FrenetiCore was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2003 with the goal of creating cutting-edge multi-media dance theater productions unlike any others found in the Houston area. Under the artistic direction of Rebecca French, FrenetiCore maintains a dance company comprised of regular members and guest performers. The group has participated in numerous festivals including the Wallpaper Dance Festival in Trieste, Italy, Big Range Dance Festival at Barnevelder Movement Complex, Texas Weekend of Contemporary Dance at the Miller Outdoor Theater, East End Cultural Arts Festival, New Orleans Fringe Festival, Bayou City Arts Festival, and Pilot Dance Festival in Fort Worth, Texas. FrenetiCore has collaborated with various musicians, artists, and technicians in the Houston area including dancer/choreographer Lindsey Mcgill, Houston Sacred Harp Singers, filmmaker Laura Harrison, writer Chad Crawford, Two Star Symphony, Crossover Movement Arts and visual artist Weihong.
The collaborative artistic team of Hillerbrand+Magsamen have presented their videos and cinematic based installations internationally at museums, galleries and film festival. Their work draws upon the rich Fluxus practice of incorporating humor, performance, video and everyday objects. Expanding their personal family life with their two children Madeleine and Emmett into a contemporary art conversation about family dynamics, suburban life and American consumer excess. This new kind of “suburban fluxus” generates work that documents and re-contextualizes their objects and possessions of self, family and culture, the role of the camera in contemporary art and challenging presumptions of the everyday.
UP Art Studio - Noah and Elia
UP Art Studio is a Houston-based organization that facilitates art projects for
urban and contemporary artists and communities, locally and worldwide. UP Art
Studio specializes in mural and art commissions, public art projects, gallery
art shows, photography, design, event planning, and artist collaborations. UP
Art Studio is currently working on several public art initiatives in Houston,
including a Mural and Public Arts program to bring more public art to the city
of Houston and beyond, and Mini Murals (minimurals.org), a civic art project
where traffic signal control cabinets are being transformed into works of art.
UP Art Studio is run by a husband and wife team, Noah & Elia Quiles.
Alex Cequea is the host of a web series called Social Good Now (socialgoodnow.com), which highlights today’s problems and solutions through short animated videos and participatory missions. Currently he’s a Marketing Exec at Cisco, and was the former Editor in Chief of iPhone Life magazine and Android Life magazine. Alex’s projects have been featured on CNN, Time.com, Univision, Fast Company, ABC news, and the Houston Chronicle.
Amina Ann Qutub is an assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice University. She is also co-founder of DiBS, an adaptive visualization software startup. Qutub received a Ph.D. in bioengineering at UC-Berkeley and UCSF, and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Rice. She trained as a postdoc in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Qutub integrates computer science with experiments to understand the design of human cells. Her work gives insight into how to control cell behaviors and regenerate tissue for applications to treating cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. An engineer and artist “who paints with algorithms” to achieve sophisticated models of biology, Qutub’s goal is to keep humans healthy, happy and a step ahead of the machines.
Andrew Vrana is an architect, educator, entrepreneur and co-founder of the non-profit organization, TEX-FAB Digital Fabrication Alliance. He is principal at Metalab who specialize in architecture, product design and public art project management. The firm’s work has been recognized with the Architecture Magazine R&D Award, ID Magazine Consumer Product Award and the AAFAB Prize from the Architectural Association. He has been a regional leader in the discussion of how digital fabrication can not only augment contemporary design practice but also be driver of successful business strategies. TEX-FAB has explored for the past 5 years a series of thematic trajectories in digital fabrication that are salient to the technology, education and design audience. He is on the faculty at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design at the University of Houston.
David Alexander is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where his primary area of research is solar physics. He also serves as the Director of the Rice Space Institute following his appointment to this position in March 2012. As Director, he is responsible for the mission and direction required to develop and achieve the goals and objectives of the institute.
He received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2004 and was appointed a Kavli Frontiers Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences in 2006. He is author of “The Sun” part of the Greenwood Press “Guide to the Universe” Series. Dr. Alexander is a past Chair of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomy Society, former Chair of the Solar, Heliospheric and Interplanetary Environment (SHINE) program and the inaugural Chair of the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory Users’ Committee.
Dianna Milewicz, MD, PhD, is the President George H.W. Bush Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine, Director of the Division of Medical Genetics and Vice-Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. She is currently Director of an NIH-funded Specialized Center of Clinically Oriented Research in Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections and Chairman of the Thoracic Aortic Disease Coalition, which is a collaboration among patient-advocate organizations, the AHA, and the American College of Cardiologists to increase public awareness of the risk factors and symptoms of life-threatening acute aortic dissections. She has received numerous honors and awards for her research, including the Antoine Marfan Award, the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award, and the University of Texas Presidential Scholars Award for Excellence in Research.
George Khachatryan is a leading instructional designer. As co-founder and senior vice president of the non-profit organization Reasoning Mind, he has built online learning platforms and conducted research on teaching and learning. Reasoning Mind now serves over 100,000 students in elementary and middle schools across the country. Dr. Khachatryan is a frequent speaker on education theory and practice and has been quoted by Forbes, The Atlantic, and other media outlets. He studied pure mathematics at the University of Chicago, the University of Cambridge, and Cornell University, where he was a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow.
Jacob Lackey bought his first DJI Phantom drone at age 14 with money earned from a newspaper route. Recognizing the lack of information and support for new drone pilots he launched thedjiguy Instagram site that soon became the largest in the industry with 2200 followers and a YouTube channel that generated 300,000 views. By age 15, Lackey was spending after school hours reviewing products and administering a Facebook group for drone pilots with over 6000 members. Meanwhile, drone manufacturers and accessory providers were shipping free products to Lackey’s home for reviews on his popular YouTube channel. Lackey realized the need for accessories to support the fast growing industry and launched an online store to sell products to his followers. Lackey’s store was generating several thousand dollars each month in revenue as he identified products in other industries and applied them to drone uses and also began 3D printing products that were not otherwise available.
Jason Dorsey is a pioneering iGen and Millennials researcher who has been featured on 60 Minutes, The Today Show, The New York Times and hundreds more media outlets. Jason has received over 1,000 standing ovations for his unique approach to humanizing and bridging generations. A bestselling author at age 18, Jason co-founded and is Chief Strategy Officer at The Center for Generational Kinetics. Read more about Jason's iGen research at genhq.com.
Kriss is a Texas licensed architect and has been designing space habitats at NASA since 1987. He is a recognized renown exploration habitat expert at NASA and the international community. He has published over 50 papers and publications in the field of aerospace industry since 1988. Kennedy has held key leadership positions such as Deputy Project Manager of the Deep Space Habitat project, Manager of the Habitat Demonstration Unit Project, and supported the Constellation Lunar Surface Systems Habitation Team, Lunar Architecture Team, Mars mission planning, and led numerous concept tiger teams. He has dedicated his career to the definition, development, and testing of habitat systems and planetary surface base definition for the exploration of the Moon and Mars. Mr. Kennedy is the first space architect to win the National Rotary Space Achievement award. He has been honored with the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and has a couple of patents at NASA.
Matthew Wettergreen is a Lecturer at the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen at Rice University. His formal education was in bioengineering with a focus on biomechanics and 3D printing. Currently he teaches several courses that help students broadly apply the engineering design process to solve client-based problems sources from the global community. These courses include introduction to engineering design, prototyping and fabrication, digital design, and spatial visualization.
Michelle Poler, originally from Caracas, Venezuela, is a graduate from the School of Visual Arts holding a master's degree in Branding. A few months ago, she quit her job as an Art Director to develop what started as a school project and turned into a life-changing experience.
Earlier this year, Michelle decided to face all of her fears for her project 100 Days Without Fear. She planned to become a braver person by the end of the 100 days, what she didn’t plan was to inspire millions along the way.
Patrick Bordnick envisions a world where humans interact seamlessly with technology to improve teaching, research, therapy, and aid in knowledge building. He is a professor and associate dean of research at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.
A 20-year veteran of clinical and laboratory research, Bordnick is one of the foremost experts in the world on using virtual reality to explore human behavior and learning.
His VR work has focused on assessing and treating addiction: cocaine, marijuana, heroin, alcohol, amphetamine, nicotine and food. Through the innovative use of technology, Bordnick has grown the college’s research to also include VR in the training of future counselors and therapists. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as many state and private grants.
For more than twenty years, designer Sara Eliason has created moving, intimate spaces that draw from the color ratios, light and materials found in nature. She has designed restaurants, dining environments, homes and commercial spaces in Houston, Round Top, San Francisco and the Pacific Northwest. Eliason studied natural building with Athena and Bill Steen of The Canelo Project in Arizona. Her most recent work can be seen in Traditional home. Currently, she lives and designs in Houston with her three children.
As the CMO of NRG and Reliant, Sicily Dickenson leads the Marketing and Customer Experience teams focusing on customer-centric initiatives to delight those that interact with NRG brands.
Through strategic focus, an innovative spirit and the insightful measurement of NRG’s objectives, she works with her team to get people excited about the future of energy—to change the way people think about energy.
Sicily's spontaneity and infectious personality have paved the way for well-trodden conference grounds that facilitate progressive ideas and adaptive marketing. As a result, she put NRG on the map as an innovative leader in the energy industry—an industry that is typically conservative and slow moving.
Sicily serves on the board of The Children's Museum. She is also active in a number of other organizations, including American Advertising Federation, Digital Marketing and Smart Grid User Experience.
Teresa O’Donnell wants to live in a city with a farm in every neighborhood. She sees refugees operating these farms and becoming a bit like rock star urban farmers in their communities. And as executive director of the Houston-based non-profit Plant It Forward Farms, she is working towards these goals, one plot of land, one farm and one American Dream-seeker at a time.
Plant It Forward was formed in 2011 as a social entrepreneurial venture by the software company to connect the dots between unused land, refugee famers in need of acreage, and Houston’s need for locally grown produce. Plant It Forwards Farms has been highlighted in the PBS series, “Food Forward,” on PBS Local News Hour, in the Houston Chronicle, and in Sugar & Rice and Edible Houston magazines, among other media outlets.
Learn more about Plant It Forward at www.plant-it-forward.org.
William Lidwell is vice president of research and development at Avenues: The World School. He is author of the best-selling Universal Principles of Design, which has been translated into more than 20 languages; Deconstructing Product Design, a social deconstruction engaging more than 20 experts and 100 classic products; and lecturer on topics of psychology and design for The Great Courses and Lynda.com.