#66: Inclusivity and Collaboration with Nancy Conrad

Sometimes all it takes is one person to believe in you and your Super Powers and our guest today is proof of that. Nancy Conrad is a teacher, author, publisher, entrepreneur, and public speaker. She is the wife of late astronaut Pete Conrad, and Founder and Chair of the Conrad Foundation. She speaks today about why she prefers no ‘box’ in her thinking, the ways she is carrying on Pete’s legacy through her own transformative education efforts, and her positive work in patient safety. Nancy talks about her work over the past 19 years at the foundation, her passion for mentoring entrepreneurship in the next generation, and the ways she is reaching a global audience with her important message.


[3:01] Nancy’s late husband Pete Conrad was a true Space Hero, and quite an amazing man. A former astronaut and Navy captain, he was one of NASA’s most traveled astronauts and commanded Apollo 12 — the second mission to the moon. As the third man to talk on the moon, he received a host of accolades and awards — see more of his biography here. Even with all of his accomplishments, the things that meant the most to Nancy were his creativity, grace, and humility. He handled his celebrity with kindness and enthusiasm towards those around him. He helped her grow into her full self and helped her see her own Super Powers.

[5:27] Pete is a true example of not letting setbacks or differences hinder achievement. He struggled at an early age through school and was later expelled due to his dyslexia. His mother became an advocate and found a new school to support his love of math and science. He went on to graduate from Princeton University with a degree in aeronautical engineering and found joy in operating and designing complex systems.

[9:09] We are never prepared for grief and the intense feeling of loss and pain that comes with it. Nancy has worked to honor Pete and their relationship by undergoing a rebirth of her dreams and visions. She dedicates herself to education and patient safety work, in large part as a tribute to his legacy.

[17:17] Nancy shares how she got connected with patient safety work and the systems in place to employ more aviation and aerospace into community hospital emergency rooms. They also have the “PETE” Awards (Performance Excellence Transfer Enterprise) to acknowledge excellence in patient safety.

[22:12] Nancy mentors two young women a week and it is a heart and soul commitment she takes seriously. She learns from her mentees just as much as they learn from her.

[24:42] We must be excited about learning to sustain educational advancement that fits both the economic needs, technological advancement, and human adaptation. In the way that Nancy focuses on the patient-centered care model, she applies it to education with student-centered education. She created the Conrad Challenge to help the youth realize their own potential, see the benefits of collaboration and mentorship, and unlock the power in their minds.

[32:36] What’s the mark you want to make in the world? Through all of her own conversations and interviews, Nancy poses a heavy thought to take with you and reflect upon.



“Once you understand how to think and how to learn, you can do just about anything.”

“We are going to give young students their moon shot.”

“Legacy has been a big healer and a way to rebirth.”

“If you are a teacher, you are always a teacher.”

“I don’t have a Ph.D., I have a GSD. Get Stuff Done.”

“I love connecting dots that most people don’t even know are there.”


Mentioned in This Episode:

Conrad Challenge

Darrow School

Sheryl Sandberg

Boris & Natasha

Natasha Fatale / Rocky and Bullwinkle

National Academy of Medicine

To Err is Human

Betty Ford

Project Hope

Dr. Don Berwick

SMART Technologies

Justine, by Lawrence Durrell

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Lisa Betts-LaCroix on Twitter — @LisaBL

Super Power U Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play


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