• Ava Mastrianni

The main event is on the horizon

The main event you have all been waiting for, Horizons, is quickly approaching this weekend March 13th and 14th! No sweat if you haven’t already registered because registration will remain open till event time. Don’t miss your chance to see the best lineup to ever grace the TEDx virtual stage. In anticipation of the event, I have included the speaker biographies below in order to learn more about exciting individuals that are set to take the stage!

Tanya Berger-Wolf

Dr. Tanya Berger-Wolf is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at the Ohio State University, where she is also the Director of the Translational Data Analytics Institute. As a computational ecologist, her research is at the unique intersection of computer science, wildlife biology, and social sciences. She creates computational solutions to address questions such as how environmental factors affect the behavior of social animals (humans included). Tanya is also a director and co-founder of the AI for conservation software non-profit Wild Me, home of the Wildbook project, which brings together computer vision, crowdsourcing, and conservation. Wildbook has been featured in media, including The New York Times, CNN, and National Geographic. Tanya thanks the co-founders of Wildbook Dan Rubenstein, Chuck Stewart, and Jason Holmberg, as well as Mayank Lahiri, whose StripeSpotter class project started this wild journey.

Kip Curtis

Kip Curtis is an Associate Professor of Environmental History in the Ohio State University’s Department of History and a 2020/2021 Faculty Fellow in the University Office of Outreach and Engagement. He has written and published on the history of mining (one book, two articles) and on the history of environmental ideas (two major articles, one award winning) and he is co-authoring a forthcoming history of humans on earth (2022). His current project focuses on what he calls “histories of the future,” where he has imagined an urban food production system and then developed a grant to launch it. Working at the intersection of racial justice and ecologically-minded economic development, Curtis has partnered with the North End Community Improvement Collaborative and their Executive Director, Deanna West-Torrence, to launch a microfarming cooperative in Mansfield that captures food dollars that once left the state and redirects them into households and neighborhoods in their community that need them.

Ramona Peel

Ramona Peel (she/her) is an educator who focuses on synthesizing knowledge and communicating with a wide variety of audiences. As the Lead Trainer for the Equitas Health Institute, she is responsible for creating and delivering The Institute’s LGBTQ-focused educational content. She is also a Political Science Lecturer at the Newark branch of The Ohio State University. In addition, as a bisexual and transfeminine person, her lived experience informs and enriches her work. Ramona has two decades of classroom teaching experience, and her work was recognized by the Ohio State University Political Science Department in 2004 when they awarded her the Henry R. Spencer Award for Distinguished Teaching. Ramona has a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from Western Washington University, where she graduated Cum Laude in 1997. She lives in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio and has two wonderful, supportive children.

Coyote Peterson

Coyote Peterson is an adventurer, animal expert, author, and Emmy Award-winning host on YouTube’s “Brave Wilderness” where his videos have been viewed over 3.8 billion times worldwide, making Brave Wilderness the largest wildlife brand in the digital space. Coyote has spent the past decade getting up-close with animals to uncover the true stories behind some of our planet’s most misunderstood creatures. His passion for wildlife is driven by a desire to educate the world about animals and to foster a future that conserves environments and their species. Forever dedicated to the joys of storytelling, Coyote’s vision for the future of the Brave Wilderness brand is vast. Whether he is diving into the water to catch a giant turtle or putting himself up against the sting of a bullet ant, he aspires to educate and entertain above all else!

Rattan Lal

Rattan Lal, Ph.D., is a Distinguished University Professor and Director of the CFAES Dr. Rattan Lal Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University. He was President of the Soil Science Society of America (2006-2008) and the International Union of Soil Sciences (2017-2018). He researches soil carbon sequestration for food and climate security, conservation agriculture, and soil health. With an h-index of 159 and 116,181 citations, Dr. Lal has authored over 1,000 journal articles and mentored 370 researchers. He is laureate of the 2018 GCHERA World Agriculture Prize, 2018 Glinka World Soil Prize, 2019 Japan Prize, 2019 U.S. Awasthi IFFCO Award, 2020 IICA Chair in Soil Science and Goodwill Ambassador, 2020 Arrell Global Food Innovation Award, and the 2020 World Food Prize.

