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x = independently organized TED event

Afternoon session 12:30 - 3:00 p.m. Waughtel-Howe Field House

La Tierra Desconocida (The Unknown Country) Greg Couch is a writer who specializes in adventurous and historic subjects. He has a particular obsession with the storm-swept peaks of Patagonia, and has made seven expeditions to those remote mountains including a number of world-class first ascents. Greg’s career has been built from following his intellectual and adventurous interests to their absolute conclusions. A graduate of West Point, Greg completed the U.S. Army Airborne and Ranger schools, ultimately leading an infantry platoon in Panama where he earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He left the Army to pursue other interests, most notably in adventure travel, rock and ice climbing, and high-stakes international mountaineering. Along the way, he also became a writer. Among many dozens of articles, Greg has written about a U.S.-Iranian climbing exchange for The Atlantic and adventuring in Oman and Patagonia for National Geographic. For five years, he was a senior contributing editor at Climbing. His alpine memoir, Enduring Patagonia, is considered a modern classic in climbing circles. One day, he hopes to write about surfing — his passion of more than 30 years, and the one about which he hasn’t yet written a word.

Greg Crouch

mountaineer, expedition leader, author, adventurer

Find out more about Greg’s travels and writing. See

Alina Pina Thousavath ’96 reporter & columnist, Providence Journal

Life is a Drawing without an Eraser A 1996 Moses Brown alum, Alisha Pina has worked at the Providence Journal since she was 16 years old. She is a staff writer who covers Providence – its politics, financial troubles, neighborhood beefs, inspirational people and anything else she can uncover. She is also an occasional columnist who searches for the people, places, things and angles few other reporters attempt to write about. In addition, she is a member of the Providence Newspaper Guild Executive Committee, and was the director of its Follies this past February. Alisha describes her style of writing as “daring, creative, complete and informative.” She also says she can’t see life without being a reporter and lives by the motto, “Life is drawing without an eraser.” She has received several awards during her career, including first place nods from the Rhode Island Press Association and a Media Achievement Award of Excellence from the American & Cape Verdean Cultural Exchange Commission of Rhode Island. Outside of The Journal, the East Providence resident sings soprano for a well-known community gospel choir, Prism of Praise, and uses her coed volleyball league to assist and mentor urban youth as they transition into college and adulthood. She is married and in the early stages of writing her first book.

Highlights Media Achievement Award of Excellence winner 2013 director of the Providence Newspaper Guild Follies Providence Newspaper Guild Executive Committee member

Joli Talusan Vega

10-year-old cancer survivor, inspirational speaker

Normal Joli Talusan Vega is a 10-year-old with a message. She is a survivor of childhood retinoblastoma, a very rare pediatric cancer of the eye which has left her with a prosthetic right eye. As a result of her cancer and subsequent vision disability, Joli has developed a deep sense of compassion, care, and justice. She has a kind heart and a mature perspective on what it means to be a good friend and a caring person; she sees the beauty in what makes us different.

Photo by Alonso Nichols

A fifth grader from Brockton, Massachusetts, Joli loves soccer, dance, electric guitar, and singing. She has a pet leopard gecko named “Honeysuckle” and is working on writing her own newsletter called “Sunny News for Kids” which shares good news about everyday life. Cancer may have left her with limited sight, but nothing has limited her ability to achieve great things or her boundless vision.

Albie Dahlberg ’87

Friend & energy activist, Founder, Project Get Ready RI RI Foundation Innovation Fellows Finalist

Driving Electric Many in the MB community know Albie Dahlberg ’87 for his service as a member of the Alumni Association Board and MB Forum 2030. Albie started Project Get Ready Rhode Island to address what he believes is one of the greatest threats facing the U.S. — the overwhelming reliance on oil, particularly in transportation. Albie is founder and coordinator of Project Get Ready Rhode Island, with the goal of establishing R.I. as a leader in green transportation. Albie led the effort to bring more charging stations to Rhode Island and just completed a 50-station network this summer with Chargepoint and National Grid. A graduate of Georgetown and Boston College Law, Albie worked for Sen. John Chafee as Counsel on Clear Air issues to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He then joined the U.S. EPA and later served as Chief of Staff for R.I. Secretary of State Matt Brown ’87. Today, Albie is director of state and community relations at Brown.

