x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Diversity In Our World

This event occurred on
March 27, 2018
Pittsburg, Kansas
United States

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

Bicknell Family Center For The Arts
1711 S. Homer St.
Pittsburg, Kansas, 66762
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Pittsburg­State­University events


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

Greg Dagnan

Chief of Police
Greg Dagnan has been in Law Enforcement since 1990. He has been a patrol officer, a traffic officer, a DARE officer, an SRO, and a criminal investigator. He has been the Executive Director of a non-profit agency with the responsibility of investigating child abuse and a University Professor at Missouri Southern State University. He continues to teach as an adjunct for Pittsburg State University and Missouri Southern State University. Greg has been the Chief of the Carthage Police Department since 2008. He continues to be an instructor of many training topics in addition to serving on many state and local boards. Before embarking on his law enforcement career Greg worked at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO on the indoor roller coaster, Fire in the Hole.

Hank/Kolleen Cloninger/Gladden

Student Advocates
As President and Vice President of the Pittsburg State University student body for the 2016-2017 academic year, Cloninger and Gladden strived to promote open education resources, an open office environment, community service, community involvement, and international programs. Separately, they have been involved around campus and in Pittsburg through various outlets. Kolleen founded a Christian sorority, works with the city to improve housing and student-city relations, and runs cross country/track. Hank has been involved in Student Government as the Treasurer, the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and has worked various student positions around campus, and currently works on recruitment in the wood technology department. Kolleen plans to attend law school and pursue investigations, while Hank plans to work in the wood technology industry.

Harold Wallace III

Diversity Advocate
Assistant Director, Student Diversity Programs at Pittsburg State University. Harold is a Los Angeles, CA native and with a Bachelors degree in Ethnic Studies from Wichita State University, and a Masters of Science in College Student Personnel from Arkansas Tech University. Harold is the advisor for Black Student Association, Native American Student Association, and Hispanics of Today and is passionate on helping students of color matriculate to and through college. Harold was a first generation college student and navigated his path through undergrad with very little help which led him to become passionate about being the person for his students that he didn't have for himself.

Kevin Bracker

Professor of Finance
Professor Kevin Bracker started his career at Pittsburg State University in the fall of 1995 and has taught a variety of finance courses over the many years since. In all of his classes, he integrates the topics of financial planning and behavioral finance as he believes these are essential elements to making smarter financial decisions for individuals. Outside of his professional career, he is married to his high-school sweetheart, Debbi Bracker, and their daughter, Sarah Bracker, is planning to graduate from Missouri State University with a degree in fashion design in May. He likes to stay active by running and has completed a variety of races from 5K to 100 miles.

Mark Lehman

A local pastor, Mark was raised in a Cleveland, OH suburb, and has been a resident of Kansas for the past 23 years. Born a Buckeye, Mark has been married to his Jayhawk bride Sarah for 27 years. They have invested the last 17 years pastoring FLAG Church in Pittsburg, KS. FLAG Church has grown from 30 attendees in 2000 to averaging 525+ in 2017. After crafting a sabbatical policy in 2009, Mark has seen it adopted by numerous churches across Kansas. The oldest of 3, he has recently taken up running marathons, and would love to be a contestant on Jeopardy. Together Mark and Sarah have a 19-year old entrepreneurial son, who would love to mow your grass.

Michael Simmons

Medical Doctor
Dr. Michael Simmons grew up in rural Southeast Kansas before attending the University of Kansas and obtaining both BA in Chemistry and Doctor of Medicine and Surgery degrees. He trained as a family physician and has been in private practice in the four states area for over 25 years. He has served on several national healthcare committees as well as serving as medical director for several health insurance companies. He has also served on the President’s Physician Advisory Coalition. He has been recognized as one of the top family physicians and anti-aging physicians in the country. He began practicing functional medicine in 2002. He has three daughters that have graduated from Pittsburg State University. They now serve in the teaching, medical and social work professions. He believes that everyone should be empowered to choose their own health outcomes including lifestyle choices that impact health.

Mitzi Peña

Immigration Activist
As a senior at Pittsburg State University graduating in May 2018 with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. Mitzi Peña is originally from Mexico City but has resided in Wichita, Kansas for most of her life. Educating, inspiring, and advocating for social issues have always been passions of Mitzi’s and as a result, she plans to start a scholarship program for immigrant students in low-income families in the future. In her free time, Mitzi loves to travel, admire nature, and respect the environment.

Ruby Rios

STEM Advocate
Ruby Rios is a senior student at Bishop Miege High School in Shawnee Mission, Kansas and a software development intern at Cerner Corporation. She's been active in the Kansas City community, working to create STEM-related educational opportunities for young people. Ruby co-founded "KC STEMinists", an educational program that helps girls apply technology to entrepreneurship and global issues. She also established and facilitated "Girls Who Code" clubs in Kansas City. Last summer, Ruby traveled to Malawi to participate in "WiSci 2017", a 3-week STEM camp sponsored by the United Nations “Girl Up” campaign, where she received technology training alongside girls from seven African nations. Ruby is a winner of the NCWIT "Aspirations in Computing" award, and she was featured by Ink Magazine as one of Kansas City's "30 Under 30" for 2017. Ruby is the granddaughter of Kenneth and Barbara Bateman, who are lifelong Pittsburg residents and Gorilla fans.

Sandra Main

As a passionate advocate for self-care, Sandra Main has dedicated her life to helping others become the best versions of themselves. A mother of four children—age 25, 23, 12 and 10, Main feels that each child has offered her a different spin on life. Main is a Licensed Masters Level Psychologist but she feels that the most valuable lessons that she has learned stem from life experience and knowledge gathered over the last 25 years. Believing in the possibilities life has to offer, Main finds that people tend to get stuck trying to be what others tell them they should be rather than exploring their minds to find their own authenticity; As a result, she spends her time and energy helping people to realize their own power and potential.

Organizing team


Pittsburg, KS, United States