x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Master Pieces

This event occurred on
November 6, 2015
9:00am - 8:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Stony Brook, New York
United States

Diverse talks given by members of Stony Brook University's faculty, staff, current students and alumni.

WANG Center Theater
Wang Center
Stony Brook, New York, 11794
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Abby Fisher

Graduate Student of Musical Arts at Stony Brook University
Abby Fisher is a versatile percussionist based in New York. She is very interested in performing and supporting continued growth of new music, and has expertise in classical, African (Ewe), Brazilian, and Afro Cuban percussion. Notable performances include winning the 2013 New York University Steinhardt Concerto Competition, performing at the 2011 and 2013 Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, composing the score and performing as the featured musician in the production of The Secret Paris Project at the Secret Theatre (NYC), and performing at the One World Gala at the opening of the Observatory Deck at One World Trade Center (NYC). In 2013, she co-led a consortium of percussionists from all over North America in commissioning a vibraphone and speaking-voice work from composer Lawton Hall. She was recently appointed the nief-norf Summer Music Festival’s Director of Operations.

Anne Sophie Andersen

Graduate Music Student
Both an accomplished violinist and composer, Anne Sophie Andersen is an unusually diverse artist seeking to explore music from a variety of angles. One of her greatest passions is performing and promoting contemporary music, and she has collaborated with several composers in the US as well as her native region of Scandinavia. Andersen’s compositions include orchestral, ensemble and solo pieces for a variety of instruments, as well as works with live electronics. She has written, performed and lectured on works by Schubert, Carter and Grisey. Andersen is the board leader and a faculty member of the festival “New Music for Strings” in Aarhus, Denmark and the founder of Stony Brook Chamber Ensemble. She is currently completing the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in violin and the Master of Arts degree in composition at Stony Brook University.

Burton Rocks

Sports/attorney agent
Sports/attorney agent; founded C.L. Rocks Corporation, a full service sports agency (MLBPA certified). Co-authored the New York Times Bestseller ME AND MY DAD: A BASEBALL MEMOIR (HarperCollins 2003) with Yankees outfielder Paul O’Neill about Paul and his dad. Authored eight books in total. In 2006, co-founded Chatwithastar, which launched the Blogmobile and ProRecruitNetwork. Survivor of childhood Code Blues in the hospital, as profiled in Huffington Post; Has guest authored columns on Leadership for Adjunct Professor at Stony Brook University, College of Business, 2015. Created UPA/UPAt metrics; Second-generation author: is the son of chemist Lawrence Rocks.

Debra Alfarone

TV reporter/anchor
Debra Alfarone is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated TV reporter and anchor. Debra covers everything from breaking news to crime to inspiring stories of people making a difference for WUSA 9, the CBS station covering the nation's capital. Known for her conversational style and live reporting, Debra also writes a blog named "90 Seconds," where she shares inspirational behind-the-scenes stories of ordinary people overcoming extraordinary odds. Debra has reported in New York City at PIX 11 News, and in Hartford, CT at the NBC affiliate, WVIT-TV. Debra originally planned a career in finance. After graduating from college, she worked in the World Trade Center, and on 9/11, worked on Wall Street. Her business card from 2 World Trade Center is among her most valued possessions. The events of 9/11 led her to leave the financial world and pursue her dream of "telling stories that need to be told." She has never looked back.

Elizabeth McCourt

Certified Coach and Consultant with the McCourt Leadership Group
Elizabeth McCourt is a certified coach and consultant who helps leaders and teams clarify their talents and goals, leading them to elite performance with her venture McCourt Leadership Group. She has been a top ranked executive recruiter in financial services for over 15 years and for the past two years was invited to On Wall Street magazine’s exclusive Recruiter’s Roundtable. Previously, she was a trial lawyer in New Mexico with a JD from Loyola University in New Orleans. As a writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from SUNY Stony Brook in Southampton, she has a completed novel and a non-fiction book in progress based on her coaching methodology. She’s also a contributing writer for On Wall Street magazine. In 2014, she presented a case study at the 6th ESMT Coaching Colloquia in Berlin, Germany, and recently presented a case study at Harvard’s Institute of Coaching 2015 Leadership and Healthcare Conference.

