x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Relics to Revolutions

This event occurred on
November 13, 2011
10:00am - 6:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
University Park, PA
United States

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

HUB - Robeson Center
Pollock Road
University Park, PA, 16802
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­P­S­U events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Joseph Valente

Dr. Joseph Valente is involved in comprehensive research in childhood studies, comparative and international education, educational anthropology, deaf studies and disability studies. He is the author of the autobiographical novel and autoethnography, “d/Deaf and d/Dumb: A Portrait of a Deaf Kid as a Young Superhero,” published by Peter Lang. Currently, Joe is the co-principal investigator of the video ethnography project "Kindergartens for the Deaf in Three Countries: Japan, France and the United States," funded by the Spencer Foundation.

Mia Bloom

Mia Bloom is an Associate Professor of Women's Studies and International Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her focus is on terrorism through her fellowship at the International Center for the Study of Terrorism and her work specializes in Middle Eastern conflicts as well as rape in war. Mia’s studies have been featured on numerous media outlets, including CNN and CSPAN, and has been interviewed by Nightline’s Ted Koppel and PBS’ Jim Lehrer. Mia’s most recent work focuses on exposing the emergent occurrence of women and child terrorists. Her book, Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists, brings these growing problems to light, analyzing the root causes and the direction of modern terrorism today.

Mark Ballora

Mark Ballora joined the Penn State faculty in 2000. He holds a joint appointment in the School of Music and the Department of Integrative Arts. Mark teaches courses in music technology, history of electroacoustic music and musical acoustics. He received degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles, New York University and McGill University. He is the author of Essentials of Music Technology (Prentice Hall, 2002) and has been published in LEONARDO and the College Music Symposium. He has also written short articles in Electronic Musician magazine. Past work includes sound designs and electroacoustic scores for modern dance, theatre, animated films and radio dramas. His current research focuses on auditory representations of scientific data sets with an emphasis on auditory displays of heart rate variability data for diagnostic and artistic realizations. His work has been presented at the International Conference on Auditory Display, Computers in Cardiology, the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) and the Society for Arts in Healthcare.

James Stone

James Stone is a self-described “rhizomatic technologist”. James’ studies as a hacker-turned-artist have led to his M.F.A. thesis on cyborg plants. Robotic, Augmented and Cyborg Plants is an M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition taking critical theory in the area of human-machine-interface, agricultural science, and cyborgs and explores the philosophical and ethical considerations of allowing plants to utilize technology for their own means. Furthermore, these “plants” will be networked, aesthetically playing homage to the fungi networks of communication in the plant world, with a web based portal, which allows for human-machine/human-machine-plant interaction. These post-natural plants and robotic counterparts will be hosted in an architecturally sculpted immersive environment which aesthetically looks like futurist theme of plant-machine symbiosis.

Pure Cane Sugar

Pure Cane Sugar's sultry voices, soulful harmonies, and powerful lyrics evoke exquisite vocals. Together, Kate Twoey, Molly Countermine and Natalie Berrena, are Pure Cane Sugar, "an assemblage of masterful melodies and haunting harmonies that inspire sweet dreams". With accompanying artists Daniel Collins on fiddle and Daryl Branford on drums, their original, artful arrangements are captured in sweet synergy and rhythm.

Jeremy Irish

Jeremy Irish is the President and CEO of Groundspeak. Jeremy launched “” in September 2000 as the first official website for the geocaching hobby. Prior to this, he was a member of the US Air Force working as a Mandarin Cryptologic Linguist. He has also worked as a project manager, technologist, e-commerce developer and as a web developer for a number of companies including General Electric. Jeremy continues to be deeply involved in the various projects at Groundspeak.

Rob Rogers

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers has been creating cartoons with impact since his college days. His work is nationally syndicated four times weekly. "His work is a winning combination of dry wit, draftsmanship and a keen understanding of the humorous possibilities in current events," wrote the Chicago Tribune about Rob's work. His cartoons have appeared in the Tribune as well as in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, USA Today and other major newspapers and magazines. Rob and his cartoons have also appeared on NBC's "Today," CBS's "Face the Nation," and ABC's "Good Morning America Sunday."

Lori Hepner

Lori Hepner is a photographer and installation artist who holds an M.F.A. in Digital Media from Rhode Island School of Design and a B.F.A. in Fine Art Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has recently exhibited her work in solo exhibitions at Duke University and at the Pittsburgh Filmaker’s Melwood Gallery. Work from her Code Words series has also been shown at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Haggerty Gallery at the University of Dallas, the Krannert Art Museum and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. She was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2008 Fellowship Competition at the Silver Eye Center for Photography.In 2009, Hepner was commissioned to create work for the Brooklyn Museum’s @1stfans Twitter Art feed.

