Our speakers have been selected thoughtfully to reflect TEDxChapmanU’s theme of Icons, Geniuses & Mavericks. Their stories will stir your mind with new thoughts, inspire deeper conversations, and elevate you to look at yourself, and others, through a new set of lenses.
Founder & Game Designer
Liz Fiacco is an entrepreneur and game designer with experience at game studios such as Obsidian Entertainment and Nickelodeon Virtual Worlds. Additionally, she has also taught game design to high school students for summer programs at iDTech camp. She graduated from Chapman University in 2012 with a BFA in Digital Arts and minors in game development and honors. After graduation, she founded Fallstreak Studio with the development team of Axle, winner of the IEEE Gamesig Intercollegiate Showcase. Subsequently, they raised over $20,000 through crowdfunding on Kickstarter to fund commercial release of the game. Recently, Liz and her co-founders Jessica Kernan and Lauren Gragg were recognized as a part of 2013′s “Twenty Women to Watch” in the OC Metro, Orange County’s business magazine.
Dean of the Argyros School of Business and Economics
Reginald (Reggie) H. Gilyard is the Dean of the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University. Reggie was formerly a partner and managing director with The Boston Consulting Group – a $3B+ global management consulting firm. He also previously served as a member of the BCG America’s Leadership Team, one of three company-wide regional boards. In addition, he currently sits on the boards of the Orange County Business Council, The United Way of Orange County, The Orange County Forum, Pacific Charter School Development, The Broad Foundation Charter Management Organization Award selection committee, and The Citadel Foundation. Prior to BCG, Reggie served in the U.S. Air Force as a Program Manager responsible for the development, production, and fielding of global intelligence systems. Reggie is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy where he received a BS in Mathematics/Operations Research, a 1989 graduate of the Air Force Institute of Technology where he received an MS in Computer Systems Engineering, and a 1996 graduate of the Harvard Business School where he received a Master of Business Administration degree.
Co-founder & CTO
Michael Goldsby has been described as an innovative scientist with the pragmatism of a business entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in the commercial software industry. Dr. Goldsby has successfully co-founded four startups, held leadership and executive positions with organizations such as Disney, Veritas Scientific and Qualcomm in the U.S. and Europe. He has won multiple software innovation awards and been recognized by many industry publications as a leader in creating game-changing solutions. Currently, Dr. Goldsby is co-founder and CTO of Jointly Health, an innovative new software company that provides an advanced analytics platform for the healthcare industry. His academic works (and his passion) have provided new insights into nonlinear dynamic systems by applying unique distributed machine learning techniques to real-time sensor data combined with traditional data sources. Over the last nine years he has dedicated himself to health informatics research at UCSD School of Medicine, in order to investigate the intersection of translational bioinformatics combined with what is being called ‘new health data’. His doctoral work explored the use of distributed analytics for application in ultra-scale sensing, and he holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science.
University of Southern California
Playwright / Associate Director and Assistant Professor of the Master of Professional Writing Program
Prince Gomolvilas is a Thai-American playwright. His plays include Big Hunk o’ Burnin’ Love, The Theory of Everything, and the stage adaptation of the Scott Heim novel, Mysterious Skin, which have been produced around United States, in the U.K., and in Singapore. He received the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Drama. He has toured around the country with musician Brandon Patton as part of the critically acclaimed, storytelling, song-singing, bingo-playing duo, Jukebox Stories, which has also been presented at the National Asian American Theatre Festival. He is the Associate Director of the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, where he is also an Assistant Professor. www.princegomolvilas.com
Rage Against the Minivan (blog) / Vanguard University
Blog Author / Professor
Kristen is a marriage and family therapist and professor of psychology at Vanguard University. Kristen is the author of the blog Rage Against the Minivan, where she explores issues of identity, race, adoption, parenting, and the sometimes embarrassing indignities of motherhood. In addition to her own blog, Kristen is the editor of ShePosts, an online magazine dedicated to women in social media. She is also a regular contributor to Disney’s parenting site Babble, as well as to Huffington Post and OC Family Magazine. Kristen has made numerous television appearances to talk about parenting issues, including CNN, The View, The Ricki Lake Show, Good Morning America, and The Today Show. In the spring of 2010, Kristen lost her long and passionate battle against the minivan. It now sits in her driveway covered in crushed cheerios and remnants of her self-esteem.
