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Speaker Biographies


Morning plenary speakers

David J. Skorton is the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian. He assumed his position July 1, 2015. As Secretary, Skorton oversees 19 museums and galleries, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, and numerous research centers, including the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Skorton, a cardiologist, is the first physician to serve as Secretary. He previously was the president of Cornell University, a position he held beginning in July 2006. He was also a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and in Cornell’s Department of Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering. His research focus is congenital heart disease and cardiac imaging and image processing. Before becoming Cornell’s president, Skorton was president of the University of Iowa from 2003 to 2006 and a member of its faculty for 26 years. An ardent and nationally recognized supporter of the arts and humanities, Skorton has called for a national dialogue to emphasize the importance of funding for these disciplines. He asserts that supporting the arts and humanities is a wise investment in the future of the country. Skorton is a strong proponent of business–university partnerships. He has been active in innovation and economic development at the state and national levels to bring business and universities together toward diversifying regional economies. He is past chair of the Business-Higher Education Forum, an independent, nonprofit organization of industry CEOs, leaders of colleges and universities, and foundation executives.

Skorton was a pioneer in applying computer analysis and processing techniques to cardiac imaging; he has published two major texts and numerous articles, reviews and book chapters on cardiac imaging and image processing. Skorton was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (now the National Academy of Medicine) and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected member of the American Philosophical Society. A national leader in research ethics, he was the charter president of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs Inc., the first group organized specifically to accredit human research protection programs.

Skorton is an avid amateur musician who plays the flute and the saxophone. He cohosted “As Night Falls—Latin Jazz,” a weekly program on the University of Iowa’s public FM radio station. He is currently a distinguished professor at Georgetown University. Skorton earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and his M.D. both from Northwestern University. He completed his medical residency and fellowship in cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Bonnie Thornton Dill is dean of the University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities and professor of women’s studies. A pioneering scholar studying the intersections of race, class, and gender in the United States with an emphasis on African American women, work, and families, Thornton Dill’s scholarship has been reprinted in numerous collections and edited volumes. Her recent publications include an edited collection of essays on intersectionality with Ruth Zambrana titled Emerging Intersections: Race, Class, and Gender in Theory, Policy, and Practice (Rutgers University Press, 2009), and numerous articles. Prior to assuming the position of dean, Thornton Dill chaired the Women’s Studies Department for 8 years. In addition, she has worked with colleagues to found two research centers that have been national leaders in developing and disseminating the body of scholarship that has come to be known by the term “intersectionality.” Today she holds the title of founding director for both the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis and the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity at the University of Maryland. She was president of the National Women’s Studies Association (2010-2012) and prior to that was vice president of the American Sociological Association. Thornton Dill also serves as chair of the Advisory Board of Scholars for Ms. Magazine. Thornton Dill has won a number of prestigious awards including two awards for mentoring; the Jessie Bernard Award and the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award both given by the American Sociological Association; the Eastern Sociological Society’s Robin Williams Jr. Distinguished Lectureship; and in 2009-2010, was appointed Stanley Kelley, Jr. Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University. Her current research pulls together her knowledge and experience as a teacher, mentor, and institution builder around issues of race/ethnicity, class, and gender in higher education to examine the experiences of historically underrepresented minority faculty in research universities, focusing specifically upon the impact of occupational stress on their physical and mental health and their career paths.


E. Thomas Ewing is a history professor and associate dean of graduate studies, research, and diversity at the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences of Virginia Tech. His education includes a B.A. from Williams College and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan. He teaches courses in Russian, European, Middle Eastern, and world history, gender/women’s history, and historical methods. His publications include, as author, Separate Schools: Gender, Policy, and Practice in the Postwar Soviet Union (2010) and The Teachers of Stalinism: Policy, Practice, and Power in Soviet Schools in the 1930s (2002); as editor, Revolution and Pedagogy: Transnational Perspectives on the Social Foundations of Education (2005); and as co-editor, with David Hicks, Education and the Great Depression: Lessons from a Global History (2006). His articles on Stalinist education have been published in Gender & History, American Educational Research Journal, Women’s History Review, History of Education Quarterly, Russian Review, and The Journal of Women’s History. He has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Spencer Foundation, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research.


