Speaker Spotlight: Kirk Wester

Another speaker will address how to tie the community closer together while helping the vulnerable!

Kirk Wester is the Executive Director for Growing Together, a local neighborhood transformation initiative in Tulsa. Growing Together leads and plans collective actions from the resources provided by numerous organizations, residents, funders and stakeholders to change the trajectory of children in vulnerable neighborhoods. Growing Together focuses on the creation of three key components to their strategy: a strong education pipeline, mixed-income housing, and neighborhood vibrancy. Through their collective efforts in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood and schools, they are beginning to see strong improvements in the outcomes of vulnerable children, demonstrating what it takes to expand this model throughout Tulsa’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.

Get your tickets today! https://www.tedxuniversityoftulsa.com/attend/


Speaker Spotlight: Nathan Hutchins, Alison Kerr, Sarah Otto

Another talk consisting of three speakers will address self-driving vehicles!

Nathan Hutchins (Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from The University of Tulsa), Alison Kerr (completing a Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology at The University of Tulsa), and Sarah Otto (BSBA in Accounting and Computer Information Systems at the University of Tulsa) unite to form an interdisciplinary research team unlike any they have ever known. Their research is focused on understanding what influences people’s attitudes towards and acceptance of autonomous vehicles. The team supported Nathan’s dissertation research which included the development and preliminary testing of a model and measure of the aspects people care when it comes to self-driving cars. Their most recent work includes using virtual reality simulation to further assess participant reactions to a variety driving scenarios in which a self-driving car makes all decisions. The goal of their work is to inform the development of self-driving cars with respect to user interface, ethical considerations, and regulatory concerns. Over this last year, they have presented at several conferences and are currently preparing journal papers for publication.

Get your tickets today! https://www.tedxuniversityoftulsa.com/attend/

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Speaker Spotlight: Maureen Haynes

Another speaker will address teacher's protests!

Maureen Haynes is a student at the University of Tulsa studying biology and sociology with a passion for interdisciplinary education. She has worked on political campaigns, at local nonprofits, in an engineering research lab and in an art museum’s education department. With a combined interest in research and education, she has performed qualitative studies on the narrative experiences of Oklahoma’s public school teachers. In her spare time, Maureen enjoys attending events in the Tulsa community, petting every dog she comes across, and is currently training for another half marathon.

Get your tickets today! https://www.tedxuniversityoftulsa.com/attend/

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Speaker Spotlight: Eric Cullen

Another speaker will address the state of female incarceration!

Born and raised in Tulsa, OK, Eric Cullen graduated in 1993 from Union High School and graduated from NSU in 1998 with a pre-law (paralegal) Bachelor’s degree. After school, he went to work for Union Pacific Railroad as a train conductor for 7 years. In 2005, after his time with the railroad, he decided to open his private investigation and consulting firm. “I have four children that I am deeply invested in. I have been a volunteer for TARC for 16 years, a member of Tulsa downtown Rotary, founder of Another Chance Justice Project and founding member of Oklahoma Honor Flights.”

Get your tickets today! https://www.tedxuniversityoftulsa.com/attend/

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Speaker Spotlight: Rigel Bacani

Another speaker will propose a different approach to help those who need it.

Rigel Bacani

Rigel Bacani is a senior at the University of Tulsa studying biochemistry on the pre-medicine route and a Global Scholar. Through her time in Global Scholars, she has grown as both an interdisciplinary student and a global citizen. As an immigrant and past patient, she’s experienced the challenges that patients face in their interactions with healthcare professionals. In the Fall of 2017, she studied in Copenhagen, Denmark where she learned about harm reduction and its impact on stigmatized populations, the central topic of her talk. She capitalized on this knowledge by volunteering with organizations that were involved on the ground, which gave her a vital look into how harm reduction can impact communities from the ground up to the policy level.

Buy your tickets here!


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Speaker Spotlight: Rigel Bacani

Another speaker will propose a different approach to help those who need it.

Rigel Bacani

Rigel Bacani is a senior at the University of Tulsa studying biochemistry on the pre-medicine route and a Global Scholar. Through her time in Global Scholars, she has grown as both an interdisciplinary student and a global citizen. As an immigrant and past patient, she’s experienced the challenges that patients face in their interactions with healthcare professionals. In the Fall of 2017, she studied in Copenhagen, Denmark where she learned about harm reduction and its impact on stigmatized populations, the central topic of her talk. She capitalized on this knowledge by volunteering with organizations that were involved on the ground, which gave her a vital look into how harm reduction can impact communities from the ground up to the policy level.

Buy your tickets here!


Speaker Spotlight: Tori Meehan

Another speaker will address our daily diets!

Tori Meehan

She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling with a Concentration in Addictions Counseling from the Graduate School of Theology and Ministry at Oral Roberts University, which is where she experienced ORU’s whole-person approach to education. This holistic approach, coupled with her personal recovery from disordered eating, inspired Tori to address both physical AND emotional health. She has been involved with the Miss Oklahoma Organization for over 8 years where she speaks to Pre-K through college students on her platform named MINDSET: Total Health. Tori enjoys volunteering in the Eating Disorders Program at Laureate Psychiatric Clinic, and she is working towards becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor for women with eating disorders.

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Speaker Spotlight: Karen Fuhrmeister

Another speaker will address the importance of prioritizing time and effort into the hiring process.

Karen Fuhrmeister

A Senior Client Research Consultant at Hogan Assessment Systems, she holds a Master’s degree from the University of Tulsa’s Industrial and Organizational Psychology program, which was founded by Drs. Robert and Joyce Hogan, as well as a member of SIOP. In her role at Hogan, she works with organizations across the globe from a wide variety of industries, including many Fortune 500 companies within the United States. Her expertise includes high-stakes selection and development, product development, assessment translation and equivalence, as well as experience working with the Hogan Coaching Network. Karen has authored or co-authored numerous papers and is a regular presenter at conferences across the United States, including multiple sessions at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) annual conference.


Speaker Spotlight: Caroline Bennet

As we head near the event, we will be highlighting our 16 speakers. Our first speaker is a Tulsa native looking to teach us all how black girls find their identity in their edges!

Caroline Bennett

Born and raised in North Tulsa, the most underserved and impoverished area in the city, Caroline Bennett is a two-time loan and debt-free first generation Black girl graduate of higher education. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Master’s degree from Ohio State University. #Hoodid & #Hooded, and yet, she has been intentional about her work inside and outside of academic spaces. Her work as a scholar-artist for the past seven years has centered around the experiences and voices of inner-city youth, particularly Black girls. She disrupts the deficit-approach often employed when discussing, addressing and engaging our youth.


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