We have gathered a great array speakers for 2016 - most of them from Northeast Wisconsin - who will share talks and performance on a wide variety of conversation-provoking topics. The day will be full, with 15 speakers live on stage, as well as 5 videos on the big on-stage screen from the TED.com archive to compliment our live speakers.
Robin Cardell - Drum Circles, Integrating Self and CommUnity
This unique presentation will explore the use of recreational music-making to promote mental, physical, spiritual, and community wellness.
Robin Cardell Biography
Robin Cardell has been facilitating community drum circles in the Fox Valley area for 25 years, and during that time he has facilitated many rhythm based events for area schools, church groups, drug and alcohol treatment programs, and assisted living facilities. He has developed programs for a wide variety of special populations such as special needs, bereavement groups, and families dealing with serious illness. Cardell operates the Oshkosh Rhythm Institute, a drum studio that houses an awesome collection of drums and percussion instruments from all over the world.
Dale Feinauer - Why Conflict is a Good Thing
Properly managed conflict can have many benefits both personally and organizationally. However, if conflict is poorly managed, it can be disastrous. Feinauer explores how conflict can be managed successfully and challenges your perspective to decide whether conflict is in fact a good thing.
Dale Feinauer Biography
Dale Feinauer received his Bachelors of Science, Masters of Labor and Human Resources, and Ph.D. in Labor and Human Resources from The Ohio State University. He has been a Professor at The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh since 1983, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in both human resources and management.
He has consulted for over 150 organizations and is active in his community providing volunteer services to over 100 organizations, and is described as a high-energy facilitator who is known for helping groups find ways to collaboratively make good things happen.
Alex Hummel - Alone Together: A Crash Course in Cognition and Community
As spouses and partners, we live and we love longer. But a twosome - even if joined at the hip for decades - is, alone, not enough. Alex Hummel reveals the story of the unexpected loss of his father and how his mother, quietly living with memory loss, said goodbye to her husband of 40+ years. He reveals lessons, tips and eye-opening science related to a family’s crash course in cognition and community.
Alex Hummel Biography
Alex Hummel, 40, is a lifelong Wisconsinite and “dual citizen,” living in Oshkosh and Madison with his wife, Brenda. He serves as Executive Director of Integrated Marketing and Communications with the University of Wisconsin System, previously serving for four years as Director of News Services and Public Relations in the Office of Integrated Marketing Communications at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Prior to his work in higher education, Alex served as the Community Outreach and School Prevention Education Coordinator for Neenah-based Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Inc. He graduated from UW-Platteville with a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and a minor in journalism.
Dick Knapinski - The Oshkosh Approach: Creating the World’s Busiest Airport
Creating the World’s Busiest Airport for one week each year during EAA AirVenture is an incredible undertaking. It brings together 5,000 volunteers, a community, and government entities to make it happen safely.
Dick Knapinski Biography
Knapinski, a 24-year member of the staff of the Experimental Aircraft Association, has been EAA’s Director of Communications since January 2010. Among his many duties are being a media liaison during the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in, which has an annual attendance of more than 500,000 and draws 10,000 airplanes and nearly 1,000 members of the international media to Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
A graduate in broadcast communications from Brown College, prior to joining the EAA staff, Knapinski worked for several media outlets throughout Wisconsin. He continues to contribute as a writer for newspapers and magazines, with his work featured in such publications as FLYING, Professional Pilot, and Aviation Heritage. He also volunteers his time to do play-by-play for the Lawrence University football and basketball teams, and assists with Time Warner Sports Channel high school basketball broadcasts.
John Koker - Neither Created, Nor Destroyed - Waste to Energy
While developing a system to convert food, agricultural, and yard waste into megawats of electricity, a "Biogas" program emerged that contributed to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh earning a third place ranking on the 2015 edition of the Sierra Club’s prestigious “Coolest Schools” list.
Join Koker will share the benefits of Biogas programs, and will review the local program's part in a University’s mission to become a more sustainable institution.
John Koker Biography
Dr. John Koker is Dean of the College of Letters and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Koker, a professor of mathematics, has been a member of the UW Oshkosh faculty since 1991 and served two terms as department chair. He has served in the Dean position since 2006.
Koker received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, an M.S from Purdue University and a B.A from St. Norbert College. He has been awarded numerous accolades, the most recent being the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for Education from St. Norbert College, 2014.
Bethany Lerch - There are Wrong Ways to Help: Examples from Afghanistan
Better not to help than to do so in the wrong way. Bethany Lerch will discuss the pitfalls of taking the wrong approach to international aid using examples from her time in Afghanistan. Learn how ineffective assistance can be more dangerous than helpful, and hear Lerch’s ideas for a different approach.
Bethany Lerch Biography
A former Fulbright and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Bethany Lerch graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2009. She then graduated from the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland in 2011. Lerch was a lecturer of American Studies at the University of Leipzig in Germany before serving as a volunteer English teacher in Palestine. She then served as a military advisor in Kabul, Afghanistan from February 2015 until June 2016.
Grace Lim - Finding Color in a Lily-White Community
For the past two years, students enrolled in "Telling Stories for Fun, Profit and World Peace" at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh were required to do what they consider an unpleasant task: talk to strangers of all shapes, colors and sizes, then come back with compelling stories to share with the masses on Facebook®.
How is it possible, in a city that is primarily homogenous, to convince college-age students of the value in engaging with a community that is wider and deeper than their own circle of family and friends? Instructor and former journalist Grace Lim highlights the lessons we can all learn from talking to strangers and how the stories they share connect us and make us a community.
Grace Lim Biography
Grace Lim has more than 20 years of journalism experience and graduated with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She has delivered stories ranging from hard-news crime to celebrity profiles while working for various publications including the Austin American-Statesman, STAR and the Miami Herald.
During her work Lim has followed Liz Taylor to Acapulco, secured the worldwide exclusive story from Charles Manson’s biological son and refrained from selling Justin Timberlake’s phone number on Ebay®. She currently teaches students the power of story telling at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
Kiran Loewenstein - Robots, Engineering and Me - A Young Woman’s Perspective
Kiran Loewenstein unexpectedly became involved with robotics thanks to strong mentorship, her peers and a positive change. Despite questions and doubts, Loewenstein is strong in her convictions as both someone interested in engineering - and as a young woman. Learn how robotics helped Loewenstein discover herself and inspired her to change her community too.
Kiran Loewenstein Biography
As an active member of Oshkosh North High School’s Class of 2018, Loewenstein excels academically. She will serve as co-editor-in-chief of the student newspaper for the 2016-2017 school year, and is active in forensics, debate, music and the cross-country team.
Loewenstein is also an extremely active team member and robot operator for FIRST Team 2826 Wave Robotics. It was here she found her passion for engineering and a plan for her future
Rajon Lynch - The Ham Sandwich
Learn how to be more a more engaging person using a little magic and a ham sandwich.
Rajon Lynch Biography
Rajon (RJ) Lynch is a college student by day and a professional magician by night. After studying marketing, global business and Spanish during daylight hours, he devotes his evenings to performance as a magician throughout the Fox Cities area. In his "spare time", he also teaches magic classes at the YMCA, the Appleton History Museum and - for the last two years - at the prestigious French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts summer camp in New York.
John Mayrose - Composing by the Numbers
The act of composing music, as it is often depicted in fictionalized media, shows the composer struggling with a passage in search of the right note. In reality, for most experienced composers, finding the right notes is the easy part.
Mayrose will share how he seeks unique inspiration from natural and mathematical phenomenon in composition, using concepts from other disciplines to generate algorithms for musical patterns, durations and even entire pieces of music.
John Mayrose Biography
John Mayrose's compositions have been performed throughout the world and at various well-known and prestigious festivals including The Boston Early Music Festival, The Oregon Bach Festival and The Aspen Music Festival. He received prizes from both the Percussive Arts Society and the ASCAP Morton Gould award.An active performer on electric guitar, Mayrose is a founding member of Pulsoptional, a new music ensemble and composer collective based in Durham, North Carolina.
