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ABOUT TEDx The TEDx Program is designed to help communities, organizations and individuals to spark conversation and connection through local TED-like experiences. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self organized events that bring people together to share a TED like experience. At a TEDx event video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event.


Welcome to TEDxUIdaho 2016 > WHAT'S NEXT. We’re very excited about what we have in store for you this year. We’ve gathered ten incredible speakers from the University of Idaho community and across the country to talk about ideas worth spreading. Our theme this year is “What's NeXt?”. What is next? Flying heli-taxis. Rotating buildings. The internet of things. Artificial Intelligence. Changes in government. The future has never seemed more uncertain than it is now. But the future isn’t just a destination, it’s a journey and requires some decisions and ideas to happen. TEDxUIdaho is a University of Idaho supported event; and all of us team members are students volunteering our time. We are here to create connections in our community, and to inspire creativity and innovation. We hope you’ll enjoy this event and leave with a greater connection to the University of Idaho community. Thank you, – TEDxUIdaho Team






1PM – 2:30PM

2:20 PM – 2:50 PM


3 AM – 4:45 PM


5 PM – 6:30 PM



12PM — 1PM


Benjamin James – What use is Horror? Terence Soule – How Evolution can help us make better computers Paul Gathercoal – The Language of Civility Megan Stanley – Labels: The Good, the Bad, and the ... What Did you Call Me? Lauren Busdon – Keep Going: Learning from Trauma Vishal Sexena – Smarter Computing inspired by The Human Brain


Randall Munore – Comics that ask 'What if?' Jakob Magolan – Don't be afraid of Organic Chemistry Reinaldo Zambrano – The ancient art of woodprinting can tell modern stories Derek Pittman – Success through Failure Todd Broadman – Building Walls on Sacred Ground Brian Fisher– insects to the Rescue: Insect Farms can solve malnutrition


Benjamin James

What use is Horror?

Benjamin James is from the Forest of Dean in the UK. When Ben was 17 his parents were kidnapped in Grozny by a group of Chechen guerillas. Once they returned from their 14-month ordeal Ben dedicated himself to studying how we can use storytelling to help ourselves and others. He studied Theatre at the University of Warwick and earned a Masters in Film and TV production at the University of Bristol. He is a screenwriter and Clinical Assistant Professor in the University’s English Dept. He's a confirmed ghost story, and horror film addict.




Terence Soule How Evolution can help us make better computers.

Dr. Terence Soule is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Idaho. He received a BS in Physics from Reed College, an MS in Physics from Washington State University, and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Idaho. He is a dedicated teacher and the author of the text “A Project Based Introduction to C++”. His research interests include the evolution of cooperation and evolutionary robotics. In 2016 he co-founded Polymorphic Games, a UI game design studio dedicated to the creation of video games incorporating evolution. Polymorphic Games released its first title “Darwin’s Demons” in February 2017.

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Paul Gathercoal The Language of Civility

Paul Gathercoal is professor of education at the University of Idaho in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Previously he has served as chair of the Curriculum and Instruction department in the College of Education. He has also served as professor and program director for assessment, technology, and the curriculum & instruction program in the School of Education at California Lutheran University. Prior teaching positions include, assistant professor of education at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota; Media Studies Project Officer, classroom teacher, and curriculum advisor and coach in the South Australian Education Department; and teacher in Eugene, Oregon School District 4J. Paul earned his B.S. in Education from Southern Oregon College, and M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Oregon. Among other educational topics, Paul has authored or co-authored books, articles, and presentations addressing technology, classroom meetings, The Judicious Parent, Judicious Coaching, and The Judicious Professor.

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Megan Stanley Labels: The Good, the Bad, and the... What Did You Call Me?

Megan Stanley is finishing up her eighth grade year at Lincoln Middle School in Pullman, WA. She is the youngest of three, though only a minute younger than her twin brother. She has a keen interest in politics, social issues, and modern history. Megan writes daily, reads voraciously, and has performed in multiple theater productions with the Regional Theater of the Palouse Performing Arts School, including Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Megan’s wish is to change the world with her words.


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Lauren Busdon Keep Going: Learning from Trauma

Lauren Busdon is a freshmen at the University of Idaho currently majoring in Architecture with a minor in Public Relations. Just over a year ago she self-published a poetry anthology. Born and raised in Sun Valley, ID, some of her favorite activities include horseback riding, skiing, longboarding, reading, and writing.



Vishal Saxena Smarting Computing inspired by the Human Brain.

