x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Love & Education

Reading, PA, United States
November 14th, 2014

Venue and Details

Penn State Berks - Perkins Center Auditorium
2080 Tulpehocken Road
Reading, PA, 19610
United States
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Event Type (what is this?) University

This event is open to the public. Tickets are available.
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About this event

TEDxPSUBerks is a culmination of new and fresh ideas, young global innovators and thinkers, and a celebration of diversity, backgrounds, interests, and ability to change the world.

It is with great pleasure that TEDxPSUBerks brings the TED experience in a TEDx format to the Penn State Berks campus for the very first time. The Student Veterans Organization, formed in 2013, meets regularly to serve the student veterans on the local campus and more importantly, helped craft the vision and plan for this unique and special event, occurring on November 14, 2014

TEDxPSUBerks, a one-of-a-kind conference where we openly discuss big ideas and challenges that affect our community. This event highlights an impressive lineup including speakers who are not typically heard from locally but who are doing incredibly creative, innovative, and provocative work in their fields.

Our goal is to create a memorable experience – to connect and bring diverse disciplines and backgrounds together around new ideas – in service of unleashing the thoughtful dialogue and passionate energy needed to promote creative thinking and community-based problem solving that will improve the quality of life on the Penn State Berks Campus and beyond.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Laurie Davis
    An expert in cyber courtship, Laurie Davis is as passionate about technology as she is relationships. She is the founder of eFlirt Expert, an online dating consultancy that helps singles navigate the intersection of dating and technology. She is also the author of Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating and a Best Dating Coach finalist in the iDate Awards. Laurie’s advice has been featured in nearly 500 international media outlets including The New York Times, Good Morning America, Forbes, Men’s Health and Elle. She is engaged to her tweetheart who she eFlirted with in 140 characters on Twitter.
  • Marie Planchard
    Director of Education Community, SolidWorks at Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corporation. Marie Planchard is Director of the Education Community, SOLIDWORKS. She is responsible for global development of curricula, content and social outreach for the SolidWorks educational products across all levels of academia.
  • Ron Schaffer
    Ron Schaffer is an author, speaker and entrepreneur. His book is called, Fanning the Ember – creating a life of joy, purpose and abundance. He received a B.S. Degree in Education from Kutztown University. He has studied education and human potential for more than 25 years. His passion is helping others to realize their full potential. He does this through his writings, lectures, workshops and courses. He is also the founder and Executive Director of a non-profit organization dedicated to helping at-risk students find a path to success.
  • Lori Cheek
    Architect turned Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of the reverse engineered dating site coined by the New York Times as "the next generation of online dating." Lori, a Shark Tank Veteran, was recently listed on the American Express Open Forum as "The Digital Dating Disruptor" and "One of the Top 10 CEOs to Watch" and focuses her efforts on product, marketing, branding and public relations for her venture. A University of Kentucky Architectural Graduate, Lori is no longer building structures. She's now building relationships... one card at a time.
  • Marie Bjerede
    Marie Bjerede is a recovering Fortune 500 telecom executive, now following a passion for using technology to make teaching and learning more real, human, respectful, and compassionate. Bjerede advises schools, startups, and technology leaders on the products, practices, and platforms that enable and scale authentic learning and teaching with tech. Marie is also a #mathmom and a #makermom to two kids who don’t quite fit the system and have pursued their academics in public school, private school, and at home. She experiments recklessly with these two amazing young humans and their education, aspiring to a learning environment for them that feels like play and “hard fun” and the best of the self-organizing, intrinsically motivating work environments that were the foundation of her practice as a technology leader and executive. Marie takes an unconventional approach in all her endeavors – removing constraints from systems to get bigger payoffs with less effort.
  • Jake Shoemaker
    Jake Shoemaker graduated from Dartmouth College in 2012 with a B.A. In American History. At Dartmouth, Shoemaker competed as a member of the Cross Country, and Track and Field teams. Immediately following graduation, Shoemaker began work at Eastside College Preparatory School as a Residential Faculty member, tutoring and mentoring high school students who have aspirations to be the first in their families to go to college. Shoemaker has also served as a mentor with In The Arena, an organization that funds professional athletes to execute youth community projects in areas of financial need, while competing nationally and internationally as a professional triathlete. In 2013, Carney, Sandoe & Associates featured Shoemaker as their "Teacher of the Week," and in 2011, "The Nation" magazine chose Shoemaker's essay in response to "the most important issue facing [his] generation" as a finalist for their nationwide essay competition.
  • Angela Maiers
    Angela is an award-winning educator, author, speaker, and trainer, known for her work in literacy, teaching, innovation and leadership. She is at the forefront of digital literacy and education technologies. A social media evangelist, she helps learners understand the transformational power of technology. Her powerful messages make her a vibrant, courageous voice, and her down-to-earth style make her a highly sought-after keynote speaker. Angela is the founder of Choose2Matter, a global movement that challenges and inspires students to work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to social problems. Angela has authored six books, including Classroom Habitudes and The Passion-Driven Classroom. Angela spent 14 years teaching elementary school in Des Moines, IA, and 10 years as a literacy coach, special programs facilitator, and university professor. She is an alumnus of The University of Iowa, where she earned her masters in educational supervision and reading.
  • Shreyas Parab
    Shreyas is a 13 year old, 8th grader in the Penn-Delco School District. He is a two-time Scripps National Spelling Bee competitor. He has been the main focus on a CNN story on the spelling bee and has been in many news outlets over the country. Shreyas is the Student Council President and in the National Junior Honor Society. Recently, he organized a school-wide dodge-ball tournament for the typhoon relief funds for the Philippines, raising money for the Red Cross. He will be taking Microeconomics at Widener University, since being awarded a scholarship by Widener to take courses there. Also, Shreyas has been to Australia as part of a student delegation where he exchanged American culture with Australians. He plays soccer and lacrosse for his school team and enjoys advocating for what he believes in and sharing it with others.
  • Dr. Dan Gottlieb
    Dan began practicing psychology in 1969. As a young psychologist he was enjoying professional success and the love of his wife and two young daughters. Everything seemed perfect. Until…In 1979 Dan was in a catastrophic automobile accident which left him paralyzed from the chest down. There were years of despair and depression. But for the last three decades he has been observing life from his stainless steel perch and observing what it really means to be human and how adversity can teach us how to live better. And love better. Since 1985 he has been hosting “Voices in the Family” and award-winning mental health call in show at Philadelphia’s NPR affiliate. Author of numerous articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer, he has published five books including international bestseller “Letters to Sam”. His most recent book is: “The Wisdom We’re Born with: Restoring Faith in Ourselves."
  • Jordan Shapiro
    Jordan Shapiro’s academic work and publishing blend psychology, philosophy, and business in surprising ways. His internationally celebrated writing on education, parenting, and game-based learning can be found on He teaches in Temple University's Intellectual Heritage Department where he’s also the Digital Learning Coordinator. He is the parent of two boys (six and eight years old) and the lead administrator at Project Learn School (an independent cooperative K-8 school in Philadephia). His most recent book FREEPLAY: A Video Game Guide To Maximum Euphoric Bliss, considers how the games we play in our youth shape our adult lives.
  • Chris Kaag
    Christopher Kaag is president and founder of the IM ABLE Foundation and Corps Fitness. Kaag works to promote healthy lifestyles for all and to raise money to provide adaptive equipment grants to get those with a disability more active. As the founder of Corps Fitness, a Pennsylvania for-profit company, Kaag runs daily workout classes that bring his experience as a US Marine into his no-frills fitness facility that accommodates both abled and disabled participants. Kaag entered the United States Marine Corps, where he served until he was diagnosed with a rare degenerative nerve condition.
  • Blake Miles
    Blake Miles is a former Army Special Forces soldier who spent time at 1st Special Forces Group and 20th Special Forces Group between 2004 and 2008. He is currently the Director of Communications and Social Media for the Green Beret Foundation, a non-profit charity focused on supporting wounded and killed Special Forces soldiers and their families. He is also a territory manager for Rand CLP, a weapon lubricant that utilizes nanotechnology. Blake is currently pursuing a bachelors degree in Accounting.
  • John Michel
    Brig. Gen. John E. Michel is the Commanding General, NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan; NATO Training Mission/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan; and Commander, 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, Kabul, Afghanistan. General Michel entered the Air Force in 1988. He has served in a number of command and staff assignments, including USTRANSCOM Liaison to North American Aerospace Defense Command-U.S. Northern Command; Chief, Rated Staff Assignments and Deputy for Senior Officer Matters, Headquarters Air Mobility Command; and Deputy Director, Air, Central Command Deployment and Distribution Operations Center.

