NEPA Scene Staff

Marywood University hosts TEDxScranton talk with 13 local speakers on March 7

Marywood University hosts TEDxScranton talk with 13 local speakers on March 7
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From a press release:

Everyone transforms in one way or another. What perspectives do you come out with when you reach the other side?

TEDxScranton will share 13 different viewpoints with the theme of “metamorphosis” at the School of Architecture on the campus of Marywood University (2300 Adams Ave., Scranton) on Saturday, March 7 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The local speakers with various fields of expertise – Matt Artz, Monica Simon, Jeremy Ciliberto, Suzanne Kapral, Cole Hastings Goldstein, Lisa Reynolds, Mason Crawford, Laurel Radzieski, Steve Gavin, Jourdan Cole, Jack Goddard, Glynis Johns, and Jamie Smith – will deliver presentations on how we experience change in our lives, the unexpected lessons we learn, and the transformed perspectives we gain.

Tickets, which are $10, go on sale Saturday, Feb. 1 at 12 a.m. via Eventbrite.

This will be the second TEDxScranton conference; the first was held over five years ago on Aug. 16, 2014 at the University of Scranton. A TEDxYouth@Scranton was also held at West Scranton High School on Sept. 9, 2016. All three events have been organized by Jess Meoni, an artist and activist known for creating local events since 2009, which include Ladyfest, Scranton Zine Fest, Scranton Radical Book Fair, Grrrls Night Open Mic, Hallowfest, the Bad Trip Psychedelic Festival, Not Another Punk Rock Flea Market, Burning Roses Jamboree, and Weird & Wired Punk Bazaar and Zine Expo.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) is a nonprofit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” TED began as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago and has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak, and the talks are then made available for free online.

A TEDx is a local gathering where live TED-like talks and performances are shared with the community. TEDx conferences are fully planned and coordinated independently on a community-by-community basis. Organized by volunteers from the local community and similar to TED events, it is absent of any commercial, religious, or political agenda. Its goal is to spark conversation, connection, and community. The content and design of each TEDx event is planned in the spirit of spreading ideas to local community members.

Cole Goldstein
Director for advanced manufacturing

Cole Hastings Goldstein is the director for advanced manufacturing at Johnson College; a volunteer for the Lackawanna County Council on Arts, Culture and Education; and owns a design company specializing in bespoke manufacturing of home and office furnishings using sustainable technology. The maker movement is one of his most passionate causes – a combination of sustainability, hyper local manufacturing, and an uncontrolled evolution in the design world.

Glynis Johns
Historian and advocate

Glynis Johns is a native Scrantonian, historian, sociologist, artist, documentarian, advocate, and founder of Black Scranton. A modern-day Renaissance woman, she spends a lot of time researching Scranton in attempt to pieces together narratives of the black community. Currently, she is building the foundation of a nonprofit organization dedicated to doing just that. She curates a Black History Month exhibition in Scranton, the first of its kind. She is proud to shift local perspectives on culture, inclusion, representation, and history. For Glynis, passions and projects are indistinguishable from each other.

Jack Goddard
Enviromental activist

Jack Goddard is an activist advocating for social justice and equity. His occupation is in the environmental field, doing watershed conservation, land conservancy, and trail development work. His passions include remediation and restoration projects, which would induce a more indigenous, bio-diverse ecosystem in Scranton through the reintroduction and fostering of flora and fauna affected by the region’s industrial past, particularly the mining of anthracite coal, which is core to achieving these goals in this area.

Jamie Smith
Artist and teacher

Jamie Smith is an artist, teacher, and the director of the Social Fabric Collective in Wyoming, Pennsylvania. This nonprofit organization provides professional photography equipment, education, and inspiration to high school students who are as diverse as they are dynamic – students who, as a whole, are denied critical access and exposure to the arts as enrichment programs are continually defunded and deemphasized at local and national levels. Now independently producing New York City workshops, Smith continues to transform participants’ view of the world by working with a wide range of world-class photographers, instructors, and creative visionaries. Out of this, the Social Fabric Collective was born.

