2019 Speaker & Performer Lineup


Caroline Bennett

Intentionally utilizes the vehicles of spoken word, song, research and story-telling to challenge education stakeholders’ “un”conscious investment in Eurocentric pedagogy and culturally incompetent restorative practices and its’ contribution to Black students’ traumatic experiences in K-12 public and charter school classrooms.

Maureen Haynes

Discussing her research on teacher experiences and narratives surrounding public education in Oklahoma

Tori Meehan

Markers of eating disorders that are increasingly normalized within our society and some quick solutions

Mike Troilo

The positives as well as the downsides of blockchain technology and sustainable development

Lydia Cheshewalla

Why inclusivity in historical narrative matters

Jonathan Neff

The science behind his gluten free brewery, and why building spaces for everyone is so important

Karen Fuhrmeister

Why people should care about assessments, on the hiring side as well as the prospective employee side

Rigel Bacani

Implementing harm reduction to improve health care outcomes and communities

Abigail Williams

The Rhythm of Ireland: An Irish Dance Performance


Nathan Hutchins, Alison Kerr, Sarah Otto

People connecting their diverse academic backgrounds to research user acceptance of autonomous vehicles

Eric Cullen

Prison reform and the incarceration rate of women in Oklahoma, and his project to help nonviolent offenders get out on parole

Mike Haskins

The importance of utilizing debate in vulnerable schools to teach critical thinking

Kirk Wester

Bridging the Disparity Gap: Tying the success of the privileged to those who are not

Brandy B. Marion

How to make the most money, and pay the least amount of taxes...legally

Jennifer Clark

Integrating our experiences of suffering and wellbeing creates a foundation to redefine health, we must build systems and communities toward this end

Andrew Aken

Facing a critical shortage of cyber security personnel, and the work is more interesting and accessible than you think

Weston Horn & The Hush

How to pursue your passion in an oversaturated market

Speaker Spotlight: Catherine Aaronson

Catherine Aaronson Advocate for the Elderly

“Between growing up volunteering at my local retirement home and taking care of my grandma in her old age, I found myself thrown into a world that was crueler than expected and it inspired an intense desire to make a change- starting with spreading awareness.”

Websites: www.theodysseyonline.com/user/@catherineaaronson

Catherine Lynn Elizabeth Aaronson, the fifth is a student at the University of Tulsa studying Biology, Chemistry, and Creative Writing at the University of Tulsa to become future veterinarian. On campus she’s spotted wearing a jean jacket, talking about music, writing in highlighter, and drinking water out of a bottle covered in stickers. In highschool, through studying forensics, Aaronson found her voice in public speaking, performance, and spreading awareness for her beliefs. She would like to be known as the the girl with hair as big as her heart.

Catherine’s Talk: Abuse Hurts at Any Age

Performer Spotlight: Autumn Slaughter

Autumn Slaughter Clinical psychology doctoral student

"My poetry helps me marry what I know with what I experience."

Autumn Slaughter is a doctoral student in the University of Tulsa’s clinical psychology program. Her psychology background also includes a masters in counseling psychology from Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City. In addition to psychology, Autumn also studied English in her undergraduate program at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL.

She has been a featured poet at poetry readings in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and her work has appeared in regional magazines and on websites. Autumn has also published five books, including a memoir that explores trauma and depression (published under her maiden name) and two books of poetry.

Autumn will be performing spoken word.

Speaker Spotlight: DC Hegdale

DC Hegdale Birth Doula, Midwife

“My mission is to return childbirth to the previously common and easily discussed women’s topic in the US.”

Facebook: DC Hegdale Midwifery Research

Over 20 years of studying childbirth led Ms. Hegdale to training as a Birth Doula, Childbirth Educator, and Midwifery Assistant. Publishing a childbirth class workbook, and working as a Doula and Midwife led her to irresistible research questions, which required further education. After earning an Associate’s degree in Sociology and History as an Honors Graduate at Tulsa Community College, her research cravings are now being satisfied at the University of Tulsa. Topping that list is an investigation of pregnancy and birth across histories and cultures with the intent of contributing to improvement of US infant and maternal mortality rates.

