Community-organizer and educator
Ariana (Ari) Brazier is an anti-racist play-driven community-organizer and educator. She is an English, Critical & Cultural Studies, Doctoral Candidate at the University of Pittsburgh. Ari conducts community-based ethnographic research with Black students and families living in poverty in the southeast United States and documents how Black child play functions as a grassroots praxis. She uses play to develop a shared analysis that organizes people around historically marginalized voices and their creative contributions to imagining new worlds.
Ari is the CEO and co-founder of the 501c3 nonprofit ATL Parent Like A Boss, Inc. (Parent LAB) whose mission is to enhance generational literacies through play in underserved African American communities. Parent LAB is creating a strengths-based approach to highlighting and extending the literacy-building practices Black families already possess.
Ari graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in English Literature from Spelman College.
Student + TBD
Trombonist and Women's Advocate
Rebecca Cherian was awarded the position of Co-Principal Trombone of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra by Lorin Maazel in 1989. She has been trombone instructor at Carnegie Mellon University since 1993. Cherian was a founding member of the International Women’s Brass Conference in 1994 and served as the IWBC Newsletter Editor for five years.
Cherian began her professional career at the age of 16 as trombonist with the San Jose Symphony and, at the age of 17, she appeared as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony as a result of winning First Prize in their Young Musicians’ Awards. Cherian holds degrees from The California Institute of the Arts and The Yale School of Music.
In September of 1993, Cherian performed at the White House in Washington, D.C. for the opening reception of the Annual International Women’s Forum.
Cherian has recorded two solo CDs, “Water Awakening” and “L’Invitation au Voyage,” and multiple recordings with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Sridhar Tayur is the Ford Distinguished Research Chair and University Professor of Operations Management at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University and his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Madras (where he is a Distinguished Alumnus Award winner). He is an INFORMS Fellow, a Distinguished Fellow of MSOM Society and has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). He has been a visiting professor at Cornell, MIT and Stanford.