Alex Giger

Alex challenges the mindset of the farm-to-table movement and describes what it takes to work with local farmers to bring food from the farm, onto the plate, then the table. He also describes how farm-to-table is dependent on relationship-building by forging community bonds.


Dr. Chen Hou

Dr. Hou explores the similarities between solitary animals, ant colonies and human cities. He contends that ant colonies and human cities are like super-organisms in the way they use energy. Dr. Hou will explain through his research why a cell/ant/person living in a larger animal/colony/city requires less energy than those living in a smaller unit.


Ed Koharik

Ed is a student entrepreneur who is passionate about student innovation. He will be sharing with the audience how we can help cultivate and encourage curious minds at the university and beyond. Ed also shares how college entrepreneurship helps develop fresh insight and practical problem solving skills that lend themselves to careers post-graduation.


Tamar Makharashvili

Tamar is pursuing an electrical engineering Ph.D. from Missouri S&T, and she will discuss how her current path is something she could not have dreamed of ten years ago. As a girl growing up in Georgia, where gender roles and social dogma dictate career paths, Tamar knew that her interest in STEM would not be realized outside of the classroom. She came to S&T to pursue her passion for engineering, and will challenge the audience to harness the power of our pasts as we visualize our futures.


Michael McLeon

Sergeant Michael (Mac) McLeon is a correctional officer currently assigned to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Michael Unit in Anderson County, Texas. Mac is part of a team who developed a method of growing crops and herbs within the prison system using aquaponics and hydroponics to provide fresh food for offenders, food banks, homeless shelters and children’s homes. Even though offenders are incarcerated, through the program they can make a positive difference.


Joshua Morris

Josh Morris is a retired Army Ranger who became interested in historical human conflict. From his research, Josh will present about how throughout history, conflicts have almost always been fought over resources. He proposes solutions to reduce future conflicts, including moving towards a sustainable lifestyle, and will address the factors that contribute to the current environmental, energy and agricultural crisis.


Leneisa Parks

Lenesia share the tales of triumph and woe of underrepresented communities and how individuals and groups built their own narratives and chose to reject narratives that were created for them. She will present about the art of storytelling, and explain that there is power in our own books of life where we must choose to be authors, and not just readers.


Mike Schmidt

Mike is a process safety engineer, so you could say that he lives and breathes workplace safety. He explains what hazards consistently contribute to workplace fatalities, and how as a society, there are steps we can take to make everyone safer, including ourselves. With statistics from the early 90s to today, the list of most dangerous jobs might surprise you.


Charlotte Wiggins

Charlotte is a lifelong gardener, but it was not until she started to keep honeybees in her garden that she began to understand the scope of the pollinators, down to honeybees providing 1/3 of the world’s food supply. She will provide the audience with tips everyone can do now to ensure the future of bees and our food supply as we know it.