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TEDxHampshireCollege / 2012 Speakers

TEDxHampshireCollege Speakers

Video of the speakers' talks are now available online >>

Djola Branner
Djola Branner, professorProfessor Branner's professional life has been defined by a passion for scripting, staging, and performing original drama, and that passion has defined his approach to teaching. His classrooms/studios are marked by a commitment to unearthing student/artists' authentic voices through an integration of theatrical disciplines, and a challenge to examine the cultural context of their work. He has taught dance, acting, and dramatic writing for more than twenty-five years in community and academic settings including City College of San Francisco, Stanford University, University of Minnesota, Macalester College, and American Musical and Dramatic Academy. A graduate of San Francisco State University, where he earned an M.A. in Creative Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, and The New School for Drama, where he earned an M.F.A. in Theatre. Djola is currently dean of the School for Interdisciplinary Arts, and associate professor of theatre at Hampshire College, where he teaches a broad range of theatre courses.

Martin Cain
Martin Cain 10F Martin Cain is a Division II student interested in sound and sculpture. He creates collages, sculptures, sound installations, and electronic instruments that explore found and random elements in artworks and music. Since coming to Hampshire, he has worked and studied in Hampshire's Center for Design, the Art Barn, and the media production studios in the basement of the College library. His spare time in these facilities has been devoted to building a modular synthesizer for music composition and performance. Using scrounged circuitry from trashed computers, children's toys, and cheap audio equipment, Martin builds quirky and personal instruments that don't quite fit into the conventions of audio synthesis. The resulting music is improvised, whimsical, and strangely human.

Jo Comerford
Jo ComerfordJo joined the National Priorities Project in 2008, bringing with her two decades of work as a community organizer, and a strong background in nonprofit administration. Most recently, Jo served as director of programs at The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Prior to The Food Bank, Jo directed the American Friends Service Committee's western Massachusetts office. Jo travels extensively for NPP, offering budget talks and facilitating participatory workshops. She is a frequent media contributor, with pieces appearing in outlets such as The Nation, TomDispatch, The Huffington Post,, Mother Jones, and Dollars and Sense. Jo holds an M.S.W. in community organizing from Hunter College School of Social Work and is an adjunct assistant professor at the Smith College School of Social Work.

Gabby Fluke-Mogul
Gabby Fluke-MogulGabby Fluke-Mogul is a Division III student at Hampshire College exploring improvised music, engaged pedagogies, and  studies of childhood, youth, and learning. She is interested in the interplay between the language and context of performance, specifically the socio-historical, cultural, and political implications of improvisation in both classrooms and musical spaces. Gabby began teaching and working with young people through a national non-profit, The Breakthrough Collaborative, when she was a high school student in South Florida. Since her first year at Hampshire College, she has developed and facilitated arts-integrated and social justice-orientated curriculum for elementary classrooms within the Pioneer Valley. Gabby performs as a freelance, multi-genre violinist with numerous musical collaborations and currently teaches at the Montessori School of Northampton.

Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Jarrett J. Krosoczka has been passionate about storytelling through words and pictures since he was a kid. He began his professional career by illustrating educational readers for a national publisher while still an undergraduate at Rhode Island School of Design. Then, just six months after graduation, Jarrett received his first contract for a trade book that he authored. Knopf Books for Young Readers published Good Night, Monkey Boy on June 12, 2001 and Jarrett hasn’t stopped or slowed down since. He currently has authored and illustrated eighteen published books—ten picture books and eight graphic novels. His Lunch Lady series has twice won a Children's Choice Book Award, in the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year category, and was nominated for a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award. In the summer of 2013, Jarrett will have his chapter book debut with the publication of Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked. His Punk Farm and Lunch Lady series are both currently in development as feature films. While Jarrett awaits seeing his work adapted for the silver screen, he can be heard on The Book Report with JJK, his new radio segment on Sirius XM's Kids Place Live.

Charlotte Luks
Charlotte LuksCharlotte is a final year student at Hampshire College studying human rights law. She is from Belgium via Rhode Island. Charlotte is currently working on a Division III concerning human rights issues within contemporary European migration law. She originally began doing research about corporate culpability for human rights violations under Prof. Dr. Geert van Calster at the KU Leuven in Belgium, work that was compounded by later work for Greenpeace Belgium.

Andrew Stachiw 06F
Andrew Stachiw 06FAndrew Stachiw's interest and experience in education, curriculum, and cooperative movements was catalyzed during his time at Hampshire College, beginning in 2006. While at Hampshire, Andrew completed a thesis on American Expansionism and Indian Removal Policy, while at the same time receiving a Massachusetts teaching license for secondary education as a history teacher. Andrew has extensive experience designing and implementing curriculum and lesson plans. Furthermore, Andrew has created and designed workshops and conferences for a variety of issues, ranging from educational resources to social justice and social change movements. Andrew is a member of the worker-owned cooperative The Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA), which designs participatory educational resources for social and economic change.

Brian Van Slyke 06F
Brian Van Slyke 06FBrian Van Slyke's adventures in the popular education and cooperative economics movements began in 2005 when he founded a record label that soon became a worker collective. In 2007, he facilitated a participatory class at a community-learning center for teens in Massachusetts about starting cooperatively-run record labels. That experience cemented his dedication to democratizing education for democratizing our workplaces, economy, and society. Since then, Brian has designed workshops, curricula, board games, and other educational resources on topics ranging from people's history to co-ops and social change movements. Brian is a member of the worker-owned cooperative The Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA), which designs participatory educational resources for social and economic change.


Master of Ceremonies
Sam CongdonSam Congdon
Samuel Congdon is a student of performance studies and political theatre at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. He has worked as a playwright, performer, director, and producer, focusing specifically on performance that explores radical possibilities for social/political change. He is the recipient of the Five College James Baldwin Playwriting Award for his queer solo show, "LEGS: a gay play."


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