Annie Park is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate studying Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin. She currently works in the Atkinson lab and is a member of the Waggoner Center for Alcohol & Addiction Research. She’s a recipient of a Fred Murphy Jones & Homer Lindsey Bruce Endowed Fellowship for alcohol research. For her undergraduate, she received a B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in Physics from the University of Maryland in College Park. From 2008-2010 she was selected for a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
In the summer of 2006, Daron was sitting on a conveyor belt that ran through Harvard Law School and made frequent drop-offs at Wall Street law firms when he decided to embark on a coaching career. That gamble led to a seven-year stint as an NFL and college football coach.
Currently, Daron helps propel athletes beyond their sport as the founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation at the University of Texas. He is an award-winning lecturer that teaches courses on innovation, risk, and leadership. Daron holds a B.A. from UT, and M.P.P. and J.D. from Harvard.
Doreen Lorenzo is a successful leader of global creative firms who advised Fortune 100 companies on design and innovation for decades. In March 2016, she was appointed as the Director of the Center for Integrated Design, in September 2017 she was promoted to Assistant Dean of the new School of Design and Creative Technologies.
From 2013 to 2015, Doreen was president of Quirky. Prior, she worked at frog design for 16 years, including seven years as president. While president, she drove strategy, oversaw worldwide operations and delivery, and led the iconic firm to record growth.
Doreen earned her MA in communication and media studies from Boston University and a BA in theater from SUNY, Stony Brook.
Liz Schasel is a senior majoring in both Marketing and Plan II Honors. Throughout college, Liz has pursued experiences that help her make a difference, invest in others, and grow as a person. Some of those experiences include serving as president of Texas Spirits, managing publicity for the Real Beauty Campaign, cycling 4,500 miles from Austin, TX to Anchorage, AK to raise money for cancer research with Texas 4000, volunteering as a counselor for Camp Kesem, and spending a semester in Italy. Full of passion and curiosity, Liz is eager to change and be changed by the world.
Henry William Brands was born in Oregon, went to college in California, sold cutlery across the American West and earned graduate degrees in mathematics and history in Oregon and Texas. He taught at Vanderbilt University and Texas A&M University before joining the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History. Brands writes on American history and politics and several of his books have been bestsellers and two were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. He lectures frequently on historical and current events and can be seen and heard on national and international television and radio. His writings have been translated into 11 languages.
Jake Dunagan is an experiential futurist, governance designer, and teacher. His work centers around the concept of social invention. He develops futures concepts and participatory platforms to help people and organizations around the world re-imagine and re-design their futures. Jake creates tools to increase citizen participation in social system design, and he produces visual media, interactive experiences, and public engagement projects that inject alternative visions of the future into the present.
Jake serves as the Director of the Governance Futures Lab at the Institute for the Future, a non-profit research group in Palo Alto, CA. He is adjunct professor of Strategic Foresight in the Design Strategy MBA program at the California College of the Arts, in UT's Integrated Design Program, and International Mentor for the Deseño de Mañana program at CENTRO, a media and design university in Mexico City.
Karen Gordon is a serial entrepreneur who has been helping individuals reach their highest potential for 20+ years.
Karen has spent her career learning the leadership and management techniques people need to thrive. In 2010, she founded 5 Dynamics, workflow-oriented set of tools that companies like LinkedIn and IDEO use to empower team environments, increase workforce productivity and collaboration, and develop strong leaders. Her company’s methodology is based on groundbreaking neuroscience and psychometrics research on maximizing human potential.
Karen is passionate about helping others create resonance in their lives through a deep understanding of why we do what we do.
Kusko [No last name]
Note to reviewer*** Speaker is named "Kusko", there was no mistake made above! Thanks!****
After the realization that Kusko was not going to make it as a professional athlete, due to lack of ability, and love of ice cream, she created a stellar career in advertising as a Creative Director for brands that included adidas, The North Face, RedBull and Intel. With a successful career in full throttle, life was great...until it wasn’t.
In the blink of an eye, her beautiful life was disrupted. The economy had taken a turn for the worst, and her job was eliminated. But, the universe wasn’t done yet, within one week, her car stolen, house broken into, and everything of value, gone.
When you have nothing, you really have nothing to lose. For Kusko, it was a crossroads moment of self assessment and the start of an epic journey that would ultimately turn her into an adventuring humanitarian.
Mitchell Pham is a fourth-year environmental science student turned business enthusiast at The University of Texas at Austin. In the geosciences, his current work aims to better understand the shoreline impact of Hurricane Harvey along the Texas coast. In regards to business, he is involved in startups, passionate about public speaking and presentations, and is an aspiring management consultant. Outside of academia, Mitchell is a huge music nerd and is a member of a steel drum ensemble, a tubist in a brass band, and was previously a beatboxer in an A Capella group.
Dr. Raj Vedam, a graduate of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and Oregon State University, Corvallis, is an Electrical Engineer with over 25 years of experience in Power, Electronic Design Automation, and Oil and Gas industries, and the author of several journal and conference papers and patents. His research interests include optimization, analytics and artificial intelligence. He is a reviewer for engineering journals, as well as an external examiner for doctoral thesis in engineering. He has deep interest in prehistory, the history of astronomy and mathematics, and the spread of knowledge, arts, culture and philosophies across cultures. Dr. Vedam researches and critiques the narratives of civilizations, and applies scientific methods to validate historical narratives. He is a founder-member and Director of the think-tank, Indian History Awareness Research (IHAR).
Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Ricco M. Garcia is an attorney, author, and legislative advocate. In 2013, Ricco graduated from the UT Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Government. Ricco then went law school at the University of Houston Law Center, completing his final semester of law school in Washington D.C. at Georgetown University Law Center. Most recently, in 2017 Ricco along with his younger brother published a book titled, “How a Goat Became Mayor and the Political Spring that Followed” that went on to become a #1 best-selling book in the U.S. in local elections.
With a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration and Leadership, over 14 years of experience working as a student affairs administrator specifically in the areas of leadership development, student activities, and assessment, AND over 10 years of Latin partnered dancing such as Argentine Tango, Salsa, and Bachata, Dr. Shauna T. Sobers strives to help others find their potential and express it! Dr. Sobers is currently an Assistant Director for Residence Life in the Department of Housing and Dining at the University of Texas at Austin.
Thea’s 18 years of experience working in fast-paced industries like high tech and entertainment means she relates well to people who are looking for that extra edge that our first-impression society demands.
In 2014, Thea launched SheSpark.com after seeing first-hand the need to promote positive style, beauty, and wellness topics for women over 40. Her biggest motivation is to help give women the confidence they need to become a force both professionally and personally.