Talks and Speakers
On April 18 2015, 100 attendees gathered at the University of Idaho Commons to hear ideas worth spreading. With 9 talks and 1 performance, our first event focused on a diverse range of topics and ideas. Please click on the links below to pictures and the playlist of all our talks and performances, or click on each speaker’s name to view a specific talk.
Dr. Larry Forney is an expert on the evolutionary ecology of bacteria. He has conducted research across a broad spectrum of related topics that extend from the adaptive evolution of bacterial species to microbial community ecology and the findings have been published in more than 140 scientific articles. Most recently much of his research effort has focused on the human microbiome; specifically the microbial ecology of the human vagina and women’s reproductive health.
Through years of learning and working in many different fields, Shuai developed a deep passion in interdisciplinary education. He uses a wide range of simple examples to illustrate complicated scientific questions that are relevant to our daily lives and promotes audiences to think beyond the boundary of ordinary day to day life.
Rodney Frey is Professor of Ethnography, with the University of Idaho.Over the last 40 years he has been associated with and conducted various applied collaborative projects with the Crow of Montana, the Coeur d’Alene and Nez Perce of Idaho, the Confederated Warm Springs Tribes of Oregon, the Spokane of Washington, and other area Tribes. Through their guidance, the power of their stories was revealed, transforming his professional as well as personal life.While successfully publishing much of this research, co-authoring it with the elders of these Tribes, the challenge remains: how best to convey the Indigenous to the non-Indigenous community, doing so through a manner and format that retains the authenticity and meaning of the Indigenous? How to tell the stories of the Indigenous, validating the wisdom embedded in the stories, while also enriching the lives of others?
In 2007, Jessica Kovac found herself distressed, in a broken marriage and nowhere else to turn. It was at that moment that she found God and began living a life of service. With 40 brown bag meals and a case of water, Jessica began serving the homeless population of Spokane, Washington. Thus, Blessings Under the Bridge was born. What began as Jessica’s passion to help the homeless of Spokane has quickly grown into a community-building event each Wednesday night where over 300 people are served and with 50 people serving.
Kristin Shaffer is the founder of FAB-University.com. The site arose in response to a growing demand for practical and healthy solutions for super busy women to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Kristin is widely respected for her humorous, informative, and loving teaching style. As a corporate executive, a mom, an entrepreneur, a teacher, and a fitness model, Kristin Shaffer has a particular interest in helping women easily achieve the body and life of their dreams. Today she helps women all over the world to do so through her simplistic and practical approach.
Kwapi Vengesayi is the creator and executive producer of the regionally acclaimed Shades of Black Show.Also known for his open, honest, engaging and sometimes funny written social commentary, Vengesayi is the author of two Amazon category bestsellers—books that tackle various topics relating to relationships, social issues, life and more.
Luciano Marazzo was born in Buenos Aires Argentina and Art had always been a part of his life. At an early age he had already developed a great ear for music but most importantly, he had found his sense of beauty. Luciano Marazzo is now the Founder and CEO of the Online Music Guild, a platform designed to enhance musicianship around the globe.It would be fair to say that he has become a well rounded-artist with an entrepreneurial mindset.
Deepak Dhingra is a Postdoctoral fellow in the department of Physics at University of Idaho. He works with light reflected in the visible and infrared wavelengths to decipher compositional, textural and morphological properties of planetary surfaces. Currently, Deepak is studying the water ice plumes on Enceladus, Saturn’s fifth largest satellite.
Faith Shier is an ambitious University of Idaho student pursuing a public relations degree and dance minor. Faith represented North Idaho as Miss Moscow International in the statewide Miss Idaho International pageant this year, and will do so again next spring. She has a strong passion for helping others and hopes to be apart in solving the many problems that today’s society faces.
Steven Fazakerley is a man of many talents and titles and a dreamer to the core. He grew up in Plummer, Idaho, and is grateful to call the Northwest home as a loving husband and father of two boys, Gibson and Rocco. His first dream was to be a hockey player, but call it fate, destiny or a calling, he was presented with a refurbished guitar and he began plucking away, teaching himself chords and writing songs. After winning Spokane Idol, his career reached new heights.