Dr. Marc OlanoProfessor, University of Maryland Baltimore County - Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Dr. Marc Olano
Dr. Olano is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He leads the room-sized 94-camera 3D scanning facility at UMBC, which can create detailed 3D scans of people and objects for science and entertainment. Related labs at UMBC support virtual reality and 3D printing. Dr. Olano has been doing research in 3D graphics, games, and virtual reality for over 25 years, including work on several major computer games and invention of graphics technology found in every PC, game console or smart phone today.
She is a sophomore here at Towson University, majoring in Psychology and Women’s & Gender studies. She is currently the president and founder of a student organization here called Womanist United. Her primary goal with this organization is to help create safe spaces for students to practice self-care and love themselves.
John Gillespie is an English and Philosophy Major at Towson University. He was one of the leading organizers of the #OccupyTowson movement which developed in the aftermath of #WeAreMizzou, a black student led protest movement that took the nation by storm in November. He is a writer, poet, thinker who prefers to call himself a radical therapist as opposed to activist.
Erin Campbell is an undergraduate student who believes in doggedly following one’s interests and the power of language to shape human experience. At Towson University, she studies speech language pathology, deaf studies, Spanish, and disability studies- focusing on the role of “atypical” human communication in the brains and lives of individuals as well as in larger social issues. She currently works at the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism and in working to provide healthcare resources to Spanish speakers. She plans to dedicate her life to improving the availability of evidence-based practices for populations with complex language and communication needs.
Dr. Cheryl LaRocheArchaeologist & Professor, University of Maryland College Park
Dr. Cheryl LaRoche
For more than a decade, archaeologist Dr. Cheryl LaRoche has been researching and physically exploring the landscapes of 18th and 19th century free Black communities, their churches, cemeteries and institutions, and their relationship to the Underground Railroad. She is a historical and archaeological consultant who combines law, history, oral history, archaeology, geography, and material culture to define nineteenth century African American cultural landscapes and its relationship to escape from slavery. She often works at the sometimes contentious interface between the public and scholars, professionals and municipalities. Dr. LaRoche teaches in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. She lectures on a wide range of historical topics; her work has taken her across the country, from New England to the banks of the Mississippi River and beyond. She has consulted for the Smithsonian, the National Park Service, the National Forest Service, the African Meeting House in Boston and Nantucket, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, and a number of other historical sites and projects. She has worked for cultural resource firms such as URS Corporation and John Milner Associates. She was the cultural heritage specialist for the President’s House archaeological site for URS and the National Park Service in Philadelphia. Most recently she served as a project historian for the Smithsonian’s newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Dr. LaRoche was one of the authors of the National Significance of the Harriet Tubman Historic Area for the National Park Service and she was the lead author for “Resistance to Slavery in Maryland: Strategies for Freedom” for the Organization of American Historians and the National Park Service. She worked as an archaeological conservator for the African Burial Ground Project in New York City where she was responsible for conserving the grave goods from the burials.
David TeieFounder, Music for Cats
David Teie was born into a musical family, one of a third generation of professional musicians. By the time he entered college he had set aside studies of piano, saxophone, and singing to concentrate on the cello. He worked with Stephen Kates and Berl Senofsky at the Peabody Conservatory where he received his Bachelors and Masters degrees and the Wertheimer award for cellists, and with William Pleeth in London on a Fulbright scholarship and studied composition with John Corigliano. He joined the National Symphony in 1984, eventually playing fifteen concerto performances with them, twelve with Maestro Rostopovich conducting, including performances on two U.S. tours and the first of the American Residencies. He spent the 1999 – 2000 season as acting principal cellist of the San Francisco Symphony.
He composed the string music for the CD by the rock group Echobrain founded by former Metallica bassist, Jason Newsted, was commissioned by Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony to write one of the Hechinger encores, Fuga Eroica which received its premiere with the NSO in February of 2004, and in November of 2005 premiered his Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra with the Anchorage Symphony. His Concerto for Flute and Strings received its premier in 2010 with the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra; David is presently the music director of that orchestra.
In 2005 -06 David developed and outlined the first comprehensive theory that attempts to explain the cognitive processes involved in our appreciation of music. Working with Charles T. Snowdon at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, they studied the affect of David’s species-specific music on cotton-topped tamarin monkeys, resulting in the first controlled study that demonstrated significant and appropriate responses to music from any species other than human and was published in Biology Letters of the Royal Society. A more complete description of his theory was published by Oxford University Press in the book The Evolution of Emotional Communication. A second study was conducted by Dr. Snowdon at the University of Wisconsin- Madison testing the effectiveness of species-specific music on cats. The data were even stronger for cats than they had been for the monkeys; the results were published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science in 2015.
Dr. John LaPollaProfessor, Towson University- Department of Biological Sciences
Dr. John LaPolla
Ants have fascinated John LaPolla since he was a boy, leading him to become a myrmecologist, a scientist who specializes on ants. His research focuses on the discovery and description of ant biodiversity both of the past and present. This has taken him around the globe in search of ants, but has also brought him face to face with the challenges the 21st century presents to biodiversity. He received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2004, completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution, and has been a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University since 2006.
Dr. James OverduinProfessor, Towson University- Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences
Dr. James Overduin
James Overduin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences at Towson University. He teaches calculus-based introductory physics, mathematical physics, and a Towson Seminar course called “Physics and Metaphysics”. His research is in the areas of gravitation, cosmology, astrophysics and physics education. He works closely with undergraduate research students, who are co-authors on numerous conference presentations and publications.