Business Economics Undergraduate at UCLA
Angela Chung is a fourth year undergraduate student at UCLA, majoring in Business Economics. She is an incoming core assurance associate at PricewaterhouseCooper’s Los Angeles office, and plans on working with entertainment and technology clients. She will be studying abroad in Paris this summer. Her interest in environmental health led to her idea of plastic tiles that capture particulate matter with microstructures modeled after those found on leaves. Her idea won third place in the 2016 UCLA FuturizeX Student Challenge.
Director of the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas/ Professor in the Opus College
Dr. AnnMarie Thomas is the director of the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas, where she is a professor in the School of Engineering and the Opus College of Business. She is the creator of Squishy Circuits, and the author of “Making Makers: Kids, Tools, and the Future of Innovation.” AnnMarie and her research students explore the intersection of the arts, technology and education and are always in search of their next unusual collaboration. Dr. Thomas has an undergraduate degree in Ocean Engineering (with a minor in Music) from MIT, MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech, and a professional certificate in Sustainable Design from MCAD. Prior to joining the University of St. Thomas she was a faculty member at Art Center College of Design. When she’s not working with dancers, singers, schools, chefs or preschoolers, AnnMarie and her daughters can be found performing and studying flying trapeze and other aerial arts.
Organist/ Organ Professor at UCLA
Christoph Bull has concertized around the world, including Europe, Russia, India, Taiwan, China, Japan, El Salvador and many U.S. states. He’s performed at national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society.
He recorded the first album featuring the organ at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, entitled First & Grand. His music has been broadcast on KCRW, on Classical KUSC and the Minnesota Public Radio program “Pipedreams”.
He recently recorded the pipe organ parts for the latest Ghostbusters and Transformers movies at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. Previously, he worked as organ consultant on Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report and recorded for Robin Williams’ last TV Show The Crazy Ones.
Christoph Bull has been university organist and organ professor at UCLA since 2002 and Organist-in-Residence at FCCLA since 2013.
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2006
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2002
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1999
Dana Carpenter is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Denver. His research focuses on the effects of mechanical forces, exercise, diseases, and implanted devices on the human skeleton. Dr. Carpenter enrolled as an undergraduate in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech because, like many mechanical engineers, he loved cars. After learning about the field of biomechanical engineering, he gave up the automotive chassis in exchange for the skeleton. After completing his undergraduate work, he went on to obtain his M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Stanford University. His graduate thesis work focused on the ways in which mechanical forces can guide bones to grow into different shapes.
Chief Learning Officer/ Health Psychologist
Darlene Mininni is chief learning officer at UCLA Extension and a health psychologist. She holds a PhD in clinical psychology and an MPH in public health. Darlene is author of The Emotional Toolkit: 7 Strategies to Nail Your Bad Feelings (St Martin’s Press), a book inspired by the curriculum of her UCLA undergraduate course LifeSkills. Her work focuses on designing and teaching research-based strategies that support resilience and success. With an interest in media’s power to transform, Darlene founded and was artistic director of UCLA’s Kaleidoscope Theatre, a performance troupe using storytelling to enhance wellbeing. She also hosted The Emotional Toolkit Series on XM radio and The Dr. Darlene Mininni Show for Clear Channel in Los Angeles. Darlene has spoken for audiences ranging from The Juilliard School to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and her work has been featured on media outlets such as: CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, PBS, and NPR as well as Prevention, SELF and Huffington Post.
David Pescovitz is editor/partner at the influential tech/culture Web site Boing Boing and a research director at the non-profit Institute for the Future. He’s also the co-founder of Ozma Records, a music label focused on the intersection of science, art, and consciousness to spark the imagination. Ozma’s first release is the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition, a lavish vinyl box set documenting the iconic phonograph record that NASA launched into space in 1977. Pescovitz was also the founding editor-at-large for MAKE:, the DIY technology magazine, and co-wrote the book Reality Check (HardWired, 1996), based on his long-running futurist column in Wired magazine. He has written for Scientific American, Popular Science, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, and New Scientist, among many other publications.