Jeremy Ciliberto
Artist and natural burial enthusiast

Jeremy Ciliberto creates hyper-realistic human bone sculptures and articulates them into functional home decor. He refers to the art series or brand as “Catacomb Culture.” Over years of creating Catacomb Culture, it has given him a unique perspective on death, dying, and the dead. Though his reflections and engagement with supporters, he’s discovered his passion and mission is to develop an organization that offers green or natural burials and free burials throughout the United States. Traditional burials and cremations are toxic to the environment and financially crippling to a grieving family. Ciliberto wants to propose better ways to care for our dead that are beneficial to the environment and families and allows the deceased individual to continue on life’s final metamorphosis in returning to the earth, naturally.

Jourdan Cole
Digital media manager

Jourdan Cole is a digital media manager and content creator for Garden Media Group, a women-owned-and-run public relations firm specializing in the home and garden industry. She currently resides in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where she volunteers as a Penn State Master Gardener in her free time. Her goal is to convince people that brown thumbs can, in fact, be turned green.

Laurel Radzieski
Poet and grant writer

Laurel Radzieski is a lifelong resident of Northeastern Pennsylvania, a poet, and a grant writer. As a poet, her creative practice goes back and forth between research-driven poetry and poems that are written in public settings for strangers. Presenting on-the-spot poetry installations has changed the way she looks at poetry. She does these installations because she wants to give the public the opportunity to experience poetry in a format that is personal, relatable, and exciting.

Lisa Reynolds
Graphic designer and professor

Lisa Reynolds is a professor at Wilkes University and graphic designer, born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She has been active in this market for 20 years, primarily specializing in education. She is passionate about this area and all it has to offer, and she regularly encourages young people to be active in the community in which they live.

Mason Crawford
Writer and poet

Mason Crawford is manager at his local McDonald’s and has been working there since high school. Recently, he has taken a year off of college to try and get himself mentally healthy and figure out what he is meant to do in this life. On the verge of 21, he took a long time away from writing. He went to college at Kutztown University for professional writing and was a steady member of the community youth run group the Breaking Ground Poets. When he took getting better seriously, he started writing again and crafted stories around preexisting characters. That’s where his passion project came in – writing poems in the voice of Marvel Comics superheroes. This led him to start creating original poetry again. He is published in Word Fountain and Poets of NEPA. Crawford can be found loving his senior cat or humming a tune from the radio.

Matt Artz
User researcher and product manager

Matt Artz is an applied anthropologist working as a user experience (UX) researcher at the intersection of technology and society. On a daily basis, he oversees the product development process of software but, in doing that work, he infuses social theory to ensure building products that are not only usable, but desirable and just. Most of his private consulting is focused in the health tech space, with a research emphasis on consumer genetics. There, he looks at how consumer genetics shapes our individual and collective identities through the UX of DNA testing.

Monica Simon
Artist and writer

Monica Simon loves swimming in the vast pool of expansive knowledge presented to us at every waking moment of the day. Ideas hit her like microscopic bullets and therefore she has a passion for learning in order to make those ideas a reality. She loves discussing the Civil War and hanging up beautiful Sharpie-written reminders that being a good human being is something we all ought to try to strive for. Her current projects include a mural, a painting, a blog, and trying to remember that love is not a project but a way of life.

Steven Gavin
Environmental lawyer

Steven Gavin is an NEPA-born-and-raised environmental lawyer with a demonstrated history of working in both the federal and state court systems, skilled in environmental law, legal writing, trials, civil litigation, and hydraulic fracturing. He became an environmental lawyer because of the issues facing this region, particularly fracking, deforestation, and Superfund sites. As long as Gavin can remember, he felt like a “good resume with an empty person behind it.” Even with clinical depression, he achieved many tangible things but was deeply unhappy. Meditative practice changed that, but it was a very long road. He intends to help remove some of the speed bumps he encountered so as to make it easier for the next person to pursue a meditative practice.

Suzanne Kapral
Court appointed special advocate

Suzanne Kapral is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children, Big Sister mentor, and animal welfare advocate. Her day job includes developing programs and raising much-needed money to best serve vulnerable children and, at times, adults. Transformation through trauma and grief is tough, painful, messy, and terrifying, yet it is critical in order to move us individually and collectively toward a happier, healthier, and more sustainable life. The trauma Kapral experienced growing up started a long journey of self-initiated nature and animal assisted therapy. This evolved into spearheading a local children’s grief camp. This camp, now in its fifth year, combines farm-based activities, farm animal assisted therapies, and grief education. She believes the term unconditional love is redundant. True love, including self-love, has no conditions.

Watch the first TEDxScranton from 2014 in the playlist below: