TEDx 2016, Flip the Script

1 p.m. Sunday, March 20

Anderson Center, Osterhout Concert Theater

Talks and Biographies

Mason Wartman

Mason Wartman

"Improving your community through focus and persistence"

How you can build a business that helps the most underserved people of your community?
Flip for Biography

About Mason Wartman

Philadelphia native Mason Wartman returned to his hometown in 2013, after working as an associate at an equity research company in Manhattan, to start Rosa's Fresh Pizza, a pizza shop modeled after the $1-slice joints he admired in NYC. Opening and managing a pizza shop was a dramatic change from his daily routine of formatting reports and crunching numbers on Wall Street. Several months into operation, a customer asked to pre-purchase a slice of pizza for one of the many homeless people that Rosa's served. Wartman liked the idea and made the pay-it-forward program a prominent part of his business model. Since that first slice, Rosa's now feeds about 100 homeless people each day and has expanded to sell t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, gloves and socks to support the neighborhood's homeless population. He attended high school at Germantown Academy and went on to get a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in finance at Babson College.

Samar Habib

Samar Habib

"Let the scholar speak, even if it scares you"

When ebbing from altruistic motives, scholarship is an epic adventure into the unknown. Habib tells the story of the courage that is at the heart of a true research adventure and why we need scholars to continue to be adventurous and courageous. But as in every epic, the scholar faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles and adversaries on the path to truth and in the effort to formulate and disseminate new knowledge.
Flip for Biography

About Samar Habib

Samar Habib is a writer, researcher and scholar. She received her doctorate at 26, and is the author, editor and translator of several seminal books, including Female Homosexuality in the Middle East (2007), Arabo-Islamic Texts on Female Homosexuality (2008); and Islam and Homosexuality (2010). Her literary works include the novel Rughum and Najda (2012). Habib is regularly invited as an expert of international standing to speak at world-leading universities and contributes to long-standing reference works on gender and sexuality in the Arab world. Some publishers of her academic works include E.J. Brill, Oxford University Press and Routledge.

Kyrin Pollock

Kyrin Pollock and Matthew Gill

"The reality of virtual reality"

How would you like to explore the mysterious depths of the sea, experience a significant date in history or race a Formula-1 car on any track in the world? The power of virtual reality has become so advanced that it has the capability to visually trick our minds into belief. However, we lack the peripheral systems to allow our whole body experience a simulation. There are endless incredible ways virtual reality can enhance our life, education and how we experience our news. With new technology and innovation, these opportunities are closer than you may expect and Pollock and Gill are going to tell you how.
Flip for Biography

About Kyrin Pollock

Sophomore Kyrin Pollock, majoring in biomedical engineering, is a member of Enhance VR, a virtual reality-based start-up company established in spring 2015. Since its founding, the company has designed peripheral devices for users to experience motion, complementing their interaction in a virtual world. She is a Zurack Scholar in the School of Management and also dedicates time outside of classes to business and finance. Pollock has served as president of the Freshman Class of 2018, and helped organize fundraisers and promote unity among the class. She is currently employed as a tennis instructor and is an active tennis player.

About Matthew Gill

Matthew Gill is a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering, a member Binghamton's track and cross country teams, and co-founder of Enhance VR. From a young age he enjoyed building bikes and restoring cars in his father's garage. His engineering interests and creativity have guided him to designing peripherals and systems to use with today's modern Virtual Reality technology through Enhance VR. He also works in Watson Advising, aiding both students and staff in the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. Outside of classes, running and virtual reality, you'll find him sailing and working on vessels in the Finger Lakes, including crewing on the 1926 Schooner "True Love."

Dr. Ellen Stofan

Ellen Stofan

"Are we alone?"

NASA is seeking to answer the fundamental question: Are we alone? With our increasingly advanced telescopes, we are identifying potentially habitable worlds around other stars. At the same time, we are looking to destinations in our own solar system – Mars, Europa, the moons of Saturn – to understand how common life might be, and how similar to life on Earth. We are on the cusp of knowing if life is something unique to our planet, or something ubiquitous in our solar system and beyond.
Flip for Biography

About Ellen Stofan

Ellen Stofan, chief scientist of NASA, serves as principal advisor to the NASA administrator on the agency's science programs, and science-related strategic planning and investments. Her research has focused on the geology of Venus; Mars; Saturn's moon, Titan; and Earth. Stofan has a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary and a PhD from Brown University. She has published extensively, and received many awards and honors including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She is an associate member of the Cassini Mission to Saturn Radar Team, and has proposed a mission to NASA to land a boat on a sea on Titan.

