This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.


The Conference Program

September 24th, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.*

Music Hall, Lone Star College – Montgomery
3200 College Park Drive
The Woodlands, TX, 77384
United States

8:00 – 9:45 Welcome; Speakers and Performers (4)

9:45 – 10:00 Refreshment Break and opportunity to mingle with the Speakers and Performers

10:00 – 11:30 Speakers and Performers (4)

11:30 – 12:30 pm Lunch and opportunity to mingle with the Speakers and Performers

12:30 – 12:55 TEDx talks from the Audience. Audience members deliver 60 second talks regarding their unique Kaleidoscope Minds (7)

12:55 – 2:15 Speakers and Performers (4)

2:15 – 2:45 Refreshment Break and opportunity to mingle with the Speakers and Performers

2:45 – 3:05 TEDx talks from the Audience. Audience members deliver 60 second talks regarding their unique Kaleidoscope Minds (6)

3:05 – 4:15 Speakers, Performers and pre-recorded TED talks (4)

4:15 – 4:45 Refreshment Break and opportunity to mingle with the Speakers and Performers

4:45 – 5:15 Performer, pre-recorded TED talks  (4)

5:15 – 6:25 Q & A conversation with Speakers and Performers

6:25 – 6:30 Closing

After-party!    from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm.  Details here.

* the conference organizers may revise the program as appropriate to ensure a successful conference

People only see what they are prepared to see.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson


Click to see and download the TEDxTheWoodlands – Schedule of Day


Speakers and Performers

(in alphabetical order)

Ritika Arya  – Opening Spaces for Creativity and Dance Performance

Making her way into the Limca book of world records at 14, for being part of the team that created India’s first in-house television channel, Ritika has taken on several roles of proactive leadership during her formative years. Today, Ritika Arya is a social innovator based in Mumbai, India. At 18 she founded a youth social organization called My India Empowered. My India Empowered (MIE) provides a platform for education and development to under resourced children through its school “Masti Ki Paathshaala” and its “Sunday active learning program”. My India Empowered website.

The other facet of MIE is sensitization and mobilization of youth, through out-of-the box events to promote Social Change in an unconventional way like “Camping in a Concrete Jungle” a leadership and entrepreneurship camp for the urban youth, “Sanga Mela” a role exchange program between domestic help and their employers and “Yes I believe” a program that unites people from diverse backgrounds into social action.

In July 2009, she received the Staples Ashoka Youth Social Entrepreneur Award at Boston, Massachusetts for the concept of MIE. Also in Dec 2009, she received the Cherie Blair foundation for women- National entrepreneurship network fellowship (CBFW-NEN) in recognition of her extraordinary entrepreneurial leadership. In November of 2010, she spoke at TEDxYouth@Taipei of her journey in working with her co-founders and volunteers to realize their vision for My India Empowered. Aside from her work as a change maker she is a passionate dancer, graphologist and traveler.

Dr. Andy Boyd – Beyond Comprehension

Dr. Boyd is a scheduled contributor to the Engines of Our Ingenuity, a nationally syndicated program produced by Houston’s National Public Radio Affiliate, KUHF. He is also a columnist for the trade magazine Analytics. He presently holds adjunct faculty appointments at both Texas A&M University and the University of Houston.

Dr. Boyd’s career spans both industry and university settings. For over a decade he served as Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President of Science and Research at PROS (Pricing and Revenue Optimization Solutions), where he led a group of some thirty advanced degree recipients with backgrounds in operations research and statistics. Prior to joining PROS, he was a tenured faculty member at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Boyd has over twenty-five scholarly publications to his credit, numerous research grants from agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the Federal Aviation Administration, and several technical articles and book chapters. He makes frequent appearances as a guest speaker on science and engineering in general, and the emerging field of analytics in particular.

Dr. Boyd was recently honored by being elected a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. He received his A.B. with Honors at Oberlin College with majors in Mathematics and Economics in 1981, and his Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987.

