Kaleel Skeirik, Professor of Music at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, has a B.M. and a M.M. in piano performance and a Ph.D. in music theory from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
For many years, he toured as a self-managed pianist throughout the eastern and mid-western United States, giving over a hundred concerts and programming his newly composed works alongside of the classics. More recently he has composed works for orchestra, mixed ensembles and chorus (equal tempered and micro-tonal), women’s chorus, band, multi-media with instruments and staged singers, piano, music for dramas, and numerous other chamber works. His works have been performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Lima Symphony Orchestra, Xavier University, Hayner Cultural Center in Ohio, Cincinnati School for the Performing Arts and numerous other venues east of the Mississippi River. Some works, such as those for steel drums and orchestra, are pure music without programmatic associations. Other compositions explore the human condition in war, peace, love and death. At Xavier University he created a sequence of courses on these topics through the study of ethics and music. Other courses include a diversity-oriented course in American popular music. As a writer, he has written on piano pedagogy, the structure of Jean Sibelius’s music, and the diminishing role of new music programmed at major orchestral concerts written by living composers. At Xavier University he regularly teaches music theory and composition and has served as chair of the Music Department.
Owen Raisch is an undergraduate student at Xavier University studying Psychology, Economics, and "Philosophy, Politics, and the Public," an honors program centered on the historical relationship between government and citizen and on the development of a greater society. His passion for innovative and accelerated education led Owen to teach English at an elementary school in El Salvador, and to found Students With A Purpose (SWAP) while attending high school. As a non-profit , SWAP raised $17,000 public renovations, while also educating students through “experiential learning theory.” Now, Owen is furthering the cause of experiential learning through community engagement as founder of X-LINK at Xavier University. X-LINK integrates university classrooms with independent businesses, and sponsors CiNBA (the Cincinnati Independent Business Alliance). As founder of CiNBA, Owen supports microenterprises because "their health can restore a sense of community, improve the responsiveness of our local democracy, and spark a more entrepreneurial spirit in Cincinnati." He hopes one of small businesses' competitive needs, business education and consultation, can be satisfied through project-based classroom engagement.
Holly End is the Director of Development for the Cooperative for Education (CoEd)– an international nonprofit organization that has provided educational opportunities to over 130,000 impoverished Guatemalan students since its inception in 1996. During her tenure, Holly has helped the organization double in size and has mobilized supporters from across to globe to break the cycle of poverty through education
Prior to joining CoEd in 2004, Holly worked with nonprofits big and small, including United Way, Goodwill Industries and People Working Cooperatively. She also devoted a year of service to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps after graduating for Xavier University with honors in 1997.
Holly lives with her husband and two children in Pleasant Ridge, where she is actively involved with Women Writing for (a) Change, Nativity Church & School and Pleasant Ridge Montessori.
Jason’s expertise comes from consistently building and growing profitable businesses that transform people and organizations. Before Co-founding The Garage Group, he created models to enable Innovation as a capability and led the business model creation and expansion of a new business unit in a well-established Insights firm. The new business unit delivered significant value to clients by bringing learning to life in highly engaging ways and led to new revenue streams for the firm. Prior to that, Jason held a strategic IT leadership role at a large Non-Profit, where he led integration of innovative IT approaches to progress the organization’s goals. Jason holds an MBA from Xavier University.
Jason’s organization, The Garage Group, was co-founded by he and his business partner, a former P&G’er, in 2011. The Garage Group is a new kind of strategy firm that brings new approaches to business model innovation. They enable sustained growth for organizations by applying proven processes, skills and mindsets from successful entrepreneurs as well as the world’s most innovative companies, working with leaders to build organizations of entrepreneurial thinkers and do-ers, create balanced strategic plans, and then fill the pipeline with ideas to deliver growth year on year.
Tarek Kamil is currently the Executive Director of Online Strategy for InfoMotion Sports Technology (IST) and provides analytics consulting for professional and collegiate sports teams. IST uses embedded-sensor technology to quantify sports skills and leverages that data as a cornerstone for online sports communities. Prior to IST, he served as VP of Interactive Games for Los Angeles-based FOX Sports. He oversaw all facets of online gaming operations for the FoxSports.com Interactive Unit, including WhatIfSports.com based in Cincinnati. WhatIfSports.com was founded by Mr. Kamil in February, 2000 and sold to FOX Interactive Media in September, 2005.
A native of a Cleveland, Ohio, Ernest Fontana has been a member of the Xavier Faculty since 1966, and holds a doctorate in English from the University of Notre Dame. From 1975-1984 Dr. Fontana served as the Chair of Xavier University’s English Department and in 1976 Dr. Fontana was the founding Director of the Xavier Scholars Program. In 1986 Dr. Fontanta was the recipient of Alpha Sigma Nu’s Sweeney Award for Outstanding Teaching.
Specializing in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth century literature, as well as in Anglo-Italian Literary and Cultural relations and the intersections of literature and Art, Dr. Fontana is extensively published in refereed and frequently cited scholarly journals in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Italy. Currently Dr. Fontana teaches courses in Poetry, The History of Literary Criticism, The English Novel: Dickens to Conrad, and Dante and the Modern Reader.
Jonathan Long is an undergraduate student at Xavier university studying music performance and education. He is also very involved in the school's theatre program, and tries his hardest to continually perform. He is one of the co-founders of Xavier university's all male a cappella group, "Harmon-X," and has been a part of many different vocal groups here on campus.
Jonathan is primarily a violinist, and plays as concert master in the orchestra at Xavier. He also studies conducting and works with the orchestra in that realm. It is his goal to graduate as a well rounded performer, studying classical music, performing vocal and instrumental repertoire, acting, dancing in shows, and working with the production side of music on his own time.
He wanted an outlet to sing any type of genre, with a small group of people who could learn the music quickly and take on a lot. This was when he and some friends started the vocal group "8vb," or "The Octave Below." This group is comprised of undergrad and graduate students, and they sing anything from jazz, to classical, to pop. He hopes to take his passions to a larger audience someday and discuss the importance of understanding music performance and active listening, through entertainment.
Emily Kenkel is a 2013 graduate of Xavier University. During her time at Xavier, she studied Music Education and Vocal Performance, co-founded The Octave Below and Xavier’s women’s a cappella group, A caBellas, performed in the Edgecliff Vocal Ensemble, Concert Choir, Schola Cantorum, and Jazz Ensemble.
Emily also studied music theory and composition during her undergraduate education. Her original choral work, “Psalm 93”, was premiered in Azpeitia, Spain and later performed in Cincinnati, Ohio. Emily studied music history, conducting, and music theory in Salzburg, Austria.
During her undergraduate education, Emily was the choral music intern at St. Xavier High School where she directed Rhythm and Blue and Xmen. She has guest-conducted Xavier University’s Edgecliff Vocal Ensemble, Concert Choir, and Schola Cantorum. Emily plans on pursuing a career as a music educator.