Heidi Hutner

Director of Sustainability Studies
Heidi Hutner, PhD, is Director of the Sustainability Studies Program at Stony Brook University and Director of the Environmental Humanities. She teaches Sustainability, English and Gender Studies, and writes about ecofeminism and environmental themes. A popular public speaker, her writing appears in magazines such as Ms. Magazine, Tikkun, Spirituality and Health, Common Dreams, Mom's Clean Air, Yes!, as well as in journals, anthologies, and books. She is working on two books: Inspiring Green Minds: Memoirs of An Eco-Professor and Nowhere: An Atomic Memoir. Inspiring Green Minds explores Hutner's journey into environmental teaching and ecological pedagogy. Her previous books include, Colonial Women: Race and Culture in Stuart Drama (Oxford University Press, 2001) and Rereading Aphra Behn: History, Theory, and Criticism (University of Virginia Press, 1993). She also writes at her website and blog:

Jacqueline Albin

Undergraduate Psychology Student
Jacqueline Albin is a current Bachelor of Science student in the psychology program at Stony Brook, and has lived with schizoaffective disorder for most of her life. Her delusions took a turn for the bizarre, when she began to believe that she was dead and no longer existed. She turned to psychology to understand why she may be this way, as well as studying the philosophy of what it means to be alive and what it means to exist. She plans on studying the biology and etiology behind psychosis in the future, seeking answers for why she believed herself to be dead, as well as expanding upon the methods she used along her own journey of recovery to assist others with similar mental health issues, to create a system of thorough understanding and support for those with psychosis. With a unique perspective on life, death, and existence, she approaches the topic of mental health with both experience and knowledge from multiple disciplines.

Joanne Davila

Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at Stony Brook University
Dr. Joanne Davila is a Professor of Psychology and the Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at Stony Brook University. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from UCLA. Dr. Davila’s expertise is in the area of romantic relationships and mental health in adolescents and adults, and she has published widely in this area. Her current research focuses on romantic competence among youth and emerging adults, the development of relationship education programs, the interpersonal causes and consequences of depression and anxiety, and well-being and relationship functioning among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Dr. Davila is a Fellow in the Association for Psychological Science and the Incoming Editor (2016-2022) for the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Davila also is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in evidence-based interventions for relationship problems, depression, and anxiety.

Karen Sobel-Lojeski​

Assistant Professor in the Department of Technology and Society at Stony Brook University
Her research focuses on​ how technology impacts human relationships. Some of the topics she studies include how technology affects education and learning, business performance, child development, emotional well-being and more. Her award-winning Virtual Distance Model has been adopted by thousands of people across organizations worldwide. She is the author of two books, and Uniting the Virtual Workforce: Transforming Leadership and Innovation in the Globally Integrated Enterprise and Leading the Virtual Workforce: How Great Leaders Transform Organizations in the 21st Century. Based on her ground-breaking research, she is currently working on her third book about mobile smart technology’s influence on society for the mass market.

Katarzyna Sawicka

Faculty in the Department of Dermatology at Stony Brook University
Katarzyna (Kasia) Sawicka was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland. She came to the United States at the age of 15 and entered Longwood High School in Middle Island, NY. She has resided in Long Island ever since. Sawicka has earned three degrees from Stony Brook Univeristy (B.S. in Engineering Chemistry, M.S. in Chemistry, and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering). Her research focuses on developing novel technologies to capitalize on the enhanced functions of nano-scaled materials. Recently, Sawicka joined the Department of Dermatology, where she hopes to further pursue the development of ImmunoMatrix, a non-invasive skin patch that effectively delivers vaccines into the skin. In the last year, the invention earned Sawicka the top prize in the National Collegiate Inventors Competition at the USPTO. It was named the 2015 Invention of the Year in Medicine by Popular Science, and Sawicka was awarded the 2015 Innovator of the Year award in science and technology by InnovateLI.