Barbara Campbell – Bringing Learning to Life – Bringing Life to Learning

Barb Campbell is currently a Leading Excellence Fellow with YES Prep Public Schools in Houston, TX.  Her areas of professional interest include service learning, school culture, community engagement and social entrepreneurship.  She has seventeen years experience in education, starting her career as a Psychology teacher upon graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1992.

Barb has championed efforts to revitalize the secondary school experience for the past decade as Smaller Learning Community Coordinator in Humble ISD.  She recently earned her MBA from Rice University as part of the 2nd cohort in the innovative Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program.  She has been happily married to Rob for 17 years and they have 4 children ages 16, 14, 11 and 6.  Barb loves the outdoors and enjoys camping and boating with the family and participating in triathlons and adventure races.

Marianna Cerani – Accompanist for Ave Maria

Marianna Cerani began her piano studies at the age of 8 in Philadephia.  At age 11, she began studying with Amanda Vick Lethco, Director of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Texas.  A year later, she was employed as the accompanist at Pines Presbyterian Church and other professional venues.  She began teaching piano at the age of 16, and won a full scholarship in Piano Performance to Southwestern University where she studied under the recording artist and Artist-in-Residence, Drusilla Huffmaster.  There she was the accompanist for the Opera Theatre, and solo artist with the Austin Symphony.  Graduating Phi Beta Kappa, she continued her graduate studies in Piano Performance at Texas Women’s University.

She taught Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy in the Music Department of Houston Baptist University for 16 years, during which time she was Organist, Pianist and Choir Director at a number of churches of different denominations plus a member of the Tuesday Music Club Women’s Chorus, the George Hall Singers (professional choir), and the Houston Master Singers.

She has served as the Director of Music Ministries at St. Albert of Trapani Catholic Church, St. Cecilia Catholic Church, and is currently the Principal Organist for St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in The Woodlands, Texas.  She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, National Pastoral Musicians, the American Guild of Organists and the American Federation of Musicians Local 65-699.

Dominick DiOrio – The Learning Curve: Artfully Shaping Our Students’ Minds

Conductor and composer Dominick DiOrio (b. 1984) is Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Lone Star College-Montgomery. He is pursuing the DMA at Yale University (MMA ’09) in choral conducting, where he studied with Marguerite L. Brooks and Simon Carrington. At Yale, Mr. DiOrio was Director of the University Church Choir, Principal Assistant Conductor and Ensemble Manager of the Yale Camerata, and Co-Conductor of the Yale Recital Chorus. He has also served on Faculty at the Berkshire Choral Festival, Montreal. In October 2009, he travelled to Sweden to compete in the Eric Ericson Award, the top international competition for young choral conductors. He sings professionally with the Houston Chamber Choir.

As a composer, Mr. DiOrio has been the recipient of many recent awards including the 2009 Young New Yorkers’ Chorus Nathan Davis Prize in Composition, the 2007 Allen E. Ostrander International Trombone Composition Prize, and the 2006 Raymond W. Brock Memorial Student Composition Prize given by ACDA. His work is published with Alliance, Lorenz/Roger Dean, and Oxford.

Mr. DiOrio has also received the Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Yale University and a Bachelor of Music in Composition summa cum laude from the Ithaca College School of Music. While at Ithaca, he studied conducting with Janet Galván, which led to his appearance as a finalist in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Undergraduate Conducting Competition in Los Angeles in 2005. At that time, he also served as Assistant Conductor with the Ithaca Children’s Choir and was Founder and Conductor of the Ithaca College Recital Chorus. Please visit www.dominickdiorio.com for more information.

Teresa Dosssman – Perfect People Principle

Teresa Dossman has been a professional speaker and trainer for National Seminars Group for 3 years in addition to serving as the Executive Director for K-12 Curriculum as well as the Director for Career and Technical Education in the Spring Independent School District.  Prior to her current roles, Teresa served the district as a curriculum coordinator, high school teacher and dance/drill team director for 16 years.  Teresa also founded and owns BrainWorks, Inc. Educational Consulting firm.

