Below are bios of our speakers. Seven are invited speakers from the wider community around Manchester High School. Three are students at Manchester High School who won an audition to speak at the conference.
Jonathan Miller is the 17 year-old founder of an anti-bullying organization called SaveOne. He started SaveOne because of his personal experience with bullying and decided to change it and turn the bad into good by helping others. He comes from a multi-ethnic family and as a child would go to his grandparents every day which he would call ¨Abueal's School.¨ He is planning to go to college for about 8 years so that he can get a doctoral degree in Psychology. He describes himself as "a church type of guy" who plays bass guitar for his youth group. He's looking to be inspired by the confernce and hopefully connect with people in the audience.
Tom Levine is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Connecticut, where he teaches future teachers and does research on teacher development. Before working at UConn, Tom taught social studies in the U.S. and taught English in China and Taiwan. He has been Buddhist since 2000, when he spent five years both earning a Ph.D Degree and participating in meditation practice at the Empty Gate Zen Center in Berkeley, California. In his free time, Tom tells stories set in Qing dynasty China to his ten-year-old daughters and does yoga, including regular visits to Samadhi Yoga in Manchester.
Tyler Adorno is a high school senior who is interested in the concept of happiness. He sees his TED talk as a way for helping teens to think and re-think the connection between materialism and happiness. He enjoys running long distances and having new experiences. He is looking forward to all the great talks!
Benjamin Parker has been a practicing origami artist since 2007, and has enjoyed the exploration of the art form and its many incarnations. He has shown throughout New England and New York, and has several pieces in La Escuela Museo Origami de Zaragosa, the first origami museum and school in Zaragosa, Spain. He has a book due to come out in the summer of 2015. He practices at his studio in Manchester, and strives to push the boundaries on what is possible with a sheet of paper.
Quientin Morriso is a a senior at Manchester High School who pursues a variety of interests including mathematics, creative writing, playing flute, to name a few. He has always sought to learn more about the world and universe in which we live, a goal that has encouraged him to pursue a major in Astrophysics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute next year. He came across the idea of nothing and it's concealed complexity through his studies in advanced calculus. He hopes to show that "nothing is something" and that it is something worth sharing.
Brian Miller is a corporate & private magician and interactive speaker. For more than 10 years he has entertained thousands of audiences in over 25 states. He is the former resident magician for the largest casino in North America, and currently holds an exclusive residency with Connecticut’s first and only Dave & Buster’s. Brian has also become a campus activities favorite, having been recognized twice as one of
America’s Best Small Venue Performers by Campus Activities Magazine (2013, 2014). He is honored to have been invited to speak at TEDx
ManchesterHighSchool and looks forward to sharing a wonderful day of inspiring ideas with attendees and fellow presenters.
David Aldi is a professional scholastic chess instructor and coach who primarily works with elementary school children grades K-5. He is also a former president of the Greater Hartford Chess Club and is ranked in the top 10% of chess players nationally. When he's not involved with chess, he plays the guitar, gardens, and cooks, among other things. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from UConn and have 20 years of experience working in corporate hi-tech.
Uyi Osunde is an assistant principal at Illing Middle School in Manchester, CT. He went to college at UConn where he played football and subsequently played in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills. He retired from pro football due to health concerns. He is excited to help kids raise their own expectations for their own lives.
Anne Falkowski has been practicing yoga for 17 years and teaching yoga for 15. She is the creator/owner of Samadhi Yoga Studio in Manchester CT and the director of Samadhi's Yoga Teacher Training Program and has certified over 200 yoga teachers in the local area. She believes in yoga as a vehicle for healing and change.
The Host of TEDxManchesterHighSchool 2015 is Gabrielle Stonoha. Gabby is a sophmore at Manchester High School and a member of the Truth Academy. She strives to make the world a better place. Gabby is an active member in theater, scientific endeavors, and the world-at-large. She is very excited to host this year's conference!