Benedictine University's "Journeys in Leadership" Speaker Series to Feature AJ Mendez, New York Times Bestselling Author of “Crazy Is My Superpower”

February 14, 2022

AJ Mendez, mental health advocate, keynote speaker, former professional wrestling champion with the WWE, and New York Times Bestselling author, will be the next featured guest in Benedictine University's "Journeys in Leadership" speaker series on Wednesday, February 16. The virtual program will be 7 to 9 p.m. and is open to the public.

Mendez will discuss inspirational moments from her life story as chronicled in her New York Times Bestseller “Crazy Is My Superpower” in which she addressed for the first time her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and the mental illness diagnosis that helped her gain control over her life.

“AJ represents so much about what the ‘Journeys in Leadership’ series is about—a dynamic, accomplished person who can talk to our community about the challenges and rewards of her unique journey,” said Phillip Hardy, Associate Professor Political Science at Benedictine University. “From her experiences in the world of professional wrestling to the hurdles faced when writing a book, AJ will be an outstanding addition to this program.”

Mendez was honored with the National Alliance on Mental Health’s 2018 Multicultural Outreach Award & 2020 Leaders of Mental Health Award and sits on the Board of Directors for The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior at UCLA.

Mendez, who earned a spot on The Black List’s Latinx TV List in 2020, is co-founder of Scrappy Heart Productions, screenwriter of Netflix’s upcoming Blade of the 47 Ronin, and executive producer of Viacom CBS’ upcoming series WOW: Women of Wrestling. Her writing is featured in DC Comics’ Wonder Woman: Black & Gold and she is the co-author of IDW’s GLOW and Dungeons & Dragons comic book series alongside Aimee Garcia.

Mendez has 6 million engaged followers across Twitter and Instagram @TheAJMendez.

Journeys in Leadership is Benedictine University’s nonpartisan speaker series designed to highlight the success and challenges of an eclectic mix of local, state, national and international leaders from across a range of professional and academic experiences. Stressing the importance of a liberal arts education, the common thread of its speakers is their commitment to community discourse and living active, healthy lives.

How to register for the Zoom session:
To register click:

Or contact Phillip Hardy at or (630) 829-6292.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the ninth consecutive year in 2019. Benedictine University was also named the second-safest campus in the country and safest campus in Illinois by in 2019. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more information about the University, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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