Speakers

image of Brian Sauser

Brian Sauser

Associate Professor, Marketing & Logistics, University of North Texas

Dr. Brian Sauser is a professor of logistics specializing in systems science. He has authored 120 papers, 4 books, and 9 book chapters on the application of systems science to topics ranging from education to engineering to management. Two of his books are fundamental to thinking about and from systems: Systems Thinking: Coping with 21st Century Problems; Systemic Thinking: Building Maps for Worlds of Systems. He has spoken and taught in countries around the world (from Australia to Singapore to Finland) on the topic of systems thinking, and how its fundamental principles can change the way we solve problems. Major corporations and government agencies on how to solve complex problems in organizations have embraced his theories and research.

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Emily McCormick

Student, Communication Studies, University of North Texas

Emily McCormick found her love for performance at a young age when she began singing and dancing on the picnic table at her grandparent’s lake house and has since participated in multiple choirs, acting classes, voice lessons, and several productions. In April of 2016, a Junior at the University of North Texas, Emily was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Despite this, she maintained her usual class load, her job as a Housing Ambassador on campus, and led two organizations all while undergoing six months of aggressive chemotherapy. Emily found solace in writing her show, Bare, which was performed at the Patti Pace Performance festival and at UNT in February. Emily will receive her bachelor’s in Communication Studies this year. Though not quite sure what the future holds, Emily is certain of a few things. She would like to publish a book, perform, and help individuals undergoing chemotherapy cope through artistic means. Emily’s story, her path to healing, is ongoing and open.

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Jordan Frith

Assistant Professor, Technical Communication, University of North Texas

Jordan Frith is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas. His research focuses on the intersection of locative and social media, and he is particularly interested in the social impacts of smartphones. He has published in a variety of journals, including Mobilities, Technical Communication Quarterly, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Technical Communication and Mobile Media and Communication. He is co-author with Adriana de Souza e Silva of the book Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces (Routledge, 2012), and his latest book, Smartphones as Locative Media (Blackwell-Wiley) published in 2015. Finally, his research is interdisciplinary, melding human geography, rhetoric, and media studies, and he has recently begun researching the materiality of the coming “Internet of Things.”

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Kelly Reyna

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

Dr. Kelly Reyna is the Nation’s Quail Professor, an avid sportsman, and conservationist. He is the founder and executive director of UNT Quail, a nationally recognized gamebird laboratory at the University of North Texas that fosters sustainable quail populations through innovative research, conservation, and education. Dr. Reyna has given numerous professional talks and scientific presentations on the important link between quail and human health and innovative ways to combine quail conservation and enterprise in American agriculture. He and been featured on numerous television and radio shows to highlight his work and is the founder of two major initiatives, “the North Texas Quail Corridor” and the “North Texas Land Scholars.” Dr. Reyna’s main mission in life is to foster change that makes the world a better place. He accomplishes this through the wellbeing of quail.

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Pamela Wat

Minister, Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Pamela Wat is the minister of Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. She has a BFA in Related Arts/Dance from Kutztown University, an MA in Creative Art from San Francisco State University, and a Masters of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She has worked as a hospice chaplain, ballet teacher, fundraiser, performance artist, finance assistant, camp counselor, and elf to Santa. Her community work centers on racial justice, LGBTQ+ resource-building, and interfaith dialog. She helped to found OUTreach Denton, a program that hosts an LGBTQ+ youth group and an annual observance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. She led the development of Denton’s first interfaith observance of the National Day of Prayer. She lives in Denton with her spouse, Erik, and animals Clyde, Happy, and Ravioli.

image of Prateek Katakuntla

Prateek Katakuntla

Student, Texas Academy of Math & Science, University of North Texas

Prateek Kalakuntla is a student at UNT's Texas Academy of Math and Science (TAMS) and originally from Plano, Texas. He is looking to go into biotechnology or pre-med with a focus on research. His goal is to do research with CRISPR CAS9 or any of the other burgeoning genetic engineering technologies. Outside of school, he participates in a variety of activities. My primary focus is research. I work in the lab of Dr. Mohammad Omary helping create light-based sensor for everything from CO2 to mercury. He has submitted this research to a variety of competitions and won 4th place in the Siemens research competition at the national level. He is also one of the leaders of the TAMS quiz bowl team and the volunteer coordinator for the TAMS math club. He enjoys reading, going to the gym, playing ultimate Frisbee, listening to music, and making board games. He loves all kinds of professional sports. His favorite teams include the Mavericks, the Patriots, and the Stars.

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Sheri Broyles

Professor, Mayborn School of Journalism

Sheri Broyles, a professor for the Mayborn School of Journalism, teaches advertising at the University of North Texas. She has served as Interim Chair of the Department of Strategic Communications where she established SWOOP, the student-managed advertising and public relations agency, and Gravitas, the ad team that competes in the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition. Dr. Broyles has served as a member of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and serves on accreditation site teams. She also is active in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication where she chaired the Standing Committee on Teaching, served on the Board of Directors and was head of the Advertising Division. She’s one of the organizers and moderators of the annual Teaching Workshop for AEJMC’s Advertising Division. Dr. Broyles has a Ph.D. in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Journalism and a Bachelor of Music.