2015 Speakers

Jason Arcemont

Title: Giving All You’ve Got With All You’ve Been Given

Jason Arcemont is the culmination of self-driven will power and never ending grit to get things done. Action-minded, Jason never lets down on his pursuit of what he’s committed to accomplishing. With a clear vision, determined focus and consistent growth, he sets seemingly impossible goals and turns them into possible and achieved realities. He is passionate, unusually positive and tuned to people and their needs. The media has called him the “Texas Marathon Man”. His employees call him a genuinely strong and humble leader. His clients call him a remarkable business strategist. And his four kids just call him “Dad”. Although so many look to Jason for guidance, security, leadership and more, his achievement comes from knowing that when his back is against the wall, faced with huge feats, he rises above it, gives it his all and does not stop until his goals have been accomplished. Inspiration lives within us all, and Jason is a prime example of someone that takes that very passion stirring inside and focuses it through action-driven challenges and selfless service to others.


Patrick Barton

Title: Breaking the Bank: Time to Live

Patrick doesn’t know the meaning of the following phrases:

“Slow down”

“That’s not possible”

“Try to be a little quieter”

Well, actually, Patrick knows what they mean, but he does have a lot of problems following them. Those who know him will tell you that this the quality that most defines him. For Patrick, sitting still and accepting the status quo are the first step on the road to stagnation. His passions include the theater (both as an audience member and actor), laughing (both as the laugher and the laughee), and education (both as the student and the teacher). Patrick wants you to know that, you can change the future – and that the only way to do it is to take a chance.


Michael Davis

Title: Everyone has a Path to Find, Even You!!

My name is Madison(9yrs) and I want to tell you about my dad. He is nice, love’s football and I like it when he buys me things. My name is Michael(4yrs) and my dad and I have the same name. My dad plays the drums and guitar with me and it is fun. My dad is my hero because this one time I lost my toy and he found it for me. My name is Morgan(3yrs) and my dad and I sing together. My name is Laquana Davis and my husband is super intelligent. He is like the energizer bunny always running around and involved in a lot. He has all the traits of every guy especially their tunnel vision. He is like an abstract piece of art, well organized chaos, but I love him anyway. He is a great husband and father and prefers only my meat loaf.


Rhiannon Donaldson and Charles Kivlehen

Title: From Underdog to Clay Pigeon

Rhiannon Donaldson is a super hero. Only a super hero could live on so little sleep. She is a mother, employee, and a college student. No one really knows where she gets her powers, but we suspect it may be her faith. When Rhiannon is not frantically studying, she’s helping her daughter with homework; so yeah- she is still frantically studying.   She loves books and hoards academic journals. In addition to education, Rhiannon has dedicated her life to the betterment of her community and volunteers any extra time she has to helping others. Her motto is “Do it afraid” and she never allows circumstances to hold her back. Look out- it’s a bird, it’s a plane . . . no . . . its Rhiannon Donaldson! She is soaring above life as she is achieving her dreams.

Charles Kivlehen is driven. He is passionate, motivated, and dedicated, he is also quite short. The two most important things in his life are his family, and his education. Also Coffee, wait that’s three things…

Charles is eloquent, well read, and quite glib. His darkest secret is that he is part of an ongoing experiment to see how long a human can remain sane without sleep. He is also extremely excited to be participating in a TED talk.


Janie Filoteo

Title: Why I Watch TV so Much and Why You Should Too

Janie Filoteo is an avid watcher of TV.  If you name a TV show, she probably watches it and if she doesn’t she probably knows what various pop culture blogs are saying about it.  When she’s not overworking her DVR, you can find her watching baby animal videos and trying to figure out a way to incorporate all this pop culture into her sociology courses.  Before she dies, she would love to open her own animal rescue.  In the meantime, she volunteers with a local animal shelter less often than she would like.