Gareth Walsh is a media artist, based in Los Angeles, working at the intersections of Art, Cinema, Technology and physical space. His artwork questions the boundaries of perceived reality, and plays with the creative potential found in the manipulation and recombination of its parts. Grounded in a conceptualized and experimental media arts practice; his work ranges from small photographic prints and video projections, to whole room and building sized interventions.
His work has been shown internationally with select screenings and exhibitions at LACMA (Los Angeles), Arena 1 Gallery (Santa Monica), New Wight Gallery (Los Angeles), Millard Sheets Gallery (Pomona) UC San Diego, Cabrillo National Monument (San Diego), The Broad Stage (Santa Monica), New Gallery (London, UK), California Nanosystems Institute (Los Angeles), Los Angeles State Historic Park (Los Angeles), 404 Festival of Electronic Art (Argentina).
Aerospace Engineering Ph.D. Student at UCLA
Gary Li is a third year Ph.D. candidate majoring in Aerospace Engineering at UCLA. As a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow, he conducts research on miniature ion thrusters in the UCLA Plasma and Space Propulsion Lab in order to enhance the capabilities of future space missions. He has also performed research on advanced plasma thrusters at both the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Air Force Research Lab. His passion for space exploration led him to co-found the Space Exploration Society at Berkeley when he was an undergraduate studying astrophysics and physics at UC Berkeley. To spread awareness of plasma rocket technology, he has presented his research in the Grand Slam, winning 1st place at UCLA and 3rd place in the UC-wide competition, and has published a popular science article that has been featured on BusinessInsider and space.com.
Graphic Designer/ Creative Director
Lawrence Azerrad is a Los Angeles based Graphic Designer and Creative Director. Azerrad founded LADdesign, a graphic design studio dedicated to elevating our cultural experience through design excellence. Since 2001 LADdesign has created graphic design and comprehensive visual identity systems for clients such as Sting, Universal Music Group, UC San Diego, The Silversun Pickups, Esperanza Spalding, The Skirball Cultural Center, The Beach Boys, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Red Bull Sound Select, and over an Eighteen-year client relationship, spanning seven album packages for award-winning American alternative rock band, Wilco. Azerrad is the author of a Supersonic: Design and Lifestyle of Concorde, a design history of the aircraft to be published 2017. Azerrad is the chair for AIGA’s Design+Music program.
World Arts & Culture Undergraduate at UCLA
Matthew Rogers is a third year student at UCLA pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree in the World Arts and Cultures – Dance program. His knowledge of American Sign Language and work experience with deaf people has led Matthew to pursue a Minor in Disabilities Studies. He has trained and studied for eighteen years in various dance styles, and has performed with singers such as The Pointer Sisters, Patti LaBelle, and Charice. In 2005, Matthew performed in New York on ABC’s Good Morning America, winning the Kid’s Division of the Greatest Dancer in America contest. Matthew is passionate about dance and he also invests in the Bruin community. Leadership is important to Matthew; he has been the Community Service Chairman; as well as the Public Relations Chairman; and the Alumni Chairman of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He was a member of the Icarus Dance Group on campus and continues to choreograph for them.
Professional Ballet Dancer/ Choreographer
Melissa Barak was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She trained at the Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica for eight years. In the Fall of 1997 she was accepted into the School of American Ballet’s year round program in New York on the Janice Levin Scholarship and joined the New York City Ballet as a full company member in 1998. Ms. Barak has achieved a multitude of accomplishments as both a professional ballet dancer and choreographer. She was invited by Peter Martins, director of the New York City Ballet, to participate in the first New York Choreographic Institute. The piece she created impressed him so that he commissioned her to choreograph a ballet for the School of American Ballet’s June workshop performance. The ballet she made, Telemann Overture Suite, was met with critical acclaim. Mr. Martins brought Telemann into the company’s repertoire the very next season and immediately asked her to choreograph again, this time on the company.