Assistant Professor and member of Chapman’s Center for Quantum Studies
After receiving his PhD in Theoretical Physics in 1999, Prof. Ali Nayeri, was appointed as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Physics at MIT for 2 years and as a Research Fellow and Lecturer at the MIT’s Center for Theoretical Physics for an additional year. Since then, he has been a Research Affiliate at the MIT’s Laboratories of Nuclear Sciences. He was also a Research Scientist and Visiting Assistant Professor at the Institute for Fundamental Theory at University of Florida from 2002-2004. He then joined the Harvard Physics Department in Cambridge. Currently Dr. Nayeri is an assistant professor and member of Chapman’s Center for Quantum Studies. Dr. Nayeri is a member of the prestigious Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in University of California, Santa Barbara and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Nayeri’s fields of research include, string and brane cosmology, early universe and inflation, general relativity, statistical physics of semi-classical theory of quantum gravity, and alternative cosmologies. He has published numerous papers in various scientific journals in the US, UK, Europe, Netherlands and Russia. Dr. Nayeri is also among the top 100 Iranian-American Scientists and he has been chosen for Marquis Who’s Who in America, 2008-2011. He is amongst the few physicists who have been chosen by the American Mathematical Society to act as the reviewer of the mathematical papers. Dr. Nayeri has also been working on the application of physics and chaos theory on social sciences and sociology, and has given numerous talks on popularizing science and interrelation of sociology and physics. He is the cofounder and president of the board of directors of the AndishgAh an Iranian Think Tank based in Los Angeles, CA (www.andishgaah.org). Dr. Nayeri was the cofounder and member of the Board of Directors of the Iranian Studies Group (ISG) at MIT. He is also member and the chair of the Scientific Program of the Association of Professors and Scholars of Iranian Heritage (APSIH: www.apsih.org). Dr. Nayeri, along with Abbas Milani, has chaired the “Iran: Future Prospects” at Stanford from 2004 to 2006. Dr. Nayeri has appeared on a number of TV and radio programs including but not limited to BBC Persian TV, KRSI, KIRN 670 AM, VOA-TV, BBC World Service and CNN.com. He is also active member of Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Federation of American Scientists (FAS).
Born in Melrose, Massachusetts, Mark Pampanin never spoke a word for the first year of his life. Just about when his parents were questioning their child’s sanity, he started talking – and hasn’t stopped since. After growing up performing, writing, and working in politics in the northeast, Mark moved out to Southern California to study political science and Spanish in a part of the country he had never seen before. When Mark first found Chapman’s Speech and Debate team in fall 2012, he mistook it for a G.E. on public speaking. He was wrong. Turns out he accidently found one of the most challenging and fulfilling activities he’s ever done at Chapman, and in one short year went from completely novice competitor to national champion. The speech he will perform is from the speech that won the national title at Pi Kappa Delta’s spring 2013 national competition. Aside from speaking up a storm Mark enjoys writing up one, too. As opinions editor for The Panther, Chapman’s only independent student-run newspaper, Mark acts as Chapman’s only full-time columnist. Mark’s uses his weekly columns to open discussion, promote debate, and always find meaning among his fellow raucous and young 20-somethings. Mark advised over some of those 20-somethings as a Resident Advisor for Chapman’s Office of Housing and Residence life this past year, a leadership experience he’ll never forget. Whether in speech or print, his mission isn’t to find all the answers, but to never stop questioning. You can follow Mark’s weekly columns at: www.thepantheronline.com/opinion
Miss District of Columbia 2012
Allyn Rose won the title of Miss District of Columbia 2012 on June 17, 2012, and competed in the 2013 Miss America pageant. She also represented Maryland at the 2011 Miss USA pageant, placing in the Top 8 and receiving America’s vote for “Best in Evening Gown.” After losing her mother to breast cancer at the age of 16, Rose partnered with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the Tigerlilly Foundation. Her platform of educating youth in preventive healthcare measures - Breast Cancer: Planning a Marathon, Running a Sprint has been featured on Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, America Live with Megyn Kelly, E! News, Today Show, Katie Couric, Inside Edition, in PEOPLE Magazine, US Weekly, Cosmopolitan, InTouch Magazine and Allyn was a FOX Power Player of the Week. After losing her mother, grandmother and great aunt to breast cancer, Rose shocked the world in November 2012 by announcing that she would undergo a prophylactic double mastectomy as a preventive measure to prolong her life. With a B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, Rose plans to become a constitutional attorney and works as a paralegal.
