x = independently organized TED event

Theme: thinkFORWARD

This event occurred on
May 25, 2017
10:00am - 10:00pm PDT
(UTC -7hrs)
Portland, Oregon
United States

“The future is in continuous motion. It moves with the tides of time, adversity and uncertainty. It is unclear as to where we are headed but there is certainty that, together, we move towards a greater purpose and vision: a vision of hope, adventure and success of the days to come. We challenge the obstacles of doubt, question perspectives that keep us from success and break forward into our future with new ideas, thoughts and dialogue. In times of doubt and unrest, we find the moments that challenge us to think beyond ourselves are those that help us to grow beyond what we imagine is possible. We are able to thinkFORWARD.”

Portland Community College
17705 NW Springville Rd
Portland, Oregon, 97229
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Portland­Community­College­Rock­Creek events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Amanda "Mandy" Ellertson

Director of Student Life and Leadership
For 30 years, Mandy Ellertson has worked in higher education.  The last 25 have been at Portland Community College where she serves as the Director of Student Life and Leadership.   She also teaches Humanities as an adjunct instructor at the college where she advocates for the study of the humanities as a way to develop better citizens.  As an educator, Mandy encourages students to take responsibility for their own education.  To her, a huge part of the learning journey includes taking risks and seeking to understand as opposed to accumulating a bunch of facts. Mandy strives to work with others in the community and volunteers for a variety of organizations including Association of College Unions International, the Coalition Against Hate Crimes, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, and St. James Lutheran Church in downtown Portland.   Her students inspire her to invest in the local community and never quit seeking justice.

Ben Nzowo

Director of Legislative Affairs, Phi Theta Kappa, Beta Gamma Lambda Chapter V.P. of Service
Arriving in the states in November of 2014, Ben Nzowo is an international student from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fifth in a family of seven, he had high hopes of becoming a professional soccer player. After a knee injury that took him off the field, his dreams ran in a different direction: helping people. An aspiring politician, Ben strives to educate and engage with his community even in tense situations. Serving as the Legislative Director and Vice President of Services for his PTK Honor Society, he strives to bring out the best in people in an ever changing world. He rests by working out, playing ball and shaking it on the dance floor.

Brandy Robinson

Author, Professor and Human Rights Advocate
Brandy Robinson is an intellectual wanderer. Her head is full of music, political science, the study of law, the written word and social justice. Currently she is an associate professor at the University of Phoenix but her adjunct faculty positions have taken her to campuses all over the country. Her teaching interests are just as broad and include critical thinking, the American Constitution, juvenile justice, elder law, labor relations and legal ethics. On the professional experience spectrum, Brandy has served as a United Nations delegate, as a Giving Tree NW Board Member, and most recently, as a web developer and Android App inventor. Her most recent success as a writer is the publication of “Bernice Rathe,” a novel written under her pen name Bea Giovanni.

Elaine J. Cole, Ph.D.

Sustainability Coordinator
Elaine Cole is the Sustainability Coordinator at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek campus and is responsible for the overall coordination of sustainability practices and programs. Some of these include energy conservation, campus-wide composting, and helping to integrate community-based learning into the 3.6-acre learning garden. Elaine has taught environmental education from the shores of Jekyll Island, Georgia to Lake Tanganyika in Burundi. She has always had a deep commitment to population education and is excited to be speaking about this on the TEDx stage.

Isaiah Mendoza

Composer, Songwriter, Entrepreneur
Isaiah Mendoza has been composing music for more than 11 years. At the age of 16, he realized that he had the ability to listen to music and shortly afterward play it on the piano. In the last two years he has composed more than 28 symphonies, released two albums and 32 other songs in a variety of genres. He has been featured as a spotlight artist five times and has been ranked among the top 20 instrumental artists globally at REVERBNATION, a widely recognized music website which promotes works from independent musicians around the world. He is also the owner of Darkhorse Music Production, LLC, and specializes in the production of music intended for the film and entertainment industry. Isaiah composes all of his works by ear, and is passionate about the use of intuition and emotion when creating music. He hopes to show people that in the future, self-expression will not always be limited to conventional ways of thinking.

Lisa Jean Féinics

Author, Educator, Life Coach, Fostering Success Program Coordinator
LISA JEAN FÉINICS graduated with a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior from the University of Washington in 1998. She worked as both a scientist and an educator at biomedical research institutes and universities across the United States and abroad, including The Scripps Research Institute, the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, the University of Aruba, and the University of Michigan-Flint. She is now the program coordinator for the new PCC Fostering Success program, which supports current and former foster youth toward educational and professional success. Lisa, a former foster youth herself, is also the author of “Alternate Ending—An Inspirational True Story About Beating the Odds,” an autobiography about her journey not to be the victim of an unfortunate past. Lisa’s leisure time is devoted to traveling and riding her motorcycle. After living five years abroad, she made a 6,000-mile solo motorcycle trip to reconnect with people and places in her native home.

Roger Anunsen

Educator, Cognitive Intervention Designer, Author, Co-founder of MINDRAMP Consulting and Geronaut
Roger Anunsen is a pioneering cognitive intervention designer who is passionate about monitoring, understanding, harnessing and leveraging the massive explosion of recent brain science research. His goal is to translate these scientific facts to help educate the world about how to take control of the brain's cognitive future. Roger’s innovative, first-in-the-nation college courses include evidence-based keystone breakthroughs that can help span the knowledge gap between neuroscience laboratories and real world memory and aging challenges. After 26 years as a trial lawyer, Roger found his life’s calling in 2001 as a full-time Activity Director in an assisted living facility. Despite his lack of any traditional scientific training, his cognitive intervention methods were soon discovered by researchers which led to clinical trials, lectures at Oxford and the Smithsonian and the launch of a teaching, speaking and consulting career.

Todd Duncan

Physics Professor, Awareness Expander
Todd Duncan has been teaching science concepts to a wide range of audiences for more than 20 years. His emphasis is on glimpses of wonder that help us broaden our perspective and see beyond our limited point of view. Todd holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Chicago, and Physics degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Illinois. He is currently on the Physics faculty at Pacific University, adjunct faculty at Portland Community College and director of the non-profit Science Integration Institute.

Organizing team


Forest Grove, OR, United States


OR, United States
  • Alexis Taylor
    Team member
  • Ameena Rodgers
    Team member
  • Chelsea Martin
  • Coral Avery
    Team member
  • DeLinda Martin-Huggins
  • Haydee Goldenberg
    Team member
  • Heidi Edwards
    Team member
  • Ivan Hernandez
    Team member
  • Jackie Islas
    Team member
  • Josue Dambej
    Team member
  • Kyra Ritz
    Team member
  • Lauren Vaillancourt
    Team member
  • Ric Getter
  • Rylie Wolff
    Team member
  • Sabrina Barkadle
    Team member
  • Stacie Williams
  • Teagan White
    Team member
  • Wafaa Almaktari
    Team member