Author of Celebrating Failure; Product Designer
Brain of a Techie, yet heart of an Artist! Dhruv Avdhesh is an exuberant, experienced designer who believes in challenging the status quo in whatever he does including his book ‘Celebrating Failure’. Avdhesh is on a journey to spread happiness by harnessing the power of technology and design. He is always on the edge of innovative and unaccustomed opportunities. Avdhesh has built an armour of technical prowess that enables him to add values to organizations in more ways than the ones he has expertise in. He specializes in product design and user experience but has received appreciations for his entrepreneurial outlook. Avdhesh has a resolute belief in "dreams are free but the hustle is sold separately" which has motivated him time and time again to step out of his comfort zone to do what he loves! Avdhesh's talk will be titled "Celebrate Failure."
Adjunct Professor; Chief Human Resources Officer; Chief Diversity Officer at YMCA Greater Rochester
Fernán R. Cepero, MA, MS, PHR, SHRM-CP, is a YMCA of the USA certified Organizational & Global Leader. For the YMCA of the USA he holds the position of Human Resource Partner, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Chief Diversity Officer for the YMCA of Greater Rochester. Cepero is also an Adjunct Professor of Human Resource Management, Diversity & Inclusion, and Organizational Management at The Rochester Institute of Technology, Southern New Hampshire University, Meadville College, Bryant & Stratton College, Monroe Community College, St. John Fisher College, the University of Phoenix and Southern New Hampshire University. Cepero's talk is titled The Destiny of Your Name.
Student at St. John Fisher College
Jared Waldron is currently enrolled in his final year of undergraduate studies at St. John Fisher College. Waldron is on route to earn his B.A. in Anthropology and Spanish which he plans to utilize in the nonprofit immigration sector. In his junior year of college Waldron studied language in Costa Rica for 4 months and focused on the effect it had on social interactions. Waldron will be speaking about the benefits of a second language. His talk is entitled How a Second Language Can Enrich Our Relationships.
Associate Professor and Chair of American Studies at St. John Fisher College
Dr. Jenna Rossi is Associate Professor and Chair of American Studies at St. John Fisher College. Dr. Rossi teaches Sustained Dialogue in the classroom and she leads faculty development for colleagues who are introducing this process into their classes. Her research includes difficult dialogues and pedagogy, whiteness and race theory, gender studies, and African American women’s literature and cultural history. Rossi will be giving a talk entitled Using Dialogue in the Classroom.
High School Student; Youth Activist
Maeve Reed is a senior at Fairport High School. Reed is a passionate suicide prevention and mental health activist. Her activist journey began after the loss of a close friend to suicide. Reed decided there needed to be change in the way our culture addresses the topic so she and a group of friends started a nonprofit organization called Stop the Stigma ROC. This organization seeks to reduce the stigma in order to prevent suicide and promote mental health. Reed's talk is entitled The Power of Youth Activism.
Assistant Director of Experiential Education at the Wegmans School of Pharmacy
Dr. Matthew Zak, Pharm.D., BCPS is the Assistant Director of Experiential Education of the Wegmans School of Pharmacy at St. John Fisher College. Zak is board certified in pharmacotherapy and has over 12 years of practice experience in a variety of inpatient settings. He is the President of the Rochester Chapter of the New York State Council of Health-system Pharmacists (NYSCHP) and sits on the board of NYSCHP as Director of Chapter Services. Zak's main professional interests include experiential education, emergency medicine, critical care, and public health education. Zak will be giving a talk entitled Beyond the D.A.R.E.
English, Women's Studies, and American Studies Professor at St. John Fisher College
Max Backer is a queer poet and spoken word artist from Rochester, NY. She teaches English, Women's Studies, and American Studies at St. John Fisher College. Backer was a 2012 Lambda Fellow in Poetry and has performed in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Boston, Toronto, and New York City. Her talk is entitled No One has Imagines Us: The Gender Non Binary Experience.
Women's College Basketball Coach
Melissa Kuberka is in her second year as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at St. John Fisher College. Kuberka received her B.S. in Biology from SUNY Geneseo, where she was an All-American basketball player. After Geneseo, Kuberka earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University at Buffalo where she focused on aggression and impulsivity in athletes, the roles of gender, and sport type. Prior to her time at Fisher, Kuberka was the basketball and lacrosse coach at Hilbert College. Kuberka will be giving a talk entitled Who's on the Sideline?
Attorney; Director of Advocacy at the Center for Disability Rights
Stephanie Woodward is an attorney and the Director of Advocacy at the Center for Disability Rights. Woodward is a proud disabled person and member of ADAPT, a national grassroots community that organizes to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom. She has been arrested multiple times while advocating for Disability Rights. Woodward will be giving a talk entitled Not the Inspiration You're Expecting.