2016 Speaker Bios

Sheila Collins

Writer, Keynote Speaker, Improvisational Artist, and Performer

Sheila Collins
Dr. Sheila K. Collins is a writer, keynote speaker, improvisational artist, and performer. Her award-winning book, Warrior Mother: Fierce Love, Unbearable Loss and the Rituals that Heal tells of her journeys with two of her three adult children and her best friend through their life-threatening illnesses and deaths. Using her background as a social work professor, therapist, and performance...

Uli Geissendoerfer

Performer, Conductor, Pianist, Bandleader

Uli Geissendoerfer
German-American pianist, composer and educator, Uli Geissendoerfer, originally from Munich, is a versatile and remarkable musician exploring rhythms and melodies across many styles of music, with a special emphasis on World, Jazz and improvisation. He worked with among others William Cepeda (awarded a Grammy nomination), Groove Collective, Giovanni Hidalgo, Blood Sweat & Tears, Leslie Uggams...

Dre Baldwin

International Social Media Expert, Author, Entrepreneur, and Business Coach

Dre Baldwin
Dre Baldwin is an International social media expert, author, entrepreneur and business coach with a professional athlete background. After graduating with a business degree from Penn State Altoona in 2004, Dre played professional basketball internationally for nine years, in eight different countries.  Dre has been blogging since 2005, and began filming and publishing his basketball...

Bryan Bornholdt, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in Residence, Mathematics

Bryan Bornholdt
Bryan Bornholdt (Ph.D., University of Wyoming) is an assistant professor in residence in the Honors College and brings a diverse background. He has served as faculty at Dixie State University, Utah State University, and Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University). Bornholdt has taught algebra, trigonometry, calculus, C++, JAVA, introductory statistics, statics, discrete mathematics,...

Lida Citroën

International Reputation Management And Personal Branding Specialist

Lida Citroën
As entrepreneurs and professionals seek control and influence in their careers, they turn to international reputation management and personal branding specialist, Lida Citroën. In 2008, Lida left her corporate career to help passionate and purpose-driven professionals tell their story, in person and online. The author of Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding, a guide to...

Reed Cowan

Journalist, Speaker, Human Rights Advocate, Filmmaker

Reed Cowan
As the winner of dozens of Emmy awards and nominations and the recipient of the GLAAD Award for film making, Reed believes his greatest achievements lie in how he and his family turned pain in to purpose and loss in to leverage when they lived in the extreme of trauma, grief and loss.  On April 23rd, 2007, Reed’s four year old son Wesley died in a tragic backyard swing set accident.  In...

Alyssa Crittenden

Anthropologist

Alyssa Crittenden
Alyssa Crittenden is an anthropologist who studies the evolution of human behavior as it relates to nutrition and reproduction. In order to answer some of the burning questions about what makes the human species unique, she studies the links between diet composition, growth and development, family formation, and child rearing in small-scale societies. She has worked with the Hadza of Tanzania,...

Frank Anthony Curreri

Writer, Public Speaker, Media Consultant And Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt

Frank Anthony Curreri
Frank Anthony Curreri is a writer, public speaker, media consultant and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt who has won three IBJJF Masters World Championships and worked for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, The Salt Lake Tribune and Las Vegas Review-Journal newspapers, and a FOX news affiliate. A Las Vegan for the past 13 years, Frank has reported from the White House, covered anti-terrorism...

Georgiann Davis, Ph.D.

Intersex Scholar And Activist

Georgiann Davis
Georgiann Davis joined the faculty at UNLV in 2014 after teaching for several years at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She is the author of the multi-award winning book Contesting Intersex: The Dubious Diagnosis (NYU Press, 2015). In the spring of 2016, she was recognized with the COLA William Morris Award for Excellence in Scholarship. At SIUE she received the 2013/14 Vaughnie...

Edwin Edebiri

Chief Happiness Officer

Edwin Edebiri
Edwin Edebiri’s purpose statement is “To inspire and encourage others to their full potential and have a positive impact on the world through service and love.” A dynamo of humor and enthusiasm, Edwin stands at the forefront of entrepreneurial spirit. He has over 30 years of experience in providing individuals and business owner with hands-on training in inspiring possibilities. Edwin holds an...

Ryan Foland

Writer, Speaker, and Communications Strategist

Ryan Foland
Ryan Foland is a writer, speaker, and communications strategist who enjoys helping people overcome their speaking fears. Whether to a small group, or for a speech in front of thousands of people, he has a passion for public speaking. He has been recognized as an author, a decorated Toastmaster, and an experienced Emcee. He loves connecting with new people and has a fondness for innovation. Ryan...

Tim Jones, D.M.A.

Professor, Percussionist

Tim Jones
Timothy Jones is an Assistant Professor of Music in Percussion Studies and the Coordinator of History of Rock at UNLV. His book Rock ‘n’ Roll Origins and Innovators is in its 2nd edition, and he has several published articles in Percussive Notes, DrumScene, PercusScene, and Not So Modern Drummer. His TedX presentation on the marimba is published as the introduction to the keyboard chapter of Gary...

Teresa Larsen

Expert on Data Visualization

Teresa Larsen
Teresa Larsen fell in love with data visualization while earning her doctoral degree in Biochemistry at UCLA. Throughout her academic training she perceived a conspicuous void in guidelines on how to present data and results clearly. Instead of following a path to a career in research, she has been thinking hard about how to communicate complex information in the best way possible. She respects...

Sam McMullen

Expert on eSports, Video Games, Casinos, Biometrics, Software, Hardware, and Entertainment

Sam McMullen
Sam is at the unique point in his career where his wide range of diverse expertise is coming together: eSports, video games, casinos, biometrics, software, hardware, and entertainment. Sam and his team at FiveGen are working to develop not just new software tools, but the future of casino gaming, as we know it.

Jeffon Seely

Speaker, Entrepreneur, Community Leader, Author And Family Man

Jeffon Seely
Raised at the base of the snow capped Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City, Utah, Jeffon Seely is a speaker, entrepreneur, community leader, author and family man currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia. Standing upon Mahatma Gandhi’s message of “being the change he wishes to see” Jeffon is committed to shining a light of hope, peace and power into every environment he enters. On a mission to...

Jonathan Shecter -- Emcee

Writer, Producer, Programming Director

Jonathan Shecter
Jonathan Shecter is a music and media professional with more than 25 years experience as an editor-in-chief, executive producer, and programming director. Best known as founding editor of The Source magazine and the creator of hip-hop journalism, Shecter emerged as a pop culture tastemaker and industry trendsetter in media, publishing, and music programming across a broad range of platforms....

Jason Steffen

Assistant Professor of Physics 

Jason Steffen
Dr. Jason Steffen has been a member of the science team for NASA's Kepler mission since 2008.  A native of Utah, He received his BS in Physics and Mathematics from Weber State University and his MS and PhD in Physics from the University of Washington, Seattle.  Dr. Steffen spent a decade as the Brinson Fellow at Fermilab and the Lindheimer Fellow at Northwestern University, both near...

Jeremy Wallace

Author, Professional Speaker, And Entrepreneur

Jeremy Wallace
Jeremy L. Wallace is an author, professional speaker and entrepreneur. His book, Taking The Scenic Route To Manhood chronicles his journey as a transgender man. Combining his expertise as an entrepreneurial business owner with life challenging experiences, Jeremy speaks to corporations, organizations and other groups about embracing change, becoming our true selves and living up to our full...

Heather Wilde

Coach, Author, Speaker and Finder of Unicorns

Heather Wilde
What do Opera, Airlines, Economic Development, Game Design, Silicon Valley, Sailing, Disney World and Transformational Coaching have in common? They're all part of ROCeteer CTO's Heather Wilde's search for "What's Missing" along her amazing life and career journey. Winner of the 2015 Steve Awards Mentor/Coach and Executive of the Year and 2016 Quora Top Writer and Knowledge Prize Awards, she is a...

Kaiyang Wu

Instructor and Tutor

Kaiyang Wu
Kaiyang Wu, came to the United States in 2012, having been born and raised in China. His graduate studies have all been completed at UNLV where he has an M.S. in Hotel Administration and a graduate certificate in Management of Information Systems. He is currently working on his M.A. in applied economics and will join the Marketing PhD program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this coming...