DC’s Talk-Maternal health care isn’t healthy

Speaker Spotlight: Katie Plohocky

Katie Plohocky Founder of the Healthy Community Store Initiative

“Having easily accessible healthy food leads to healthier lives”

Katie L.Plohocky earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Leadership from Baker College and a MBA from the University of Phoenix. She is a Principal of StreetLife, LLC, a consultancy firm specializing in integrated urban strategies. She is also works for TEDC serving as the Project Manager overseeing the construction and leasing of The Shoppes on Peoria, an innovative economic development model to create new businesses and jobs in underserved communities. Plohocky is also the project manager for a USDA Community Food Project grant and consultant for the Tulsa Community Wellness Partnership TSET grant. She is a part of the Tulsa County Wellness Partnership to encourage Healthy Eating and Active Living. This resolution initiative deals with the importance of food accessibility, city walkability and employee wellness, just to name a few issues. She also serves on the Tulsa Food Security Council. Her latest project is being the founder of the Healthy Community Store Initiative (HSCI) whose mission is to provide quality, fresh food to the Oklahoma community through providing access to healthy community stores.

Katie’s Talk: Throwaway nation: food waste and food insecurity

Speaker Spotlight: Dr. Kathy Campbell

Kathy M. Campbell PharmD, Owner of Medicap Pharmacy

“Understanding that obesity is simply the symptom to a greater problem is integral in creating a healthier, happier society”

websites www.drkathy.com. DrKathyweightloss.com.

Kathy M. Campbell, PharmD, received her BS in Zoology and BS in Pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma in 1992. She completed her Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma in 2005 and has been a practicing clinical community pharmacist continually since 1992. Together with her husband Royce, Dr. Campbell has owned and operated Medicap Pharmacy in Owasso, OK since 2001. Dr. Campbell currently practices as an appointment-based clinical pharmacist and has successfully developed and implemented the lifestyle and weight loss program, The primary focus of Dr. Campbell’s practice is assisting patients in not needing pharmaceuticals and if needed, in optimizing their use. Dr. Kathy is committed to supporting individuals’ great lives by coaching them in creating a culture that produces health.

Kathy’s Talk: Obesity, The Modern Symptom

Speaker Spotlight: Dr. Danielle Carlotti- Smith

Dr. Danielle Carlotti-Smith Writer, scholar, and an adjunct professor at the University of Tulsa

“Comparing the perception of adjunct professors in academia to the perception of humanities on a college campus”

Dr. Carlotti-Smith is a writer, scholar, and an adjunct professor of comparative literature at the University of Tulsa in the Global Scholars Program. She also currently serves as a Research Fellow at the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities. Dr. Carlotti-Smith earned her Ph.D. in French at the University of Virginia. She specializes in French and Francophone literature, culture, and film, with a focus on Francophone Caribbean and New World Studies, postcolonial studies, and migration studies. A self-professed “third culture kid,” Dr. Carlotti-Smith is a dual citizen of Brazil and the United States, and was raised in Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Singapore, Japan, and Belgium, has studied and worked in France, and is fluent in English, Portuguese, French, and Spanish. She particularly enjoys snuggling and reading with her 3- and 7-year-old daughters and their rescue dog, Abby.

Danielle’s Talk- "An adjunct explains why literature matters"

Speaker Spotlight: Dr. Tracy Suter

Dr. Tracy A. Suter David and Leslie Lawson Chair at the University of Tulsa

“The hidden killer to creativity”

Dr. Tracy A. Suter received his Ph.D in Marketing from the University of Arkansas. He joined The University of Tulsa as the first holder of the David and Leslie Lawson Chair in 2016. From 2001-16 he was a faculty member at Oklahoma State University.He has taught a variety of courses with most recent emphasis on Applied Creativity and Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He is co-author of two books, over 20 journal articles, over 80 presentations at regional, national, and international conferences, and over 100 individual and student-assisted consulting projects. He has received numerous awards and grants for both research and teaching activities including the University of Arkansas Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Sherwin-Williams Distinguished Teaching Competition Award at the Society for Marketing Advances. Additionally, Dr. Suter has been interviewed by ABC News, CNN, USA Today, and the Washington Post among others. He was also twice nominated by Apple, Inc. for the Apple Distinguished Educators Award

