TEDxACU 2019 SPEAKER PROFILES

Take a few minutes to get to know our speakers and save the date for TEDxACU on March 1st. Keep following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates as we announce the rest of this year’s speaker lineup.


READY TO REGISTER?

TEDxACU 2019 will be held from 4-9:30 pm on Friday, March 1, 2019 in Fulks Theatre on Abilene Christian University's campus, and tickets are now on sale!


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IF YOU DO IT SCARED, IMAGINE WHAT YOUR LIFE COULD BE

Kathryn Childers
Speaker & Author

@kathryntalks

Kathryn was one of the first five women recruited as US Secret Service Agents in 1970 and spent the next few years investigating counterfeiting and threats against the President, protecting foreign dignitaries, and traveling with Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis.

In her TEDxACU talk, Kathryn will share lessons learned during years of embracing unique and unexpected opportunities -- from the secret service, to 18 years as a broadcast journalist, and even founding a publishing company -- and ask audience members to consider how they will face the challenges in their own lives.


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WHAT IF WE CAN CHANGE THE NARRATIVE: ENDING PEDIATRIC HIV/AIDS

Brad Gautney
Founder and President
Global Health Innovations

@BGautney

As a pediatric nurse practitioner and public health specialist, Brad has devoted his career to providing life-saving interventions to pregnant mothers living with HIV/AIDS and their babies around the world.

Brad’s TEDxACU talk will explain how his journey to end pediatric HIV/AIDS led to a partnership with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Kenyan government to treat mothers and babies with HIV/AIDS in four countries and provide life-saving care to more than 120,000 women and children worldwide.


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BLOCKCHAIN: THE “TRUE” SHARING ECONOMY

Justin Goldston
Senior Management Consultant
Ultra Consultants

As a certified management consultant, Justin has spent most of his career working with leaders of organizations around the world as they implement enterprise applications. It’s work driven by his love for technology and passion for driving positive social change.

Justin’s TEDxACU talk will consider some “ifs” of blockchain’s future impact on the “sharing economy” by explaining the potential for this technology to disrupt the entire industry -- fundamentally changing the way companies like Uber and Airbnb do business.


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IF IT LOOKS LIKE AN APPLE...

Hannah Johnson
Interdisciplinary Studies Major
Abilene Christian University

@openendedexposition

Hannah grew up traveling, and her upbringing steered her interests toward culture and the arts. Eventually this led to her study theology, literature, and design at ACU. She is deeply passionate about the intersection of culture and the arts and the way in which people interact and engage with the world through art.

Hannah’s TEDxACU talk will invite the audience to reassess the way they create and perceive images and typography -- particularly in the form of logos. She will show that images are not always what they appear, but are sometimes even more than what you see at first glance.


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IF FOOD COULD FIGHT CANCER

Grace-Kelly Muvunyi
Nutrition Major
Abilene Christian University

@mgkelly55

Grace-Kelly has spent the past few years learning about culturally relevant nutrition education for people all the over the world, particularly in Africa. And as a McNair Scholar, her research has focused on how East African immigrants and refugees adapt to food culture and accessibility in the US and the effects these changes have on their health.

As a Rwandan-American, Grace-Kelly describes culture as core to her identity, and in her TEDxACU talk, she will explain how incorporating cancer prevention diet recommendations can be a part of anyone’s life -- without abandoning the foods that are joyful elements of their culture.


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IF YOU KNEW YOU’D FAIL, WOULD YOU GO ANYWAY?

Ryan Pemberton
Minister for University Engagement
First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley

@ryanjpemberton

At 25, Ryan left a successful career in marketing and public relations, liquidated his retirement account, and moved with his wife across the Atlantic Ocean to pursue a calling. That journey led them to Oxford, England to live in the former home of English author C.S. Lewis; and, eventually, to his greatest nightmare in a social services waiting room in Durham, NC.

In his TEDxACU talk, Ryan will discuss how the ups and downs of this journey dramatically redefined how he understood the role of success and failure.


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THE STORIES WE TELL AND THE FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS THEY CREATE

Bailey Plake
Student Minister
The Hills Church

@baileyplake

As a student minister, Bailey is often surrounded by teenagers and pizza. But when she was a college student, Bailey spent a lot of time traveling the globe. What she saw and learned in her time abroad drastically changed her views about the best ways to share the stories of those in need.

Bailey’s TEDxACU talk will explain how the stories that humanitarian, religious, and non-profit groups tell about people in need impact everyday conversations about suffering and need around the world.


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THE RESILIENCY DECISION

Clint Schumacher
Attorney
Dawson & Sodd, LLP

@J_Clint

During his twenty-one year legal career, Clint has been named to the elite Texas SuperLawyer list and has helped clients achieve judgments or settlements in excess of $100 million. But in his free time, he hosts his own podcast and serves as a part-time football coach at Trinity Christian Academy.

In his TEDxACU talk, Clint will ask the audience to consider how life might be different if they decided it didn’t matter how many times they had been knocked down, but focused instead on what it would take to get back up again and again -- eventually finding a vision for their lives and the tools to become more resilient.


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HOW TO SMOKE A BRISKET LIKE A TEXAN

Byron & Stacie Stephenson
Owners & Pitmaster
The Shed Market

@the_shed_market

The Shed Market hasn’t been open a year yet, but it sells out of BBQ daily and has already earned the praise of West Texans (who know their BBQ, of course) and an excellent review from Texas Monthly’s BBQ Editor. For Byron and Stacie, opening The Shed continued the legacy of Byron’s grandparents, pitmasters at the original, but now closed, Shed in Wingate, Texas.

In their TEDxACU talk, filmed on location at The Shed, they will share a few pro tips with audience members and address many of the “what ifs” of smoking brisket -- the Texas way.


FROM “WHAT IF” TO “WHAT'S NEXT” IN NUCLEAR ENERGY

Rusty Towell
NEXT Lab Director
Abilene Christian University

For the past 18 years, Rusty has mentored students inside and outside the classroom as they have worked at many national laboratories on international experiments. He is currently the founding director of ACU’s NEXT Lab for Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing -- a project sparked by his 2015 TEDxACU talk about the world-changing benefits of molten salt reactors.

In his second TEDxACU talk, Rusty will explain the life-saving potential of advanced nuclear reactors that will only be possible if the public is willing to support nuclear power.