Daniya Kamran is a student at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She also runs the Chicago Innovation Chase and is the Director of Technical Programs of Eurekatory NFP. Daniya has created, launched and lead interdisciplinary projects in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership and international dialogue in Kenya, Pakistan, Malaysia and the US, and has worked with organizations such as the United Nations Association Malaysia and the Nu Metro Group of Companies in East Africa to execute these projects. She is an ardent student and researcher of group studies, innovation processes, and design, and enjoys teaching.
Jodi Houlihan is the Executive Director of Eurekatory NFP. She also serves as Project Administrator for the Office of Community Affairs and Outreach at the Illinois Institute of Technology where she focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship, education, arts & culture, and nutrition. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Science Education from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a Master of Design Methods from the Institute of Design at IIT. Jodi was the Operations Manager for the Kern Innovation and Entrepreneurship Academy at IIT. She continues to mentor entrepreneurial students at the university in her current role in the Office of Community Affairs and through Eurekatory NFP.
Debbie Vyskocil, President of Curative Via trains clients to a healthy, vital life using Biofeedback and Neurofeedback. Her Stress Reduction Training is the foundation everything else is built on enabling her clients to take their focus, health, career, and athletic ability to a higher level. Debbie began life as an electrical engineer designing hardware for computer systems and one day found herself working at Rush Behavioral Health with doctors, lawyers and CEOs who were battling chemical dependency, training them to breathe. Seeing her clients achieve amazing results reinforced her understanding of the power of the brain and the science behind her work. Board Certified in Neurofeedback, she trains clients to handle stress in healthier ways and their brains to an optimum balance. Passionate to help as many as possible, Debbie speaks regularly to corporations, organizations and cancer support groups. “Stress impacts every area of our lives and health. Sometimes people just forget to exhale”.
Jim Stone is a Harvard Grad and business consultant at his own company, Stone Management. He has proposed the Entrepreneurship program across many departments and has been the overseer of IIT Stuart School of Business since 1998 and the Director of the Knapp Institute since 2009. Jim Stone is in the process of writing a book on the idea of "From Depression to Sustained Growth (USA)" with a fountain of ideas.
Joseph Clair’s goal in life is to improve the quality of life for all. A product of a working class, Irish community on Chicago’s southside, Joseph sees the need balance visionary thinking with practical implementation when solving problems in a community setting. Through years of working with school districts, campus communities, and his own community, Joseph has seen value in taking the time to identify, discuss, and select community priorities through extended dialogue, but also understands that change requires action, and action requires determination and inspiration. As the son of a teacher and of an employee of a public utility, Joseph understands how infrastructure and human capital form the foundation for our communities, but through work and life experiences, he has seen how social capital makes all the difference in how those communities succeed or fail.
Joseph has spoken at several venues including Greenbuild (Boston), Illinois Library Association, and ComEd Energy Efficiency Expo. A lecturer at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Joseph has served as the Chair of the USGBC-Chicago and has spoken at community events across the state advocating smart-grid, green building, recycling and other community-based practices that people can use to improve quality of life.
After a spending a great deal of his academic career in the Principal’s office, detention halls and parent teacher conferences, Marc Hans has served as a public educator in Chicago's underserved communities for the past 11 years. He hold a masters degree in science education from the Illinois Institute of Technology, is a 2011 Golden Apple Fellow and a 2008 DRIVE Teaching Award winner. In 2010 he founded The scienceFIST Foundation to engage at risk youth with quality after school science mentoring programs. He has devoted his life to harnessing the energy in science education so that all students have the opportunity to feel valued and inspired.
Mr. Fazeel is a recipient of Governor Pat Quinn’s “Fifty for the Future” award 2011. He is an entrepreneur who launched his company “Tabule” through UIUC’s “Illinois Launch” program. Mr Fazeel began his undergraduate studies at IIT before transferring to UIUC where he is currently pursuing his BSc degree in Biology.
