Dixie Duncan is a CPA in Washington D.C. and also the Executive Director and founder of “Wheels to Africa,” which over the last seven years has collected nearly six thousands bikes for African countries. Dixie will deliver her speech from Juba, South Sudan, where she will be overseeing the delivery of the bikes from the 2012 collection. The topic of her talk is "Changing the world: one bike at a time."
Robert E. Kennedy, S.J., author of Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit and Zen Gifts to Christians, is one of several practicing Catholic men and women who are recognized by the Buddhist community as zen teachers. He is a licensed psychoanalyst and professor emeritus of theology at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. He is a representative of the Institute for Spiritual Consciousness in Politics at the United Nations.
As a Christian Fr. Kennedy has found meaning and deep reverence in the practice of zen. His work reflects the Jesuit statement on mission and inter-religious dialogue, which calls on Jesuits to be familiar with other religious traditions and to immerse themselves in theological exchange in a dialogue of life, action and religious experience. He is active in interfaith work, teaching zen to persons of all faiths, conducting retreats in the United States, Mexico, Ireland and England. He teaches at Morning Star Zendo in Jersey City, NJ. The topic of his talk is “Zen and the Creative Artist.”
Paul Levinson is a professor of Communications and Media Studies at Fordham University. He has authored numerous nonfiction and science-fiction books whose themes revolve around the history and the future of communications media, the First Amendment, the importance of space exploration, and popular cultural themes. The topic of his talk is "Transmedia Transnational Video Journalism."
Dr. John McCall is the director of the Pedro Arrupe Center for Business Ethics and a professor of philosophy and management at Saint Joseph’s University. His scholarly works include The Contemporary Issues in Business Ethics and numerous articles in the field with special focus on employee rights.
John Ruppert is a professor and laboratory coordinator for the Biology Department at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, NJ. He is a graduate of Rutgers University where he received his B.S. in agricultural biotechnology, Ed.M in Life Sciences Education, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution. He is pursuing research on Ecosystem Services that includes human understanding/perception of them as well as methods for modeling and assessing them. He is specifically interested in the design of public spaces in a way that promotes urban ecosystem services while maintaining economic activity and also how to better promote these practices by developing marketing strategies that make it so that individuals do not feel that they are asked to make sacrifices but are working toward something that they desire and wish to be a part of. The topic of his speech is “Love: A Natural Sciences Framework with Social Applications.”
Yifat Susskind is the executive director of MADRE, an international women’s human rights organization. She has collaborated with human rights programs in Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa in order to address problems such as women’s health, violence against women, and environmental and economic justice as well as peace building.
Dr. Walter R. Wifall holds a Ph. D. in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from the John Hopkins University. He has taught Biblical Studies in the Department of Theology at Saint John’s University in New York for over 40 year, and is also a Lutheran minister.
Andrew Zwicker is a physicist and science educator. The American Association of Physics Teachers has named him to its list of 75 leading contributors to physics education. For the past three years Zwicker has taken college undergraduates and K-12 teachers aboard the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s “Weightless Wonder” aircraft. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the APS Committee on Education and a past chair of the APS Forum on Physics and Society. He is also a member of the Education and Workforce Development Task Force for the Department of Energy's Energy Efficient Buildings, a lecturer in the Princeton University Writing Program and a faculty advisor for freshmen and sophomores in the university's Rockefeller College. Zwicker and a collaborator won the 2006 Art of Science competition at Princeton University for a photograph entitled “Plasma Table.” In 2012 Zwicker and a collaborator won an honorable mention for a video explaining a flame in a contest created by actor Alan Alda and the Center for Communicating Science at SUNY-Stony Brook.
Simon Harak, SJ
Fr. G. Simon Harak, S.J. holds a Ph.D. from Notre Dame, in Ethics. He has written and edited many works on the subject, including Virtuous Passions: The Formation of Christian Character (Paulist, 1993, republished, Cokesbury 2001), and is currently writing Vicious Passions: The Deformation of Christian Character. He has been active for many years in the peace movement, and helped found Voices in the Wilderness, which was nominated in 2000, 2002 and 2003 for the Nobel Peace Prize. He has traveled to Iraq three times with VOICES, where he openly and publicly violated US/UN sanctions to bring medicine and toys to Iraqi hospitals. In 2003, Harak joined the War Resisters League as its National Anti-Militarism Coordinator, where he organized a National Speakers Bureau on war profiteering. He currently works at Marquette University, teaching Theological Ethics and directing the Center for Peacemaking [www.marquette.edu/peacemaking].