Shannon Jackson is the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Arts + Design at UC Berkeley where she is also the Cyrus and Michelle Hadidi Professor of Rhetoric and of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. Jackson’s research focuses on two broad, overlapping domains 1) collaborations across visual, performing, and media art forms and 2) the role of the arts in social institutions and in social change. Her most recent books are The Builders Association: Performance and Media in Contemporary Theater (M.I.T. Press, 2015) and Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good, co-edited with Johanna Burton and Dominic Willsdon (M.I.T. Press 2016). Her previous books include Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics (Routledge 2011), Lines of Activity: Performance, Historiography, and Hull-House Domesticity (2000) and Professing Performance: Theatre in the Academy from Philology to Performativity (2004). Other recent projects include the guest-edited Valuing Labor in the Arts with Art Practical, a special issue of Representations on time-based art, and a new online platform of keywords in experimental art and performance, created in collaboration with the Pew Center for Art and Heritage, In Terms of Performance Jackson’s writing has also appeared in dozens of museum catalogues, journals, blogs, and edited collections.

Jackson has received numerous awards, including a 2015 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lilla Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Performance Studies (NCA), the ATHE Best Book Award, Honorable Mention for the John Hope Franklin Prize, the Kahan Scholar’s Prize in Theatre History (ASTR), and the Arts and Humanities Outstanding Service Award. She has received fellowships from the Spencer Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as several collaborative project grants from the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, UCIRA, the Creative Work Fund, the San Francisco Foundation, and the LEF Foundation.

Before moving to UC-Berkeley in 1998, she received a B.A. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University (1989), a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University (1995), and served as an assistant professor of English and Literature at Harvard University from 1995 to 1998.


Paul Shrivastava is Chief Sustainability Officer of Penn State University. He is also Director of Sustainability Institute, and Professor of Management at the Smeal College of Business. Prior to this he served as the first Executive Director of Future Earth global research platform. Paul is an academic entrepreneur. He was part of the team that founded Hindustan Computer Ltd., one of India's largest computer companies. He founded the non-profit Industrial Crisis Institute, Inc. New York. He founded the journal Organization and Environment, (published by Sage Publications). He was founding President and CEO of eSocrates, Inc., a knowledge management software company, and the founding Chair of the Organizations and the Natural Environment Division of the Academy of Management.

Paul’s research uses science and arts to develop transdisciplinary solutions to sustainability challenges. His current focus is on implementation of Sustainable Development Goals. He is working with colleagues at Penn State, at Future Earth and at the United Nations to develop programs for implementing SDGs, and monitoring and measuring their progress. He believes that infusing sustainability across research, teaching, community and student engagement at Penn State University’s 23 campuses can help us implement sustainability across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Paul received his Ph. D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He has published 17 books and over 100 articles in refereed and scholarly journals. He has served on the editorial boards of numerous leading management education journals. His work was recognized with a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award and IIM Calcutta Distinguished Alumni Award.


Leigh Carroll is a union organizer with United Homecare Workers of Pennsylvania and SEIU Healthcare PA, working with personal care attendants to build a sustainable and supportive long-term care system. Previously, she completed her Masters in City Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she also worked with the Community Innovators Lab and the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund on a participatory study of how neighborhood changes affect health. She started her post-high school journey studying neuroscience at the University of Rochester, then taught high school science in Tanzania through the Peace Corps, and after that worked in the Institute of Medicine's Board on Global Health and President's Office. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Rediet Woldeselassie
is a 1st year graduate student at George Mason University studying Health Informatics with a concentration in Health Data Analytics. He graduated from George Mason University with a bachelors in health administration and policy in 2018. Rediet is a 10-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, where he served as a logistics management and supply chain analyst. Previously, Rediet was a research assistant at George Mason University’s College of Education and Human Development where he worked on analyzing the impact of education on minority and underrepresented university students. Rediet was on the team representing George Mason University at the 2016 DC Public Health Case Challenge. The following year, he volunteered to be on the case writing team for the 2017 challenge and has since returned to be part of the 2018 Case writing team.