Highlights Formerly Counsel on U.S. Senate Environment & Works Committee Named one of seven “energy innovators” in U.S. by Planet Forward

Andres Idarraga ’95

president and co-founder, Transcending Through Education Foundation; lawyer

A Prison-to-School Pipeline Andres Idarraga was incarcerated as a young man but went on to graduate from Brown University and Yale Law School after his release. He attended MB from 1993-1994. Currently, Andres is president and co-founder of the Transcending Through Education Foundation (TTEF), a non-profit that provides educational resources to people incarcerated in, and transitioning out of, the Rhode Island prison system. He is also a practicing lawyer at a leading law firm in Florida. Recently, Andres was named to the Lawyers of Color’s Inaugural Hot List, which recognizes early-to midcareer attorneys under 40 who are excelling in the legal profession. During college and law school, Andres worked on various educational issues and initiatives. At Brown, on behalf of the National Urban Debate League, he promoted the benefits of debate programs in innercity schools. At Yale Law, he served as a student director of the Education Adequacy Clinic. In 2010, the clinic won a major victory in the Connecticut Supreme Court that established a right to an adequate education under the state constitution for all Connecticut schoolchildren. He also co-founded the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project at Yale, which sends law students to New Haven area high schools to teach a year-long course in constitutional law. Andres has also worked on prisoner reentry issues. He was part of the Rhode Island Right to Vote campaign, which was successful in ending felony disenfranchisement in Rhode Island. In 2010, he testified before Congress in support of the Democracy Restoration Act, which would end felony disenfranchisement in federal elections. To find out more about TTEF, visit Highlights Co-Founder and President, Transcending Through Education Foundation Associate, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP

Jeff Smithson

professional clown, teacher, improv artist, photographer, creative consultant

One, Two, Three: Play Jeff Smithson is a proponent of play. He blends clowning, creativity and compassion into performances and workshops that focus on physicality and fun. Jeff has appeared on a multitude of traditional and non-traditional stages. For 14 years, he worked with kids with chronic and life-threatening illnesses as part of The Big Apple Circus Clown Care program and Paul Newman’s The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp: Hospital Outreach Program. He has taught at the Alvin Ailey Dance Center and Circus Minimus in New York City. In 2011, Jeff founded Proponent of Play, a consulting company that creates safe atmospheres for people, often in serious circumstances, to experience mindfulness and movement. Workshops focus on the developmental power of play wherein communication and community can flourish. To find out more, visit Jeff’s website:

Education B.A., Religion, Bates College B.F.A., Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College Certificate, Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater

Evening session 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. Waughtel-Howe Field House

Kitty Calhoun

ice climber, mountaineer, mother, storyteller, environmentalist

Last Ascents Kitty first roped up in South Carolina at 18. A year later, she started ice climbing while attending University of Vermont which led to winter ascents in the Rockies where her passion for alpine climbing began. While guiding for the American Alpine Institute, she traveled worldwide and climbed dozens of peaks in Peru, Bolivia, Alaska, Argentina, and Nepal. In 1990, she led a successful expedition to climb Makalu — the fifth highest mountain in the world at 27,825’ which is located on the border between Nepal and China — becoming the first woman to make the ascent. During her career, Kitty has instructed the Navy Seals, been an instructor for Outward Bound, starred in a climbing documentary called Fire on Ice, received the prestigious Underhill Award for outstanding mountaineering achievement from the American Alpine Club, and created the Mugs Stump Award which grants funds to expeditions who most exemplify a fast and light climbing style. Today, Kitty can be found climbing in and around her home in Castle Valley, Utah or leading worldwide trips for Chicks Climbing, the premier U.S. provider of women’s ice and rock climbing clinics, and Patagonia, where she has been a mountaineering ambassador since 2000.

Climbing Highlights 1986 Second ascent of Bouchard Route on south face of Chacraraju, Peru | 1987 First American woman to climb Dhaulagiri (26,800’), leader of expedition | 1990 First woman to climb Makalu (27,800’), leader of expedition | 2000-2010 Climbed six wall routes (3,000’) on El Capitan, Yosemite | 2005 Climbed Diamond Couloir on Mt. Kenya, first repeat in nine years

Jessica ’05 & Pat Mastors Climb With Daring, Fall With Purpose: What Will You Make of Your Mountain?

Jessica Mastors ’05 A member of the class of 2005, Jessica went on to study international development at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is founder and “chief elephant officer” of Earth Horn, an organization which believes that young people are hungry to learn, that learning is bigger than school and that dreams are valuable. Jessica works with individuals and groups to help unleash the dream and make it one’s classroom.