Vishal Saxena is the Micron Endowed Professor in Microelectronics in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Idaho. He obtained his B. Tech. degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 2002. Subsequently, he graduated with a Ph.D. from Boise State University, ID in 2010. He joined U Idaho in Fall 2016, where he directs the Analog Mixed-Signal and Photonic Integrated Circuits (AMPIC) Lab and teaches courses on integrated circuit design. His research interests are in applying circuit design to solve challenges in energy sustainability of computing and communication, and Neural-inspired computing to realize ultra-lowpower artificial intelligence. Dr. Saxena received the prestigious 2015 NSF CAREER, and 2016 AFOSR Young Investigator Program (YIP) award for his work on harnessing light to transform integrated circuit design, and was recognized as Idaho’s Accomplished under 40. In spare time, he ventures into the local art scene in Moscow.




Jakob Magolan

Don't be Afraid of Organic Chemistry

Jakob received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Western University in Canada. After three years of postdoctoral research at the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery in Australia, he joined the chemistry faculty at the University of Idaho where he teaches organic chemistry and runs a research program focused on organic synthetic methods and drug discovery. Jakob was recently granted tenure and has received awards in recognition of his research, teaching, and mentorship of students.


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Reinaldo Gil Zambrano The Ancient Art of Woodprinting: As a Storytelling tool.

Reinaldo Gil Zambrano is a Latin American printmaking artist from Caracas, Venezuela. Since an early age, he has traveled the world collecting unique stories from casual encounters that later enriched the visual narratives of his drawings and relief prints. Gil found inspiration studying the common aspect of the cultural identity and iconography from the wrongly named "Third World Countries". Gil's work studies the universal idea of home and its influence on individual personalities. Reinaldo, a UWCCR alumni and Shelby Davis Scholar, is currently finishing his MFA at the University of Idaho where he served as an instructor for drawing, design and printmaking. Check his work at :


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Derek Pittman Success through Failure Derek Pittman came to the University of Idaho in 2014 with 13 years of coaching experience under his belt. During that decade-plus Pittman worked for a handful of different schools in the SEC, Big XII & WCC, including taking the head coaching job for three years at Arkansas State from 2007-09. Pittman didn’t need much time to make an impact on the program at Idaho, leading the squad to its first ever conference title in just his second season. Idaho finished the Big Sky season unbeaten at 9-0-1 in 2015, with Pittman earning Coach of the Year honors. Idaho would remain on top in 2016, winning its second consecutive regular season championship. In three years in charge, the Vandals has won 19 All-Big Sky athletic awards and have also excelled in the classroom, earning 35 Big Sky All-Academic awards as well.Pittman resides in Moscow with his wife, Amber, and his two daughters, Emma and Jozy.


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Tod Broadman

Building Walls on Sacred Ground These days, Todd’s primary role is that of a father to his two children, Micah and Jazmine. His faith journey and thirst for cultural variety has taken him around the globe with long periods in India and China. For the last several years he has been writing a bi-weekly newspaper column centered on social criticism, or as he’d like to think, “how the world really works.” When not writing or reading or teaching, he consults with local small businesses in northcentral Idaho. He holds Master’s degree from Thunderbird School of International Management.




John Plumstead How Afghanistan and Army Football taught me parenting

John Plumstead is originally from Honor, Michigan. In 2004 he left his small town and went to New York to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. He excelled on the football field in college and helped lead the Army Football team as a team captain. After college he served as a combat platoon leader in Afghanistan. John is currently pursuing a masters in sport psychology at the University of Idaho. He is married and has four sons, all 5 years old or younger.



Dr. Brain Fisher Insect to the Rescue: Insect Farms can solve malnutrition

Often found hip-deep in Madagascar mud, Dr. Brian Fisher is a moderndayexplorer who has devoted his life to the study and conservation of insects andbiodiversity around the world. His research sends him through the last remoterainforests and deserts of Madagascar and Africa in search of ants. Although hissubjects may be small in stature, they make a huge impact on their ecosystems.And what they lack in size, they more than make up for in numbers. Whileresearching insects in Madagascar, Brian realized that little time remains to helpsave the tropical forests in Madagascar and that entomologists have a role. As a result, Brian launched the Insects and People initiative in Madagascar to farm native and edible insects to sustain forests and fight malnutrition.    Learn more at follow his pheromone trail on twitter @ant_explorer.




The University of Idaho leads as one of the nation’s premier land-grant research universities. We are the flagship institution of our state, the first choice for students, and the first in statewide responsibility. We lead in teaching and engaged student learning, in multi-dsciplinary research, in service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship, and global outreach. Through our growing residential and networked campuses and strong alumni connections, we develop leaders who will guide Idaho to global economic success, create a sustainable American West, and address our nation’s most challenging problems.

