Home ⟩ TEDxColumbiaSC 2015

2015 Speakers

More than a dozen high-profile speakers from across the Midlands presented at the fourth annual TEDxColumbiaSC. With topics spanning from preserving our rivers to the changing labor force, the members of this year’s lineup challenged the audience to reconsider how they interact with others and our world.

Michaela Pilar Brown

Michaela Pilar Brown

Michaela is a visual artist, using sculpture, photography, performance and installation to communicate ideas and tell stories. Her practice explores the body through the prisms of age, gender, race, sexuality and history.

Dr. Bobby Donaldson

Dr. Bobby Donaldson

As professor of history at USC, Bobby is knowledgeable about the role that Columbia played in the civil rights movement. He advocates for increased engagement with local history. Bobby serves as co-chair of Civil Rights Movement anniversary groupåÊColumbia SC 63.

Wesley Donehue

Wesley Donehue

Wesley is the founder and CEO of Push Digital, Push Advocacy and Push Elections, handling digital strategies for local, congressional and statewide campaigns, as well as issue advocacy groups and corporations. Wesley is passionate about content ‰ÛÒ what kinds people consume, where they consume it and what moves people.

William Edwards

William Edwards

As the director of the Center for Behavioral Analysis at Clemson University, Billy is responsible for creating, directing, and assisting in implementation of all the CBA‰Ûªs programs. Billy is passionate about behavior analysis and giving marginalized populations the possibility to access services and opportunities equally.

Chastain Mann

Chastain Mann

Chastain serves as Chief of Programs at Woman Care Global. With a focus on Africa, Chastain sets up and implements health programs to improve reproductive health in the developing world. Chastain has more than 25 years of experience working in the field of international development.

Tom Ledbetter

Tom Ledbetter

As Executive Director of the Enterprise Campus at Midlands Technical College, Tom serves in the realms of economic development and community engagement. Tom has been an active proponent of local community activities and economic development efforts of both the central South Carolina region and the State of South Carolina as a whole.

Susan Lenz

Susan Lenz

Susan is a professional studio artist who generally uses needle and thread for self-expression. She works to articulate the accumulated memory inherent in discarded things. Susan seeks a partnership with her materials, their purposes, values, and familiar associations.

Elise Partin

Elise Partin

Elise, Mayor of the City of Cayce, holds the distinction of being the first female to serve in the office of this 13,000-resident city. She has been recognized for her focus on economic development, her strong representation of Cayce‰Ûªs diverse residents and her efforts to promote regionalism and ethics reform while protecting taxpayer dollars.

Dr. Ann Ramsdell

Dr. Ann Ramsdell

Ann is associate professor of cell biology and anatomy at USC. Ann is a breast cancer research and clinical trials advocate, and her greatest accomplishment is opening up a new research direction (left-right asymmetry) in an established field (mammary gland biology).

Dr. Jessica Richardson

Dr. Jessica Richardson

Jessica is assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at USC. When administering therapy, she‰Ûªs passionate about helping her client or patient in a way that helps them in their everyday lives. When researching, she‰Ûªs passionate about solving puzzles that benefit those in the immediate or near future.

Dr. Anna Scheyett

Dr. Anna Scheyett

Anna serves as dean of the College of Social Work at USC. Her research examines community integration of vulnerable populations, especially those with serious mental illnesses, those with HIV, and those involved in the criminal justice system.

Bill Stangler

Bill Stangler

As the sole staff member of Congaree Riverkeeper, Bill is responsible for our outreach, advocacy and enforcement activities, as well as the day to day operations of the organization. He is most passionate about rivers and water, and serves on the boards of Palmetto Paddlers and Friends of Congaree.

Dr. Napoleon Wells

Dr. Napoleon Wells

As a Clinical Psychologist for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Napoleon is the Supervisor of Primary Care Mental Health Integration, as well as an adjunct lecturer. Napoleon has lectured extensively about issues of diversity, prejudice, privilege, race and educational success for minorities.

2015 Event Chair

Elyn Blackman