Deirdre Shoemaker is the Dunn Family Professor of Physics. She received her
B.S. in Astronomy and Astrophysics with honors and Physics from Penn State in
1994 and her PhD in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999. She
was a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State and Cornell University before joining the
faculty at Penn State in 2004. She moved to the School of Physics at Georgia
Tech in 2008 and is an adjunct Professor of the School of Computational
Science and Engineering. She is one of the founding members of the Center
for Relativistic Astrophysics and its Director. In 2017, Deirdre took on the role of
Associate Director for Research and Strategic Initiatives for the Institute for Data
Engineering and Science.
Edward Ahmed Mitchell
Edward Ahmed Mitchell is a Muslim-American civil rights attorney, and currently
serves as the executive director of the Georgia chapter of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA). Edward is a graduate of Morehouse
College and the Georgetown University Law Center and started his career as a
criminal prosecutor in Atlanta. He is also an editor of AtlantaMuslim, a member
of the Georgia Association of Muslim Lawyers, and a member of the board of
trustees of the Islamic Community Center of Atlanta.
Joy Sloan Jinks is a native of Colquitt, Georgia. She graduated from Florida
State University in 1975 with a Master’s degree in social work. She has served
as a social worker in the areas of public welfare and mental health. Most of her
career has been spent as a community organizer and volunteer in her
hometown. She is married to G.C. Jinks, Jr and has three children, eight
grandchildren, and nine grandchildren. She is best known as co-founder of
Swamp Gravy, Georgia’s Official Folk Life Play. She has captured her outlook on
living life with gusto no matter your age, in her book Dynamic Aging.
Meet Kamesh Darisipudi, another student speaker ready to #DisruptGT with his
story. He is a 3rd year Industrial Engineering student from Dallas, Texas. During
his time at Tech, he has been involved in a wide range of academic,
professional, and extra-curricular activities, but the experience he has found
most gratifying was developing a passion for writing. He has been fortunate to
have been published by Forbes and the Huffington Post, and hopes to use
TEDx as a platform to continue his narrative.
Katherine Jentleson joined the High Museum of Art in September 2015
as the Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art. Before she
became a curator, Dr. Jentleson worked as an arts journalist in New York.
Through her editorial assignments and general experiences at galleries and
museums there, she discovered her passion for self-taught artists and their
historical legacy in the U.S. In 2010, she began her graduate studies in art
history at Duke University, where she focused her research on the rise of
self-taught artists during the interwar period. Her exhibitions at the High include
Green Pastures: In Memory of Thornton Dial and many more.
German born, Syrian-American composer Malek Jandali has been hailed by
BBC WorldNews as “an acclaimed pianist” and his music has been described
as “moving and thought provoking” by Bob Stevenson of NPR. Malek’s
compositions integrate Middle-Eastern modes into Western classical forms and
harmony and echo UNESCO’s call to preserve and protect the rich cultural
heritage of Syria at a time when it is being eradicated. His works have been
performed by numerous leading orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic,
Zagreb Philharmonic, Stockholm Solister, and Russian Philharmonic. He is also
the founder and CEO of Pianos for Peace, a non-profit organization dedicated to
building peace through music and education.