Jay Calkins teaches Ecology, Environmental Science Honors and AP Environmental Science at Ransom Everglades School. He received a Bachelors of Science from the University of Maine and holds a Masters of Science from Florida State University and a Doctorate of Education from the University of Maine.
Founder, Miami Jazz Society. Born and reared in Miami, Florida, Keith’s mother was from Bimini, and father from Nassau, Bahamas. He is the youngest of seven children and was born on Easter Sunday. Keith received a Bachelors of Arts degree in Human Studies with specialization in social networking from California State University Dominguez Hills. As founder and current director of three local organizations: Miami Jazz Society, LLC; Miami Jazz and Film Society, Inc; and Community Cultural Discovery Exchange, Inc., Keith promotes quality live jazz concerts, film screenings, and community-building and educational activities. He believes in using the arts and humanities to entice people to fall in love with all members of the human family.
John and Tom are a father-and-son team that founded Rising Tide Car Wash, a social enterprise dedicated to providing gainful employment for people with autism in a premium car wash brand while simultaneously inviting the community to see the potential this talent pool has to offer. This business was inspired by watching John’s other son, and Tom’s younger brother, Andrew, struggle to find his place in the world. Although Andrew is a talented and hard working young man, being labeled with autism has severely limited his ability to live a full life. John and Tom hope to leverage this business to fundamentally shift the way society views autism and inspire other entrepreneurs to create a diverse ecosystem of opportunities where people with autism can thrive.
Riccardo was born in Colombia, and received his materials science and engineering degree from MIT, as well as an MBA from the Harvard Business School. After working in Colombia as a manager in a diversified manufacturing company, he moved to Miami with his family. He was Project Manager of Engineering America and later founder and CEO of various Internet companies. He is the president of Fractals Corp, an engineering consulting firm. As a hobby he is an adjunct professor of mathematics at Broward College. He lives with his wife, Raquel, and together they enjoy the quest for knowledge, travel, and good friends.
Nigel Duara is a reporter in the Portland, Oregon, bureau of the The Associated Press, where he covers legal affairs and federal crime. His stories have included an investigation into Portland's dope king, the cross-border marijuana trade with Idaho and the Boy Scouts' efforts to cover up their secret "perversion" files. Duara is a 2005 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism. He is a recipient of fellowships from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Kiplinger Program. He has appeared on PBS Newshour and Oregon Public Broadcasting. He lives in Portland with his fiance, Molly, and their horrible yellow lab.
College counseling connects the subjects that Steve has always enjoyed: geography, statistics, and cross-cultural psychology. Steve was born in Italy and grew up in a Taiwanese-American household, primarily in Alabama and Florida. At Washington University in St Louis, Steve graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Russian and Art History & Archaeology; his graduate work explored the usages of Native American portraiture within various Lewis & Clark Bicentennial exhibitions. Steve previously worked in college admissions at his alma mater, focusing on multicultural recruitment. He coaches over thirty students on the Ransom Everglades academic team, and he is the current Chair of Research for ACCIS, the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools.
Tashi graduated from Ransom Everglades School in 2008, and Brown University in 2012 with a BA in Psychology. While at Brown, she also studied gender and sexuality and learned a smattering of three additional languages. A semester in Amsterdam pulled these disparate interests together. Tashi now lives in New York City and works as a case manager for individuals with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. Tashi is currently applying to graduate school for a doctorate in clinical psychology in hopes of fulfilling her dream of becoming a therapist. In her limited free time, Tash enjoys cooking for friends, listening to dubstep, and discussing identity politics, midwifery, social justice, and cats.
In 2001 David Martin had the idea of founding a property business that did more than simply build things. As the President, Co-Founder and Owner of Terra Group, David and his team have redefined the South Florida skyline and, by extension, the way in which people live. David holds a Masters Business Administration and Law degree with a concentration in land use planning from the University of Florida. David has led Terra Group’s operations, sales, and marketing initiatives, and oversees international and domestic investment and development projects, working in partnership with government agencies, businesses, and educational and cultural organizations. With more than four million square feet of residential and commercial space under development, including Grove at Grand Bay, GLASS, and Atlantic 15, Terra Group continues to evolve the way in which people live and work, creating new and innovative ways for the urban landscape to engage and enrich people’s lives.
Hillit Meidar-Alfi is a wife and mother of four children aged 6 to 15, trained architect, tech entrepreneur and Philadelphia-raised daughter of Israeli immigrants. Hillit received her Bachelors of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University in1994 and her Master of City Planning in 2000 and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. Prior to returning to school for her MCP, Ms. Meidar-Alfi worked abroad in Israel for several architectural firms. Upon completing her Master's degree Ms. Meidar-Alfi joined the Healthcare Practice Group at Hillier. Her dissertation research focused on the impacts of infrastructure on daily life, specifically the effects of infrastructure investments on quality of life measures. The study is based on a case study in New York City.
John Morales has been a familiar face and reassuring presence in South Florida for 22 years. He guided viewers through Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and throughout the numerous hurricane landfalls in the mid 2000’s. Since 2009 he’s been the Chief Meteorologist for NBC-6. Born in Schenectady, New York of an Irish-American father and a Puerto Rican mother, John was raised in Puerto Rico and later returned to his roots in upstate New York to attend the meteorology program at prestigious Cornell University. Prior to his TV career, John Toohey Morales was a forecaster for NOAA and the National Weather Service.
Rik Myers holds a B.S. in Microbiology from Iowa State University (paid for by playing guitar in rock bands) and a M.S. and Ph.D. from University of Illinois. He was post-doc at the University of Oregon (while playing with a popular African rock band) and worked at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. In 1997, Rik joined the University of Miami’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, where his honors include the Stanley Glaser award for outstanding research productivity and achievement (1999), recognition as an "outstanding student mentor" (2002, 2005), and the 2013 Faculty Senate Outstanding Teaching Award. His lab studies genetic recombination in stem cells and bacteria and develops innovative genetic systems for studying human diseases. Rik consults in the biotechnology industry and is co-inventor on patents for genetic engineering technologies. His classes discuss ethics and public service to balance the excitement of scientific discovery with its impact on society.
Carolina Ribeiro is a senior at Ransom Everglades School, where she serves as president of the Drama Club. Caro has been involved in theatre since the age of seven and has performed in numerous plays at Ransom Everglades. She earned top ratings at the state level and was named "All Star Cast Member" at the 2012 District 8 One Act Competition. She has also been in shows at Miami Children's Theater, Actors' Playhouse, Area Stage Company, and French Woods Festival for the Performing Arts. Last summer she attended a workshop on Theatre of the Oppressed and has ever since been inspired to use this art form as a means for social change.
Erica Staaterman is fascinated with the voices of our planet’s creatures and habitats, which form the basis of underwater soundscapes. While most marine scientists and enthusiasts focus on their visual and tactile senses, Erica explores auditory scenes in the ocean: the clicks, chirps, and growls of a world that was once thought to be silent. As a PhD Candidate at University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, her dissertation examines the role of coral reef soundscapes in larval fish navigation. Previously, Erica has studied acoustic communication in shrimp and lobsters, and hopes to broaden her research to other animals after her PhD. Erica is also the director of the Beneath the Waves Film Festival, which brings the stories of marine scientists and conservationists to global audiences through film festivals and innovative public outreach events worldwide.
Fred F. Telischi, M.E.E., M.D., FACS, is the chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology at the Miller School of Medicine. As a professor of otolaryngology, neurological surgery and biomedical engineering, he has been practicing otology, neurotology, and skull base surgery for more than 20 years in his previous capacities as director of the University of Miami Ear Institute and interim chair of the department. Dr. Telischi is recognized internationally for his expertise in treating disorders related to the ear, hearing loss, and cranial base tumors. He has mentored many medical students, residents, and postgraduate fellows in the art of microsurgical dissection within the temporal (ear) bone.
Charles Wheelan is a senior lecturer and policy fellow at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College. His most recent book, The Centrist Manifesto, was published in April of 2013 by W.W. Norton. The book calls for a new political party “of the middle.” Wheelan is also the author of Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data, which reached the New York Times bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction shortly after publication. His first book, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, is now published in 12 languages, including Arabic and Hebrew. From 1997 to 2002, Wheelan was the Midwest correspondent for The Economist. He holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Chicago, a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College. He lives in Hanover, New Hampshire, with his wife and three children.
Joshua Williams founded Joshua's Heart Foundation (JHF) at the tender age of four and a half when he gave a homeless man the $20 his grandmother had recently given him as a gift. Even at that tender age, Joshua was passionate that no child should ever go hungry. Joshua's Heart Foundation (JHF) provides foods to low-income children, youth, seniors and families residing in South Florida and Jamaica West Indies through community-based sites and schools. To date, Joshua’s Heart Foundation has distributed over 500,000 lbs of food to over 20,000 low-income individuals living in South Florida and Jamaica since 2005 with the help of over 600 youth volunteers. Joshua has received numerous awards for his work in the community and enjoys reading, speaking, sailing, travelling and playing basketball.
In 2008, Boo (Province) Zamek founded JustAskBoo LLC, an exclusive (but very friendly) online forum in which sophisticated individuals exchange resources, ask other readers for advice, sell items via classified ads, promote charity events, advertise, and more. The company is now a 15 person operation with 30,000 subscribers in South Florida. Boo’s accolades include recognition by the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge (2009) and the Junior League of Miami (2010), and the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce as finalist for the Diamond Awards (2010), Businesswomen of the Year Competition (2011 and 2012), the Rising Star Award (2011). In 2013, Boo adjudicated for the Miami Herald Silver Knight Awards, and was an honoree of The Achiever, Miami Today, and the Chapman Partnership’s Take a Walk in Her Shoes / Womenade. She is a member of Beaux Arts of the Lowe Art Museum, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, and a Board Member of Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services.
Edwidge Danticat was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1969. Her parents separately moved to the United States in the next several years, and then Danticat followed them there at the age of 12. Danticat grew up speaking French and Creole and she spoke no English upon moving to the United States. However, after only two years, she began writing in English and now is an accomplished writer of English short stories and novels. Her work has been translated into several languages including Korean, Italian, German, Spanish and Swedish. Her first published writing in English became the inspiration for her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory. She has also published a collection of short stories, Krik? Krak! and an additional novel The Farming of the Bones. Her own life experiences have provided background and inspiration for her writing. Danticat's short stories and novels focus on recurring themes such as migration, sexuality, gender and history. Danticat's recent first person fiction novel is Behind the Mountains. The subject matter of this book also stems from Danticat's own childhood and adaptation to a new life in Brooklyn, New York. The protagonist, Celiane Esperance and her family escape a politically unstable and impoverished Haiti. After years of separation, Celiane reunites with her family in Brooklyn, where she is shocked by life in the new city. Danticat currently lives in New York and teaches Creative Writing at New York University.