Ali Carr-Chellman

Frustrated by the lack of innovation, agility and flexibility in traditional schools, Ali Carr-Chellman, a former third grade teacher, realized that these types of traditional elementary classrooms were not for her. She is now an instructional designer, author and educator, working on how to change schools to improve education. Ali is a professor at the Pennsylvania State University in the College of Education working primarily with doctoral level students to help produce the next generation of faculty with inspired research ideas and methods. She also teaches online courses focused on helping teachers learn how to improve their own instructional design practices and classrooms. Her recent research projects include, "Bring Back the Boys," which offers a look at ways gaming can be used to reengage males in their elementary education. In another project, Ali asks prisoners and homeless people how to reform schools, offering new opinions to policy making.

Eric Mockensturm

Eric Mockensturm is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. Eric’s passion for computers and technology is evident through his development of iOS applications such as Polywords. This passion pushed Eric to become more involved in the “mining” of bit coins. The mining of this digital currency has the enormous potential to impact our economy by providing an open-source project for currency used all over the world. Bit coins have been somewhat controversial in their existence. Eric will delve into the implications of the digital currency’s future.

Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers is best known as the founder of CD Baby. A professional musician (and circus clown) since 1987, Derek started CD Baby by accident in 1998 when he was selling his own CD on his website, and friends asked if he could sell theirs, too. CD Baby was the largest seller of independent music on the web, with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients. After he won the 2003 World Technology Award, Esquire Magazine's annual “Best and Brightest” cover story said, “Derek Sivers is changing the way music is bought and sold... one of the last music-business folk heroes.” In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby to focus on his new ventures to benefit musicians, including his new company MuckWork where teams of efficient assistants help musicians do their “uncreative dirty work”. His current projects and writings are all at

Ian Rosenberger

Ian Rosenberger is a former Survivor: Palau contestant and MTV MADE coach who has worked on the brand development of companies such including MTV and Eat n' Park. After these ventures, he traveled to Haiti and witnessed the problems of poverty, disease and pollution that plagued the country. To combat these problems, Ian formed an N.G.O called Thread International. Thread International aims to take waste in desperately poor countries like Haiti and turn it into innovative products, provide opportunity for economic growth and improve the general welfare of people. The goal is to inspire sustainable solutions throughout the developing world and set an example for environmentally conscious innovation. Ian graduated from Penn State in 2004 with degrees in animal science and education.

Michael Mann

Michael Mann is a professor in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, a climatologist, and the director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University. Michael is best known for his extensive background and research in the field of paleoclimatology. This work led to Michael’s graph of temperature trends over the last thousand years, popularly coined as the "hockey stick graph" because of its resemblance to the sporting equipment. The graph has received acclaim and criticism since its publishing. He has received many awards and honors including, but not limited to, the Outstanding Scientific Paper Award by NOAA in 2002 and also was named one of the 50 Leading Visionaries in Science and Technology by Scientific American. Michael is also one of the founders of, a highly acclaimed climate science website that was chosen in 2005 as one of the top 25 “Science and Technology” websites by Scientific American and as one of the top 15 “green” websites by Time Magazine in 2008. Michael’s educational background includes an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale.

Rick Schuhman

Rick Schuhmann has been a faculty member at Penn State University since 1998 and is currently the Walter L. Robb Director of Engineering Leadership Development in the College of Engineering. Dr. Schuhmann holds faculty positions in Engineering Design, Science-Technology-and-Society (STS), and is a member of the graduate faculty in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Schuhmann’s industry experience includes offshore submarine geophysical exploration and onshore work as an environmental consultant. He has been qualified by state and federal courts to testify as an expert in quantitative risk assessment and the quantification of industrial emissions and modeling their transport in the environment. As a marine geophysicist, he has excavated three Colonial era shipwrecks. Dr. Schuhmann’s teaching at Penn State reaches across the engineering, entrepreneurship and leadership curricula, with a focus on sustainability and global collaboration. In 2002, he received the GE Learning Excellence Award for “Promoting learning across the traditional college boundaries,” and in 2009, he received the W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award for “Extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the international mission of the University.” He is a beloved professor and is active in both local and international water resource engineering projects and agricultural projects in rural developing world communities.

Jack Mattson

Jack Matson is a prize-winning innovator who develops courses in innovative design based on "intelligent fast failure." As Director of the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at Penn State's College of Engineering, he brings an original and offbeat approach to teaching engineering design. Dr. Matson's teaching philosophy is to stimulate creativity by encouraging students to risk failure and to realize failure is essential to developing design skills and judgment. He centers his techniques on teaching people to unlearn years of practicing risk aversion by stressing the connection between creativity and risk.

Organizing team


University Park, PA, United States
  • Matt Steiner
    Director of TEDxPSU Content
  • Brittany Greff
    Director of Communications
  • Herbert Reininger
    Director of Design
  • Praveen Pandian
    Director of Partnerships
  • Andrew Lentz
    Director of Operations
  • Christen Buckley
    Special Events Coordinator