OMAHA – A concert organizer. An LGBTQ advocate. A poet.
These are just some of the more than one dozen speakers and performers named as participants in the inaugural TEDxUNO event, which will be held Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Strauss Performing Arts Center.
Announced earlier this year, TEDxUNO is one of the first TEDx university events in the state and is one of the few that exist regionally.
TEDxUNO is open to the public, but requires tickets in order to attend. One ticket is available per person. Tickets and schedule information for TEDxUNO are available at http://www.unomaha.edu/tedxuno.
TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, was launched in 1984 and over the past three decades has spread across the world as one of the leaders in open discussion and dialogue.
TEDx events are independent and community-driven; there have been more than 10,000 TEDx events in 163 different countries.
An open call for speakers was put out in November with dozens of applicants from around the Omaha metro area interested in presenting on the event theme of “Community.”
Of the applicants, the following speakers and performers will be this year’s guests:
Organizer, MAHA Music Festival
Tre earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska and his law degree from the University of Iowa. For 20 years he was a private practice attorney in Omaha.
In 2009, Tre and a few friends acted upon their vision that Omaha needed a music festival of its own and the nonprofit Maha Music Festival was born. Over seven years, the event has grown to include not just music, but also food, comedy, slam poetry and other elements. In 2012, Tre left private practice to become Corporate Counsel and Director of Corporate Giving for the Lozier Corporation and Lozier Foundation.
Withlove,Felicia (real name Felicia Webster) is a motivational poet, community activist, host, organizer and teaching artist with The Nebraska Arts Council, Why Arts?, The Omaha Playhouse and Classic Upward Bound.
With a Master in Education, Felicia seeks to be an inspirer of healing, using the arts and education as her medium to connect with various audiences. In her work, she infuses acting, beatboxing and music.
Felicia, is also the co-creative director and co- host of Omaha’s very own Verbal Gumbo, a long withstanding soul filled spoken word open mic, and the proud mother of a son.
President, Queer Nebraska Youth Network
Originally from Dublin, Anthony has lived in Omaha since he was 10, graduating from Millard West High School in 2012 and is currently a student of history and politics at UNO.
Founded in 2010 by Drew Heckman, Queer Youth Nebraska Network is a grassroots organization that aims to create a healthy, empowered, and visible community of LGBTQ+ youth in Nebraska. With more than 700 members, the organization regularly provides support systems and helplines for those in need.
Since coming out at 18, Anthony has enjoyed numerous experiences in serving the LGBT community, in particular the young people from around Omaha and throughout the state as they find their feet in this strange world of ours. Having attended both national conferences and local interest meetings focused on the manifold issues and injustices LGBT youth continually face, his commitment to helping provide professional, safe, fun, and above all meaningful resources to our state’s queer kids remains an essential priority.
Angie Hodge is an associate professor of mathematics at UNO. She is also the Haddix community chair, which means that she is also involved in helping to recruit and retain mathematics teachers.
Hodge earned both her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Purdue University in mathematics and mathematics education respectively. Her research interests are in mathematics education with specialty areas in inquiry-based learning and gender equity in the STEM disciplines. She has taught several mathematics and mathematics education courses using inquiry-based learning including calculus, trigonometry, axiomatic geometry, history of mathematics, and math methods for secondary teachers.
At the national level, she is a Special Projects Coordinator for the Academy of Inquiry-Based Learning, a Project NExT national fellow, and a member of the MAA’s COMET (committee on the mathematical education of teachers) committee. You can follow her teaching and research through the MAA sponsored blog, “Math Ed Matters,” which can be found at http://maamathedmatters.blogspot.com.
Community Heath Advocate
Athena Ramos is a native Nebraskan who serves as the Community Health Program Coordinator for the Center for Reducing Health Disparities and an Instructor in the Department of Health Promotions, Social & Behavioral Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) as well as an adjunct instructor at both the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Metropolitan Community College.
