x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
March 14, 2020
7:00pm - 11:00pm MDT
(UTC -6hrs)
Helena, Montana
United States

TEDxCarrollCollege is an annual conference that provides the Helena community with the chance to see new and emerging ideas in research and academia. Hosted by the Carroll College Theatre Department.

Carroll College FLEX Theatre
1601 N Benton Ave
Helena, Montana, 59625
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Carroll­College events


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

Anna Wurzer

Anthrozoology and Psychology Student
Anna Wurzer was born in Fargo, ND to her two parents, Karen and Michael Wurzer, who have both lovingly raised her and provided her with endless support throughout her entire journey with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anna grew up aside her older sister, Claire, and a myriad of foster dogs that Anna rehabilitated and trained in her free time. Her passion for animals and for mental health led her to Carroll College to pursue a bachelor’s degree studying Anthrozoology and psychology. During Anna’s time at Carroll College, she has worked with many organizations, such as Youth Dynamics, Shodair Children’s Hospital, and Youth Aware of Mental Health, that help children learn how to effectively manage various forms of mental illnesses. Anna hopes to continue this work in the future by obtaining a Ph.D. in clinical psychology to further the research in the field and to counsel individuals striving to improve their mental health.

Brynn Shewman

Anthrozoology and Psychology Student
Brynn Shewman is from Anchorage, Alaska. She is currently a sophomore attending Carroll College in Helena, Montana. She is a student of Anthrozoology and Psychology. In the future, she plans to become a licensed therapist and work with young individuals with disabilities with the help of a therapy dog. She also intends to conduct more research pertaining to the evolving field of Anthrozoology. In her life, she hopes to inspire others to continue to pursue their dreams, and to search for even more knowledge pertaining to how humans and animals can synergistically aid one another and heighten each species quality of life.

Erik Escobar

Comedian and Educator
Erik Escobar is a comedian who has performed all over the United States at clubs, colleges, and theatres. You can catch him on NBC's Last Comic Standing, Buzzfeed, and the upcoming feature film VHYes alongside Tim Robbins and Thomas Lennon. He holds a Masters in Fine Arts with a focus in Comedy Studies from Goddard College and teaches workshops in comedy and improvisation at University of Portland, Whittier College, and Portland State University. Erik currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with his shih-tzu, Rancor. Follow Erik on Instagram at @ErikEscobar

Jeanette M. Fregulia

Associate Professor of History
Originally from northern California, Jeanette earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, a Master of Arts in Middle East Studies from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, and a Ph.D. in Renaissance History from the University of Nevada, Reno. She is currently associate professor and chair of the Department of History at Carroll College in Helena, Montana. Jeanette’s research and publications center on commerce, trade, and cultural exchanges between Medieval/early modern Italy and the eastern Mediterranean, and also on the history of the Middle East and Islam. Jeanette has lived, worked, volunteered, and traveled extensively around the world. Among Jeanette’s greatest professional joys are leading Carroll students and members of the community on study abroad experiences, guiding undergraduate research, and encouraging students to follow their passions.

Katy Wright

After almost two decades, Katy Wright is proud to call Helena home. Katy is a National Board Certified Teacher, holds Bachelors degrees in both Theatre and Soviet Area Studies (now known as Russian and East European Studies)from Middlebury College, and has a Masters in Montessori Education from St. Catherine University. Katy is a founding member of Improv Mining Company, co-produces an annual education-themed sketch comedy show, and is proud to have worked with Grandstreet Theatre, Helena Symphony, and Helena Theatre Company over the years. Katy hopes to earn her doctorate in Educational Leadership and work in national public education policy in the near future. She thanks her husband, Scott, and all of their 6 kids for putting up with her incessant talking about Montessori education and how it can solve all of our problems in public education for the past 8 years.

Madison Fernandez

Content Strategist, Communications and Public Relations Student
Madison Fernandez is a Senior at Carroll College born and raised in Newport Beach, California. Receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Public Relations emphasis in Television Production with a minor in Gender Studies and a certificate in Social Media. Madison has worked as a Social Media and Marketing Consultant, a Content Strategist, and a Public Relations Intern with multiple organizations in Helena and her hometown Newport Beach. Madison is the Co-President of FAE (Feminists Advocating Equality) and is the 2020 student coordinator for Spring Fever.

Marie Z. Bourgeois

Civil Engineer and Biomimicry Professional, Educator
Marie Zanowick Bourgeois is a creative civil engineer with 30 years of experience working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the areas of pollution prevention and sustainability. A graduate of the Biomimicry 2010 Masters Degree Program, she combines her educational background from the University of Colorado in Biology, Public Health, and her MS degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and MS from Arizona State University (ASU) in Biomimicry with her regulatory experience and facilitation skills to produce innovative solutions to a wide range of challenges. Ms. Bourgeois uses biomimicry as the method of choice in solving environmental challenges. Recently retired from government service, Marie serves as a Faculty Advisor and educator for the MS in Biomimicry at ASU and is discovering places in her local community where biomimicry can assist in applying nature’s genius to a range of projects and influence emerging engineers.

Rachel Bechtel

Disability Rights Advocate, Psychology and Spanish Student
Rachel is from Moscow, Idaho, where she had the opportunity to learn about disability culture through her brother and father who experience progressive hearing loss and the family’s furry companion Dash who serves as a hearing dog. Rachel is now in her final year at Carroll College, where she studies Psychology and Spanish. She is also currently completing an honors thesis on the disability wage gap in Montana. This research is funded through the Mamie Phipps Clark Diversity Research Grant. At Carroll, Rachel serves as the Americans with Disabilities Act Student Representative and also works to promote accessibility across campus through the student Accessibility Task Force. Outside of campus, Rachel has continued to become a better ally through her internship at Disability Rights Montana. After graduation, she hopes to pursue further disability advocacy experience and eventually attend law school to become a disability rights attorney.

Rachel Carroll Rivas

Co-Executive Director of the Montana Human Rights Network
Rachel has worked to expose the anti-democratic white nationalist forces and organize communities to respond to hate activity for over a decade. She has supported rural community organizing and research across the West. Previously, she worked for The Policy Institute, a progressive think-tank and leadership organization, the Western Rural Development Center and Jeannette Rankin Peace Center. She has served on the boards of Montana Conservation Voters and Big Sky Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. She has two small children and her husband, Diego, works on clean energy policy. Rachel was raised in Montana by parents who were public servants and instilled in her a strong moral compass and the value of civic engagement from an early age. Rachel's collegiate studies were at North Dakota State, University of Montana, Illinois State and Utah State University. Rachel is honored to work in collaboration and solidarity with communities in Montana, the Western U.S. and well beyond.

Ryan Hazen

Instructional Technologist
Ryan is an academic technologist, classroom designer, Moodle administrator, videographer, and instructional designer at Carroll College. He is also an independent educational consultant and designer in the nonprofit, governmental, and private sectors. He holds an M.Ed. from Montana State University in Curriculum & Instruction and has a combined 11 years of experience in K12 and higher ed, both as a teacher and as an academic consultant. He is a regular speaker at national educational technology conferences, including EdSpaces, USMoot, UBTech, CCUMC, NWMET, and others. He is the Vice President of the Northwest Managers of Educational Technology, Chief Mootineer of the MountainMoot, and a "Particularly Helpful Moodler." Ryan's last time on the TEDx stage was TEDx Helena in 2018, where he spoke about urban farming and learning environments.

Organizing team


Helena, MT, United States
  • Amber Barnes
  • Andy Shirtliff
  • Madi Weisberg