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EduLab@LightCity presented by University System of Maryland

Wednesday, April 18

Rethink learning. Join future-focused education innovators for a dialogue on the central role of education in our society.

Dr. Kim Schatzel, President, Towson University

Dr. Kim Schatzel began leading Towson University as its 14th president on January 26, 2016. Her eight presidential priorities strategically build on TU’s momentum as Maryland’s second largest and fastest growing university, as well as the largest university—public or private—in Greater Baltimore. During her tenure, with more than 190 partnerships at work, TU has strengthened its commitment as an anchor institution for Greater Baltimore; established the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity and hired the university’s inaugural vice-president to lead its advancement; and embarked on a comprehensive communications strategy to retell the contemporary story of Towson University and its significant positive impact on Baltimore, Maryland, and the entire Mid-Atlantic Region.

Atman Smith, Co-founder, Holistic Life Foundation

Atman Smith is a Co-founder's of the Holistic Life Foundation, where he served as Director of Youth Programming for ten years Director of Fundraising for five years and currently serves as the Director of Development. Since 2001, he has been teaching yoga and mindfulness to a diverse population including underserved and high-risk youth in Baltimore City Public Schools, drug treatment centers, wellness centers, and colleges.

Ali Smith, Co-founder, Holistic Life Foundation

Ali Smith co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation in 2001, where he currently serves as Executive Director. He has over 15 years of experience teaching yoga and mindfulness to diverse populations. Through his work at the Holistic Life Foundation he has helped develop and pilot yoga and mindfulness programs at public and private schools, drug treatment centers, juvenile detention centers, mental crisis facilities, and retreat centers, nationally and internationally.

Rhonda Richetta, Principal, City Springs Elementary/Middle School

Rhonda Richetta is the principal of City Springs Elementary/Middle School, a Baltimore City public charter school operated by the Baltimore Curriculum Project with demographics that include one of the highest Free and Reduced Meals Service (FARMS) rates in the district at ninety-nine percent. Richetta has been principal of City Springs for eight years.

Christine Mallinson, Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Christine Mallinson is Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture and Affiliate Professor of Gender and Women Studies at UMBC in Baltimore, Maryland. Her research investigates English language variation in its social context, addressing some of the most chronic issues that contribute to educational opportunity gaps in the U.S. — such as the acquisition of literacy skills and in student-teacher communication.

Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement

Shawn Dove serves as the CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA), a national membership organization dedicated to ensuring the growth, sustainability and impact of leaders and organizations focused on improving the life outcomes of America’s Black men and boys. Started by the Open Society Foundations in 2008 as the nation’s largest philanthropic initiative on this issue, Dove’s stellar management has propelled CBMA into becoming an independent entity, growing its membership to more than 4,800 leaders representing over 2,600 organizations nation-wide.

Matthew Kincaid, Founder, Overcoming Racism

Matthew Kincaid is the founder of Overcoming Racism, an organization that seeks to build more equitable institutions, through comprehensive race and equity training. With a primary focus on education, Overcoming Racism equips educators with the tools to build culturally responsive schools and classrooms, that promote the development of the next generation of anti-racist agents of change.

Shawn Burnett

The art gave Shawn Burnett freedom from his Baltimore neighborhood. In middle school he experimented with cartoons, fashion design, dance and culinary arts. After hosting a local event, people began asking him about visual and performing art workshops for youth. He noticed schools minimizing art courses, so he decided to study nonprofit leadership and political science at Coppin State University. Burnett started Walks of ART in 2011, which holds art-based workshops up to three times a week in Southern Park Heights. The goal of Walks of ART is to have a positive impact on the cognitive development, emotional health and social lives of underserved youth in the city through arts education, recreation and mentoring.  