Tracy’s Talk: A critical review of the expansive works of Anthony Ray

Speaker Spotlight: Written Quincey

Written Quincey Artist, Teacher, Activist

“Poetry is fatherhood, social justice, activism, love making, brainstorming, teaching, learning, reading, questioning theory, questioning lyricism, using lyricism to challenge the monotony of tradition.”

websites: https://twitter.com/writtenquincey

Originally from College Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio, Written Quincey has called Tulsa, Ok home for the past twelve years. A visionary with a creative lens through artistic expression, this gentleman capitalizes on favor and skill to enhance one of the world's most ancient forms of literature. Q, known to many, studied at the University of Cincinnati, apprenticed in AmeriCorp has traveled the nation since 1997 and performed in over 50 venues. Since 2014, he has held position as the Artist in Residence at Tulsa Central High School for Fine and Performing Arts; Poetry Committee member at Living Arts; Slam Poetry Coach with Louder Than A Bomb and founder of Cypher120: Experience which is responsible for the urban musical, visual, literary artistic renaissance in Tulsa since 2013.

Written’s Talk: “Time; Measurement for and of the Artist, whatever theory we suggest"

Speaker Spotlight: Nehemiah D. Frank

Nehemiah D. Frank Founder and Editor in Chief of the Black Wall St. Times

"Discovering and defining your version of excellence."

websites https://theblackwallsttimes.com/

Nehemiah D. Frank is the Founder & Editor in Chief of the Black Wall St. Times. Frank is also the Co-Executive Producer of the “Dominic Durant Sports Show.” Frank graduated from Harold Washington College in Chicago, IL in General Studies, and earned a 2nd degree in Political Science from Oklahoma State University. He is highly involved in community activism, a middle school teacher, a blogger for Education Post, and dedicates most of his time to empowering and uplifting his community. Frank is a 2017 Terence Crutcher Foundation Honoree. Frank featured in NBC, Blavity, and Tulsa People.

Nehemiah’s Talk: Discovering the excellence within

Speaker Spotlight: Kari Mirabal

Kari Mirabal Networking Sage

“Coaching people how to network smarter.”

Website:karimirabal.com, @karimirabal

Kari Mirabal is on a mission to create a movement of people who know how to network smarter. She shares innovative career transition and networking strategies to help others leverage the power of authentic connections. Kari has coached individuals and corporate teams inside Fortune 500 companies and has appeared on multiple television networks. With her signature humor, bold approach, and unmistakable gumption, Kari engages and encourages people to think differently. It was through her extensive experience as a former IT =recruiter and business owner that she realized her calling was to help professionals turn their passion into their career. Kari shares her many successes – and failures – to visualize new perspectives on taking risks, get comfortable being uncomfortable, and to realize how positive thinking can change everything.

Kari’s Talk: Career Dating: What Career Search and Your Love Life Have in Common

Speaker Spotlight: Tori Burris

Tori Burris Photographer, Advocate, Student

What we see on screen sticks with us.


Tori Burris signed up for a middle school broadcast journalism course by accident and never looked back. After being awarded a Student Pillar of Excellence from the Mid-American Emmy Committee for her work, she spent two of her college summers on staff capturing photos of the human experience at a local summer camp for kids with disabilities, Camp Barnabas. Two study abroad trips later; Tori saw an international struggle when it comes to shaping perceptions of disability. Now, as a senior Marketing major with minors in Disability Studies and Economics at The University of Tulsa, she's interested in figuring out how we shift the narrative to better serve everyone. Tori shares a hometown with Brad Pitt, has two cats and is allergic to both of them, has texture issues, and has visited as many countries as she is years old.

Tori’s Talk: Show Me Normal

Speaker Spotlight: Lindiwe Chaza Jangira

Lindiwe Chaza Jangira Activist, Founder of Pink Butterfly Trust

“In the current climate, refugees face life-threatening risks, heartbreaking losses and constant judgement. However, the culturally enriching effect that they have on the resettlement countries is like no other. It is integral to understand the process, the people and our relationships with them.”