Afternoon sessions

Track 1 Speakers:
Susan Albertine is senior scholar at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Beginning in 2008, she directed the LEAP States Initiative at AAC&U, dedicated to strengthening liberal and general education in public institutions and state systems, and served as vice president, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success. Albertine received her B.A. in English from Cornell University, her M.A. in English from SUNY Cortland, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago. She has served as co-leader of the Educated Citizen and Public Health initiative, a project co-sponsored by AAC&U, the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. She was dean of the School of Culture and Society and professor of English at the College of New Jersey from 2002 to 2008. Previously, she served as vice provost for undergraduate studies, Temple University, and assistant to the provost, University of Pennsylvania. She has held faculty positions at the University of North Florida, St. Olaf College, and Susquehanna University. Her scholarship in American literature focuses on women’s work during the growth phase of industrialization in the United States. A former public school teacher, Albertine has supported pre-school through college alignment through work with the Education Trust and the American Diploma Project. Her board service has included the Camden Academy Charter High School in Camden, New Jersey; the Advisory Board for the Delaware Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity—Faculty Study, University of Delaware; the Art Sanctuary, an African-American arts and letters organization based in Philadelphia; the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences; and the National Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

Paula M. Krebs
is the Executive Director of the Modern Language Association, whose 25,000 members are scholars and faculty members in languages, literature, writing, and cultural studies. In her role as executive director, Krebs advocates nationally for humanities education and the value of the humanities, working with faculty members, employers, and public humanities agencies. She has written on higher education and humanities issues for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, the Washington Post, Slate, and other publications, and she serves on the board of the National Humanities Alliance, Krebs has long worked on issues of race, class, and access in higher education. She is a Victorianist by training and inclination, with a doctoral degree in nineteenth-century British literature and culture from Indiana University and a B.A. in English from La Salle University. She is the author of many articles on Victorian literature and culture as well as Gender, Race, and the Writing of Empire (Cambridge UP, 1999), and she is co-editor of The Feminist Teacher Anthology (Teachers College P, 1998) and Kim, A Longman Cultural Edition (Pearson, 2010). She was an English professor and department chair at Wheaton College, in Massachusetts, and dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Bridgewater State University, also in Massachusetts. Before becoming a professor she worked as an editor for the National Science Teachers association and as a sportswriter for daily newspapers in New Jersey and Indiana.

M. Soledad Caballero is Professor of English at Allegheny College. Her work in British Romanticism focuses on travel writing, empire, and gender studies. She is also a poet; her work has appeared in The Crab Orchard Review, The Missouri Review, and others venues.

Aimee C. Knupsky is Associate Professor of Psychology and the Director of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity at Allegheny College. Her work in cognitive psychology focuses on how we learn and communicate in academic settings.

Together Caballero and Knupsky explore interdisciplinary connections among emotion, affect, and literature through grant-funded research, teaching, and scholarship. Their first article, “Sharing Contagion: Sympathetic Curiosity and Social Emotion Regulation in Joanna Baillie’s DeMonfort” (a special issue called Romanticism and Affect Studies in the journal Romantic Praxis). They also have pieces forthcoming in Poetics Today and in an edited volume called Critical Collaboration Communities: Academic Writing Partnerships, Groups, and Retreats, and have presented their work at a range of professional conferences including the Modern Languages Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR), and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). They served as co-principle investigators of the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA), Expanding Collaboration Grant, Interdisciplinary Team Teaching Across the Arts/Humanities and Sciences, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. They also serve as Council on Undergraduate Research Councilors in the Arts & Humanities and Psychology divisions, respectively. In spring 2018, they were awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Connections planning grant focused on the application of ethical interdisciplinarity to bolster the humanities in interdisciplinary programs and student experiences at Allegheny College.

Heidi Bostic is Professor of French at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and Visiting Associate Provost for Special Projects at Furman University. Her long-standing commitment to fostering interdisciplinary collaborations, particularly across the humanities and STEMM disciplines, has included serving as inaugural Director of Interdisciplinary Programs for the College of Arts & Sciences at Baylor University, where she led creation of the STEM & Humanities initiative, and serving as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at UNH where she launched the Grand Challenges Initiative, including the Murkland Interdisciplinary Scholars Teams. She also served as co-PI on a multi-year, multi-institutional grant from the Mellon Foundation to promote study of the humanities across New Hampshire and to enable more community college to transfer to UNH and earn a four-year degree. Her current work at Furman U focuses on interdisciplinary initiatives including curricula and programs such as the faculty working groups “Crossing Imaginary Divides: Conversations Between Sciences and Humanities.” Her publications at the intersection of Humanities and STEMM include “The Humanities Must Engage Global Grand Challenges” (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2016) and, with Meghan Howey, “To Address the Anthropocene, Engage the Liberal Arts” (Anthropocene 18, 2017).

