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Keynote

Eric Barker, MBA, MFA
Eric Barker’s humorous, practical blog, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, presents science-based answers and expert insight on how to be awesome at life. Over 285,000 people subscribe to his weekly newsletter and his content is syndicated by Time Magazine, The Week, and Business Insider. He has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, and the Financial Times. With a writing career spanning over 20 years, Eric is also a sought-after speaker and interview subject, and has been invited to speak at MIT, Yale, West Point, the University of Pennsylvania, NPR affiliates, and on morning television. His first book, Barking Up The Wrong Tree, will be released by HarperCollins on May 16th. You can find his work here: www.bakadesuyo.com

 


Daren C. Brabham, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. He researches crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, and he takes a critical approach to the study of labor and professionalism in online communities. He is the author of the books Crowdsourcing (MIT Press, 2013) and Crowdsourcing in the Public Sector (Georgetown University Press, 2015) as well as several peer-reviewed articles. A frequent media contributor, he has given interviews to Wired, Fast Company, Financial Times, TIME, Los Angeles Times, and Marketplace on NPR. He earned a B.A. from Trinity University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in communication from the University of Utah.

 


Ananya Das Christman, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Middlebury College. She completed her PhD at UC-Davis and her Bachelor's degree at Columbia University, both in Computer Science. Her research interests are in algorithm design and analysis, with a focus on graphs and network-related problems. In particular, she is interested in developing online, approximation, and randomized algorithms. She is also interested in modeling and simulating stochastic networks for routing and traveling problems.

 


Catia Cecilia Confortini, PhD, is Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at Wellesley College, in Massachusetts. She holds a PhD from the University of Southern California's School of International Relations as well as a Master's Degree in International Peace Studies from the Joan B. Kroc Institute at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of Intelligent Compassion: Feminist Critical Methodology in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (OUP: 2012). She has published extensively on the contributions of women's peace activism to peace studies. Her new project, Bio-Pink: Gender, Power and the Transnational Diffusion of Breast Cancer Governance in Nigeria, is situated at the intersection of feminist global health and peace research. It examines the diffusion of biomedical and pink ribbon cultures of breast cancer in the global south, specifically Nigeria. She is currently WILPF’s International Vice President (2015-2018).

 


Jean-Luc Doumont, PhD
An engineer (Louvain) and PhD in applied physics (Stanford), Jean-luc Doumont is acclaimed worldwide for his no-nonsense approach, his highly applicable, often life-changing recommendations on a wide range of topics, and Trees, maps, and theorems, his book about “effective communication for rational minds.” For additional information, visit www.principiae.be.

 


Miguel Fernández, PhD is the Chief Diversity Officer, charged with promoting equity and inclusion in every aspect of the educational, residential, and professional life of the College. He works on faculty diversity initiatives (including the C3 project), serves as liaison to the Liberal Arts Diversity Officers (LADO) and the Posse Foundation, and supports the Dean of the College on student life issues related to diversity. Miguel has been a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese since 1995. He holds a PhD from the Johns Hopkins University in Hispanic Studies and his primary field of study is 19th-century Argentine literature with a focus on the gauchesca. He is co-director and editor for Latin American literature and cultures of Decimonónica, a journal of 19th-century Hispanic cultural production. His latest teaching project has employed project-based learning to put on full theater productions in Spanish.

 


André Isaacs
Dr. André Isaacs is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. He moved to the U.S. upon finishing high school in Kingston, Jamaica and received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He then worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of California, Berkeley before eventually accepting his current faculty position. In addition to teaching courses in Organic Chemistry, he conducts and publishes research in the area of copper-mediated organic reactions and synthesis. He is a faculty advisor to numerous student groups including the Caribbean African Assemblage and member of the college’s GLBTQ Faculty and Staff Alliance.