 He has commanded a tanker squadron, expeditionary operations group, air refueling wing, air expeditionary wing, and deployed NATO major command. 

General Michel is a command pilot with more than 3,400 hours in the C-17A, C-5A/B, KC-135R/RT, C-21A, C-208, T-37B and T-38A aircraft.
  • Kimberle Levin
    Kimberle Levin is an award-winning serial entrepreneur who has created companies and then piloted them through the dicult start-up phase to ongoing multi-million dollar success. A visionary, innovator, and gifted conceptual thinker, Kimberle is a highly regarded business leader and has consistently excelled and been recognized for her outstanding achievements. She established her reputation as a cutting-edge executive after forming several highly successful companies over the past 25+ years. Today, she runs three of her companies—Teknuko, an IT infrastructure support organization; KidzTri3, a 501(c)3 multi-sport company that produces triathlons and duathlons for kids ages 7 through 15, and; The Kimberle Levin Companies, through which Kimberle provides business acceleration, marketing and business development expertise to organizations of all sizes.
Organizer 212307

Alan Kipping-Ruane
Reading, PA, United States

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Alan Kipping-Ruane
Licensee + Chief Organizer + Curator
Joe Webb
Faculty Advisor
Nate Nihiser
Co-Organizer & Executive Producer
Nick Marriott
Co-Organizer & Website Manager
Sierra Serfass
Speaker Relations Coordinator
Gemia Price
Ticketing & Registration
Sean Flannery
Volunteer Manager
Alex Phillips
Lead Photographer
Katie Zambanini
Sean Harp
Tyler Hankins
Camera Operator
Josh Bushkie
Camera Operator