Track 2 Speakers:
Laurie Baefsky joined University of Colorado Denver’s College of Arts & Media as Associate Dean of Research, Collaboration, and Research in Fall 2018. In this role, she supports and grows faculty research expertise, impact and success. She is deeply committed to emerging fields that intersect with arts and design, demonstrates the value of the arts throughout the research university, and facilitates innovative arts partnerships within the Denver community. Laurie is an advocate for creative placemaking and creative venture, and committed to the critical role of arts and design in creating healthy, resilient communities. Prior to moving to Denver, from 2014-2018 she served as executive director of ArtsEngine and the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), based at the University of Michigan. Through a2ru she worked locally, nationally, and internationally to support and strengthen the arts and transdisciplinary arts endeavors in higher education. This included national initiatives in arts in health, placemaking, and STEAM.

From 2016-2018, she served as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s consensus report committee on the Integration of the Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine with the Arts and Humanities at the Undergraduate and Graduate Level. From 2007-11 Dr. Baefsky established the USU ArtsBridge program at Utah State University, an arts-based interdisciplinary engaged learning initiative; and in 2014, Laurie served as grants manager for the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. A skilled grant writer herself, she has raised over $5.3 million in arts funding.

Laurie began her career as a classical flutist and music educator, with degrees in flute performance from Stony Brook University, University of Michigan, and California State University, Fullerton. She has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, Utah Symphony, New World Symphony, and as a tenured member of the Virginia Symphony. As a chamber artist her performances have ranged from Symphony Space and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, NYC to northeastern Morocco and Umbria, Italy.

Lisa M. Wong is a musician, pediatrician, and past president of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra (LSO). She grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii where she attended Punahou School, an independent school centered on education, the arts and community service. She began the piano at age 4, violin at age 8, guitar at age 10, and viola at age 40. Wong graduated from Harvard University in East Asian studies in 1979 and earned her M.D. from New York University’s School of Medicine in 1983. After completing her pediatric residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1986, she joined Milton Pediatrics Associates and is an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Wong is inspired by the work of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, a humanitarian, theologian, musician, and physician. During her 20-year tenure as president of the LSO, was honored to work with remarkable leaders in health care and humanitarianism including Lachlan Forrow, Jackie Jenkins-Scott, Jim O’Connell, and Paul Farmer. Although she retired as president of the LSO in 2012, Wong continues her involvement with the orchestra as a violinist in the section. A passionate arts education advocate, Wong has worked closely with the New England Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory School and traveled with NEC’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra to Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala, Panama, and Venezuela as a pediatric chaperone. Wong continues to be actively involved in El Sistema USA and has had the privilege of observing El Sistema in Venezuela several times over the past 10 years. Wong served as board member of Young Audiences of Massachusetts for more than 15 years and helped start Bring Back the Music (now renamed Making Music Matters), a program that revitalized in-class instrumental music instruction in the four Boston public elementary schools. In 2009, Wong was appointed to the Board of the Massachusetts Cultural Council by Governor Deval Patrick. In April 2010, Wong received the Community Pinnacle Award from Mattapan Community Health Center for LSO’s pivotal role in their capital campaign to build a new neighborhood healthcare facility. Her first book Scales to Scalpels: Doctors Who Practice the Healing Arts of Music and Medicine, co-written with Robert Viagas, was published in April 2012 by Pegasus Books. It was released as a paperback in May 2013 and was recently translated into Chinese. The audiobook version will be released in early 2014.

Sunil Iyengar directs the Office of Research & Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. Under his leadership, the office has produced dozens of research reports, hosted periodic research events and webinars, led strategic plan development for the agency, and established research and data partnerships with the U.S Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. His office also conducts program evaluations and performance measurement for the NEA. Working with his team, Iyengar has created and pursued a long-term research agenda (based partly on an arts “system map” his office helped to design), founded a national data repository for the arts, and launched two awards programs for arts researchers. He chairs a federal Interagency Task Force on the Arts and Human Development. As of August 2018, the NEA’s most recent research publications include Rural Arts, Design, and Innovation in America and Staying Engaged: Health Patterns of Older Americans Who Participate in the Arts. He contributes a monthly research post (titled “Taking Note”) to the NEA’s official blog. Iyengar and his team have partnered with organizations such as the Brookings Institution, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Institutes to Health to study the arts in relation to such topics as economic development and health and well-being. Prior to joining the NEA as research director, Iyengar worked as a reporter, managing editor, and senior editor for a host of news publications covering the biomedical research, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries. He writes poems and book reviews. Iyengar has a BA in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Jill Sonke is director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) and Assistant Director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. She serves on the faculty of the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, and is an affiliated faculty member in the School of Theatre & Dance, the Center for African Studies, the STEM Translational Communication Center, the One Health Center, and the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration.
Jill studied dance at Interlochen Arts Academy, the Florida State University, in London, Paris and Athens She has been a principle dancer and soloist with Lori Belilove & Company in New York. Jill holds an MA in Human Services from the University of Illinois and is currently a PhD candidate in arts and public health at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. She runs the Center for Arts in Medicine's Interdisciplinary Research Lab.

