To breach is to pass over a boundary between two areas -- to cross a line. For some, breach is a purely physical term, such as when an astronaut shoots through various layers of the atmosphere in order to reach outer space. Others see it as a more symbolic shift between two states of being: life and death, archaic and pragmatic, right and wrong. At its core, to breach is to push through boundaries, even as one’s surroundings exert unfathomable pressures that push the mind and body to their breaking point.
At this year’s conference, our speakers will show why we endure such extreme forces through topics like mental health, police brutality, conflict, and more. They will show us that we breach to discover something extraordinary and beautiful -- or to attain the resources we need to ensure our continued existence.
Spud is an avid connector, a relentless optimist, a big believer in the power of good people and serial entrepreneur in the social innovation field. Above all, he is driven by the potential to make a positive impact in the world by touching individuals on an authentic level. The majority of his time is spent as the Chief Catalyst for the co.space, an international network of homes for changemakers that launched in State College, PA. He is also a facilitator and coach for emerging social entrepreneurs and millennials and work with communities, universities and foundations around the country to build flourishing innovation ecosystems. In 2010, he co-founded New Leaf Initiative, a nonprofit social innovation incubator in State College, PA that currently serves as the central innovation hub to bridge the town and gown.
Dr. Tim Simpson has been using and teaching students about 3D printing for nearly 20 years, but his passion for the technology was reignited five years ago when he saw his kids’ excitement at printing pink tiaras, ninja stars, and even their own heads on plastic figurines at home. With the recent advancements in 3D metal printing, this Penn State professor of mechanical and industrial engineering feels like a child himself, questioning everything that he has seen and learned about manufacturing and design. Dr. Simpson’s enthusiasm is evident as he leads hundreds of visitors on tours each year through Penn State’s CIMP-3D (Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition). As Co-Director of the lab, Dr. Simpson enjoys blowing people’s minds with lab’s state-of-the-art metal 3D printing systems, which have fabricated everything from aircraft parts, to engine pistons, to knee implants, to watch cases. He loves to inspire engineers and innovators of all ages, be it in college with cool 3D printing projects and real-world examples or in talks with elementary- and middle-school students, local library patrons, artists and entrepreneurs, and even Congress. His goal is simple—train anyone and everyone to use 3D printing to disrupt and rethink manufacturing and design as we know it.
Claudia founded The Human Zone after spending more than a decade as an attorney representing public, private and non-profit organizations. Claudia provides strategic, HR-based support aimed at transforming leaders and making great places to work. Claudia also developed Frientorship™, an individual and team development model that encompasses key principles of friendship, mentorship and leadership to bring out the best in people, teams and organizations. While working as an attorney, Claudia served as an Adjunct Professor for The Pennsylvania State University, teaching Labor-Management Relations to MPA candidates at the Harrisburg campus. She was named as one of the Central Penn Business Journal’s 25 Women of Influence.
Glenn Ruse Jr. is a Classicist and Roman Historian currently working as a Production Editor with Taylor and Francis Group in Philadelphia. Glenn graduated from Penn State with a degree in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS) in 2007 and continued his studies at Brandeis University where he earned his Master’s degree in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies. Glenn also worked as an adjunct professor of Classical Studies at The College of Wooster where he taught a course on the intersection between ancient literature and modern film, before he entered the field of academic publishing with Taylor and Francis. Glenn’s focus is on the life and works of Marcus Cicero, the Roman orator, Senator and philosopher. Glenn’s master’s thesis investigated the ways in which Cicero used his oratory and rhetoric to establish himself in Rome despite his “outsider” status.
Cecilia McGough is an astronomer, activist, and writer as a Penn State Schreyer Honors College scholar pursuing a major in Astronomy & Astrophysics. Cecilia is the founder and current president of the Penn State Pulsar Search Collaboratory. She has been participating in pulsar research continuously since December of 2009, co-discovering pulsar J1930-1852 with the widest orbit ever observed around another neutron star, competing in the International Space Olympics held in Russia, and co-authoring her research in the Astrophysics Journal. Cecilia is a mental health activist in fighting against the negative stigma towards mental illness. She is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of the soon to launch non-profit Students With Schizophrenia which is the only non-profit in the United States focused on empowering college students with schizophrenia. Cecilia also blogs about her experience with schizophrenia in her blog and soon to be published book entitled “I Am Not A Monster: Schizophrenia.” People usually first hear the word “schizophrenia” through the media which grossly over sensationalizes and misrepresents the majority of people with schizophrenia. In response, Cecilia is also a creative writer with the purpose to educate her readers and to help break the current image of schizophrenia through her works. She is currently in the sample reader stages of her fantasy fiction novel entitled “Unheard Dialogues” which helps normalize characters depicted with mental health challenges.