Education is a priority for Teresa as demonstrated in the completion of a Master of Secondary Education in Curriculum and Instruction, a Bachelor of Science in Education and Mid-Management Certification.  She also has completed specialized instructor training in Working On The Work and Brain-based Learning. 

Some of Teresa’s speaking experiences include over 60 seminar presentations for companies throughout the United States, commencement speaker for ITT Technical Institute and conference presenter for Gulf Coast Tech Prep, National Career Pathway Network, National Career Academy Coalition,  and Career and Technical Administrators of Texas.  Her presentations focus on leadership, teamwork, personal productivity, interpersonal communication and education. Her professional affiliations include Association of Curriculum Development, Association of Career and Technical Education and Partnership in Excellence in Education.  Awards she has received include Administrator Distinguished Service Award and Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year.

Javier Fernandez-Han – Demystifying Creativity, You Don’t Have to Be Creative to Be Creative

A tinkerer and inventor since age 7, Javier is currently a junior in high school. In 2008, Javier founded the non-profit organization Inventors without Borders to encourage and enable teens to use their talents to solve real-world problems. In 2009, Javier won the first place award in the Ashoka-Lemelson “Invent Your World” competition with his VERSATILE design, an algae and bacteria-powered system for providing food, fuel, fertilizer, and sanitation for developing communities. In 2010, he won the first place award for renewable energy in the Conrad Foundation “Spirit of Innovation” competition with his ACWa (Affordable Clean Water) design, a patent-pending solar, wind and geothermal-powered system for producing clean water from humid air at extremely low cost.  The Conrad Foundation subsequently selected ACWa for commercialization support through their Portal program.

In 2010, Javier co-developed “Invent and Innovate”, learning program to inspire and enable youth to use their creativity to invent products and services to serve their local communities. This program is being implemented in several Houston-area schools and is being adapted for implementation in India and Taiwan. During the summer of 2010, Javier worked for Martek Biosciences in Columbia, MD in the area of yeast-derived bio-fuels. A few months ago, Javier launched Innovation Foundry – MIE to collaborate with My India Empowered, a NGO in Mumbai, India to rebuild a monsoon-damaged one-room school in the National Forest near Mumbai. Javier is interested in studying industrial design in college and continuing to invent solutions for the developing world. Summary bio.  

Dr. Joyce Juntune  – Creativity in Education

Dr. Juntune has been a classroom teacher and a district project director for staff development and gifted education.  She earned a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Intelligence, Creativity, and Giftedness.

For over 25 years, Joyce has been a consultant to a variety of school districts and a major speaker at numerous state and regional conferences across the United States and Canada on integrating creative thinking into K-12 classrooms and improving services for gifted students. She served as the Executive Director of both the National Association for Gifted Children and the American Creativity Association.

Dr. Juntune teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in educational psychology, child and adolescent development, and intelligence and creativity at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.  Through her efforts an undergraduate minor in Creative Studies has been established at Texas A&M University.  She has recently been awarded the President’s Award by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) for her work in the field of gifted education and the 2011 Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching.

Dr. Daniel Kainer – The Power of Optimism: A Little Goes a Long Way!

Daniel Kainer is currently in his ninth year as a faculty member at Lone Star College-Montgomery.  He is currently serving his second year as director of the Lone Star College Biotechnology Institute (LSCBI) which is home to the first biotechnology program in Texas.

After receiving bachelor degrees in psychology and philosophy from the University of Houston, Kainer received his Master’s degree in microbiology from Texas Tech University and his doctorate in cell biology from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.  During his graduate school years, he experienced the joys of teaching, first-hand, as a teaching assistant and decided to pursue a secondary composite science teaching certification.  After teaching high school for one year, he did post-doctoral research at the University of Texas School of Public Health before settling into the full-time teaching career he currently enjoys at Lone Star College.

Dr. Kainer has a wide range of academic and entrepreneurial interests.  He parlayed a life-long love of astronomy and a career as a biology educator into the development of several continuing education courses and workshops covering the fascinating topic of astrobiology.  Since 1998, he has operated a small ecommerce business, selling thousands of items on ebay, amazon, and other internet venues.  He is currently an established online bookseller and has translated this personal entrepreneurial experience into short courses offered at Lone Star College.