Track 3 Speakers:
Thomas F. Nelson Laird is an associate professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Program and director of the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University Bloomington. Nelson Laird received a B.A. in mathematics from Gustavus Adolphus College (1995), an M.S. in mathematics from Michigan State University (1997), and a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Michigan (2003). His work concentrates on improving teaching and learning at colleges and universities, with a special emphasis on the design, delivery, and effects of curricular experiences with diversity. He directs the activities of the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement, a companion project to the National Survey of Student Engagement, and the VALUE Institute, a collaboration with the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Author of many articles, chapters, and reports, Nelson Laird’s work has appeared in key scholarly and practitioner publications. He also consults with institutions of higher education and related organizations on topics ranging from effective assessment practices to the inclusion of diversity into the curriculum.

Charles (Charlie) Blaich joined the Center of Inquiry in 2002. In his role, Charlie is responsible for making the Center of Inquiry’s mission come true: to strengthen liberal arts education for all students, regardless of who they are or what privileges they have. Charlie’s career has always revolved around education and research. He began teaching in 1981 while he was in graduate school and continued to teach at the college level, at least part time, until 2007. Charlie has taught at a large research university, a regional state university, a community college, and a liberal arts college. He taught in the Psychology Department at Wabash College from 1991 to 2002, when the Center of Inquiry began.
 In addition to teaching, Charlie has also conducted various kinds of research. From 1981 to 2002, he studied communication in mallard ducklings, then Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, and finally zebra finches. In 2002, Charlie switched his research efforts to studying student learning and how organizations change or resist change.

Charlie believes the Center of Inquiry’s research and services can help colleges and universities better serve their students and says, “We work by finding people who are trying to make their colleges or universities better and helping them in any way we can. Most of our focus is in helping these people identify the kinds of data that they can use to both focus and advance their improvement efforts. We then work with them to figure out how to use the data in a way that will have the most benefit for their students given the culture, history, and organization of their college or university. At the end of the day, finding a way to make the data work for students is more important and more difficult than finding the data itself. ‘Finding a way’ is what we’re good at. If people working at a college or university are trying to improve the quality of education for their students and they are willing to use evidence to support their efforts, we can help them.”

Robert Martello is associate dean for curriculum and academic programs and professor of the history of science and technology at Olin College. He has chaired and initiated efforts that re-imagined Olin’s faculty reappointment and promotion, institutional outreach, curricular innovation, and student assessment approaches. Martello’s NSF-sponsored research, engineering education publications, and faculty development workshops explore connections between interdisciplinary integration, faculty teaming, student motivation, and project-based learning. He has delivered educational workshops for audiences around the world that include instructors and administrators at the K-12, community college, public, and private college levels. Martello implements his findings in experimental courses such as “The Stuff of History,” “Six Microbes that Changed the World,” “Paradigms, Predictions, and Joules,” and “Chemistry in Context.” A graduate of MIT’s program in the History and Social Study of Science and Technology, he is the author of Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Growth of American Enterprise, a study of Revere’s multifaceted manufacturing career and of his many national impacts in pioneering America’s transition into the industrial age. He is now researching Benjamin Franklin’s printing and business endeavors, and he regularly lectures on Revere and Franklin, our “Founding Makers,” for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Track 4 bios forthcoming

