At The Ohio State University, Ali Rezai, MD is a Professor of Neurological Surgery, Professor of Neuroscience, Vice Chair of Clinical Research, Department of Neurological Surgery, Director, Functional Neurosurgery Program, Director, Center for Neuromodulation and the Stanley D. and Joan H. Ross Chair in Neuromodulation. He is a world-renowned neurosurgeon whose work with brain pacemakers at Ohio State has transformed the treatment of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. He has an undergraduate degree from University of California and a medical degree from the University of Southern California
Chris Domas is a cyber-security researcher at the Battelle Memorial Institute. He specializes in embedded systems reverse engineering and vulnerability analysis – hacker speak for figuring out how to manipulate electronic devices. Applying this towards national security, his group develops cyber technology that protects people and saves lives.
Chris Fraser, MSW, LISW is the owner of Positive Path Counseling in Dublin, Ohio. Mr. Fraser specializes in helping children and adults facing a variety of behavioral and psychological challenges embrace their innate strengths to help navigate the world in more effective ways.
Mr. Fraser worked on an early-childhood mental health initiative, facilitating groups to help reduce aggression in children, and has many years of experience and training in various forms of strategic and brief therapies, family therapy and acceptance & commitment therapy.
Mr. Fraser co-facilitated solution-focused domestic violence groups for the court system and a kids-in-care group for parents who have had their children placed outside their home by children services.
Since 2004 Mr. Fraser has been an adjunct instructor at the Ohio State University College of Social Work, teaching courses in marriage and family therapy and social work.
David H. Bromwich is a Full Professor with the Atmospheric Sciences Program in The Ohio State University Department of Geography and he is Director of the Polar Meteorology Group at the Byrd Polar Research Center (BPRC), which has broad interests in global climate variability and change and how the high-latitude parts of Earth are affected by and affecting global climate. The Group also has a lasting interest in Ohio’s climate and it has routinely run a local weather forecast model for central Ohio since 2000.
Professor Bromwich has a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to becoming a faculty member at Ohio State he was a long-time researcher with the Byrd Center.
Dax Blake is a professional and environmentalist working in the clean water industry. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Ohio University and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from The Ohio State University. Mr. Blake has spent the past 8 years of his career leading the City of Columbus Division of Sewerage and Drainage responsible for protecting the health and safety of the public and the environment for the fifteenth largest city in the country. Prior to working for the City of Columbus, Mr. Blake was a project manager with the environmental firm Malcolm Pirnie. Mr. Blake has spent his career working to resolve the challenges associated with sewer systems and wastewater treatment. His accomplishments include development and implementation of more than $1 billion in improvements to Columbus’ sewer system thereby reducing environmental impacts substantially over the past 10 years. Mr. Blake is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio; President of the Association of Ohio Metropolitan Wastewater Authorities; Co-Chair of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Facilities and Collections Systems Committee; and a member of the Water Environment Federation.
Decker is a professional writer, fraternal twin, gym rat, Leo and raging sports-a-holic. Born in St. Louis but raised in Seattle, he’s also a die-hard Cardinals, Mariners and Seahawks fan. After graduating from the University of Washington with a BFA in Graphic Design, Decker packed his bags, left the rainy Northwest behind and moved to Phoenix to fulfill his lifelong dream of owning a swimming pool—and a house to go with it. He now works remotely from his home as an Associate Creative Director for Resource, a full-service marketing and advertising agency based in Columbus. Decker lives with his partner of eight years, Ethan, and their dog Penny.
Gabrielle is a writer/director/actor whose current project is as director of KINGS, QUEENS, AND IN- BETWEENS, a documentary about the fluidity of gender identity as seen through the window of drag queens and kings in Columbus, Ohio. Her feature and short film credits include: MANNA FROM HEAVEN (MGM/Sony), TEMPS (Netflix), JUST FRIENDS (AMC/We Channel), THE HAPPIEST DAY OF HIS LIFE (MTV/Logo), LETTING GO OF GOD (Showtime), as well as nationally released commercials and PSAs. As a director, Gabrielle got her training in film school at the Ecole Superieure d’Audio-Visuel in Toulouse, France, where she received a DEUP degree with High Honors. Gabrielle worked on the television program LAW & ORDER in their director training program. After an Isobel Briggs scholarship to study music at Berklee College of Music, she won a Rotary Scholarship to study film in France. Her short, SAGE AND TIME, was selected for the La Corrida International Film Festival in France, and Gabrielle was invited as the opening night speaker to show MANNA FROM HEAVEN at La Corrida’s 10th film festival. A graduate of Harvard/Radcliffe, Gabrielle is a published poet, and also wrote and directed the full length plays SAGE AND TIME and CLUB VENUS at the ART’s Loeb Ex theater. She was featured on the Voice Of America program and in the Harvard CRIMSON.She just received the Thomas A. Milhelmus Editor’s Award for an essay she wrote on the giant turtles in Malaysia, which will be published this fall by the Southern Indiana Review.