Marc Anthony Rodriguez

Game Developer
Marc Anthony Rodriguez aided in the development, production and marketing of several multi-billion dollar video game franchises for over the past ten years, working for several prestigious digital entertainment companies across the globe. His current venture into the booming world of “Over-The-Top” multimedia streaming applications has provided countless consumers with new and exciting ways of enjoying television fueled through the power of the Internet. He has spoken at various conventions and game developer conferences sharing his philosophical take on experiences he shared throughout his collegiate years at Stony Brook and his continued quest for wisdom in his post-graduate years. As he explains it: “My goal is to provide an insight into the theorems behind the Gamification of our daily lives, I focus on identifying differing user experiences on a daily basis, just enough to see what makes people tick”.

Marcia Neblett

Professor of Foundations, Drawing and Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design
Marcia Neblett is a New York City born, Georgia based artist who works with drawing, printmaking, painting and artist books. She has a BFA from Purchase College, the State University of New York, and an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Stony Brook University in 1998. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the US and Asia in venues including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia and the AIR Gallery in New York City. Neblett is a recipient of a number of grants and fellowships, including two Fulbright Scholar Grants to India; a Jerome Foundation Printmaking Fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts Special Opportunity Stipend Project Grant. She is a Professor of Foundations, Drawing and Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia.

Naomi Wolf

Writer/Journalist -- Visiting Lecturer at Stony Brook University's College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Naomi Wolf is the author of eight New York Times best selling works of nonfiction, including The Beauty Myth and The End of America. Her journalism has appeared in every major news outlet including The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She was on an advisory to Vice President Al Gore, and co-founded The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership and The Anticancer Freedom Campaign. She recently completed her PhD from The University of Oxford. She lives in New York with her family. Dr. Naomi Wolf joins the Stony Brook University College of Arts and Sciences as a Visiting Lecturer for the 2015-16 academic year.

Nicholas Valente

Lecturer in the Mathematics Department at Stony Brook University
Currently a lecturer in the Mathematics Department at Stony Brook University, Valente is passionate about math, science, technology, and the natural world. He believes there is deep beauty to be found in the vast ocean of mathematics, and it brings him great joy to share this beauty with others. Valente earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Stony Brook in 2011, with a minor in Computer Science. After graduation, he taught math at Mathnasium, a mathematics learning center while also developing Polytopia, a program that allows basic visualization, manipulation, and 3D printing of higher dimensional shapes. In 2015, Valente earned a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics from Stony Brook.

Stephanie Dinkins

Associate Professor of the Department of Art at Stony Brook University
Grounded in the tradition of creating meaning and histories through representation, Stephanie Dinkins uses the power and potential of the images to investigate questions of subjectivity and social equity. Both artist and artwork strive to exist, and encourage ways of being, beyond the bounds of circumstance in a grounded action oriented way. From a position of blackness, which can often be simultaneously invisible and hyper-visible, this requires imagination, mediation, intentionality, knowledge of self and other, vulnerability, fortitude and the kind of luck only hard work and commitment to purpose can produce.

Stephen Post

Founding Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University
Stephen G. Post, Ph.D. is a best-selling author who has taught at the University of Chicago Medical School, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (1988-2008), and Stony Brook University School of Medicine (2008-), where he is Founding Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics. He is an elected member of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the New York Academy of Medicine, and the Royal Society of Medicine, London. Post addressed the U.S. Congress on volunteerism and public health, and received the Congressional Certificate of Special Recognition for Outstanding Achievement. He received the Kama Book Award in Medical Humanities from World Literacy Canada in 2008. He has served as a Senior Scholar for the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Victoria Febrer

Fine Artist
Victoria Febrer is a fine artist based in NYC. Her work has been shown in the US, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, and Japan, with solo exhibitions in New York, Valencia, and Madrid. Her interests are centered on the relationship of the universal and the personal, and the way that repeated images influence our understanding of our place in the world. She works in a variety of media including paint, film projection, and red wine (through a process of her own invention called vinography).

Organizing team


Middle Island, NY, United States