CONFERENCE SPEAKERS: (as of 12/10/12)


CrambALAN CRAMB, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Illinois Institute of Technology. Alan William Cramb  is responsible for the academic programs and mission of the Illinois Institute of Technology. He is also the Charles and Lee Finkl Professor of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. In 2005 Alan was appointed the Dean of Engineering and the John A. Clark and Edward T. Crossan Professor of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  In his role as Dean, he was responsible for current and future directions in research and education for one of the leading engineering schools in the USA. He is the author of over 200 publications and 2 patents and the recipient of many awards for his contributions to the fields of engineering and engineering education.

Akeshia Craven-HowellAKESHIA CRAVEN-HOWELL, Officer, Pathways to College and Careers, Chicago Public Schools. Akeshia Craven-Howell is the Officer for Pathways to College and Career at Chicago Public Schools.  In this role, Akeshia is leading the district’s strategy to ensure all students are on track throughout their K-12 career toward graduating high school college and career ready.  Key strategies include Career & Technical Education, multiple pathway options for chronically truant and recently dropped out youth, academic & learning supports as well as social and emotional learning supports, out of school time opportunities and the recently launched early college STEM high schools. Prior to serving as the Officer for Pathways to College & Career, Akeshia was a Chief Area Officer for high school Area 19. She holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

JESSICA DONNER,  Director, Collaborative for Building After School Systems. Jessica manages CBASS’s efforts to develop policy recommendations and solutions, test the feasibility of policy and practice recommendations and disseminate findings, and deliver technical assistance to jurisdictions to build after-school systems. She oversees the national demonstration project, Frontiers in Urban Science Education, to build citywide STEM systems, adapted from the TASC model.  Prior to assuming her position with CBASS, Jessica managed statewide and national service-learning initiatives as a program director at the National Service-Learning Partnership at the Academy for Educational Development and as a Service-Learning Specialist at the Massachusetts Department of Education.  She holds a master’s degree in urban policy analysis and management from Milano, the New School for Management and Urban Policy, and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jerry-01a-262x300JERRY DOYLE, Vice Provost for Student Access, Success, and Diversity Initiatives, Illinois Institute of Technology. Educated at the University of Chicago (Economics) and at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Jerry Doyle has spent over 30 years working on issues related to access, equity, attainment, achievement, and advanced degrees, with a strong focus on developing pipeline initiatives for underserved communities. Professionally, Jerry has worked in admissions at the University of Chicago, the Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth College), and at Emerson College before joining Illinois Institute of Technology in July 2006. While at Harvard University and the University of Chicago, Jerry and his family served as Resident Tutors/Heads in the residence halls. In addition, Jerry has worked at the University of Brunei and taught A-Level Economics and Mathematics at Usa Seminary in Tanzania.

Damian WebDAMIAN EWENS, Director, Providence After School Alliance High School Initiatives. As the Director of the Providence After School Alliance’s high school initiatives, Damian oversees The Hub, PASA’s credit bearing after-school system for high school youth. Damian is also the Co-Founder and Chief Open Educator of Codery, a technology firm offering technology services for the growing digital badges field. A Providence, RI native, Damian taught in 6th-12th grade classrooms for 7 years and can be found surfing the Northeast coastline year-round. He holds an MA in Education from Stanford University and a BS in Economics from Santa Clara University.

Gabrielle Lyon Project ExplorationGABRIELLE LYON, Cofounder and Executive Director, Project Exploration. Dr. Gabrielle Lyon is the Cofounder and Executive Director of Project Exploration, a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the face of science by ensuring students of color and girls have personalized experiences with science and scientists. Lyon has nearly two-decades of experience as an education activist, convener and nonprofit leader. She received her BA and MA from the University of Chicago and her PhD from the University of Illinois Chicago.

DAN O’NEIL, Executive Director, Smart Chicago Collaborative. Daniel X. O’Neil is the Executive Director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, a civic organization devoted to making lives better in Chicago through technology. Prior to the Smart Chicago, O’Neil was a co-founder of and People Person for EveryBlock, a neighborhood news and discussion site serving 16 cities. He was responsible for uncovering new data sets through online research and working with local governments. In August 2009 EveryBlock was purchased by  Prior to EveryBlock, O’Neil spent 10 years as an Internet strategist and project manager for Streams Online Media, one of the first web design firms in Chicago. In June of 2011 he was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for Technology and Innovation. O’Neil has a degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

UntitledMICHAEL RAMIREZ, University of Illinois Chicago, Third Year Communications Major. I attended ACE Technical Charter High school and am currently a third-year undergrad at UIC majoring in Communications. I am a museum educator/docent at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum. During my free time I like to play video games and watch movies from my 300+ movie collection. I love to listen to music and could not go one day without it, and I also like to draw and just hang out with friends and family. Throughout High School I was involved with many STEM programs including: four Project Exploration student programs, including serving as a team leader and teaching assistant; being a docent at the Field Museum; serving on the ACE Tech Robotics team with FIRST Robotics. I also headed up both the newspaper and yearbook clubs at my high school. I was part of Urban Students Empowered (USE), and I was a member of the National Honors Society.

Andrew RiceANDREW RICE,  Senior Policy and Research Analyst, Chicago Allies for Youth Success. Andrew Rice is a Senior Policy and Research Analyst at Chicago Allies for Youth Success, where he helps to coordinate cross-organizational information sharing and analysis.  Prior to ChicagoAllies, Andrew was a full-time consultant to the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services’ Children Services Division for Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.  He has also consulted for the Chicago Out of School Time (OST) Project and Teach for America.  Andrew has a Bachelors Degree in English Literature from Emory University and a Masters in Public Policy from the Harris School for Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

JOHN TOLVA, Chief Technology Officer, Office of the Mayor, City of Chicago. In May 2011, John Tolva began as the City of Chicago’s first Chief Technology Officer under Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Tolva was hired to set high standards for open, participatory government for all Chicagoans. The role of the CTO sets as its goals the establishment of city-wide technology and innovation priorities, interfaces with the global technology industry, and modernized, streamlined city IT systems. Before joining the City, Tolva worked at IBM for over 13 years. In his most recent capacity, he served as the Director of Citizenship & Technology where he led the City Forward project, a public analytics site for city data worldwide. Tolva began his career at IBM Interactive Media, building systems for live event coverage and cultural heritage projects. His team developed programs that performed a wide range of tasks, ranging from contributing idle processing power to the search for a cure to HIV to matching employees with community volunteer opportunities. Tolva received an MS in Information Design and Technology from Georgia Tech in 1998. He lives in Chicago with his wife and three children.

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