Computer Science Undergraduate at UCLA
Mihir Mathur is a sophomore studying Computer Science at UCLA. He is passionate about creating technology products and designing experiences. He is the newly elected President at UCLA Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), one of the largest student-run computer science organizations in Southern California. Mihir is the co-founder of UCLA Creative Labs, a digital design collaboration that connects the best developers and the best designers at UCLA. He is also one of the lead organizers for LA Hacks. He is motivated by the belief that Computer Science has a great power to make positive impacts in people’s lives. His idea of integrating Computer Vision in trash bins for effective waste management won him the first place in the FuturizeX Student Challenge 2017
Nicolas Augustus Rongione
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Ph.D. Student at UCLA
In 2014, Nicolas and his team from the University of Miami flew with NASA to test the use of nanoparticles in composite materials as part of the NASA Reduced Gravity Flight Opportunities Program. In his time interning and working across three different NASA centers, including Kennedy, Goddard, and Marshall Space Flight Centers, Nicolas has had the opportunity to survey the state of the art in aerospace engineering and is excited to discuss the connection between the vast distances of space and the tiniest fabricated objects known to man.
Nicolas Augustus Rongione is currently a PhD student at UCLA in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow working on novel thermoelectric materials. He is also a member of the AIAA Aerospace Power Systems, as well as a volunteer at the California Nano Systems Institute.
Interdisciplinary Research Scientist/ Artist
Dr. Olivia Osborne is an interdisciplinary research scientist and artist with a forte in educational entertainment. She is a bold adventurer with a passion to spread virtue and knowledge across the globe. From guest lectures to undertaking terrestrial conservation work in the jungles of Honduras, her love for nature has made Olivia the dedicated environmental toxicologist that she is and an admirable advocate for environmental issues. Currently a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA at the multidisciplinary University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN), she is working on the hazard assessment of nanoparticles in the environment for which her research has received widespread media attention. She obtained her BSc, Hons, Exon and PhD from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom; specializing in developmental biology and ecotoxicology. Aside from her science credentials, she is an acknowledged bio-artist known for her experimental techniques.
SHEVA RAJAEE, MFT, is a psychotherapist licensed in the State of California, and is currently working at the OCD Center of Los Angeles. Sheva specializes in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and other related anxiety disorders. She attended the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for her undergraduate degree, and went on to receive her Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California (USC). Sheva was trained in behavioral therapy at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and worked in the Early Childhood Partial Hospitalization Program serving children with Autism before moving on to do research at the UCLA Social Stigma and Social Interaction laboratory under Dr. Jenessa Shapiro. Sheva sees clients domestically and internationally in over 20 different countries.
Former Football Player/ WWE Superstar
A former football player for the University of Florida and the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thaddeus Bullard has become a fixture on WWE’s programming, including RAW and Smackdown, as WWE Superstar Titus O’Neil. Since his debut with WWE in 2012, O’Neil has made an impact both in and out of the ring as a business and family man, motivational speaker, youth counselor and coach. Bullard can often be found speaking to children in schools, visiting the elderly in assisted living facilities, and participating in a variety of charitable events in his community. In addition, he participates in WWE’s numerous community-giving platforms, including its Be a STAR anti-bullying campaign and initiatives to support literacy, the U.S. military, Special Olympics, and Susan G. Komen.
Tom Krieglstein is a speaker and writer on increasing student engagement and fostering student retention. He has worked with schools worldwide through his leadership program, Dance Floor Theory. As the founder of Swift Kick, Tom has dedicated his life to training campus leaders on how to create a culture of engagement where every student feels welcomed, connected and engaged. He also co-authored six student affairs books, including “First Year Student to First Year Success.” On a personal note, he once stopped traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge, was featured on the Tofurkey box, and was on the Oprah show, but then cut from the Oprah show.
Associate Vice Provost/ HS Clinical Professor
Dr. Wendy Slusser is Associate Vice Provost at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), for Chancellor Block’s Healthy Campus Initiative that was envisioned and is supported by Jane and Terry Semel; Dr. Slusser is also HS Clinical Professor of Pediatrics in the UCLA Schools of Medicine and Public Health, and Co-Founder and Academic Director of the UCLA Fit for Healthy Weight program. Dr. Slusser graduated Cum Laude from Princeton University, received her Medical Degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and her Masters Degree in Science from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University. She completed her internship and residency in Pediatrics at Babies Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. She joined the UCLA faculty in 1996 and since then has been a leader in community, school, clinic, and family based programs related to health promotion, infant and child nutrition and physical fitness.