President & COO
As President and COO of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell is responsible for day to day operations and for managing all customer and strategic relations to support company growth. She joined SpaceX in 2002 as Vice President of Business Development and built the Falcon vehicle family manifest to more than 50 launches, representing over $5 billion in revenue. Shotwell is a member of the SpaceX Board of Directors. Prior to joining SpaceX, Shotwell spent more than 10 years at the Aerospace Corporation. There she held positions in Space Systems Engineering & Technology as well as Project Management. She was promoted to the role of Chief Engineer of an MLV class satellite program, managed a landmark study for the Federal Aviation Administration on commercial space transportation, and completed an extensive analysis of space policy for NASA’s future investment in space transportation. Shotwell was subsequently recruited to be Director of Microcosm’s Space Systems Division, where she served on the executive committee and directed corporate business development. Shotwell also served as a Chair of the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) Space Systems Technical Committee, and in 2013, was elected to AIAA’s honorable grade of Fellow. Shotwell participates in a variety of STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics) related programs, including the Frank J. Redd Student Scholarship Competition. Under her leadership the committee raised more than $350,000 in scholarships in six years. Shotwell was named winner of the 2011 World Technology Award for Individual Achievement in Space, and in June 2012 she was inducted into the Women In Technology International Hall of Fame. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Space Security. Shotwell received, with honors, her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, and currently serves on the Advisory Council for Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering. She has authored dozens of papers on a variety of subjects including standardizing spacecraft/payload interfaces, conceptual small spacecraft design, infrared signature target modeling, space shuttle integration, and reentry vehicle operational risks.
Director of the Master of Science graduate program in Health and Strategic Communication / Professor
Lisa Sparks, Ph.D., (University of Oklahoma, 1998) is Foster and Mary McGaw Endowed Professor in Behavioral Sciences at Chapman University in Orange, California where she serves as Head/Director of the Master of Science graduate program in Health and Strategic Communication in the Schmid College of Science and Technology. Dr. Sparks also serves as Full Member of the Chao Family/NCI Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Irvine in the School of Medicine, Division of Population Sciences; and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Population Health and Disease Prevention, Program in Public Health. Prior to joining Chapman in 2006, Dr. Sparks occupied faculty positions at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Sparks is a highly regarded teacher-scholar whose published work spans more than 100 research articles and scholarly book chapters, and is the author and editor of more than ten books in the areas of communication, health, and aging with a distinct focus on intersections of provider-patient interaction and family decision-making as related to cancer communication science. She was recently cited as top ten prolific authors (tied for 7th) in Health Communication, 2012; (see Kim, J.N., Park, S.C., Yoo, S.W., & Shen, H. (2012). Mapping health communication scholarship: Breadth, depth, and agenda of published research in Health Communication. Health Communication, 25, 487-503. Check out Dr. Sparks’ invited talk on Health Risk Messages and Decision-Making at 2011 TEDx OrangeCoast event Dr. Sparks has served as Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-PI on a number of research grants including the ASCO-Komen Improving Cancer Care Grant, funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure (2011-2012): An intervention trial of text messaging to improve patient adherence to adjuvant hormonal therapy (with A. I. Neugut; D. Hershman); National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) Cooperative Grant Award S1105. (2012-2015): Randomized trial of a text messaging intervention to reduce discontinuation of adjuvant aromatase inhibitor therapy (with A.I. Neugut; D. Hershman); California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) Grant Award: Statewide Stigma and Discrimination Reduction: Partnering with Media and the Entertainment Industry (2011-2014); and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Grant Award: Hablamos juntos: Improving patient-provider communication for Latinos. Dr. Sparks has also served as a scientific consultant and advisor to the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, Institute for Healthcare Advancement, American Medical Association, American Medical Student Association, Educational Testing Service, Southwest Oncology Group, American Association of Cancer Research, Entertainment Industries Council and the United States House of Representatives at the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. She is a Founding Senior Scientific Research Fellow for the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC), Burbank, CA/Reston, VA and a National Scientific Advisor for the Entertainment and Media Communication Institute, Center for Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention in partnership with the Sun Safety Alliance. Dr. Sparks is a former Cancer Communication Research Fellow for the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD and has served as an External Scientific