Hip Hop Artist Reggie Baril
Reggie Baril is an independent Haitian-American Hip Hop recording artist from Miami. A senior at FIU majoring in theatre performance, Baril was exposed to music from an early age. He played piano and drums until high school where he discovered his passion for songwriting and rapping. As ToBy, he’s performed across Florida at venues across such as Revolution Live and Grand Central MIA. Baril recently released his debut mixtape KNGS, which has received national exposure. His musical ability is only the tip of the iceberg, as Reggie also directs, writes, acts in, and produces most if not all of his own content.
Sea Level Rise Expert Todd Crowl
An aquatic ecologist, Todd Crowl is a co-founder of FIU’s Sea Level Solutions Center. He is also the director of the Southeast Environmental Research Center as well as founder and inaugural director of the Institute of Water & Environment. His research focuses on aquatic ecology, predator prey interactions, food web ecology and, most recently, urban stream ecology. As co-principal investigator (PI) of the Luquillo Puerto Rico Long-Term Ecological Research Program (LTER), he has spent the last 25 years looking at energy flow between tropical rain forests and rivers and foodweb dynamics. Prior to joining FIU, Crowl was a program officer at the NSF where he directed the U.S. LTER Program. He has been a Bullard Fellow at Harvard University and a Research Fellow in the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center. Crowl was the PI and director of the Utah EPSCoR Water Sustainability Program at Utah State University.
Children’s Advocate Nelson Hincapie
Nelson F. Hincapie ’06 has been an advocate for children for more than 15 years. Most recently, he has worked directly with hundreds of children in foster care and many who are aging out of the system, giving him a unique perspective and understanding of many of the issues kids in foster care face. Currently, he mentors adolescents who have aged out of foster care and are making the transition to independent living. Hincapie joined Voices For Children Foundation as president & CEO in May of 2009. He began his career as part of the team that led the successful statewide campaign for Universal Pre-Kindergarten.
Forensic Chemist Rhett Williamson
Rhett Williamson is a doctoral candidate in forensic chemistry at FIU. He specializes in the development of new and improved methods for the analysis of inks, which helps trace fraudulent security documents and currency. Williamson’s research has led to the development of an ink library, a first-of-its kind database that can be used by forensic labs throughout the world for security intelligence and anti-counterfeiting measures. The goal of his work is to allow for the implementation of this methodology along with the database in forensic laboratories throughout the country and world. Williamson’s research has been presented at numerous national and international conferences and meetings.
Autism Philanthropist Patricia Kayser
Originally from Guayaquil, the coast of Ecuador, Patricia Kayser moved to the United States in 2004 when her younger brother Christian was diagnosed with Autism. She always tried to find ways to communicate with Christian. At a family function, Kayser discovered that playing the guitar made Christian social and interactive. As a result, communication with her brother dramatically improved. Kayser realized that music was a great tool to communicate and socialize with people with special capabilities in general. In 2013, she started the nonprofit Autism & Music, which helps enhance the quality of life of those with Autism through music interaction. Kayser recently finished her last semester at FIU and will graduate with a degree in Liberal Arts Studies and a Certificate in Social Media and E- Marketing from FIU.
Ebola Fighter Dr. Aileen Marty
Fighting Ebola is all in a day’s work for Dr. Aileen Marty. The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine professor didn’t think twice when the World Health Organization called her in 2014 and again in 2015 to help lead containment efforts in West Africa. A 25-year Navy veteran, Marty attended the Navy War College, and after medical school, embarked on a career that would lead to specializations in infectious diseases, disaster medicine and the science, medical response and policy related to weapons of mass destruction. Her unique trajectory began with her studying some of the most loathsome diseases known to man, starting with the oldest: leprosy. Marty is one of only 403 people listed in the international roster as a member of the United Nations Monitoring and Verification Team for Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Ovarian Cancer Researchers Carolyn Runowicz and Sakhrat Khizroev
Dr. Carolyn D. Runowicz, a gynecologic oncologist and researcher at FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, and Dr. Sakhrat Khizroev, a physicist and electrical engineer, are using nanotechnology to selectively target cancer and possibly offer an new and innovative treatment. An international leader in women’s health and gynecologic cancer, Runowicz’s research has focused on the development, initiation and conduct of clinical trials in gynecologic cancer and in cancer prevention. Khizroev is an inventor with an expertise in electron and nuclear spin physics. During the past few years, he has overseen research that has led to pioneering discoveries in oncology, neurodegenerative diseases, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and HIV/AIDS.
60 Minutes of Art Founder Jonathan Wynn-Strachan
Jonathan Wynn-Strachan is the founder of 60 Minutes of Art, a student based community service organization that takes the visual and performing arts into inner city neighborhoods that have lost funding for programs or simply have never had art accessible. The non-profit exposes kids ages 6 to 13 to the unique benefit of artistic expression. A sophomore in management at FIU and proud graduate of Miami Arts Charter School, Strachan’s ultimate goal is to give back to his community and work with aspiring youth.
This program will be hosted by:
Alberto Padron ’98, MBA ’09, returns for a fourth year as the TEDxFIU master of ceremonies. This two-time graduate bleeds the gold and blue of FIU. His enthusiasm for the university stems from his insatiable drive to learn, inspire and be inspired. He believes that TEDxFIU is one of those signature moments that allows us to share FIU’s impact on the world. When he’s not on stage, Padron can be found leading his ad agency, Stinghouse. Through his 15 years of working on some of the country’s most recognized brands including Ford Motor Company, Unilever, and Walgreens, he’s arrived at a belief shared by the Stinghouse team: Life is too short…with the right people, strategy and creativity, brands of all sizes can compete and win now. Outside Stinghouse, Padron can be found blogging about culture and society, spending time with his family or attending one of FIU’s many arts, communications, business and athletic events. Padron is on the boards of the FIU Alumni Association, City Year Miami and District Stage Company.