Durell Forte and Melissa Studdard

Title: Waking the Sleeping Giant

Durell Forte plans to continue to empower the people around him through his writing. Other than writing you can find him zoning out to music and getting lost in the tempo on a verity of bass drums. He is a brother of 2 older sisters, 1 younger brother and many play brothers and sisters. After realizing and accepting the fact that his growth spurt has decided to take an extended vacation, he decided to use his talents in other areas. Learn more about Durell on Facebook, Instagram, at Twitter @Durell_Forte

Melissa Studdard is brilliance and romance in a dress. She’s intelligence and sass in the classroom. You want Melissa Studdard by your side at the party, on your team at the game, and in your corner when the trivia board sizzles. Her poetry is contemporary philosophy in motion. She’s got insight and magic where words matter. Her poems make movies, each line showing reality at a new angle. She knows her way around a thrilling piece of fiction and can spin a tale that bests Faulkner and O’Connor. She’s a poet-teacher-mother, yes all at once, because each facet shapes her approach to just about any task she takes on—and she does it all with grace. I’ve never seen a person who knows Melissa Studdard not smile at the sound of her name.

Written by Melissa’s Friend, Amy King


Danny Harvey

Title: “It is What it is, No It is What You Make It” – Your Financial Future

Danny is humble and hungry. He is dynamic, passionate, hardworking, and giving. His wife says he is all over the place but knows he is strategic. Professor Harvey is an adviser, volunteer, and mentor who cares. His students think his favorite words are “stay with me”. His two young sons think his favorite words are “don’t act on emotion, think”. He likes to have fun and is loyal. He always wants to represent his city the “H” and organizations/groups he has ties with well. He loves the Lord and his family!

And from his mom…”my son marches to his own beat”


Brandon Lowery

Title: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Zombies

Brandon is a nerd…and that’s not a bad thing. His passion lies in teaching Biology and Environmental Science at Lone Star College-Tomball, hoping to inspire his science students. He spends too much of his time reading science and news articles, dreaming of all the DIY projects he should do in the future, and on weekends, playing video games and teaching his son archery.

Brandon is also a closet prepper. He has given talks at the Gulf Coast MENSA Society and been interviewed by MTV news about zombie survival. He runs a Tumblr blog dedicated to survival and zombies, writes for the online magazine, The Zombie-Guide Magazine, and is working on the second edition of his zombie survival book.


Latoya Lewis

Title: How to Get Away with ACADEMIC Murder!

Latoya is my friend. She forgets to eat lunch but makes the best pork chops and baked chicken.  She makes her students feel like family – like a Hallmark commercial. She’s as bright as the colored paper she prints her assignments on (which is pretty darn bright). She’s never met a stranger, and seeing her mad is like seeing a unicorn. She loves her family and Netflix, and she cleans the WHOLE house all by herself. Her latest project is learning the game of football. You can find her in the sweltering heat any given Saturday sitting on metal bleachers yelling things like “TOUCH DOWN” when someone just kicked a field goal.

And according to her youngest son, “She is special.”

Written by Latoya’s family, friends, and students


Peter Maeck

Title: Cradle And All: From Womb To Tomb – And Back Again

Peter Maeck’s stage plays and dance scenarios, including for Pilobolus and MOMIX Dance Theatres, have been produced in New York City, Europe, and Africa. Peter served as a U.S. State Department Cultural Specialist in Tanzania and Morocco. He has created sales and management training programs for corporations worldwide. He is also a photographer whose award-winning pictures have been shown in galleries in New York City, Los Angeles, and other American cities, as well as internationally. Peter’s present Talk, “Cradle And All,” treats personal and public separations such as through divorce, death, and disillusion, and suggests how we may channel our departed loved ones’ creativity to achieve in our own lives, Saint Thomas Aquinas’s three criteria for beauty: Wholeness, Harmony, and Radiance


Madeleine McQuilling

Title: Comics in Classrooms: Constructive or Counterproductive?