In her role as Community Health Program Manager, Athena leads a Latino outreach and engagement team and serves as principal investigator for a number of community-based health research and education initiatives including a tobacco control outreach program, migrant farmworker mental health study, immigrant agricultural worker health study and various women and girls programs. She is an experienced administrator and junior researcher with proven ability to develop and implement social and human service programs with culturally diverse populations.
Athena has over 12 years of experience in management operations, public relations, strategic planning, health promotion and educational programming. Furthermore, she also is a sought after speaker for various workshops on health disparities, community development and engagement, and cultural considerations within health and healthcare. She is also an entrepreneur and owns The Front Porch Eatery, a small restaurant in Murray, Nebraska.
Director, UNO Center for Urban Sustainability
Steven N. Rodie, FASLA, is a Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies and the Director for the Center for Urban Sustainability at UNO. He teaches courses in landscape plants, landscape and environmental appreciation and sustainability, sustainable landscape design, and green infrastructure stormwater management.
In his role with the Center, Rodie facilitates and promotes research, teaching, and community outreach through engagement of faculty, students, community organizations and businesses that collectively address sustainable urban design, energy, policy, transportation and quality-of-life issues.
He earned B.S. in Forest Management from Colorado State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Kansas State University. Professionally, he has been elected as a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects, and is a registered landscape architect in Kansas, California and Nebraska.
Cameron Logsdon is in his second year as Assistant Director of Forensics in the UNO School of Communication. In this role, Cameron coaches the MavForensics team, which specializes in competitive speech and performance and is ranked 8th in the nation.
Cameron received his Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication from UNO in 2011 and his Master of Arts in 2013, also from UNO. As an undergraduate student, Cameron was instrumental in elevating MavForensics to the national stage. He won UNO’s first national championship in competitive forensics in 2010 and followed it up with a second national championship in 2011.
Cameron is an advocate for the spoken word and performing arts. He believes in the power of art to celebrate culture and create community. For nearly a decade, Cameron has been active in several performance communities in Omaha, including slam poetry, stand up comedy, sketch comedy and community theater. Cameron’s YouTube page is available at https://www.youtube.com/user/cameronlogsdon.
Kira Cobbs, Denise Fellows, Jasmine Johnson
SummerWorks Omaha Participants
UNO’s Summerworks Omaha Employment Academy provides students opportunities to serve the community while gaining valuable work experience. This year, the University of Nebraska Omaha won the Presidential Award for Economic Opportunity, which recognizes institutions with service programs that build economic independence, increase family stability, and create more sustainable and resilient communities. SummerWorks was among the highlighted programs cited for UNO’s receipt of this prestigious award.
Kira Cobbs was born in 1998 in Denver, CO. She plays the piano and practices Chinese and sign language; she also participates in her school’s poetry organization, Louder Than a Bomb. She has been writing poetry since she was inspired to do so by her fourth grade teacher. Kira participated in SummerWorks in 2014.
Denise Fellows, prior to SummerWorks, referred to herself as a “silent poet.” She said that her poetry used to ‘scream so loud to be heard by someone other than her own ears.’ Denise worked with SummerWorks in the summer of 2014, and it was there she began sharing her work.
Jasmine Johnson is a sophomore at Benson High School and she participated in SummerWorks 2014.“We all became somewhat of a big family,” Johnson says of her experienced “I never for a second thought I would enjoy cleaning city parks, but if I could work at SummerWorks again I would. It was an amazing experience and opportunity.” Jasmine would like to thank her 7th grade teacher, Ms. Carlson of Monroe Middle School, for introducing her to poetry. Jasmine says poetry is the reasons she is the person she is today; it has helped her through anger, depression, and other life struggles.
Questions about TEDxUNO can be directed to Ben Jager at 402.554.2768 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media requests should be directed through Charley Reed, UNO Media Relations Coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or email@example.com.
Questions about the TED organization should be directed to Melody Serafino, TEDx Media Liason, at TEDxPR@groupsjr.com.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.
The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast event in nearby Whistler. The annual TEDGlobal conference will be held this October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.