The Event.

TEDxFresnoState was on Monday, April 15, 2013, in the Satellite Student Union on Fresno State's campus. Our theme was, "Exposing Ideas to Inspire."

Each session featured a variety of speakers, musicians, performers, and TEDx videos. Detailed information about each presenter and performer is available below.

There were two exciting sessions:

Session 1: 2:30pm-4:30pm.

Deby Hergenrader, Founder, Break the Barriers

Deby Hergenrader Deby, daughter of Ice Capades performers Ken and Carmie Mullen, was truly a born athlete. At the age of ten, she channeled her energies into gymnastics through the Fresno Gymnastics Club. By the age of sixteen, she had become a State, Regional, and National gymnastics champion. When she reached the elite level, she was able to compete internationally, and but for an ankle injury in 1972, may have competed in the Olympics.

With gymnastics in her blood, Deby turned to coaching other upcoming gymnasts, an activity which is still one of her favorites today. Her dream, was born out of the shadows of another birth—that of Deby's sister, Kathy, a child with Down syndrome. It was not a dream out of pity, but rather out of a challenge and foresight. Kathy had much opportunity to watch Deby perform her gymnastics routines, and through emulation, was able to excel herself at the Special Olympics. For Deby, Kathy's amazing achievement became a catalyst which began her relentless efforts to create a common bond between all persons with different Abilities. This bond would be fused through sports.

Matthew Ari Jendian, Sociology Chair, Fresno State

Matthew Ari Jendian Matthew Ari Jendian was born and raised in Fresno and received his B.A. in sociology from Fresno State (1991) and his Ph.D. from USC (2001). Dr. Jendian is founding director of the Humanics Program in Community Benefit Administration at Fresno State and serves as a tenured Full Professor and Chair of Sociology. He authored Becoming American, Remaining Ethnic and was honored in Menk, an encyclopedia of biographies of prominent Armenian scholars. Dr. Jendian is the recipient of several honors, including the 2012 President’s Award of Excellence, the 2008 “Provost’s Award for Faculty Service,” the 2007 Social Action Award from Temple Beth Israel, and the 2007 “Amigo Award” presented by Vida en El Valle to “a non-Latino individual or organization that has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Latino community.” He was nominated for the 2009 California Campus Compact Cone Award for Excellence & Leadership in Cultivating Community Partnerships and has written and received national and federal grants to develop curricula that engage university students in capacity-building work with Community Benefit Organizations in Central California. Dr. Jendian and his wife, Pamela, reside in Clovis with their two sons, Joshua and Nicholas.

Jessian Choy, "Green" Change Agent

Jessian Choy Do you want to “make” people change? Jessian Choy has been experimenting with that. For fun. Since 1999. She also spends weekends finding toxic products to ban from her house. She understands everyone isn’t as obsessive-compulsive. Yet.

At age 20, she started an organization to create a strategic plan to green the University of California, Santa Cruz and got students to vote for campus commitment to reduce climate change. Then she spent five years fundraising for programs to empower girls and low-income youth. Now at the San Francisco Department of Environment, she leads the creation of to make it easier for you to buy green. She loves to create behavior change, negotiation, and public speaking workshops (and dance videos and mad libs) to “make” people laugh and do good.

Hagar Attia, Adjunct Professor of Communication, Fresno State

Hagar Attia Hagar Attia is an adjunct professor of communication at California State University, Fresno. She is a student of communication, sociology, and political science. Within the study of communication, she specializes in international relations and post-colonial feminist rhetoric. Some of her favorite topics to teach are argumentation and persuasion in the media and beyond. Hagar is also a public speaking and debate coach and as far as she knows, the only professor who wears hijab on her campus.

Frustrated by the inaccurate depictions of Middle Eastern and veiled women in the media, Hagar is committed to challenging limited understandings of Muslim women in both her classroom and in her writing.

Break the Barriers International Team, Gymnasts

The International Barrier Breakers are the performing ensemble that demonstrates inclusion to audiences throughout the United States and Internationally. Through gymnastics, dance, testimonies, music, workshops, seminars, and more, the Barriers Breakers have softened hearts and opened eyes for ability awareness while generating hope for people and families everywhere.

The team has accomplished many goals, both as a team and individually. They are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Special Education as Role Models for Inclusion. Washington DC, Billy Graham Crusade, and the National Down Syndrome Conference are just a few of the venues their messages have been presented. On an international level, the team was requested by Romania, China, South Africa and the Dominican Republic governments to share techniques and methods of inclusion.

Session 2: 5:30pm-7:30pm.

Donna Hostein, CEO, Quality Home Services

Donna Hostein Donna Hostein has been a Fresno native since 1985 but will always be a Midwestern girl at heart. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she developed core values of hard work, stubbornness, and dedication that have served her well both personally and professionally.

After attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Donna moved to Colorado, where she took over a management position with the RainSoft dealership in Denver. This resulted in a move to Fresno, where she purchased an existing RainSoft dealership in 1985. While the beginnings of this business venture were quire humble—5 employees crammed into a 900 sq. ft. work space at Golden State and FWY 99—Donna was able to turn Quality Home services into the #2 ranked RainSoft Dealer in the world, as well as Sunpower’s first co-branded dealer in Central California. While other similar companies struggled, Quality Home Services has created new product divisions, added employees, and prospered where so many others have failed. This is in large part due to Donna’s sound management and solid core of Midwestern values.

Rashandra Brown, Singer and Songwriter

Rashandra Brown Rashandra Brown (or Rashandra Cline), 26, was born in Livermore, CA and raised in Patterson, CA. Coming from a line of strong, enduring women, Rashandra has continued to persist in the pursuit of her dreams. From an early age, her heart's desire has been to teach, and to also let her passion for music thrive. She began piano lessons at the age 8 and continued for over a decade and used this gift to serve at her local church as worship leader. In 2005, Rashandra began writing music and in 2012 compiled her first unplugged album, "Sunrise Has Come.” Rashandra is currently pursuing a teaching credential at CSU Stanislaus, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2008. She continues to serve as a worship leader at her church and shares the message of Christ through her gift in music.

William Hardaway, Peer Tutoring Coordinator, Fresno State

William Hardaway As coordinator of a peer tutoring program at Fresno State, William Hardaway has positively impacted student performance. Students who interact with tutoring at Fresno State perform better in courses and on exams than students who do not. He has applied a mastery-based approach to training and evaluating tutor performance.

His role as Student Services Professional for Student Affairs at Fresno State is about focusing on students, both academically and personally. His tutoring program prepares tutors to help their peers and gain skills they can transfer to their careers.

Tom Boroujeni, Communication Major and Debater, Fresno State

Tom Boroujeni Tom Boroujeni was born in Iran in 1985. He came to the United States in 2003 to continue his education. In 2005 he became the director of the International Coffee Hour and in 2006 the director of the International Cultural Night through California State University, Fresno. He also acted as the Assistant Coordinator of International Friendship Program from 2004 to 2010. He has been actively involved in the speech and debate programs at Fresno State on the subjects of “Arab Spring” in 2011 and “Energy Policy” in 2012. He was invited to present his research in an international conference about Arab Spring in Dublin, Ireland. His latest research is on the effect and cause of Consumerism. Tom Boroujeni has successfully started and managed multiple businesses. His portfolio includes an event planning company, retail store, and a lounge.

Devendra Sharma, Communication Scholar and Nautanki, Raaslila, Bhagat, and Rasiya Director, Performer, and Writer, Fresno State.

Devendra Sharma Dr. Devendra Sharma is Associate Professor of Communication at California State University, Fresno. He is a performer, writer, and director of Nautanki, Raaslila, Bhagat, and Rasiya, the traditional musical theatre genres of northern India. He was trained in the famous Swami-Khera Gharana by renowned folk guru Pundit Ram Dayal Sharma. He has given more than 500 performances and directed many films illustrating Indian folk traditions. Dr. Sharma’s artistic mission is to use the indigenous performing arts to bring critical attention to contemporary global issues and empower marginalized people.

Dr. Sharma has given numerous guest lectures and conference paper presentations across the world and facilitated many “Participatory Theater for Social Change” workshops. In January 2012, Dr. Sharma was a visiting professor at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, teaching folk theater and its relationship with cinema. In April 2013, Dr. Sharma will perform at its South Asia Institute by University of Texas-Austin. In May 2013, Dr. Sharma will deliver a lecture on folk performances and communication and do a workshop with the students of the School of Oriental and African Studies at University of London.

The TEDxFresnoState Team.

TEDxFresnoState was planned by students and faculty in Fresno State's Department of Communication. Here are our fantastic, amazing, and remarkably cool team members:

TEDx Team

Name Title
Dr. Marnel Niles Goins Associate Professor & TEDxFresnoState Curator
Leticia Williams Planner & Awesome Member
Briana Aaronian Stage Designer
Jamila Ahmed Registration Team Member
Grethel Chacon Registration Gal / Finance & Design Teams Liaison
Erica Evans Awesome Member
Kevin Franks Speaker Coach
Diego Garcia Social Media Manager
Norma Harris Sponsorship & Registration Team Member
Gabriela Hernandez Awesome Member
Danielle Hoppe Speaker Coach Extraordinaire
Ian Morris Logistics Member, Stage Designer, & Video Manager
Amanda Schreiber Stage Designer / Speaker Coach
Kelsey Smith Awesome Member
Candis Tate The Money Maker
Monique Zepeda Speaker Coach

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