Better Block OKC is a community revitalization project that temporarily demonstrates how to improve a street with pedestrian and public infrastructure mixed with art, culture, pop-up businesses and street life. So what inspired Allison Barta Bailey and Kristen Vails to do this? A simple Talk.
Allison is an independent retail consultant. Kristen is currently the Executive Director for the Plaza District in Oklahoma City.
Dr. Paul G. Risser’s primary research interests have included the study of the structure and function of grassland and forest ecosystems; environmental planning and management; landscape ecology and global change. He is the chair and chief operating officer of the University of Oklahoma Research Cabinet. Previously Risser was the chief executive officer (Chancellor) for The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education. Before assuming the Oklahoma Chancellor position, Risser was President of Oregon State University, as well as President of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
Driven towards discovery in the “wild west” of meteorology, Timmer is determined to solve the mysteries of tornadoes and hurricanes with the ultimate goal of collecting data that saves lives. Timmer established TornadoVideos.net which has become the premier source of weather footage for news and production companies worldwide.
John Calvin is a folk singer/songwriter from Norman, OK. Originally from the mountains and now living on the plains, John often writes about the spaces in between, losing, winning, and getting lost. Currently recording his new EP with Travis Linville, he continues to write and perform in the Norman/OKC Metro area with his band, the Cavalry, along with many other projects that involve forays into jazz and garage. A raw, young voice layered upon the moving melodies of the harmonica and fingerpicked acoustic guitar are characteristic of his style, but it doesn’t mean his songs don’t get rowdy and upbeat. John’s ability to show the audience that he is having just as much fun as they think he is having shines through with every performance. He graduated with a degree in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma and is now pursuing his music full-time, working on his upcoming release while performing weekly.
Raised in Springfield, New Jersey and a graduate of Duke and Yale, Ehrhardt teaches courses on American Literature, Women’s and Gender Studies, Food Studies and coordinates the Education Abroad program in Arezzo, Italy for the University of Oklahoma Honors College. She is an avid bicyclist, cook and food activist.
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, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. 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.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
Because we want to understand what genes are required for blood vessel development, Courtney Griffin studies certain enzymes that help turn genes on and off. These enzymes are specifically involved in relaxing DNA that is normally tightly coiled up in our cells. Dr. Griffin is now an Assistant Member in the Cardiovascular Biology Research Program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation after receiving her B.A. from Harvard University and her Ph. D. from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
Fulfilling the roles of military officer in France, International Decorative Art Specialist in New York and Los Angeles, Director of Jewelry for Christie’s in Los Angeles, South America and Geneva, humanitarian in Guatemala and Director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, d’Humieres has fostered positive change through the founding of the Alix Donation Fund for underprivileged children in Guatemala.
Kyle Harper’s intellectual pursuits are wide-ranging, from the history of slavery in the ancient world to the development of Christian notions of marriage and family and how law and justice in Greece and Rome continue to shape western legal systems today. Through his studies and research, one truth has crystallized for Harper: that an authentic and nuanced understanding of the United States as a nation, and in particular its constitutional founding, must be grounded in an understanding of history and philosophy from the ancient world to the present. n Edmond-native, Kyle Harper graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Letters from OU in 2001. After pursuing his Master’s and Ph.D. In History at Harvard University, Kyle returned to his home state in 2009 to become the Director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage and Assistant Professor of Classics and Letters at the University of Oklahoma. He is a specialist on Roman History, with particular interests in long-term economic and social history and the possibility for integrating biological approaches to human behavior and human sociality into the study of the deep human past. His books include “Slavery in the Late Roman World” and “From Shame to Sin: Christianity and the Making of Western Sexuality.”
Listed by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2011, Bobby (@bobbygwald) is one of the leading voices in the Church as it relates to innovation and the use of technology. He frequently writes and speaks on the topic, and has been featured in the Washington Post, TechCrunch, CNN, CBS, NPR, and more. He serves as pastor, innovation leader at LifeChurch.tv, and co-founder of the YouVersion Bible App, installed on tens of millions devices globally.
Jeff Swearingen is currently the Senior Vice-President of Customer Strategy and Marketing for Frito-Lay North America. His team is responsible for Retail Analytics, strategy and marketing, as well as the Marketing Center of Excellence and Design. He is a 17-year veteran of PepsiCo, having joined the Company in 1994. Jeff has a Finance degree from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Jeff, his wife Lynn, and their two sons, Connor (9) and Tyler (7) live in McKinney, Texas. Jeff enjoys travel, fishing, exercising and spending time with family.