During the past two years, Dr. Kainer has begun a collaboration between the National Algae Association and the Lone Star College Biotechnology Institute.  This collaboration has resulted in the development of several algae-derived biofuels research projects, some of which have been integrated into the biotechnology curriculum at Lone Star College.  He is currently developing curricula, in conjunction with Santa Fe Community College, for the newly-emerging algae biofuels industry and hopes to be an early contributor toward training a workforce for this industry.  A collaboration with the National Algae Association and the  LSCBI has led to the establishment of biofuels research opportunities for Lone Star College biotechnology students which includes the unique opportunity to help develop one of the first commercial scale biorefineries in Texas, right here on the Lone Star-Montgomery campus.

Dr. Larry Loomis-Price – Serendipity

Dr. Larry Loomis-Price has been working at the interface of chemistry and biology his entire career. He majored in both biology and chemistry at MIT and earned his PhD in biological chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley. For the first fifteen years of his professional life, Dr. Loomis-Price worked as a biochemist in medical research laboratories. His projects involved developing vaccines for the prevention of infectious diseases, including malaria, hepatitis C, and HIV. The research in both malaria and HIV eventually yielded vaccines that were successful in preventing disease in clinical trials.

Dr. Loomis-Price has also had a career-long interest in teaching science. He taught in the biotechnology graduate program at Johns Hopkins University. After moving to Texas in 1999, he joined Lone Star College-Montgomery as an adjunct professor of chemistry. Dr. Loomis-Price became a full-time professor in the biotechnology program at LSC-M in 2002. He served as director of the Biotechnology Institute from 2002 to 2008.  While director, he was the primary investigator on “Biotech-Success,” a National Science Foundation project to increase participation by minority and other underserved populations in the sciences. Dr. Loomis-Price received the NISOD Faculty Excellence Award in 2010. He serves currently as advisor for the bio-fuels working group, a student organization that produces diesel fuel from a variety of “green” sources, including reclaimed waste vegetable oil. He has been awarded a sabbatical next year to further pursue this interest by working at a local chemical company while continuing to teach at Lone Star College.

In his spare time, you might see Dr. Loomis-Price at the LSC-M Wellness Center, running around the track in back of campus or riding his bicycle on the streets of The Woodlands. He has sung in choral groups all his life and has also been known to play keyboards and the bass guitar.

Jennifer Myers – Augmented Reality

Jennifer Myers is an adjunct instructor of biotechnology at Lone Star College – Montgomery in The Woodlands, Texas. Jennifer is also a Ph.D. student in the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. Her specialty is educational technologies, including social media and games. She has a Master’s in Teaching from Tufts University and has worked professionally in molecular and cellular biology at Dartmouth College. In addition, Jennifer has worked with Steven Caney Design, assisting with the research and development of Steven Caney’s books that promote creative play and learning. Most recently, she was the researcher for Steven Caney’s Ultimate Building Book. Her current research investigates the relationship between play and transformative learning, especially as it applies to science education and professional development. Digital games are of particular interest because of the ways this form of play can promote systems thinking, problem solving, self-efficacy, and allow for embedded, authentic assessment. Jennifer hopes that more people will embrace play as an essential component of learning and development.

Khoren Ouzounian – Inexpressible: Music, the Mind, and Emotion

Khoren Ouzounian is a nationally recognized educator, composer, conductor, organist, pianist and entrepreneur.  As founder of the Musicians Academy International of The Woodlands, his students have successfully enrolled in conservatory and college music programs throughout the United States and he is well recognized for his work as a teacher-trainer and master-class presenter.  His philosophy and methodology in teaching has garnered international recognition and acclaim at such events as the World Piano Pedagogy Conference.  His compositions and arrangements have been published and presented by Celebration USA™, Faiths United of the Woodlands, and in LDS church services throughout the U.S.  Khoren is also an active soloist and chamber musician, most recently presenting a Beethoven and Grieg concert with violinist, Thomas McClung.  Khoren also has a passion for business and finance.