Two of Jessica Mathews’s passions are women and bicycles. For the past four years, Jessica has chosen to live a car-free life. As the Outreach Program Coordinator for the local bicycle non-profit, Consider biking, she eats, sleeps, and breathes to create a safer, more convenient, and more accessible ‘multimodal’ city for everyone (anyone that knows her can attest to this). Jess obsessively believes that streets must be shifted back to ‘people-priority’ instead of ‘auto-priority’.
Jessica’s focus has recently turned specifically towards empowering and educating women and girls about the benefits of the bicycle. She strongly believes that when there are more women and girls riding bikes on a regular basis, the more ‘normal’ the bicycle will be viewed here in America. As such, Jess created a girls-specific youth empowerment program: ‘Girls in Gear’ which empowers adolescent girls to develop unique skills that help build their independence and self-esteem so that they begin a pattern of confident, healthy decision making throughout their lives. Areas of focus include: bicycle mechanics, nutrition education, and community urban design.
This past May, Jess led the effort to organize the first statewide ‘Ohio Women’s Bicycling Summit’, which brought in speakers and attendees from all around Ohio. Jess also organizes a monthly women’s ride, ‘2 Wheels & Heels’ that has attracted attention from two national magazines and local media.
Mr. Simkins is an economist with a background in applied microeconomics, behavioral economics, emergent simulation modeling, and game theory applications. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Masters in Applied Economics from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. He has worked at Battelle for the past 4 years with a wide variety of government and commercial clients on projects ranging from the economic impacts of terrorism attacks to simulations of population health care behaviors. He specializes in developing predictive models to assess a wide variety of different economic questions with his primary areas of work centering around modeling of disaster response scenarios, analysis of health economics issues, and creating models of consumer and firm behaviors.
Josh will be appearing at TEDx as a mis-mash of things, just like he appears every day in real life. Fortunately, Josh won’t be giving a TEDx talk, but he’ll still find his own way to provoke and prod you into laughing out loud until every organ hurts. That is the expectation and should we fail to be amused, we’ll just have to hear about it on twitter.
Lori Guth Moffett discovered yoga in 1993 and fell deeply in love with it. For nearly a decade she has been teaching restorative yoga and Reiki to students from all walks of life, embracing the motto: “Slow down, do less, to be more.”
In 2010, Lori completed Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Integrative Therapy program. UZITs are trained in the modalities of yoga therapy, breath awareness, meditation, essential oil therapy, and Reiki to ease symptoms associated with illness and its treatment. She is part of the team bringing UZIT into Ohio hospital settings.
Lori is an Urban Zen Master Teacher, teaching the essential oil therapy portion of the UZIT training that recently launched at Yoga on High. In her spare time she enjoys shopping at the Clintonville Farmer’s market, volunteering with the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, traveling, meeting new people and spending time in nature. Lori lives in Clintonville with her husband Jay and their dog, Lily.
Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar who currently holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Kirwan Institute, Alexander was an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School, where she directed the Civil Rights Clinics.
In 2005, she won a Soros Justice Fellowship, which supported the writing of her first book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press, 2010). The book has received rave reviews and has been featured in national radio and television media outlets, including NPR, The Bill Moyers Journal, the Tavis Smiley Show, and C-Span Washington Journal, among others. In March, the book won the 2011 NAACP Image Award for best non-fiction.
For several years, Alexander served as the Director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California, where she helped lead a national campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement. While an associate at Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller, her focus was on lawsuits alleging race and gender discrimination.
Alexander is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University. Following law school, she clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the United States Supreme Court, and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit.
Miriam Bowers Abbott is a Kansan, a teacher, the daughter of a scientist and a contractor, and the wife of an IT guy. As a result, she’s comfortable wearing many hats. Her two philosophy degrees are from Southern Methodist University and The Ohio State University, and she teaches logic and ethics. She’s also the instructor and course designer for English Composition classes at Mount Carmel College of Nursing. When not teaching, philosophizing or contemplating, Miriam writes for ColumbusUnderground.com and several other local businesses and organizations.
As a logician, Miriam spends lots of time looking for patterns (and non-patterns, as in Bad News for Fibophiles, an article penned for Philosophy Now, in which she dismissed the mysticism of the Fibonacci series). She does find patterns in good writing, and in life, as well. Her favorite number is three, her favorite shape is a triangle, and her favorite preoccupation is her three sons.
Mohamed Ali is the founder of the Iftiin Foundation, an organization that incubates social entrepreneurs, young leaders and their groundbreaking projects to encourage a culture of change and innovation in Somalia. Mr. Ali is also an African development fellow at the Aspen Institute. His passion is on using entrepreneurship, especially among youth populations, as a tool to alleviate poverty and promote development in Somalia and other conflict-affected countries. Mr. Ali believes that transformative entrepreneurship can accelerate peace and stability in war-torn countries.
In 1981, Nancy Kramer started the award-winning, nationally recognized marketing agency Resource and for the last 31 years has played a key role in transforming the advertising industry. Recognized by Advertising Age as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Advertising in history, Kramer’s marketing experience and impact coincide with great moments in technology marketing history, from Apple as the agency’s first client to the first live streaming of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to the launch of Off The Wall—the first-ever fully integrated social commerce experience.