 


Rosanne Lurie, MS, currently works at the University of California Berkeley as part of the management group at the Career Center, where she co-leads a team of 13 counselors. From 2009-2016 she served first as an Associate Director, and then as the Senior Associate Director of the Graduate Student/Postdoctoral Fellow Career Advising team at the University of Pennsylvania. She established direction for all career services, programs and outreach for graduate students, alumni of graduate programs, and post-doctoral fellows in six graduate schools: Annenberg School for Communication, Graduate Arts and Sciences, Design, Engineering and Applied Sciences (Ph.D. only), Biomedical Graduate Studies and Wharton Doctoral Programs. Rosanne earned a M.S. in Counseling, with Career and College Specializations, from San Francisco State University, and a B.A. in Political Science with Honors from Haverford College. Rosanne co-authored the 5th edition of the Academic Job Search Handbook with Julie Vick and Jennifer Furlong (Philadelphia: U. of Pennsylvania Press, 2016).

 


Neda Moayedi, MA, is the Graduate Career Counselor at the University of California, Irvine. She works directly with graduate students to help them discover their passions, career goals and assist in their career planning. She facilitates a variety of professional development programs tailored for graduate students. Neda is a proud UCI alum and earned her BA in Psychology and Social Behavior, and her Master's degree in Higher Education Leadership at the University of San Diego. She comes with a unique mix of career counseling, academic and student affairs, and over 10 years of industry experience which enhance her interactions with students exploring diverse career paths. Neda is dedicated to the personal, professional, and career development of the graduate student population.

 


Melanie Nelson, PhD is a consultant specializing in scientific data management and the effective management of people and projects. Prior to starting her own consultancy, she led teams and projects in the biotechnology industry for more than ten years. She is also the author of Taming the Work Week, a book on time management. She has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from The Scripps Research Institute. She can be found online at BeyondManaging.com, and on Twitter at @melanie_nelson.

 


Lizbet Simmons holds a Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She was Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University and was a visiting scholar at the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. She has taught in the Social Sciences and Humanities at Art Center School of Design, in Associate Degree Program at San Quentin Prison, and will be teaching at Occidental College in the coming year. In her book, The Prison School, published in 2017 by the University of California Press, she links racialized school punishment to the phenomenon of mass incarceration in the War on Crime era. Her research also appears in Social Justice, The Urban Review, Race/Ethnicity, and The Modern American, and in the edited volumes, Schools under Surveillance and Prison/Culture. Dr. Simmons has uniquely bridged her academic work with engagements in the public and private sectors. While furthering her academic career, she has worked in the area of urban school reform and helped to start 30 public schools in New York City. She has served on the School Leadership Council of Franklin Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles. In the private sector, she has worked as Head of Research for Vibrant Data, a data visualization start-up based in San Francisco, and served as the Associate Director of Research and Insights at Troika, a leading creative agency in Hollywood serving major network television clients. She also works as an ethnographic research consultant for the High Performance Initiative at Red Bull studying performance dynamics among elite athletes. She has lectured at colleges and universities and at private sector conferences nationwide.

 


Amit Taneja currently serves as the Chief Diversity Officer at the College of the Holy Cross. He provides leadership on a number of institutional priorities, including Faculty & Staff hiring. His research focuses on the intersections of race, class, gender and sexual orientation for LGBT students of color on historically white college campuses. Amit formerly served as the Chief Diversity Officer at Hamilton College. He has taught academic courses in Sociology, Women’s Studies, First Year Forum, and the Summer Start program at Syracuse University. He has facilitated numerous intergroup dialogues on race, gender, and sexual orientation. He served as the co-chair of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals and has previously worked professionally in Residence Life, Disability Services, Multicultural Affairs, LGBT Resources, and as a Special Assistant on Equity to the Senior Vice-Provost. Amit is a Certified Affirmative Action Professional (C.A.A.P.), and serves as a consultant and speaker on a range of leadership, diversity and inclusion topics.


Mark Williams (PhD Harvard) is Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College. A past President of the New England Council on Latin American Studies, his research centers on U.S.-Latin American Relations, Venezuelan Foreign Policy, international drug trafficking, and Mexican Politics. He is the author of two books and a range of articles and book chapters published by Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica, Latin American Politics and Society, Political Science Quarterly, Studies in Comparative International Development, World Development, and the Oxford, Harvard, Lynne Rienner, and Routledge presses.