Akili Tommasino

Akili Tommasino

"Get high [culture]"

Even as technology has facilitated the production and sharing of images and information, and cultural institutions like museums increasingly embrace new tools to connect with their changing audiences, the perception that these institutions are inaccessible persists. Akili will discuss the crucial imperative that young people be empowered to comprehend and claim their stake in 'high' culture.
Flip for Biography

Akili Tommasino

An advocate of emerging artists and scholar of the 20th-century avant-garde, Akili Tommasino is a curatorial assistant in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. He earned his master's and bachelor's degrees at Harvard University, where he is conducting doctoral dissertation research on Fernand Léger's efforts to produce socially transformative art through a variety of media during an age violently impacted by the advent of machine technology, research that began during a Fulbright fellowship in France. He is chairman and co-founder of an arts initiative which, under the aegis of New York City-based gifted education program Prep for Prep, seeks to create and expand opportunities for young people from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. He has organized and collaborated on numerous exhibitions at institutions including the Centre Pompidou - Musée national d'art moderne, Paris; Harvard Art Museums⁄Fogg Museum, Cambridge, Mass.; U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice.

Melissa Frascella

Melissa Frascella '11

"Defying the constraints of 'supposed to'"

Society has a pretty conniving way of telling us what we are "supposed to" do and how we are "supposed to" live our own lives. Applicably, whether it is declaring a major during undergrad, measuring up to the evident parameters of being a 20-something or letting an epilepsy diagnosis change your life, society has constructed a set of rules that we are expected to follow.

When it comes to healthcare and education for kids, there is nothing more impactful than empowering a child with an illness that he or she can do anything, especially becoming his or her own personal superhero. In this talk, I will discuss and promote the notion that each of these kids are "supposed to" find the superhero inside of them and be able to do whatever it is they dream of doing.
Flip for Biography

About Melissa Frascella

Binghamton University alumnus Melissa Frascella '11 has some pretty noteworthy colleagues: five superheroes who know everything there is to know about the human body and hail from planet Mediland. As manager of U.S. accounts at Medikidz, the world's first global kids health brand that uses superheroes and comic books to explain medicine to children, Frascella embraces the opportunity to be part of this growing and exciting team that is changing the landscape for kids' health. At Binghamton, she pursued the Individualized Major Program (IMP). Interested in all things healthcare, communications and economics, but finding no existing culminating opportunity, she challenged the typical major declaration and successfully created her own health communications major. She also holds a master's in public health with a concentration in health policy and management from New York Medical College.

Bakari Kitwana

Bakari Kitwana

"The Ferguson Effect"

Although the term "The Ferguson Effect" has come to be discussed and defined in mainstream media as a rise in crime as a result of the Ferguson protests following the police killing of Mike Brown in August 2014, Kitwana will offer an alternative definition: the boldness of a new generation of Black youth, inspired by the Ferguson protest movement, to stand up against racial oppression at a mass level for the first time in the US since the activist movements of the late 1960s and early the 1970s. He will focus on the ways political movements evolve out of previous ones, more specifically the ways that aspects of The Black Lives Matters Movement has evolved out of the hip-hop political movement of the previous generation.
Flip for Biography

About Bakari Kitwana

Journalist, activist and national thought leader in the area of hip-hop activism, youth culture and young voter political participation, Bakari Kitwana's commentary has been seen on CNN, Fox News, C-Span and PBS and heard on NPR. He is the executive director of Rap Sessions: Community Dialogues on Hip-Hop, which for the last decade has conducted town hall meetings around the U.S. Also a senior media fellow at the Harvard Law-based think tank, The Jamestown Project, he is authored the bestselling book The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African American Culture, which has been adopted as a course book in classrooms at over 100 colleges and universities. Former executive editor of The Source: The magazine of hip-hop music, culture and politics, he has taught at the University of Chicago and co-founded the 2004 National Hip-Hop Political Convention, which brought over 4,000 young people to Newark to create and endorse a political agenda. Kitwana's forthcoming book is Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama Era.

binghamton bhangra

Binghamton Bhangra (at intermission)

Binghamton Bhangra combines the modern and attractive appeal of current pop music with the traditional and cultural dance elements of Bhangra, a folk dance that originated from the Punjab region in India.