Reviewer for NIH. Dr. Sparks’ recent books include Patient-Provider Interaction: A Global Health Communication Perspective (Polity Press, 2010 with M. Villagran), Health Communication in the 21st Century (Blackwell, 2008 with K. B. Wright and H. D. O’Hair) 2nd edition (2012), Handbook of Communication and Cancer Care (Hampton Press, 2007 with H. D. O’Hair and G. L. Kreps), Cancer, Communication and Aging (Hampton Press, 2008 with H. D. O’Hair and G. L. Kreps), La Comunicación en el Cancer: Comunicación y apoyo emocional en el laberinto del cancer (Aresta, 2009 with M. Villagran). Dr. Sparks has served as Editor of Communication Research Reports; Guest Editor of Patient Education and Counseling, Health Communication and Communication Education and serves on several editorial boards including Health Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and Communication Quarterly. Dr. Sparks’ research goal is to understand and create evidence based health messages that effectively change health behavior resulting in better health outcomes by applying social science theory and methods to the continuum of cancer care surrounding issues of health promotion, disease prevention, survivorship, and health disparities. Dr. Sparks’ research and teaching interests in intergroup (intergenerational, intercultural) communication and aging approaches merge with her research in health, risk, and crisis communication domains including provider-patient interaction, family caregiving, health information and decision-making, patient-centered communication, breaking bad news, health literacy, health organizations, interpersonal based public health campaigns, communicating about crises, and communicating relevant messages with vulnerable populations when information is uncertain during periods of health risk. Her achievements, leadership qualities, and strong commitment to advance the intersections of Communication, Health, Aging and Cancer Communication Sciences are significant as evidenced by: a) the number of publications (over 100) most of which are peer-reviewed; b) the obtainment and consistent effort to obtain competitive peer-reviewed research grants and contracts; c) the recognition of her scientific stature; d) her collaborations with the top national and international scientists in communication and related scientific fields such as public health, medicine, and gerontology; e) her teaching and mentoring of numerous undergraduate and graduate students and junior faculty; and f) her demonstrated leadership and administrative roles as Head/Director of the Health and Strategic Communication Graduate Program at Chapman University, Editor of Communication Research Reports, Guest Editor of Health Communication, Patient Education and Counseling, and Communication Education as well as her editorial service for a number of peer-reviewed journals and continued service on several executive boards and associations.
Jennifer Sullivan is an award-winning licensing, marketing and brand strategist with extensive experience in building strategic alliances among businesses. Some of the world’s most recognizable firms——from niche brands to global retail, entertainment, technology and packaged goods companies—have turned to her for tactical assistance in developing licensing and integrated marketing campaigns. In the process, she has helped her partners generate astonishing revenue and limitless amounts of social currency. Sullivan is known for her ability to seamlessly connect the dots in high impact ways for companies like 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Microsoft, NFL, Viacom, LucasFilm, Universal Studios and many more. Today, Sullivan serves as president of memBrain, a global agency offering licensing and business strategy services for a select group of entertainment, art, music and fashion brands as well as consulting services for global brand leaders.
Los Angeles Times / Tribune Publishing
President & COO
Kathy Thomson has served as the President and Chief Operating Office of the Los Angeles Times Media Group (LATMG) since May 2011. In addition, she was named as Tribune Publishing’s Chief Operating Officer, a newly created position, in April 2013.Thomson is responsible for overseeing The Times’ growing portfolio of products, including all editorial, advertising sales, business services, marketing and operational functions.In her Tribune role, she works with all of the company’s publishing units to lead strategic initiatives including expansion of digital products and services, the formation of a cross-functional team focused on innovation, the promotion of process efficiency, and the increased use of video. Thomson returned to LATMG after serving for the past 18 months as VP, Business Operations at FLO TV Incorporated, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated. She was Chief of Staff at The Times from September 2008 to 2009, responsible for coordinating new initiatives, projects and project planning as well as restructuring efforts. She joined LATMG from Energy Innovations where she was the company’s Chief Operating Officer and after spending 15 years in a variety of positions at DIRECTV, culminating in the role of Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing Operations. In that position she oversaw a number of business transformational initiatives to reduce customer churn and increase revenue. She was a member of the senior management team and oversaw a variety of areas during her tenure including sales, revenue growth, marketing, and business operations. Thomson received her B. S. from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah and an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. She resides in Manhattan Beach with her husband and two children.
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