Pat Mastors P ’03 ’05 ’09 Pat Mastors is the mother of three MB graduates: Nick, Jessica, and Liz. As a journalist, Pat spent more than 20 years as the news anchor and medical reporter at WJAR-TV and WPRI-TV . With the unexplained death of her father and a drive to know “why,” Pat worked with others to introduce and pass two patient safety laws in Rhode Island. Pat’s search for answers resulted in several tools to empower patients, including a blog, Islands of Excellence, and a book published in June, Design to Survive: 9 Ways an IKEA Approach Can Fix Health Care & Save Lives. Pat also is creator of the Patient Pod, a patent-pending patient empowerment and engagement tool now undergoing clinical trials to improve patient outcomes.

Highlights Jessica has thru-hiked the Appalachian trail from Georgia to Maine and has lived and backpacked in India, Europe, Canada, Mexico and Central America. Pat serves as a patient/ family advisor for the U.S. Department of Health’s Partnership for Patients.

Amy Levin

rabbi, teacher, mentor, President of the Board of Rabbis of Greater R.I.

A Rabbi, a Minister and an Imam Walk Into an Airport . . . : Re-Seeing Jerusalem With Friends Reared in New Jersey, Rabbi Levin worked as the education director of a collaborative Hebrew High School program before moving to Israel in 1981. She was the second woman to be ordained by the rabbinic seminary of the Israeli Conservative Movement and served as a congregational rabbi in Jerusalem and in Gainesville, Florida. She is currently President of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island, is a member of the Rabbinical Assemblyยนs Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, and teaches as summer faculty at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. From 2008 to 2012, Levin served as a mentor for senior rabbinical students at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Additionally, she has served Temple Torat Yisrael of East Greenwich (formerly Cranston) since 2004. Later this fall, Levin will receive a Heroes of Faith Award from the Rhode Island State Council of Churches. This annual event honors local people making a difference in the community and beyond. She is receiving the Rhode Island Faith Leader of the Year award.

Sal Monteiro

non-violence trainer, teacher, father

The Complicated Simplicity of Nonviolence “Violence has two outcomes: jail or grave.” When Sal Monteiro left his house one afternoon, he had no idea that his life would change forever. Barely 19, he was involved in an unanticipated incident that was so horrific, his view of the world underwent a complete metamorphosis. His life, along with those of several others, would never be the same. As a result of Sal’s actions, these few seconds of his life, he served 13 years of a 20-year prison sentence. Fully accepting responsibility for his actions that day, Sal was released as a changed individual. He had learned that violence breeds violence, and the real resolution to conflict is achieved through nonviolence. Committed to the principles of nonviolence espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr., Sal currently serves as a trainer of nonviolence for the Institute & Study of Nonviolence, in Providence. His compelling story, and the lessons derived from it, have helped improve the lives of many young men and women whose life direction prior to meeting Sal had them headed for “jail or the grave.” The Institute is an innovative, nationally lauded organization that targets the reduction of gang or group violence in Rhode Island. Working with law enforcement and hospitals, the Institute has brought Rhode Island’s homicide rate down consistently over the past ten years.

Choose Peace There are estimated to be more than 1,500 gang members in the city of Providence. A survey of youth in the Institute’s summer jobs program revealed that nearly 50% of respondents had lost a family member to murder; 75% had lost a friend to violence; 90% had a friend who was stabbed or shot.

Beth Holland

EdTechTeacher, communications & instruction

Packing for the Age of Digital Exploration: The 10 Essentials Beth Holland instructs and presents for EdTechTeacher, a provider of teacher professional development. To prepare for the age of digital exploration, she believes we need to acquire a different set of 10 Essentials: communication, collaboration, citizenship, inquiry, mobility, fluency, questioning, curation, connection, and creation. Beth has presented at the 2011 Global EducationConference, the EdTechTeacher Winter Conference, the Massachusetts AssistiveTechnology Expo, the MassCUE Technology Conference, Edscape, and theEdTechTeacher iPad Summit. Beth has also been an English teacher, director of academic technology at St. Michael’s Country Day, and worked as a researcher at the Innovation lab at the Naval War College. Beth holds an Ed.M. in technology, innovation, and education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.S. in communications from Northwestern University. Teachable moments Blogger for Edutopia, Edudemic, & EdTechTeacher Mentor for Big City Mountaineers First classroom was a 50-foot sailboat in the Caribbean Has led adventure learning programs for ActionQuest in the Caribbean and Polynesia