Lindiwe Chaza Jangira was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia, now Harare, Zimbabwe. She received a Master’s degree in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University. She had a United Nations career spanned 13 years, most of which were spent managing programs for child protection in countries in conflict in Africa.. Later, she helped direct a more urgent response to the HIV and AIDS Epidemic, the epicentre for which, was in southern Africa. She spent the next 13 years leading the civil society advocacy for more sustainable support to people living with HIV and leading national policy developments. In that effort to bring to the forefront of national and international policies, she became a familiar figure in many parts of the world, as a delegate on the Developing Countries NGO Delegation to the Board of the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria. She has prepared technical papers, worked as a CEO of an umbrella Non-profit organization for community-based interventions and established a small charity organization The Pink Butterfly Trust, which focuses on adolescent girls’ education and sexual and reproductive health.. In March 2016, Lindiwe returned to the United States where she currently resides in Tulsa. Here she sits on several Boards of non-profit organizations and continues to do what she is most passionate about, the pursuance of social justice, for those on the periphery of society.

Lindiwe's Talk- Forced to Flee: Understanding Refugees Amongst Us.

Speaker Spotlight: Jake Pfarr

Jake Pfarr Tap Dance Instructor, Owner and Operator of Theatre Arts

“With a background in various art forms, Jake Pfarr is passionate about positively impacting the future generations through the performing arts and believes for some students, the arts are the gateway to remarkable personal growth.”

website : www.theatreartstulsa.com/jakepfarr

Jake Pfarr is an artist and teacher who has performed and taught around the world. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with his Bachelors degree from Oklahoma City University and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association. After performing in New York City and appearing in over 30 professional shows and musicals, Jake now owns and operates Theatre Arts, a performing arts school in Broken Arrow, OK with his wife, Jana, where he teaches the performing arts. He has also served on faculty at the University of Tulsa furthering the American art form of tap dancing.

Jake’s Talk : Tapping Into Failure

Speaker Spotlight: Dr. Dean Cantù

Dean Cantu, Professor and Chair of Teacher Education, Bradley University

“The depiction of Death throughout history serves as evidence of desire to understand and accept this fate that awaits us all.”

Website: http://www.deancantu.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drcan2/

Dr. Dean Cantù is Professor and Chair of the Department of Teacher Education at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. He received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Southern Illinois University. Professor Cantù has over twenty-five years of experience in professional education from high school through the university level. Prior to his current appointment, he served as Professor and Dean of Education at Indiana University Kokomo. Professor Cantù is the author of a number of research articles and books on social studies education and technology integration. He has also served as a curriculum writer for various national organizations including The History Channel, The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition and PBS Frontline, and as editor of The International Journal of Social Education. In addition, he currently serves on a number of national boards, including as a member of the governing board of the National Social Science Association and research fellow for the Future Institute Research Center.

Dean’s Talk: Memento Mori: the personification of Death

2018 Speaker & Performer Lineup

We are so incredibly proud to announce our speakers and performers for our 2018 TEDx Event:

Autumn Slaughter uses slam poetry to communicate the depths of human emotion.

Blake Ewing encourages us to look within our communities to revitalize neighborhoods.

Catherine Aaronson brings to light the disparity of care of elders within modern American society and what we can do to change it.

Danielle Carlotti-Smith uses language and literature as vehicles to explore multiple perspectives.

DC Hegdale wants to return childbirth to its previous status as a common and easily discussed women's topic in the US.

Dean Cantu recontextualizes our perceptions of Death using its depiction throughout history and within present culture as evidence of a collective desire to better understand our fate.

Jake Pfarr is passionate about positively impacting the future generations through the performing arts and believes for some students, the arts are the gateway to remarkable personal growth.

Kari Mirabal serves as a network coach, seeking to help people navigate personal and professional relationships.

Kathy Campbell challenges our preconceptions about obesity, arguing it is a symptom of a much larger societal disease.

Katie Plohocky brings to light the astonishing food waste in the United States from the farms to the grocery stores and proposes a solution.