Nityananda Pran das
Nityananda Pran dasa is a practicing Bhakti Yogi and Vedic scholar. For the past 10 years he has influenced the lives of many, especially the youth in the Chicagoland area. He is regularly invited by educational institutions like IIT, Northwestern University, UIC and Purdue University to speak on topics based on the Vedic worldview. Prior to taking up a Vedic lifestyle in the path of self realization, he spent over 16 years in the field of marketing and market research, working for Nielsen, one of the top market research firms in the world. Over the past years some of his speaking themes ranged from the nature and dynamics of relationships to developing a thoughtful approach to education, the environment, and living in harmony with nature. Lolla received an MBA from Oklahoma State University and a Master's in Market Research from the University of Georgia following his move to the United States from India in 1995. He is currently involved with multiple non-profit organizations including the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Onye Ozuzu has been appointed to the position of chair of the Department of Dance at Columbia College Chicago. Ozuzu is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher. She received a bachelor of arts degree in English literature with a minor in economics as well as a master's of fine arts degree in dance performance and choreography at Florida State University. She has most recently been serving as associate chair, director of dance in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her work has been notable for its balance of visionary and practical progress in the arenas of curricular, artistic and community development of diversity, collaboration and interdisciplinary performance arts. She teaches African-based contemporary dance technique, Composition, World Dance and Culture, Improvisation, Creative Dance for Children, and a graduate Seminar, The African in American, Perspectives and Implications: A Dancer’s View.
Ozuzu has been actively making and performing work since 1997. Her work has been seen nationally and internationally at The Joyce Soho (New York, N.Y.), Kaay Fecc Festival De Toutes les Danses (Dakar, Senegal), Lisner Auditorium (Washington, D.C.), McKenna Museum of African American Art (New Orleans), as well as at many anonymous site-specific locations around the world. She was a 2010 recipient of the Innovative Seed Grant, University of Colorado’s most prestigious research grant, for her ethnographic research project ADADIA African Drum and Dance in America: the Oral History Archive.
Tanya Cabrera earned her degree in History at Northern Illinois University and later taught U.S. Social Movements at an alternative high school on the north side of Chicago (El Cuarto Ano - Association House). After serving as Educational Director for the Boys & Girls Club, she served as a College & Career Coach with Chicago Public Schools (Benito Juarez Community Academy). It is here where she sought to create access to postsecondary education for all students within the community, in particular the immigrant and undocumented population. The 2010 CPS budget cuts offered an opportunity to work at the higher education level, she took the position as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission at IIT. She worked collectively to outreach all CPS schools and tripled enrollment for fall 2011 among CPS students and the Chicago land area. She recently took a position with our Vice Provost of Student Access, Success, and Diversity Initiatives as Associate Director of Minority Outreach and Undocumented Student Liaison. She was recently appointed as one of the nine commissioners to raise funds for a private scholarship for undocumented students here in Illinois (Illinois Dream Fund Commission).
Tom Tresser is an educator, organizer and nonprofit consultant. He calls himself a creativity champion and defender of the commons. He was director of cultural development at Peoples Housing where he created a community arts program that blended the arts, education and micro-enterprise. Tom has acted in some 40 shows and produced over 100 plays, special events, festivals and community programs. He was a co-founder of Protect Our Parks, that stopped the privatization of public space in Chicago. He was a lead organizer for No Games Chicago, a grassroots effort that opposed Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid. He has taught workshops on “The Politics of Creativity – A Call To Service”for arts service organizations in six states. Tom also consults with arts organizations on strategic planning, audience development and peer-to-peer marketing. Tom has published a web-based project, “America Needs You!” – about the need for artists to get involved in politics. Tom was the Green Party candidate for the position of President of the Board of Commissioners of Cook County in November 2010 election. He is teaching a class on creativity for Stuart’s MBA Program and a class on social change for the MPA Program.