Briana Brownlow

Briana Brownlow, a proud Louisville, KY native, is a fifth year PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at The Ohio State University. Her research focuses on how experiences with discrimination and other forms of chronic racial stress “gets under the skin” and impacts Black Americans’ physical and mental health. Briana completed her undergraduate degrees in Psychology & Philosophy at Spelman College in 2016, graduating 3rd in her class, and received her master’s in Psychology from OSU in 2018. Briana currently does clinical work at the Early Psychosis Intervention Center and Women’s Behavioral Health. Alongside her clinical responsibilities, Briana has taught various undergraduate psychology courses at OSU. In 2019, she was one of ten selected for the Graduate Associate Teaching Award, Ohio State’s highest recognition of exceptional teaching. She also received the College of Arts and Sciences’ Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Service for her work in creating a mentoring program that pairs Black undergraduates with Black graduate/professional students during her two years as President of OSU’s Black Graduate and Professional Student Caucus.

Pelagia Gouma

Dr. Pelagia-Irene Gouma, a former graduate of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Greece, University of Liverpool, and The University of Birmingham, is currently the Edward Orton Jr., Chair in Ceramic Engineering at The Ohio State University. Throughout her journey of earning several degrees in areas of physics, engineering and materials science, she conducted research that involved the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials for bio-/chemical sensors and biotechnology. Dr. Gouma has established novel and highly successful programs on nanomedicine, with emphasis on the development of non-invasive breath and skin-based diagnostic tools. She has been featured as an expert in nanomaterials, ceramics, sensors, and photocatalysts in numerous press releases and has published over 140 articles, 18 book chapters and editorials, and a monograph. She holds 18 patents and is a member of the National Academy of Inventors and is the Founder and Director of the Center for Nanomaterials and Sensor Development (CNSD). Dr. Gouma was a Fulbright Scholar to UNICAMP in Brazil, has received the prestigious Richard M. Fulrath award of The American Ceramic Society and has been elected a Fellow of The American Ceramic Society (2019).

Jesse Walker

Dr. Jesse Walker is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University. Jesse earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a PhD in Social Psychology from Cornell University. His research focuses on how cognitive biases influence our judgment and lead to suboptimal decisions. He also studies how we can improve our well-being by becoming better decision makers. His work has been published in top academic journals and has been covered by the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and Science Daily. Prior to becoming a Professor, Jesse spent 9 years as a professional musician.

Lonnie Thompson

Lonnie G. Thompson is one of the world’s foremost authorities on paleoclimatology and glaciology. He has led 64 expeditions during the last 45 years, conducting ice-core drilling programs in the Polar Regions as well as on the high mountain glaciers in 16 countries including China, Peru, Russia, Tanzania and Papua, Indonesia. Thompson and his team were the first to develop lightweight solar-powered drilling equipment for the acquisition of histories from ice fields in the high Andes and on Mount Kilimanjaro. The results from these ice-core-derived climate histories have been published in more than 240 articles. He has received numerous honors and awards. In 2005, he received the John and Alice Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and he was selected by Time magazine and CNN as one of America's Best in science and medicine. Lonnie is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (2005) and in 2007 he was awarded the U.S. National Medal of Science, the highest honor the U.S. awards to American scientists. In 2008 he received the Dan David Prize and the Seligman Crystal award, the highest professional award given in Glaciology. In 2009 Lonnie was elected as a foreign member of the Chinese National Academy of Sciences and in April of 2012 he received the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science, and in January 2013 the International Science and Technology Cooperation Award (the highest award given to a foreign scientist by the Chinese government) both from the People’s Republic of China. In 2019, he was elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Scott Swearingen

Scott Swearingen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Design at The Ohio State University. With a research focus in collaborative game design, his work cultivates the human experience of connectivity across a variety of physical and social boundaries in the pursuit of social good through creative inquiry. His work has been presented at various (inter)national shows and festivals including SIGGRAPH, SIGGRAPH-ASIA, IFIP-ICEC, IEEE-GEM, HASTAC, and HCI-International. Scott’s collaborators are numerous and wide, spanning the School of Music, the Departments of Art and Theatre, the College of Nursing and the College of Engineering. Prior to joining Ohio State, Scott worked in the video game industry as a game designer and has credits on multiple award-winning games and franchises including Medal of Honor, Dead Space, The Simpsons and The Sims.

Luther Young

Luther Young, Jr. (he/him) is an artist, public theologian, and social justice advocate. Luther is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at The Ohio State University who studies the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and religion. In particular, his current research investigates the causes and effects of homophobia in predominantly black churches. In addition to his research, Luther is an ordained minister, youth advocate, and author of children's religious materials. He sits on the board of directors for two international faith-based LGBTQ+ organizations and is involved with various councils, committees, and community organizations dedicated to anti-racism, justice, and equity.

As always don't forget to register at and follow along on social media for more updates!


Insta: @TEDxOhioStateU

Twitter: @TEDxOhioStateU

Facebook: @TEDxOhioStateU

77 views0 comments