Track 5 Speakers:
Youngmoo Kim is director of the Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies (ExCITe) Center and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Drexel University. His research group, the Music & Entertainment Technology Laboratory (MET-lab), focuses on the machine understanding of audio, particularly for music information retrieval. Other areas of active research at MET-lab include human-machine interfaces and robotics for expressive interaction, analysis-synthesis of sound, and K-12 outreach for engineering, science, and mathematics education. Youngmoo also has extensive experience in music performance, including 8 years as a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is a former music director of the Stanford Fleet Street Singers and has performed in productions at American Musical Theater of San Jose and SpeakEasy Stage Company (Boston). He is a member of Opera Philadelphia’s newly formed American Repertoire Council. Youngmoo was named “Scientist of the Year” by the 2012 Philadelphia Geek Awards and was recently honored as a member of the Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2013. He is recipient of Drexel’s 2012 Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. He co-chaired the 2008 International Conference on Music Information Retrieval hosted at Drexel and was invited by the National Academy of Engineering to co-organize the “Engineering and Music” session for the 2010 Frontiers of Engineering conference. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Cristina Rivera-Garza is the award-winning author of six novels, three collections of short stories, five collections of poetry and three non-fiction books. Originally written in Spanish, these works have been translated into multiple languages, including English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Korean. The recipient of the Roger Caillois Award for Latin American Literature (Paris, 2013); as well as the Anna Seghers (Berlin, 2005), she is the only author who has won the International Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize twice, in 2001 for her novel Nadie me verá llorar (translated into English by Andrew Hurley as No One Will See Me Cry ) and again in 2009 for her novel La muerte me da. She has translated, from English into Spanish, Notes on Conceptualisms by Vanessa Place and Robet Fitterman; and, from Spanish into English, "Nine Mexican Poets edited by Cristina Rivera Garza," in New American Writing 31. She is the Breeden Eminent Scholar at Auburn University and a fellow at the UCSD Center for Humanities fall 2015. She received a Senate Grant from UCSD and the prestigious three-year Sistema Nacional de Creadores grant from Mexico.

La imaginación pública/ Public Imagination (Conaculta Press, 2015) is her most recent published work. She has developed cross-genre collaborative projects with artists and composers in De Mirabilis Auscultationibus,Aristótles, o alguien que se hace pasar por Aristótles, cuenta de las maravillas escuchadas por casualidad acerca de Tacámbaro De Mirabilis Auscultationibus, Aristótles, o someone passing as Aristotle, tells about the marvelous things overheard about Tacámbaro], bilingual edition (Mexico: Acapulco Press, 2015), with artist Artemio Rodríguez; VIAJE - Azione Drammatica Musicale per quattro voci e quattro strumenti (Milan Italy: Sugar Music, 2014), with composer Javier Torres Maldonado; Ahí te comerán las turicatas [You will be eaten by turicatas there] (Mexico: Caja de Cerillos, 2013). Los muertos indóciles. Necroescrituras y desapropiación, her most recent book of criticism, comparatively explores the contemporary discussions surrounding conceptualist writing in the United States, post-exotism in France, as well as communally-based writing throughout the Americas.

She studied urban sociology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and received her PhD in Latin American history from the University of Houston. She has written extensively on the social history of mental illness in early twentieth-century Mexico, and published academic articles in journals and edited volumes in the United States, England, Argentina and Mexico. She received a Doctorate in Humane Letters Honoris Causa from the University of Houston in 2012.

Dr. Kathryn Evans is a singer, conductor, director, producer and academic researcher of many diverse talents. She has performed and directed music composed from 1200 to contemporary times using a variety of settings and styles. An accomplished recitalist and chamber musician, Dr. Evans has completed tours of music for voice and guitar with fellow faculty member Dr. Enric Madriguera in Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Spain and Latin America. She co-produced and performed in a series of “composer concerts” with Robert X. Rodríguez, featuring the music of Mozart, Monteverdi, Brahms and Satie. She was the Executive Director of the Annual Texas Guitar competition, and celebrated their 10th anniversary with a series of concerts and competitions for both youth and adults in 2011. She released her CD, Voz y Guitarra, with guitarist Enric Madriguera, featuring previously unrecorded works of composers John Duarte and Ernesto Cordero, in 2003, and completed a concert tour to Ecuador in 2007, including appearances on national radio and television programs. She appeared as The Abbess in The Sound of Music with Repertory Company Theatre. In 2006, Dr. Evans created the Dallas Pro Musica, a vocal quintet dedicated to the re-creation of vocal music of the Medieval, Renaissance and Early Baroque periods, with occasional forays into the 21st century. Her musical creation The Music of Isaac Albeniz was performed in Dallas and Honolulu, Hawaii in 2011. Dr. Evans is currently the head of the Vocal and Choral division of the School of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas, where she directs the UT Dallas Chamber Singers, teaches vocal instruction, musical theatre workshop and a variety of music history courses, as well as general arts education courses.

Dr. Evans was the Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas from 1999 to 2010, where she ran the Art and Performance division. She was appointed Associate Dean for the Arts in 1999 after serving as Assistant Dean and Arts Coordinator for the School from 1995 – 1999. As Associate Dean for the Arts, Dr. Evans was responsible for the fine arts program, including all curricular needs (budget, materials, space and scheduling), facilities, and an extensive and comprehensive arts season in classical music, jazz, guitar, art exhibitions, theatre and dance productions, lectures and student festivals. She supervised all publicity, promotion, scheduling, budgets, technical needs, contracts and consulting agreements for the series and all contact with faculty and professional artists and performers. She oversaw three performance venues: Performance Hall (and supervised a complete renovation in 2004 – 2005), the Visual Arts Building (with two galleries and five classrooms) and the University Theatre (and supervised the renovation of the lobby in 2006, and created a new art gallery in that space) and exhibitions in the Green Center. She oversaw rental of performance spaces and acted as liaison to the community arts groups; scheduled all arts curriculum and assisted the other Associate Deans in other curriculum; acted as Petty Cash Custodian for the School of Arts and Humanities; oversaw all press and publicity for the School of Arts and Humanities; and acted as liaison to other event producers and coordinators, including Student Life, the Holocaust Center, the Confucius Institute, the US-Mexico Center and the Office of the President. She assisted the Dean with other matters pertaining to the Art and Performance division, including fund-raising, student and faculty recruitment and community outreach and oversaw the content of the Arts and Humanities website. Additionally, she administered the Bryce Jordan Scholarship fund, awarding over $20,000 annually in recognition awards and scholarships for students in the fine arts. In 2009, Dr. Evans supervised the addition of two buildings for music rehearsal space and arts studios, and the re-designed Arts and Humanities website.

More bios for this track forthcoming...


Closing Session

Guna Nadarajan, Dean, Penny W. Stamps School of Arts & Design, the University of Michigan
Gunalan Nadarajan, an art theorist and curator working at the intersections of art, science and technology, is dean and professor at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. His many publications include Ambulations (2000) and over 100 book chapters, catalogue essays, academic articles and reviews. He has curated many international exhibitions including the Singapore Biennale (2006). He served on the Board of Directors of College Art Association and is currently on the International Advisory Board of the ArtScience Museum in Singapore. He has also served as an advisor on creative aspects of digital arts and culture to the UNESCO and the Smithsonian Institution. He continues to work on a National Science Foundation funded initiative, Network for Science Engineering, Art and Design, and served on the committee for the Integration of STEM, Humanities and Arts in Higher Education Report of The Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Prior to joining University of Michigan, he was Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies at the Maryland Institute College of Arts.

Nicholas Allen, PhD, Director, Willson Center for Humanities and Art, Office of Research, University of Georgia
Nicholas Allen is the current director of the Willson Center and Franklin Professor of English at UGA. He has published several books on Ireland and its literature, has been the Burns Visiting Scholar at Boston College, and has received many grants and awards, including from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Irish Research Council.

Aileen Huang-Saad, PhD, MBA, Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Engineering Education, University of Michigan
Dr. Huang-Saad participated as faculty in the University of Michigan's ArtsEngine UArts curriculum. She is assistant professor in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Education. Previously, Aileen was the associate director for academics in the Center for Entrepreneurship, co-founder of the College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship, and associate professor of practice in Biomedical Engineering. Aileen has a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, a Doctorate of Philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Jill Sonke, PhD, Director, Center for the Arts in Medicine
Jill Sonke is director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) and Assistant Director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. She serves on the faculty of the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, and is an affiliated faculty member in the School of Theatre & Dance, the Center for African Studies, the STEM Translational Communication Center, the One Health Center, and the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration.
Jill studied dance at Interlochen Arts Academy, the Florida State University, in London, Paris and Athens She has been a principle dancer and soloist with Lori Belilove & Company in New York. Jill holds an MA in Human Services from the University of Illinois and is currently a PhD candidate in arts and public health at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. She runs the Center for Arts in Medicine's Interdisciplinary Research Lab.