As a full time honors student and aspiring artist and writer, Madeleine visualizes a world of people respectfully sharing their intelligence and creativity. She has been invited to present her research on comic books such as Alan Moore’s Batman the Killing Joke,and Mat Johnson’s Incognegro and Dark Rain at local and regional undergraduate research conferences. In addition, Madeleine sells paintings of pets and dragons. When she’s not amusing the cats, she can be found watching Netflix and reading books. Some of her favorite shows are Xena and Charlie’s Angels, and favorite books are Odyssey, The Time Quintet and the comic book series Birds of Prey.

Discover more by following Madeleine on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/madeleine.mcquilling or Twitter https://twitter.com/DancingDogDairy


Lisa Morales

Title: Einstein Was an Artist: How the Creative Process Fuels Original Work

Lisa Morales has worked in higher education over the past nineteen years in various capacities, teaching courses in music, economics, and history. She earned a B.M in voice performance, B.A. in economics, M.Ed. in American History with a subsequent graduate concentration in vocal pedagogy performance, and Ph.D. in American history and economics. Her research has focused on the economic impact of war and the effectiveness of reconstruction efforts within two primary contexts—the War of 1812 and the Marshall Plan. Further research interests include the impact of music on learning, voice science, and pedagogical best practices. As the founding Honors Program Director at North Central Texas College, Dr. Morales developed, with colleagues, multiple interdisciplinary honors seminar course exploring the leadership and ideas in the early republic. In July 2012, she was invited to present her conclusions regarding the financing of the War of 1812 at the University of London. After moving to the Houston area, she has served as Assistant Dean of Instruction and Dean of Academic Initiatives and Partnerships at Lone Star College-Tomball, supporting dual credit and other significant programming as well as professional development activities for the college. Dr. Morales has enjoyed teaching students as a faculty at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, University of Tulsa, University of North Texas, North Central Texas College; she is currently the Music Program Coordinator and music faculty at Lone Star College-Tomball.

Lisa’s oldest son, Sam (8), says: “My mom teaches music – she likes to sing and play the piano. We have fun making up songs in the car!”

Lisa’s youngest son, Collin (6), says: “I like to bake, read, and watch movies with my mom!”


Dhaval Patel

Title: Daring to Re-Think Social Responsibility Globally

Dr. Dhaval Patel is passionate about helping people, especially in developing communities, where he is working to create a world of sustainable human impact. At the core, he is a thinker, innovator, and risk-taker and has spent the past decades in over 70 countries with Madagascar being one his favorite destinations. Outside of being a Co-Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of iMPOWER Humanity, he is an avid fan of opera, a culinary enthusiast in the kitchen, and a lover of fine espresso. Dhaval’s friends say he is an explorer by nature, so recently his wife of 15 years, his 11-year old son, and he went on a riveting white water trip in the mountains. Although he speaks multiple languages, he failed miserably at learning French at the United Nations when he worked for UNICEF in New York City in the past. However, he knows that a simple hello in another person’s language immediately opens the door to understanding other cultures and helping them, which is what he is doing through his latest initiative, Billion Book Blast.


Anne Ginnett

Title: Who Doesn’t Have Trouble with Executive Functioning?

Anne wants to live in a world where all people are recognized for their inherent value. As the Director of Lone Star’s new OLS® (Occupational & Life Skills) associate degree for adults with cognitive disabilities, Anne is able to turn her dream of that kind of world into reality, one student at a time. When she is not at work, you can find her enjoying the outdoors, walking, jogging, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren. Her latest project is learning to play tennis. She spends evenings and weekends hanging out at the courts with a bag full of tennis balls, serving to invisible players on the other side of the net. You can connect with Anne on LinkedIn (Anne Ginnett) and follow her OLS® activities on Face Book at OLS at Lone Star College-Tomball.


Marvin Pierre

Brightening the Future of Young Men of Color

Marvin Pierre wants to live in a world where equal opportunity to live a quality life exists for all. As an Assistant Principal, he has been spotlighted as one of Houston’s emerging leaders in education on Who’s Who in Black Houston.

