March 5th, 2016

As rational, thinking human beings, we have a moral obligation to those around us. Not just our friends and family, but those around the nation, and the world. Think of this theme as a series of concentric circles with you at the center. We are citizens of not only our local circle, but our regional, societal, and global circles as well.  The globalization of our world binds us in more ways than ever before, we must act to preserve our global community. This year’s theme is dedicated to those ideas that have the capacity to transcend all facets of societies.

An enormous thank you to all our supporters, speakers, attendees, volunteers, and sponsors for another wonderfully successful mainstage event!


Missed the event? Check out the filmed talks here!

the speakers

Sean Connell:  <i>listener</i>

Sean Connell: listener

After working in a variety of positions, including stints at
Procter & Gamble, the Peace Corps, and a short time in politics, UC alumnus Sean Connell founded the Connell Group in 2000, a market research and brand strategy consultancy dedicated to integrating research and marketing at a time when most companies treated them as different functions. The Connell Group focuses primarily on health care and business-to-business clients, with an emphasis on complex business and research questions.

Rajiv Satyal:  <i>comedian</i>

Rajiv Satyal: comedian

Rajiv Satyal is a Cincinnati-born, Los Angeles-based comedian, host, and speaker. His TV-clean act has made him one of the most versatile performers working today. Some of his most interesting claims-to-fame include opening for the Indian Prime Minister, a viral video viewed over 50 million times, hosting David Chappelle’s very first show after his much-publicized hiatus, co-creating a tour that mad it into the U.S. Congressional Record, and is even the mastermind behind the name of UC’s online radio station, Bearcast. Follow him on Twitter at @funnyindian.

James Canfield:  <i>empowerer</i>

James Canfield: empowerer

Dr. James P. Canfield, assistant professor at the UC School of Social Work, is an expert on child homelessness, poverty and school social work. He has authored the only book on how to work with homeless children and youth, School-based Practice with Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness, and he has published numerous articles on the impact of poverty and homelessness on childhood outcomes. His accolades include developing a federal policy evaluation scale used in ten states and the 2013 SAGE/Council on Social Work Innovative Teaching Award.

Frank Wood:  <i>stress boss</i>

Frank Wood: stress boss

Dr. Frank Wood is the Founder and CEO of Thriving with Stress, an innovative cutting-edge training course designed to manage and mitigate stress in the workplace, school and home. An invited speaker, author, trainer and innovative thinker on stress, Dr. Frank has a PhD in Clinical Psychology. His broad experience has resulted in a deep understanding on the way that stress intersects with resilience and burnout. He recently authored his first book Thriving with Stress and is currently developing the first digital format of his training Thriving with Stress: Your Resilient Divorce.

Frank Russell:  <i>engager</i>

Frank Russell: engager

Frank Russell is the Director of the University of Cincinnati Community Design Center and the Niehoff Urban Studio and is an Instructor in Urban Design, as well as a Registered Architect and Urban Design with a Harvard graduate degree. He has engaged with Cincinnati community partners since 1990 through the Community Design Center to address their most pressing issues. Recognizing the need to bring that same engagement to the classroom, in 2002 he started the Niehoff Urban Studio, which promotes the interdisciplinary collaboration of students and faculty with community stakeholders in a shared problem solving process.

E. James Barnett:  <i>trailblazer</i>

E. James Barnett: trailblazer

James Barnett is one of the founding partners at Azure Coaching and Consulting, LLC, a firm dedicated to facilitating client performance in the competitive arena of today’s educational landscape. Leveraging diverse professional experiences and graduate level training in applied psychology, James partners with individuals and organizations to provide innovative and research-based solutions to academic and organizational challenges. Additionally, he has played a critical role in cultivating the We Speak Math initiative and was nominated in 2014 for CLRA’s Peer Mentor of the Year award for his work with at-risk student populations.

David Coleman:  <i>entertainer</i>

David Coleman: entertainer

David Coleman, known worldwide as “The Dating Doctor,” is a speaker, author, and media personality. He has been honored 14 times as the National Speaker of the Year and has spoken live to over 2.5 million people, in addition to millions more through his appearances on radio, television, internet and print. David is filled with anecdotes and strategies to help expand relationship and leadership potential and approaches his topics humorously and candidly. His examinations of the subtleties and complexities surrounding dating, relationships, romance and sex are known worldwide, and even earned him a National Service Citation from President George H.W. Bush.

Christine O'Dea:  <i>healer</i>

Christine O'Dea: healer

Christine O’Dea, MD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UC College of Medicine. After spending five years in rural family medicine practice in northern Wisconsin, she moved with her family and small children to rural Honduras, where she spent two years as a volunteer family physician with the nongovernmental organization Shoulder to Shoulder. Christy returned from Honduras to join the faculty at the University of Cincinnati, and, additionally, is the medical director at Crossroad Health Center and a member of the Latino Health Collaborative.

Christina Brown:  <i>agitator</i>

Christina Brown: agitator

Christina D. Brown is a self-described freedom fighter from Columbus, Ohio. She serves in a full time role with the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission where she utilizes community engagement to increase understanding across identities. Brown is most notorious for her for social justice activism, persistently lecturing and organizing for various social justice causes and racial equity since 2006. Her leadership also extends to non profit boards, including the Martin Luther King Coalition, Cincinnati Young Black Professionals, Affordable Housing Advocates and the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation. You can find her blog at

Brian Eiler:  <i>discoverer</i>

Brian Eiler: discoverer

Brian Eiler is a doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati, where he also received a Bachelor and a Masters degree, both in Psychology. Brian’s research combines several areas of behavioral science (social, cognitive, and ecological) with other disciplines (physics, complexity, and biology), in his search to discover the governing principles that underlie the ordered social behavior humans display. Brian’s goal is to ground the theory and description of behavior in natural law—to understand why we behave the way we do, in terms of universal principles that transcend spatial and temporal scale.

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