He holds degrees from Duke University and the University of South Carolina and is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
Janet Planet - Finding Your Voice
Veteran vocalist Janet Planet will share how to discover the vertical and melodic qualities that are accessible through speaking with expression and the tactile sensations that words provide in song.
Janet Planet Biography
Janet Planet is a vocalist with a lifetime of busy concert schedules that have taken her to performing arts centers, opera houses, colleges, universities, jazz festivals and jazz clubs across the USA. She loves words, and her interpretations are based not only on meaning, but also on the way words feel as they fall out of her mouth. She is fascinated by the vibrations of consonants and the nakedness of vowels…the envelope of a diphthong and the connection of words – one image at a time.
Beyond her successful performance schedule, she provides educational forums on vocal performance, runs a recording studio, and manages her own record label, Stellar Sound Productions.
Andrea Schneider - Women Don’t Negotiate and Other Similar Nonsense
There are several false assumptions about gender and negotiation - that women do not negotiate; that women cannot negotiate effectively; and that women should not negotiate. In fact, these are myths. Andrea Schneider debunks these assumptions and more, as she discussed gender and its role in negotiation.
Andrea Schneider Biography
Andrea Schneider, Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School, teaches Dispute Resolution, Negotiation, Ethics, and International Conflict Resolution. She also runs Marquette’s nationally ranked dispute resolution program. Professor Schneider has edited and co-authored several books and has published law review articles and book chapters on negotiation, gender, international conflict and dispute systems design.
Professor Schneider was named 2009 Woman of the Year by the Wisconsin Law Journal and received her A.B. cum laude from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs and Public Policy at Princeton University and her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School. She also received a Diploma from the Academy of European Law in Florence, Italy.
Brad Spanbauer - A World Without Elephants
In the year 2026, countries across Africa are reporting ecosystem collapse, record temperatures, reduced rainfall, and dwindling animal populations. At the center of this chaos is a void that was once filled by the African elephant. Spanbauer highlights the potential far-reaching impacts of a world without elephants.
Brad Spanbauer Biography
Brad Spanbauer, an Oshkosh native, earned both his B.S and M.Sc. from UW-Oshkosh where he learned strong foundations in biology and ecology. Brad first traveled to Tanzania in 2010 as part of a study abroad, fell in love with East Africa, and decided to continue with his research there. Brad currently serves as an associate lecturer in the Biology department as well as Campus sustainability Coordinator at UW-Oshkosh.
Lucinda Vette - Leading from the Back of the Herd: Lessons from Listening to Horses
The story of Cimarron, a former drug-running horse turned "teacher," illustrates the evolving role of the horse/human bond; and provides an inspiring framework for living and leading effectively, and from the heart, in an interconnected world.
Lucinda Vette Biography
Lucinda Vette, an Oshkosh native, currently lives in Amado, Arizona where she and her horses offer leadership and personal transformation programs for individuals, teams, and groups at her facility, Red Horse EQ, LLC.
Vette is a former attorney, who now partners with horses to coach lawyers, leaders, peacemakers and healers in the art of harnessing these invisible qualities, and to re-frame conflict as an opportunity for growth and development.
Tom Willadsen - Laughter is Carbonated Holiness
Have you ever wondered why laughter can bring you to tears? Can religious faith allow for humor? Pastor Tom Willadsen will explore the curious relationships between these questions. Together, discover the reason people use laughter to express intimate emotions.
Tom Willadsen Biography
Tom Willadsen grew up in Peoria, Illinois. After attending college in the Chicago area he lived in Brooklyn, New York before returning to Chicago for seminary. Willadsen was ordained as a Teaching Elder within the Presbyterian Church in 1991. He served congregations in Minnesota and Maryland before arriving in Oshkosh in 1999. Willadsen’s family consists of his wife of 22 years, Mary, and sons Peter, 20, and David, 15. He has written a humor column for the The Cresset for 20 years and his book, "OMG! LOL! Faith and Laughter" was published by Gemma Open Door Media in 2012.