The University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is leading the way in finding solutions to the world’s most critical challenges in order to create and sustain an abundant food and energy supply, a healthy environment and successful families and communities.

The College of Engineering has one of the leading engineering programs in the Northwest. Our Senior Capstone Program has been named one of the top 10 in the nation. Our focus is teaching the fundamentals of engineering and providing handson design and research opportunities. We have world-class facilities and professors who are eager to work with students on a wide range of cutting edge research.


The College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is the largest and most diverse college at the University of Idaho. CLASS enhances each student’s understanding of the world as well as help cultivate social and personal responsibility, ethical and moral decision making, and a sense of global citizenship.

The University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources offers outstanding natural resource undergraduate and graduate programs. Learn from internationally renowned leaders in the natural, physical and social sciences, and work to address needs and issues of the natural world.


The Team Yvonne Nyavor: Executive Director and Curation

Originally from Ghana in Western Africa, Yvonne’s earliest memory is reading with her mother at age 2. Born to a biologist dad and teacher mom, knowledge and curiosity came naturally, and made her more interested in learning than anything else. Yvonne hopes this event makes you excited about the future and encourages you to learn more about the journey to NeXt.

Teresa Moote: Executive Assistant: Communication Teresa is an undergraduate here at the University of Idaho studying psychology and biology with future plans in the field of cognitive neuroscience. Teresa has a love for TEDx because it allows for people to come together and recognize the potential that each and every one of us has. TED allows Teresa to believe in humanity.


Cynthia Ballesteros: Executive Producer

Kyle is a Computer Science undergraduate student at the University of Idaho. He believes that TEDxUIdaho brings together the best in us and knowing we live in a place that has innovation and creativity.

Kyle Morgan: Technical Director I'm a Software Engineer and former student of the University of Idaho. As the Technical Director, I believe that TEDxUIdaho is an amazing platform that brings together the best in us. I enjoy waking up in the morning knowing that our community is a place for innovation and creativity. In my down time, I’m usually listening to podcasts (especially the TED Radio Hour).


Dami Olape: Stage Manager

Denise Thomson,EdD: Curation

Ayo Popoola: Executive Assistant: Fundraising

Paola Branco: Marketing and Promotions Assistant

My name is Olape Oluwadamilala, but I'm called "Dami" I'm originally from Nigeria but I moved to the US in January of 2015 and I love it here. I love working with groups that develope individuals and promote cultural diversity. Which is why I'm apart of the National Society of Black Engineers and the African Students Association. TEDx promotes a huge part of my life values and I derive a lot of joy and pride in working for TEDx UIdaho.

Ayo is a second year International Studies student who is originally from Nigeria. She believes that TEDx builds the kind of human connections that can only be formed through sharing stories and ideas and is greatful to help be apart of the TEDx UIdaho team.


Born—but not raised—in Moscow, Denise recently returned to the Palouse to reconnect with her roots. TEDxUIdaho offers an opportunity for her to weave together her passions for story, learning, and leadership development.She appreciates the opportunity to assist the young professionals coordinating this student-led initiative and knows you will be entertained and encouraged to think differently during the event.

Paola is an elephant lover, Brazilian, and a graduate student in Wildlife Sciences at the University Of Idaho. From joining the Ted Talks team, Paola has come across brilliant people from all over that have made her laugh, cry, learn and reflect about so many things


Britani Phelps: Creative Design

Irish Martos: Team Photographer

Alexandra Brizee: Creative Design

Francene Ray: Stage Design Team Lead

Britani Phelps is currently an undergraduate at the University of Idaho. She is a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in graphic design and a minor in Marketing. She is a native to Idaho, growing up in both Moscow and McCall Idaho, and recently moved back full time to Moscow. If she could give a Ted Talk it would be on how art and design helps break communication barriers. Check out some of her work on her website:

Alexandra Brizee is a sophmore at the University of Idaho. She is studying Art & Design and Journalism. Alex was born and raised in Miami, Florida and if she could give a Ted Talk on anything it would be on combining arts with social justice issues. Check out some of her work on her website:


I am a senior at the University of Idaho studying Interior Design. I enjoy storytelling and believe that TEDx is the perfect platform to share those stories and ideas to further our growth as a society together.







SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS! Office of Multicultural Affairs, University of Idaho UI Commons Print and Copy Center



TEDxUIdaho 2017> What's NeXt?  

Program for our 2017 event.

TEDxUIdaho 2017> What's NeXt?  

Program for our 2017 event.