TEDxers,As I reflect on our past TEDx Conferences, I am so proud of what the MVC TEDx Committee accomplished. Our curators have worked tirelessly, despite their very busy schedules, to bring to you some of the best thought leaders. Our volunteers are truly giants among us for they breathe life into this intellectual movement. All of us are passionate about TEDx and so for us, organizing is much more than just a labor of love, it is a calling! We hope you enjoyed our wonderful TEDx Conference from February 6, 2018!Deandria Reed-ShawFounder/Lead Organizer
Saul Garza has been a journalist for 23 years. Immediately after receiving his Radio-TV-Film degree from the University of North Texas, Saul landed his first job as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in Weslaco, TX. For five years he covered it all: tropical storms, droughts, crime, politics, federal corruption trials and spring break at South Padre Island. He then made the trek across the country to WDJT, CBS-58 in Milwaukee where he was the station's Bilingual Reporter. He anchored daily Spanish news breaks for the station's sister station, Univision 46. During his time there, he received an AP award for best live breaking news story. Two harsh winters later, he decided to make the move back to Texas. He's been with KDFW Fox 4 in Dallas for the past 16 years.
As one of the Good Day reporters, his day begins at an insane hour… 3:30 a.m. After eight live shots he switches gears and helps people take care of "What's Buggin' You?" Over the past 11 years, Saul has helped dozens of people recover their hard earned money, resolve disputes with neighbors, fix neighborhood nuisances and even helped people from losing their homes.
Elena Fainshtein is a professional musician. Her instrument of choice from childhood has been the button accordion, traditionally known as bayan. At the age of 17 at music college, she began playing as an accordion duo with her classmate, Gregory Fainshtein, who became her husband and music partner for life six years later. The two have performed nationally at various conventions and are actively engaged in introducing the accordion to younger generations who have never been introduced to this unique instrument in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
Michelle Navarro is a full-time professor of history at Richland College. For the past eight years, Michelle has sponsored a student club called A.L.A.S., which stands for "Achieving Latino Academic Success." The club welcomes all students and aims to support them through their academic journey, along with fundraising for charitable causes, community outreach and leadership development. Michelle is a doctoral student currently focusing on Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies.
Dr. Dwight E. Randle is interim Executive Dean of Math Science & Health Professions and Professor of Chemistry & Biology at Richland College in Dallas Texas. Dr. Randle has a teaching career that spans decades including teaching as a special chemistry instructor for the US Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland while working on a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. He owns a thriving photography company which specializes in natural landscapes and portraiture. Dr. Randle has been an active community-based mentor with Big Brother Big Sister for over 25 years.
Stephanie Roman created her company, The Bald Barbie Army, to inspire, encourage and support women and girls everywhere to embrace their unique beauty. She believes that the way each of us change the world is the "ripple effect" of positivity and love that each of us propel outward to the people we meet. This "pay it forward" type of ripple saves humanity, one person at a time. Stephanie relishes the support of her family, friends, boyfriend and "fur baby" Annie. She is proud and blessed to have achieved her goal of becoming a TEDx speaker and can't wait to see what is in store for her and all of her "troops" next.
Alexis M. Scott
Alexis M. Scott is a Triple E: Educator, Entrepreneur and Engineer. She founded AMS Academic Solutions to share her gift of numbers and education that she has possessed since an early age. Alexis has been teaching mathematics for over 20 years, including 18 years as a college professor. She published one book in 2017 called "Embracing STEM Smarts: An Encouraging Guide for Young Ladies to be Bold in Their Intelligence." Alexis will have two books coming out later this year involving her work in STEM.
Robertus Joost van der Wege is a career artist, arts administrator and art educator. Often feeling uncomfortable with reading or speaking in groups for most of his early life, art helped Robertus express his wit and imagination in unique ways. Initially seeing himself primarily as an art teacher, it was during his MFA in sculpture that he began to recognize himself as an artist with something to contribute to the world.
John Wesley Wills attended Cedar Valley College where he studied public speaking. Recently, John was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from the Vocal Visionaries Toastmasters Club for his award-winning speeches. John has been a member of the club since 2008 and enjoys the fact he can impact lives with his words. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service and currently drives for Uber. John enjoys acting and is cast in the upcoming movie “Content of Character.”
Joaquín Zihuatanejo is a poet, spoken word artist and award-winning teacher. Born and raised in the barrio of East Dallas, Joaquín strives to capture the duality of the Chicano culture in his work. Sometimes brutal, but always honest, his work depicts the essence of barrio life. His writing centers around a youth that existed somewhere between the streets of the barrio and the dream wanderings of a boy who found refuge in a world of stories and poems.