Jonathan Marks trained as a lawyer at the University of Oxford, and spent a decade in full-time legal practice in London working on human rights law, environmental law, and commercial regulation. His notable cases include the Pinochet case in what is now known as the UK Supreme Court; one of the leading cases on pharmaceutical regulation in the European Court of Justice; and a case on privacy and data protection that changed electoral practice in England and Wales. He is also a trained mediator. Jonathan is currently director of the Bioethics Program at Penn State. He is also affiliate faculty with the Rock Ethics Institute, the Philosophy Department, Penn State Law, the School of International Affairs, and the Huck Institutes for the Life Sciences. Following a research fellowship at Harvard University, Jonathan has spent much of the last five years at work on the ethics of public-private partnerships and “multi-stakeholder initiatives” in global health—culminating in a book manuscript entitled “The Perils of Proximity: Industry Partnerships, Institutional Integrity, and Public Health.” He has also been sharing his ideas with policymakers, while exploring more broadly the ethics of reciprocity and influence, and the ethics of conflict and compromise.
Bella Glanville is an international model, coach, founder of the 'Lovekidz' foundation and a high school senior. She grew up in London where she is known for her work with companies such as Topshop and Vogue. Bella gives weekly seminars at leadership events and schools, building on the skills she has learned from being a participant and coach at personal development events run by the world's top speakers, such as Anthony Robbins.
With his innate talent and invention, Bruno Descaves’ marionettes, violin renderings and contraptions have fascinated audiences around the world, filling the environments with strong vibrations of contentment, wonder and great joy, which remain precious moments in people’s lives. His unusual trajectory led him, after graduating with a degree in Physics, to work his way around the earth in 7 years, going clockwise essentially by land and sea. In 2016 he obtained his Masters in Performing Arts at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro researching and building the Intercessor Objects, devices based on the qualities of marionettes, that are manipulated and worn by persons during performances allowing for an expansion in our awareness as collective human beings.
Matt Stumpf is on a mission to motivate people of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds to enter into meaningful conversations. Trained as a minister, Matt has a unique background in psychology, communications, leadership, behavioral health, and public speaking. Matt is a graduate of Liberty University with a Master’s degree in Human Services Counseling and Executive Leadership and began his professional career in full-time ministry. For the past six years, Matt has been actively involved in the student community of Penn State Altoona. His desire is to constantly motivate the people around him into conversations that engage, include, and empower people to reach out into the uncomfortable. When not on the campus of Penn State Altoona, you can find him cheering on his oldest son at a band concert, enjoying his middle son on the stage, or watching his beautiful princess dance. Matt has been married to his bride for over 18 years, and looks forward to spending many more years together with her as they explore the world around them.
Peter Buckland leads a couple of lives. One life takes him into his work as the Academic Programs Fellow at Penn State’s Sustainability Institute and into service as a municipal official with a call to environmental justice and equality. Another life has been steeped in studying, teaching, composing, and performing music since childhood. Sometimes these lives merge in curious ways. He’s written on what can we learn about environmental ethics and environmental degradation from thrash metal songs and how musicians created the sonic form of late Cold War paranoia and environmental degradation. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania with his partner Meg and his son Sacha.
Theresa K. Vescio is a Professor of Psychology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies. Her research seeks to understand the factors that facilitate and temper the expression of sexism, racism, and heterosexism. Dr. Vescio has two lines of research that are funded by the National Science Foundation – research on the underrepresentation of women in masculine domains (e.g., science, technology, engineering, business) and her research on masculinity. Dr. Vescio has published numerous articles, edited a volume on The Social Psychology of Power (with Ana Guinote), served as Associate Editor for both the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes and the British Journal of Social Psychology, and served on the editorial boards of Psychological Science, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, and Social Psychology and Personality Science. In recognition of the contribution of her work, Dr. Vescio, along with her colleagues, has received the Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the Georgia Babladelis award from the Society for the Psychology of Women, and the Roy Buck outstanding publication award from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Vescio has also received an early career award in recognition for her service to the Society of Personality and Social Psychology.
Brian A. Davis is an undergraduate student at The Pennsylvania State University. As an adolescent he was a casualty of contemporary police brutality. A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Brian has witnessed to the caste system first hand institutionalized by police departments. Brian has devoted most of his time to student activism and has made helping others a lifetime dedication. Brian has won multiple awards and scholarships for his leadership and selflessness effort in serving others, including recognition for creating a university-Wide initiative to gather water for Flint, Michigan during their Water Crisis. Brian directed 22 students with 5,000 bottles of water to Flint, Michigan to distribute water to undocumented families, food banks and local shelters. Brian’s humanitarian work extends internationally as well providing community service in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In 2016, Brian completed 4 study abroad experiences in Haiti, Cuba, Amsterdam and Australia. In August 2016, Brian crafted a publication for Penn State called “ The Penn State Treasure” which is a resource guide for first-year and change-of-campus students of color to fully get acclimated to the resources and campus environment at the Penn State University. The publication arose from Brian’s unsuccessful transition from an inner-city school in Philadelphia to an unproductive experience as a freshman with adequate performance, unfamiliarity of campus resources, and lack of student engagement.