Lindiwe Jangira add perspective to the way our society views refugees and challenges our cultural and individual understandings of what it means to be a refugee.

Nehemiah Frank encourages us to discover and defining our own version of excellence.

Scott Taylor is an author and artist with a passion for emotional health, focusing primarily on helping people gain freedom from their past and access their true emotional wellbeing through the power of story.

Tracy A. Suter shows us how the language we use effects our perception and ability to succeed.

Tori Burris sees an international struggle when it comes to discussing disability, and believes the key lies in reevaluating how society treats and interacts with those with disabilites.

Written Quincey capitalizes on favor and skill to enhance one of the world's most ancient forms of literature: poetry.

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for more information about our wonderful speakers!

*This was edited for spelling and clarity.

Speaker Spotlight: Dallas Elleman

Dallas Elleman, TU Student

"I want to inspire the audience to ask the question “Why am I here?” and to use this question as a compass for finding meaning and living happier, more fulfilling and adventurous lives."

Dallas Elleman is an Engineering Physics/EE Robotics student at The University of Tulsa with minors in Innovation/Entrepreneurship and Cybersecurity. He is a recent transfer from Tulsa Community College whose academic career includes an internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, selection as a finalist in the National Science Foundation’s Community College Innovation Challenge, and a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship.

Before this, Dallas spent several unprofitable and ultimately unsuccessful years aspiring towards rock stardom while employed in the not-very-lucrative manual labor and construction sector, almost a decade as a Field Network Technician (cable guy) for Cox Communications in Tulsa and, in general, a great deal of time engaged in a long series of apparently (at the time) unrelated puzzles and challenges that eventually resulted in a strong compulsion to more productively join humanity’s timeless struggle for answers, progress and meaning through the pursuit of higher education.

Dallas's Talk: “Why am I here?” and how it relates to finding meaning and living happier, more fulfilling lives.

Speaker Spotlight: Katie Hoffman

Katie Hoffman, Writer, speaker, and Founder of Fairytale Reform

"By blending research, spiritual insight and my personal experience “in the field” I help people create healthy, fulfilling relationships— starting with the one they have with themselves."

website: www.fairytalereform.com

instagram: @iamkatiehoffman

Katie Hoffman is a writer, speaker and life-coach, on a mission to help others create lives and relationships they are proud of. In October 2016, she founded Fairytale Reform, a website dedicated to helping young women reframe what they have always been told about happily ever after. By blending research, personal experience and spirituality, Fairytale Reform provides tools, inspiration and community to help followers live their fairytales– whether they’re single, taken or somewhere in between.

Katie is dedicated to serving women along all walks of life and works closely with local and global non-profits to help women become physically, emotionally and economically independent. In May 2017, she will graduate from the University of Tulsa with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Psychology.

Katie's Talk: How to create healthy, fulfilling relationships in a modern society.

Speaker Spotlight: Zachary Fullingim

Zachary Fullingim, Community Servant to the Youth

"My vision for Oklahoma is to inspire a culture of unity and generational growth in low income areas by raising up youth leaders to be principled, self-aware, empathetic, courageous, accountable, motivated and passionately involved in serving within their families, communities, schools and teams."

Born February 28, 1992, Zachary was raised with his younger brother by his powerful single mother, who fell in love and married his fourth grade football coach. On February 23, 2003 that coach, the only father he had ever known, adopted the boys as his own. He graduated Lincoln Christian School in 2010 and attended Oklahoma State University from 2010-2013 where he played football and studied behavioral psychology.

He is a husband to his wife Caitlin, father to his daughter Caiah, project supervisor for his family’s commercial roofing company, Hi-Tech Systems Inc., volunteer football and basketball coach for Sand Springs 3rd grade, and facilitator for Tulsa Public Schools’ Student Athlete Advisory Committee. He sits on the board of directors for the non-profit Game Time Foundation, hosts football camps as a camp director and coordinator for Pinnacle Football Academy, and hosts youth and adult leadership development courses as a certified John Maxwell speaker and coach.

Zachary's Talk: Invest in Children: Impact a Nation