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* Thanks to all 15 Fantastic Speakers! *
Anna Cummins has over ten years of experience in environmental non-profits, focused on marine conservation and sustainability education. Anna received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, and her Masters in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute for International Studies. Anna’s current focus is plastic marine pollution with the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and the 5 Gyres Institute, a non-profit she and her husband Dr. Marcus Eriksen co-founded in 2009.
Links: www.5gyres.org, www.algalita.org
FRANK SESNO '77
Frank Sesno is an internationally recognized journalist with over 30 years of experience reporting from around the world. Well known as a former anchor, White House correspondent and interview host with CNN, he is also a nationally-renowned moderator, engaging some of the world's leading personalities. He is the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University, where he established The Public Affairs Project at the Center for Innovative Media. The Project's goal is to be a hub for highly innovative production, teaching and symposia in emerging media and public policy. The Project's latest initiative is Planet Forward, a user-driven web site and Public Broadcasting TV program that focuses on energy and global environmental issues. Frank is a graduate of Middlebury College.
YELIZAVETTA KOFMAN '07 & ASTRI VON ARBIN AHLANDER '07
Yelizavetta Kofman and Astri von Arbin Ahlander are passionate about work — and how to make the American workplace more just, sustainable, and dynamic. After graduating from Middlebury College in 2007, Yelizavetta and Astri founded The Lattice Group, a non-profit that engages young people in the deeply personal and ultimately political issue of how to combine work and personal life in the 21st century. They have written about work-life issues for The Huffington Post and regularly blog for True/Slant. They are also Editorial Advisors for Shareable.net, a nonprofit online magazine that promotes sharing solutions for everyday problems.
Links: www.thelatticegroup.org, www.trueslant.com
Philip Conkling founded the Island Institute in Rockland, Maine in 1983 and he has since led the organization. The Island Institute is a sustainable development non-profit organization that focuses on how natural and cultural resources of the region can help sustain community life in the 15 year-round and 130 working waterfront communities along the Maine coast. He is the author of five books on the ecology and culture of the Gulf of Maine region.
SIERRA CRANE-MURDOCH '09
Sierra Crane-Murdoch, a recent graduate of Middlebury College, served as national coordinator for Power Past Coal, a project that convened coalfield residents to tell stories, take action, and move the country toward clean, just sources of energy. She is a recipient of the Brower Youth Award and the Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism, for which she reported on union coal miners fighting mountaintop removal. As a freelance writer in Virginia’s coalfields, she follows preachers, autoworkers, miners, and other inhabitants of post-industrial America.
ALEX PRUD'HOMME '84
Alex Prud’homme is a graduate of Middlebury College and attended the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Time. He has authored five books, including “My Life in France” --- Julia Child’s memoir of learning to cook, which inspired half the film “Julie and Julia.” His latest book is about fresh water, which will be published by Scribner in 2011.
Dr. Beth Coleman is a professor of writing and new media at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She sees human agency as the disruptive technology of our time --- the ability to meaningfully engage and impact the world in which we live. She does experimental work at the intersection of art, technology, and cultural impact. She publishes in a diverse set of academic, art, and culture journals. Her artwork and media design is internationally exhibited. Her book "Hello Avatar" is getting published by the M.I.T. Press.
STEPHEN KIERNAN '82
A graduate of Middlebury College, Stephen Kiernan has taught at Middlebury College and the New England Young Writers Conference. Stephen travels the country speaking to varied audiences about health care, civic engagement, ethics, service learning, meaningful living, medical research, the green economy, criminal justice, race relations, the power of personal commitment, hospice, palliative care and advance directives. He is the author of “Last Rights” and “Authentic Patriotism.”
MICHAEL SILBERMAN '02
Michael Silberman, a graduate of Middlebury College, is a founding partner of EchoDitto, a leading digital strategy firm specializing in building vibrant communities online and empowering people through the creative use of new technologies. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the effective use of technology for converting online activity into real-world action. Prior to EchoDitto, Silberman managed the renowned grassroots community organizing (or "meetup") program for Howard Dean's activist base during his 2004 presidential run.
Mike Kiernan works as an Emergency Physician in Middlebury, Vermont. He has worked on an intermittent basis in Milot, Haiti, most recently in the aftermath of the earthquake and has traveled the region telling the story of the Haitian people and raising funds for relief efforts. He has taught persuasive speech for the past five years in the Economics Department at Middlebury College. He began performing as an actor in 2002.
Links: Dr. Kiernan
CHRIS WADDELL '91
Paralympic Hall of Famer. U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Famer. First paraplegic to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Founder of The One Revolution Foundation. One of the Dalai Lama’s Unsung Heroes of Compassion. People Magazine’s “Fifty Most Beautiful People.” Athlete. Motivational speaker. Educator. Innovator. TV Personality. Graduate of Middlebury College.
Chris and his wife Pam founded Cape Eleuthera Island School in 1999 while teaching at Lawrenceville School. After graduating from Yale University, Chris served six years as an officer in the US Navy SEAL community. Chris holds a M.A. degree in Marine Resource Management from the University of Miami-RSMAS. In addition to The Island School, Chris is responsible for founding and managing a partnership of organizations dedicated to education, research and sustainable development.
Links: www.capeeleutherafoundation.org, www.islandschool.org
JESSICA RILEY '98
Jessica Riley, a graduate of Middlebury College, is the founder and sole owner of the publishing company Kiba Kiba Books LLC. It is a global and collaborative art project that publishes an evolution of the coloring book — art books illustrated by children. The back to the basics hands-on art project uses the power of story plus technology to connect like-minds and share and collect art. Kiba Kiba aims to create a new model for change, based around the idea that one story, with thousands of different illustrations and art projects around it, can build a movement.
Operating at the nexus of executives, scientists, artists, creators, entrepreneurs, educators, philanthropists, and visionaries worldwide, Sunny Bates provides the energy fueling countless game-changing ventures in media, technology, business, the environment, and the arts. A magnet for talent, passionate about innovation, strategically savvy, and adept at identifying investors, Sunny plays lead roles ranging from a member of TED’s influential Brain Trust to guiding muse for crowd-sourced, creative projects funder KickStarter.
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