Penn State Berks holds inaugural TEDxPSUBerks event

Penn State Berks will host its inaugural TEDxPSUBerks event, on its campus Friday, November 14, 2014, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium. Organized by the Penn State Berks Student Veterans Organization, their goal is to create a memorable experience to connect and bring diverse disciplines and backgrounds together around new ideas, focusing on the theme ?Love and Education.?

TEDxPSUBerks will be a unique conference where attendees can openly discuss big ideas and challenges that affect our community. This event highlights an impressive lineup including speakers who are not typically heard from locally, but who are doing incredibly creative, innovative, and provocative work in their fields.

The format short, powerful talks, each focused on a single topic or idea. No talks will exceed 18 minutes. There will be no keynote speeches and no panel discussions.

Interested attendees can participate by tuning into our livestream ( or by going to one of the many areas on campus we will have a live stream, such as the Multipurpose Room in Perkins Student Center.

Innovators scheduled to appear in person or by video at TEDxPSU events include:

Laurie Davis, How Technology Will Change Our Relationships
Davis is the founder of eFlirt Expert, an online dating consultancy that helps singles navigate the intersection of dating and technology. She is the author of Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating and a Best Dating Coach finalist in the iDate Awards. Davis? advice has been featured in more than 500 international media outlets including The New York Times, Good Morning America, Forbes, Men?s Health and Elle. She is engaged to her ?tweetheart? who she eFlirted with in 140 characters on Twitter.

Marie Planchard, Engineering Girls
Marie Planchard is Director of the Education Community, SOLIDWORKS. She is responsible for global development of curricula, content and social outreach for the SolidWorks educational products across all levels of academia.

Lori Cheek, Look Up...You Might Miss Something (Finding Real World Love in the Digital Age)
Cheek is a former architect turned Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of ? the reverse engineered dating site coined by The New York Times as "the next generation of online dating." A Shark Tank veteran, she was recently listed on the American Express Open Forum as "The Digital Dating Disruptor" and "One of the Top 10 CEOs to Watch." A University of Kentucky Architectural graduate, Cheek is no longer building structures. She's now building relationships... one card at a time.

Marie Bjerede, Do What You Love or Love What You Do?
Marie Bjerede is a recovering Fortune 500 telecom executive, now working with those who use technology to make teaching and learning more real, human, respectful, and compassionate. She advises schools, startups, and technology leaders on the products, practices, and platforms that enable and scale authentic learning and teaching with tech. Bjerede is also a #mathmom and a #makermom to two kids, aspiring to learning environments for them that feel like play and ?hard fun.?

Brigadier General John E. Michel, Liberating Genius
A widely-recognized expert in culture, strategy and individual and organizational change. Michel is the senior-curator for, an accomplished author, speaker and proven status quo buster who has successfully led several multi-billion dollar transformation efforts. His award-winning work has been featured in a wide variety of articles and journals, including the Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post, National Geographic, Switch & Shift and the Washington Post.

Angela Maiers, Liberating Genius
Maiers is an award-winning educator, author, speaker, and trainer, known for her work in literacy, teaching, innovation and leadership. A social media evangelist, she helps learners understand the transformational power of technology. Maiers is the founder of Choose2Matter, a global movement that challenges and inspires students to work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to social problems. She has authored six books, including Classroom Habitudes and The Passion-Driven Classroom.

Shreyas Parab, Innate Incredibility
At 13-year-old eighth grader in the Penn-Delco School District, Parab is a two-time Scripps National Spelling Bee competitor who has been featured on CNN and various other media outlets. In addition, he is the Student Council President and in the National Junior Honor Society. He received a scholarship from Widener University to enroll in a microeconomics course. Recently, he organized a school-wide dodge ball tournament for typhoon relief funds for the Philippines. He enjoys advocating for what he believes in and sharing it with others.

Dr. Dan Gottlieb, Do You Feel You Are Lovable? Roadblocks That Prevent Us
As a young psychologist, Gottlieb was enjoying professional success and the love of his family. Everything seemed perfect until a catastrophic automobile accident left him paralyzed from the chest down. There were years of despair and depression but for the last three decades, he has been observing how adversity can teach us how to live better. Since 1985 he has been hosting ?Voices in the Family? and award-winning mental health call-in show at Philadelphia?s NPR affiliate. Author of numerous articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer, he has published five books including the international bestseller Letters to Sam. His most recent book is The Wisdom We?re Born With: Restoring Faith in Ourselves.

Jordan Shapiro, More Friction, Less Fractions
Shapiro?s academic work and publishing blend psychology, philosophy, and business in surprising ways. His internationally celebrated writing on education, parenting, and game-based learning can be found on He teaches in Temple University's Intellectual Heritage Department, where he?s also the Digital Learning Coordinator. He is the parent of two boys and the lead administrator at Project Learn School, an independent cooperative K-8 school in Philadephia. His most recent book FREEPLAY: A Video Game Guide To Maximum Euphoric Bliss, considers how the games we play in our youth shape our adult lives.

Chris Kaag, Improvise, Adapt and Overcome: Challenges Are Stepping Stones Not Crutches
Kaag is president and founder of the IM ABLE Foundation and Corps Fitness. He works to promote healthy lifestyles for all and to raise money to provide adaptive equipment grants to help those with a physical challenge become more active. As the founder of Corps Fitness, Kaag runs daily workout classes that bring his experience as a U.S. Marine into his no-frills fitness facility, which accommodates both abled and disabled participants. Kaag served in the United States Marine Corps, until he was diagnosed with a rare degenerative nerve condition.

Blake Miles, College After Special Forces
Blake Miles is a former Army Special Forces soldier who spent time at 1st Special Forces Group and 20th Special Forces Group between 2004 and 2008. He is currently the Director of Communications and Social Media for the Green Beret Foundation, a nonprofit charity focused on supporting wounded and killed Special Forces soldiers and their families. He is also a contributor to and Miles is currently pursuing a bachelor?s degree in Marketing from Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne.

Dr. Ike Shibley, Why Loving Your Students Might Mean Seeing Them Less Often
Shibley has been teaching for almost two decades. While proud of his numerous teaching awards, he is most proud of the success that his students enjoy after graduation. He has written widely about education, especially in the sciences, and believes that the future of education will involve much more technology being deployed to facilitate more efficient learning than has ever been thought possible. He has presented internationally on blended and online education, working with faculty who are interested in becoming more learner-centered.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast event in nearby Whistler. The annual TEDGlobal conference will be held this October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TED's media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at

For more information about the TEDxPSUBerks event, Alan Kipping-Ruane, [email protected], 484-614-7108 or visit the website: or follow us on social media: