Ang Roell, an organizational change consultant and professional beekeeper, will explore the connections between honeybees and humans through their presentation What Honeybees Can Teach Us About Shaping Change. While Ang’s work is deeply rooted in rural places, they grew up in an apartment in Queens. Their favorite childhood explorations happened roaming the park near their house, while climbing trees and searching for bird and squirrel nests. Ang is inspired by collaborative ecological systems, Adrienne Maree Brown, their bee friend and mentor Sam Comfort, and the folks at Out in the Open (Brattleboro, VT), who provide opportunities for gathering queer community in rural places.
Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor
Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, Ph.D., an associate professor of history at Smith College, presents The N-Word in the Classroom as a means of creating community, meaning, and understanding around one of the most divisive words in the English language. Liz is inspired by her children and husband, by dusty archives, by the work of other Black women historians, by open-hearted students and by beautiful TV shows and movies. Her newest project is an historical and pedagogical memoir about the n-word framed by her own experience as a biracial woman in the United States who is also the daughter of iconic comedian Richard Pryor.
Depth psychologist, AASECT certified sex educator, and life coach focuses on self-awareness, connection and communication at home and in the workplace. Joli’s presentation is titled Compersion–the Opposite of Jealousy. Two little known fun facts about Joli are that she can deadlift 283 pounds and loves the color kiwi green. She is inspired by her big, blended family of seven teenagers because they don’t give up; they tumble, get back up, dust themselves off, and make the trouble into something worthwhile—much like her clients. Joli’s striving is all about making some part of this confusing thing we call life a little bit easier to handle and a lot more interesting.
Lynne Marie Wanamaker
Lynne Marie Wanamaker is the Associate Executive Director of Safe Passage, Inc., Hampshire County’s domestic violence services provider, as well as a founding member of the Empowerment Self Defense Alliance (ESDA). Their presentation is titled Three Truths to End Sexual Violence. When they are not working to end violence, Lynne Marie is happiest on a stand-up paddleboard. Inspiration for Lynne Marie comes from many sources, including their empowerment self-defense colleagues and students; their smart, kind, fierce, amazing daughter; survivors of sexual violence who speak out with courage and dignity; and healing professionals, who support survivors to grow their resilience and thrive.
Maya Mintz Coccoluto
A junior at Northampton High School, will present Connecting Through Creating: Students Against Sexual Harassment. Maya’s presentation explains how her peer-mentoring program for middle, elementary and high school students is building self-esteem and making sexual shaming and harassment among teens less prevalent. She loves creating ideas that can be shared with as many people as possible, learning about culture and history, and ceramics. Maya is inspired to be bold and brilliant by talking and learning from people around her, including those who are both older and much younger.
Mila Getmansky Sherman
Mila Getmansky Sherman, Ph.D., a finance professor at UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management, will focus on women and how they can support each other to build stronger financial skills and social networks. The title of her TEDxEasthamptonWomen talk is Step Up: How Risk-Taking & Networks Create Opportunities for Women. Mila is an advisor for Smart Women Securities at UMASS Amherst and loves mentoring students and see them grow to become financially independent, socially responsible, and strong women. In her spare time, Mila enjoys stick-fighting and running with her friend and her dog Crystal in the woods because of the physical and mental challenges these activities present. Mila is inspired by believing in herself, the goodness of others, and in the power of social connections.
Moumita Dasgupta, Ph.D. is a physics professor, now at Augsburg University. While teaching physics full-time at Smith College and Amherst College, Moumita developed a solution to improve healthcare outcomes for those most in need of care, as well as minimizing costs for missed appointments due to transportation problems. As a result, she created a software-based solution that helps healthcare providers to integrate patient scheduling with public transportation availability. Moumita’s presentation, Driven to Care, explains the improved process that she and her healthcare, transportation and community partners implemented in Worcester and the Pioneer Valley. This work has now received a substantial federal grant to pilot the solution in Jacksonville, FL and expand the work in the Pioneer Valley. Moumita enjoys having fun conversations about why a physicist would create a solution in another field (healthcare) and enjoys shattering stereotypes. She is inspired by the community support that she has received from her project partners, the challenge of solving a real-life problem, and the incentive of finding solutions to a problem that would significantly impact the lives of people around her, especially the more vulnerable population.
Pam Victor facilitates laughter, joy, and ease for Western Mass (and the world) as the Head of Happiness at Happier Valley Comedy. Her presentation, Meet Your Inner Critic: (And Tell It to Pipe Down), focuses on how each of us can realize our hopes and dreams to make the world a better place. One interesting fact about Pam is that she went to different schools in different cities, states, and countries every year from 7th grade until college, which contributed to her talent in seeing the funny side of life in almost any situation. Pam’s improv students and castmates inspire her everyday to try new approaches, take bigger risks, reframe her boo-boos into Yay! experiences, and in general, to become a better version of herself, making the world a happier place.