DeJuan Patterson, Businessman, public servant, and community organizer

DeJuan Patterson is a businessman, public servant, and community organizer. He received both his Bachelors in Psychology and his MPA in Public Policy from Bowie State University. He is currently the Executive Director of The BeMore Group. Patterson deems himself a “social impact consultant” for Baltimore, where he uses strategic planning and economic development as channels to highlight and solve the challenges in the community. Economic Empowerment is dear to his mission of education, he has led and contributed his expertise to programs within under-served communities. His professional interests include societal issues in education, public policy, equity, economic empowerment and ethnic/racial studies.

Imani Victoria Bryan, Health and Policy Analyst, Baltimore City Health Department’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention

Imani Victoria Bryan is the Health and Policy Analyst for the Baltimore City Health Department’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention. In this position, she combines technical knowledge and hands-on leadership experience with program development, operations, and sustainability.  Bryan’s experiences cross several industries including, government agencies, healthcare, philanthropy, consulting groups, non-profits and private sector organizations. Bryan is a social change agent cross-trained in public health, nursing, and anthropological research. 

Thomas Dolby, Professor of the Arts at Johns Hopkins University

The list of breakthrough innovations in Thomas Dolby’s 35-year career is continuous. As an early MTV icon he blazed a trail for electronic music with his imaginative videos. The same year as his own record reached the top of the pop/dance charts, he co-wrote and produced the first ever platinum-selling rap 12” single “Magic’s Wand” by Whodini. His synth playing and production have graced the recordings of Foreigner, Def Leppard, George Clinton and Joni Mitchell, earning five Grammy nominations. Thomas Dolby has created original music for feature films produced by George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Ken Russell; he has appeared with The Muppets, and on numerous TV shows from Soul Train to The Late Show. In 2014 he was named Johns Hopkins University’s first Homewood Professor of the Arts. He helped launch the JHU/MICA Film Center in Station North, and is now teaching at the Peabody Institute where this Fall he will establish the first USA’s first undergraduate degree course in VR music and sound.

Jess Gartner, CEO & Founder, Allovue

Jess Gartner is the CEO and founder of Allovue, an education technology company that empowers K-12 educators to strategically and equitably allocate financial resources. She has been awarded for her innovation and entrepreneurship. Gartner has also been featured as one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 in Education, Baltimore Sun’s Women to Watch and Baltimore Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Gartner was an adjunct professor at Towson University and a Teach for America Baltimore corps member who taught middle school humanities in Baltimore City. She loves mentoring female founders and is a staunch advocate for diversity and inclusion. Gartner received her MA in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University.

Marion Winik

Marion Winik is the former commentator of All Things Considered and current host of The Weekly Reader radio show and podcast. She reviews books for Newsday, People, Kirkus Review and other venues and is a board member of the National Book Critics Circle. Winik is the author of First Comes Love, The Glen Rock Book of the Dead and seven other books. The University of Baltimore professor has produced an award-winning column, written essays for nationally acclaimed publications and appeared on Today, Politically Incorrect and Oprah. Other honors include an NEA Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction and the “Best Local Writer” Award from the Austin Chronicle.

Karen E. Webber, Director of the Education and Youth Development program, Open Society Institute-Baltimore

Karen E. Webber is the director of the Education and Youth Development program at Open Society Institute-Baltimore. Previously, Webber was the executive director of the Office of Student Support and Safety at Baltimore City Schools where she worked both on policies and practices that contributed to the school suspension and expulsion rates decreasing dramatically. Before moving to this position with the district administration, she served as a principal in a Baltimore City school. Prior to her career in education, Webber earned her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and focused on civil rights. She also served as the executive director of the Open Housing Center in New York and the Public Justice Center in Baltimore.

Sara K. Muempfer, Senior Associate, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Sara K. Muempfer is the senior associate at The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Previously, Muempfer was the director of workforce development at the Maryland Department of Human Resources, and led the TANF and SNAP E&T workforce development programs. She earned a BS in Human Development Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University. She holds a Global Career Development Facilitator credential and is a recent graduate of DHR’s Leadership Development Initiative and the Weinberg Sector Skills Academy.