Under Kramer’s leadership, Resource has not only achieved renown in the industry, but also as one of the best places to work in the country. In 2008, Resource was named one of the Top Small Workplaces by The Wall Street Journal and praised for its work-life benefits, spontaneous and comfortable atmosphere and energetic employee celebrations. A nationally respected leader on workplace issues, Kramer considers an open, collaborative culture where employees feel valued one of her highest priorities.
In 2006, Kramer announced the creation of REEF, the Resource Employee Equity Fund, in which every employee is a shareholder in each of Resource’s publicly traded clients. Featured in BusinessWeek and Inc., the fund is yet another example of her philosophy: The investment made in company associates comes back tenfold. Kramer continues to focus on workplace culture, solidifying Resource as a company that not only has raving clients, but fulfilled associates as well.
Dr. B. Scott Gaudi is an associate professor in the Department of Astronomy at Ohio State University. His research focuses on searching for planets around other stars, and he has been involved with the discovery of nearly two dozen extrasolar planets.
In 2008, Dr. Gaudi received worldwide media attention for leading a team of 69 international astronomers in the discovery of a “scaled-down” Solar System. This discovery, published in the journal Science, implies that Solar Systems similar to ours might be common throughout the Galaxy. He was awarded the Helen B. Warner Prize for “significant contribution to observational or theoretical astronomy” by the American Astronomical Society and was named one of the “10 Rising Stars of Astronomy” by Astronomy Magazine.
Stephanie Mitchell Hughes
Stephanie Mitchell Hughes is quintessentially a servant to the community. Born into a family of educators, Stephanie Mitchell Hughes grew up listening to stories about women subjected to physical and emotional abuse, and children who were poor and often came to school hungry and went back home to an empty house, sometimes overnight.
These stories shaped and informed Ms. Mitchell Hughes’ work as an attorney and her social activism in the areas of child advocacy, domestic violence, and empowering women and girls.
She has represented children who are abused, neglected and dependent, advocated on behalf of children with learning differences, worked on local, state, and national initiatives in support of victims of domestic violence, and supported other programs to empower and educate women.
In recognition of her work, Ms. Mitchell Hughes received a Peacemaker Award from CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence.
Susan Nittrouer began tutoring young deaf children in 1972 as a college student at West Chester University, 35 miles outside of Philadelphia. She received a Master’s degree in Education of the Deaf from Smith College in 1975, and taught deaf children for five years. In 1980 she returned to university to pursue a Ph.D. degree, and received it in 1985 from the City University of New York. Following a post doctoral fellowship at Haskins Laboratories in New Haven, Connecticut, she began her research career investigating how children learn to recognize speech. Currently she is Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery at The Ohio State University and heads the Speech Development Laboratory.
Tom has spent the last 25 years of his professional career focused in the fragrance and beauty sector concentrating on the retail, wholesale and private label industries. He recently held the position of Senior Vice President of Home Fragrance for Bath and Body Works, a division of L Brands based in Columbus, Ohio. During his eight years there, Tom oversaw the entire olfactive portfolio of the division and was responsible for creating some of the top selling iconic Bath and Body Works Home Fragrances. Prior to joining Bath and Body Works, he was Senior Vice President at Slatkin & Co, a home fragrance company. In 1994, he joined Harry and Laura Slatkin as their first employee of Slatkin & Co. and working along side them, established Slatkin & Co, to be the premier Home Fragrance brand in the continental U.S and eventually, internationally.
Tom’s passion for fragrance was heightened when he was hand selected to attend the prestigious Givaudan School of Perfumery instructed by the master perfumer Jean Guichard. Upon completion of the program, Tom spent the next two years working one on one with master perfumers perfecting his craft of sensory evaluation and creativity.
The Castros has become a staple in its growing Columbus music scene, where they got selected to represent the city with a song for its Bicentennial and were named Best Local Band 2013 by (614) Magazine. Their biggest show yet was at the legendary Newport Music Hall, where hundreds of people danced, clapped and sang along to their songs.
Tobin-Wilcox is a delightful music duo known for delivering witty, intelligent lyrics with a humorous twist.
Hailing from Columbus, Jeff Tobin (singer/songwriter) and Geoff Wilcox (vocals/bass) bridge the gap between Bob Dylan and Monty Python with songs that are refreshingly offbeat and irreverent while also poignant and socially relevant. Think pre-Pixar Randy Newman and The Onion stuffed into Simon and Garfunkel, and They Might Be Giants set against a coffeehouse stage.
Tobin-Wilcox has entertained audiences at clubs and festivals throughout Columbus, including Comfest 2013 and Doo Dah Parade 2013. The band’s song “Rocket Belt” was recently featured in Popular Science magazine (an honor The Beatles never achieved, Tobin likes to point out). Jeff Tobin was also a grand-prize winner in last year’s Columbus Bicentennial Song Contest.
Jeff and Geoff are proud to be a part of the Columbus renaissance and extremely honored to be a part of TEDxColumbus 2013.