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ENDEAVOR
SPEAKERS

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Tarina Ahuja

Student

Tarina Ahuja is a current sophomore studying public policy at Harvard university at the Kennedy School of Politics, where she serves as the chair of the civics program and an elected representative for inclusion and belonging. She is a fellow at the National Democratic institute and is also the Co-founder of the Greater Good Initiative and Young Khalsa Girls nonprofit organizations where she works towards equality and inclusion for all.

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Janiyah Davis

Student

Janiyah Davis is a third-year student in the College of the Liberal Arts at the Pennsylvania State University double-majoring in Criminology and Psychology and enhanced minoring in Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies with additional minors in Anthropology and Sociology, and a certificate in Behavioral Health and Counseling Psychology. She is also a graduate student in Penn State’s School of Public Policy. She currently serves as Penn State’s Student Trustee on their Board of Trustees and the President of the Student’s Restorative Justice Initiative, among other positions. She is driven by her desire to interact with others and support her community; however, this desire does not eliminated self-doubt.

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Patrick Frank

Entrepreneur 

Patrick Frank is a serial entrepreneur designated as one of Forbes 30Under30 and the COO of a Fast Company World Changing Idea Company PaitentPartner. Starting and scaling companies across all walks of business and technology he has seen the do’s and dont’t’s of all different types and stages of companies. He has delivered on more than $100M in revenue throughout his career and helped dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs leave their job and achieve six-figure businesses. Patrick’s vision is to create a world of empowered entrepreneurs that work together to make the world a better place through giving back and empowering consumer devision making. This is shared with all his endeavours which all have a charitable giving division donates back to charities and causes for those in need.

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Dr. Jason Griffith

Assistant Professor

Jason Griffith is an Assistant Professor of Literacies and English Language Arts in Penn State’s College of Education. Jason taught middle school and high school English for 12 years before earning a doctorate in English Education from Arizona State University. His research interests include writing pedagogy, adolescent literature, multimodal text intersections, particularly in narrative nonfiction and storytelling, and empowering literacy practices for middle and secondary students as well as preservice teachers.

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Dr. Murali Haran

Professor

Murali is Professor and Head of the Department of Statistics at Penn State University. He has a PhD in statistics from the University of Minnesota and a BS in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests include statistical computing, spatial processes, uncertainty quantification for complex models, and interdisciplinary research in climate science and infectious disease modeling.

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Nora Van Horn

Student

Nora is a fourth-year Penn State student pursuing majors in Philosophy, Global and International Studies, and Chinese, and a minor in Civic and Community Engagement. Her academic and extracurricular work enables her to grapple with local and global issues, applying ethical theory to analyze what is just — and what is not — and understand how we can cooperatively create a better future.

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Dr. Michael Middlebrooks

Zoologist

Dr. Middlebrooks is an invertebrate zoologist working at the University of Tampa where he teaches students about the amazing diversity of invertebrate animals. His research interests focuses on solar-powered sea slugs, which are able to incorporate chloroplast stolen from algae into their own cells in order to photosynthesize. He is also a passionate underwater explorer and avid scuba diver.

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Michael Mitole

Student

Michael is a 3rd year student in the Schreyer Honors College pursuing a degree in Finance. On campus, he has had a wealth of experience with leadership, consulting, speaking, and research. Check out his talk from TEDxPSU Time to Pause, “What I Learned as an Orientation Leader in a Global Pandemic”!

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Abbie La Porta

Student

Abbie La Porta is a third-year undergraduate student at Penn State studying architectural engineering. She has lived most of her life in State College, and attended State College Area High School, where she was a member of the basketball team, a clarinetist in the band, and a founding member of Sunrise State College, a local climate justice organization. In college, Abbie has continued local environmental advocacy and stepped into the role of a mentor for other students through Impact Scholars, the Presidential Leadership Academy, and being a teaching assistant. She is someone who fights for her community and is passionate about improving the world she lives in, whether it be through engineering, art, music, or conversations.

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Dr. Saptarshi Das

Associate Professor

Dr. Das is an Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM), Materials Science and Engineering (MA TSE), Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), and member of the Materials Research Institute (MRI) at Penn State University. He received his B.Eng. degree (2007) in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from Jadavpur University, India, and Ph.D. degree (2013) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University and worked at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) before joining Penn State. Dr. Das is the recipient of Young Investigator Award from United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) in 2017 and National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award in 2021 . Das Research Group at Penn State leads a new multidisciplinary area of science, namely biomimetic sensing and neuromorphic computing based on novel materials and devices inspired by various animal brains that allow evolutionary success of the species.