Trung Le

architect & design principal, Cannon Design founder of The Third Teacher + AIA

Expedition to Wonder Trung Le is a pioneer of Cannon Design’s education practice and has an incessant energy and passion exploring the intersection between design and learning. Le is widely recognized as an advocate for incorporating multiple intelligences and learning styles in the design of learning environments. As the lead designer for Cannon Design’s education group, he creates spaces that encourage student inquiry and imagination and offer students a sense of what it means to be a part of a global community. Le’s work has yielded many awards from the American Institute of Architects during his 20-plus years at Cannon Design. His recent collaboration with Bruce Mau resulted in the publication The Third Teacher, a “cabinet of wonders” on how design can transform the ecology of learning. Le also leads The Third Teacher +, an education design consultancy within the ideasbased practice of Cannon Design that helps learning communities better serve 21stcentury learners. With an eye on the future of learning, the multidisciplinary team collaborates with these learning communities to formulate systemic strategies for pedagogical, curricular, and environmental change. To find out more about the Third Teacher, visit

TED Times Three Trung Le is a return speaker to the TEDx stage and has presented previously at TED in Indianapolis, Istanbul, and NYED.

Ava Anderson ’12

entrepreneur, cosmetic developer, health activist founder/CEO, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic

Toxic Baggage: A Journey to Healthier Living At age 14, Ava Anderson learned about chemicals in personal care products and their hazardous health effects. The more she researched, the more concerned she became. She started a blog to talk about where to find safer products. Disturbed at how consumers were unaware of the risks of common brands, Ava decided to create her own products. Ava’s company launched in 2009. Today, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic is a privately-held company led by Ava, now a sophomore at Babson College. In addition to providing a safe alternative to toxic conventional products, Ava and her 3,000+ consultants across the country (in all 50 states) are passionate about educating people on how to live healthier lives, while avoiding chemicals harmful for humans and the environment. Ava was named a Top 3 “Emerging Entrepreneur” of 2011 by Entrepreneur Magazine, Trusted Partner of Healthy Child, Healthy World and has been featured in many magazines — Natural Health, Glamour, Seventeen, Vogue, WWD — and television shows in addition to being a blogger for Huffington Post, Prevention, Ron & Lisa (Hollywood’s Green Home Team), and Ava counts many celebrities as customers and fans — Alicia Silverstone, Daymond John (Shark Tank), Kelli Preston, Laila Ali, and others interested in raising healthy families in healthy homes.

Eric Denny

president and executive director, Hurricane Island Outward Bound School

Pushing the Edge: Solitude & Reflection Throughout the many expeditions Eric Denny has been on, it was the four days alone, blindfolded, cold, and hungry in Utah that challenged him not to deal with Mother Nature but rather himself. A 20-year Outward Bound leader, Eric is president and executive director of Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, New England’s largest Outward Bound School, serving youth, veterans and corporate clients. Eric’s Outward Bound career began in 1990 as an assistant watch officer at Hurricane Island. In 2000, Eric joined Outward Bound Professional as vice president of program and operations. In this role, he was responsible for client engagements that included J.P. Morgan Chase, Novartis, American Express, and other Fortune 500 clients. Eric also previously served as the COO and chief advancement officer for Outward Bound USA, the country’s premier experiential education organization. In addition to his work with Outward Bound, he was selected for a Presidential Management Fellowship and served as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s specialist to the Pacific Islands from 1998-2000 and as a senior staff member of President Clinton’s Coral Reef Task Force. A graduate of Bates College, Eric received his master’s in Marine Affairs from URI.

Peter Ferry ’09 percussionist

Striking at the Edge Peter Ferry is a recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music and received Eastman’s Performer’s Certificate, recognizing “outstanding performing ability.” As an MB student, Peter was immersed in all things musical, chorus to jazz band to theater. He participated in seven different musical groups and was the youngest performer in his master class. Faculty remember Peter’s hard work, wonder and steady beat. Peter is now gaining recognition as a solo percussionist for meaningful, entertaining performances of contemporary repertoire. Peter has a passion for multimedia performances, collaborating with artists of other disciplines, whether glassmaking or fire. His performance at the Rochester (N.Y. ) Fringe Festival was called “breathtaking … funny, boundarypushing, thought-provoking.” In 2007, Peter performed a memorial percussion solo in memory of the U.S. service men and women who lost their lives in the Iraq war. This versatile young musician has a busy appearance lineup this year, with performances slated in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Baltimore; he also returns to Providence next spring to perform at RISD.

Hear more of Peter’s work at


TEDx Moses Brown School: Expeditions  

A look book of speakers presenting at TEDx Moses Brown School on October 17, 2013. Join us for an inspiring journey!

TEDx Moses Brown School: Expeditions  

A look book of speakers presenting at TEDx Moses Brown School on October 17, 2013. Join us for an inspiring journey!