From 1995 to 2000, Khoren worked as the General Manager of Operations at Opal Concepts Inc. where his unique talents set him apart as a valued trainer and made him a part of the business development team.  While at Opal Concepts, Khoren was twice invited to present seminars at the Fantastic Sams International Convention.  Khoren is currently an independent financial advisor and wealth consultant with LPL Financial.  While living in Las Vegas, Khoren also sat on the board of the Las Vegas Performing Arts Center.  Khoren and his wife Samara live in The Woodlands area of northern Houston with their six children.  His piano teachers have included JoLane Laycock Jolley, Dr. Douglas Humpherys, Robert Smith, Lillian Bauer Cox and Mykola Suk.

Cori Reebenacker – Ave Maria

Cori Reebenacker just started her freshman year at Sam Houston State University, majoring in Music Education.  She is a 2011 graduate of The Woodlands High School.

An accomplished multi-disciplined musician, Cori was a member of the The Woodlands High School Chamber Choir for three years, and a member of the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Mixed Choir in 2011.  She earned All district and All region honors in clarinet, and was a member of The Woodlands High School Wind Ensemble for four years.  She was a member of The Woodlands High School Marching band for four years, including three years playing clarinet and in her senior year was a Drum Major.

Cori is very active in the music ministry at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in The Woodlands.  She is a trained Catholic cantor and piano accompanist, and sings and plays at mass, weddings and funerals.  She has also directed Children’s Choir Camps at St. Anthony, working with children from pre-school to 8th grade level.

Ahmed Riaz – Design Play for Kids in Extreme Environments

Ahmed Riaz is a user experience designer with an education in industrial design, an expertise in visual thinking and a passion for making objects that dissolve into behavior. Born in Pakistan, grew up in the Middle East, Riaz is a natural nomad, curious about everything, and believes making is the best way to learn.
His past design adventures include researching air craft interiors for Gulfstream Aerospace, honing his skills as a professional napkin sketcher for the visual thinking company XPLANE and reinventing e-commerce for the internet pioneer eBay.
He currently is working as a senior designer for frog design in Austin, TX. thinking of strategies that lead to sustainable success for clients of all shapes and sizes. While not working with fortune 500 companies Riaz is engaged in developing tools to inspire Design Play in children around the world.
Daniel Vallery – The Serpent’s Kiss
Daniel Vallery is a full-time student, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance. Having studied piano at the University of Houston as well as at Lone Star College – Mongomery, he plans on transferring to Sam Houston State University in the fall of 2011. He has studied with Houston-area piano teachers John Hendrickson, Timothy Hester, Diane Delk, and Dr. Roger Keele. In 2009, he won first place in the CCMTA Piano Contest.
Daniel loves to apply his talents by performing in solo recitals; accompanying soloists, choirs, and chamber groups; playing for weddings, funerals, and other special events; and teaching piano to beginner and intermediate students. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys composing music in many different styles, and hopes to have a career in Hollywood creating music for commercials, television programs, and films.



In addition to the speakers and performers above, these members of the audience will be giving “60 Second” talks

(in alphabetical order by first name; photos are above the speakers’ names)

arms crossed close w intrepid

Allison Hulett  Resist the Urge to “Fit In”

Arthur Nelson – Learning Through Parallelism

Cindy Criswell – Adventures in Unschooling: A Passionate Path to Knowledge and Life

Denise Lanier – WordPlay

Gika Rector – Getting it Right the First Time is Overrated

Joshua CulbreathForget the Box: Reaching Gifted and Talented Students in the Modern Classroom

Mario Rosales – We’re Too Busy to Care

Matt Krishnan – What is an Open Mind?

Meg BelmontesI Ain’t No Spider-Man

Mike Devoley – Mike D’s Pyramid of Truthiness

Nancy Cameron – New Beginnings

Sheryl Sitts – Communicate from the Heart

Vineet Sawant – A Game-oriented Framework for Learning

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