When he’s not engaged in the day to day grind of impacting the lives of inner-city boys, you can find him in the gym. Marvin is obsessed with fitness and healthy eating.

Marvin states that giving a TED Talk is on his bucket list.


Holly Savoie

Expensive Excuses: How an Unhealthy Mindset Will Cost You Your Success

Holly Savoie is a student in the honor’s college at Lone Star College-Tombal She enjoys long walks to the fridge to meet her true love: hummus with pita chips. When she’s not doing homework, babysitting, or watching Netflix, you can find her in her room trying to master all of her favorite songs on her guitar and ukulele. Her favorite band is “Walk the Moon”, but when she’s singing loudly (performing) in the car, she likes to pretend that she’s Tori Kelly’s backup singer. Holly’s favorite quote comes from Robin Williams’ character in the 1989 film, “Dead Poets Society.” “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”


Chandra Shaw

Shut Up! And Let Me Teach: Ending the Assault on Teacher Autonomy

Chandra Shaw has more than 16 years of experience in Education, as a teacher, instructional specialist, and now an ELAR Education Consultant with Region 10 ESC in Richardson, TX. As a teacher, her friends described her as a person who, “….accomplishes the impossible with her students,” so it should come as no surprise that Chandra wants to live in a world where everyone has the opportunity to accomplish their impossible dreams. Presenting a TED talk has been a dream of hers, holding steady at # 3 on her “bucket list,” for some time now.

Unlike most people, she does not fear public speaking and revels in sharing her passion about education and the power and perseverance of the teachers and students she coaches every day. Although she has no qualms about speaking in front of a full audience, there is one thing that strikes fear into her heart, butterflies! That’s right. To Chandra, butterflies are, “worms with wings that can attack at will,” so she avoids them at all costs.

When she’s not dodging butterflies, working into the wee hours of the night on her next conference presentation, or feverishly typing her first book titled, Shut Up and Teach!, you can find her on the racquetball courts, enjoying time with her friends or tracking her only child who’s away at college with the find my iPhone app.


Sean Tiffee

Mind the Gap Between Perception and Reality

Sean is a voracious reader and estimates that he reads more than five hours a day – all of it about fantasy football. He wants you to know that his team is stacked at running back, but injuries have decimated his receiving corps and is looking for a Wide Receiver 2 with a favorable week 14 matchup. He will refuse all offers that include the Cleveland Browns. He is also a world class chili cook and thinks that putting beans in chili should carry a minimum penalty of six months in county lockup. Based on his excellence in fantasy football and all things chili, Sean would make a wonderful candidate for the Athletic Director position at the University of Texas.


Rodney White

Communication Secrets of the Left Eye – Reaching the Emotional Center of Your Listener

Rod “The Storyteller” White wants to live a world where he can surround himself with people that know the value of strong relationships; and even in the face of adversity are able to maintain a positive mental attitude. As a Communications Coach He has been featured on several blog radio programs such as Small Business Today Magazine; Radio Show, Tools Tips and Technologies; Podcast and he has been the featured speaker for several groups, companies.

When he’s not coaching, speaking or writing, you can find him in the gym! He loves to work out in the name of fitness. Recently he participated in his first physique building contest and came in 3rd in his division!

His latest book, Sales Secrets of the Left Eye was released on July 17, 2015


D. Ivan Young

Emotional Intelligence: Using the Laws of Attraction

There are many words that describe Dr. D Ivan Young, but here are the few that I chose – discerning, enlightened, a spiritual teacher and sagacious philosopher. Seldom does someone possess the ability to connect, at a core level, to impact so many different and varying people. His witty insight into how, and moreover why, people do the things they do is astonishing. Having known Dr. Young for a few years, never have I seen him at a loss for words or searching for an answer. His compassion, his love, and his authentic way of communicating to us exactly what we need to hear, when we need to hear it has profoundly changed my life, and the lives of everyone I’ve witnessed him come in contact with, for the better. Put mildly, Dr. D is one of the most effectual and brilliant people I’ve ever met.

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