newman Alumni Board and is a part of the Sedgwick County Mental Health Advisory Board, WeKan (Women Entrepreneurs of Kansas), Greater Wichita Ministerial League, Camp Destination Innovation and Urban Young Life.