Creating Your Positive Contagion

Creating Your Positive Contagion explores how to powerfully utilize the space between degrees of separation to build stronger circles – professional, social, and otherwise. Discover how conscious communication, rather than controlling conversations, can impact one’s effectiveness, and how fringe populations (the hyper-intelligent included) can counter-balance perceived weaknesses into unexpected strengths. Learn about the elements of communication that cause some messages to ‘stick’ more than others, and what can prompt someone to process certain information and ‘pass it on’… just as you’d hoped.

Julie Beltz is a Marketing Communications Specialist who works with organizations, entrepreneurs, and brands to craft how they speak about their services, selves, and vision. She is savvy at developing strategy around the concept of unique, compelling messaging, and committed to enabling others to confidently create the perfect language to convey the essential pieces of not only their work, but also themselves. She is on a mission to change the perception much of society has about those individuals classified with the label ‘gifted’.


False Confessions on Trial!

The United States is currently experiencing an Age of Innocence, though one quite different than that written about by Edith Wharton. Since 1989, more than 1800 people have been wrongly convicted and officially exonerated, many of whom spent decades in prison for crimes they did not commit. There are also many reasons to expect that this number of known exonerations belies the true extent of the problem. A significant portion –up to 28%– of wrongful convictions stem from false confessions obtained through police interrogation. In this presentation, the speaker will describe the research on how false confessions happen and what can be done to prevent them.

Allison Redlich is a Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University. She earned in PhD in Psychology at the University of California, Davis and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Stanford University School of Medicine. For two decades, she has researched the most effective methods to interview and interrogate suspects, and reduce the likelihood of false confessions. During this time, she met, eventually married, and bore the children of Grandmaster Gamester John Hornberger.   D’awwwww ❤

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Quantum 101: Intro to Quantum Computing and Mechanics

There is little you can say about Timmy King that hasn’t already been said in a multitude of restraining orders. Perhaps Pope Francis said it best, “Timmy is a cross between Oscar Wilde and Neil Armstrong. Though he lacks in social skills and common sense, he more than makes up for it in his unfounded belief in his own self worth. Watching his presentations is like reading the combined works of an infinite number of monkeys typing randomly for an infinite period of time.”

Timmy will be laying down some serious knowledge with an introduction to quantum computers and the quantum mechanics needed to make them work. Part history lesson, part physics lecture, all fun.

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Music: The OTHER Universal Language!

Audrey Shakir was born into a musical family in Cleveland, Ohio – her mother was a great pianist, organist and vocal coach, and her father, whose idol was Billy Eckstine, loved to sing. Although she began her professional career as a pianist in a group that played the tunes of Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and others, eventually Audrey started leaning towards Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, all the while adding singing to her playing talents, with the vocal influences of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Joe Williams and Jon Hendricks.

After moving to New York, she was introduced to pianist extraordinaire, Barry Harris, and began studying with him. She soon started playing the New York scene and became a regular performer at The Village Gate in addition to numerous dates at Town Hall, the Apollo Theater, Tavern on the Green and Jazz at Lincoln Center among many others. Audrey relocated to Atlanta in the late 1980’s, where she quickly established herself as the city’s most prominent jazz vocalist. She has performed at numerous Atlanta Jazz Festivals among her sold out appearances at every jazz club in Georgia’s capital city. Heralded as the finest scat singer since the great Ella Fitzgerald, she’s been featured in many articles about the Atlanta arts scene and is in high demand to entertain throughout the southeast. Over the years, Audrey has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Johnny O’Neal, Pharaoh Sanders, Kenny Burrell, Tommy Turrentine, Wynton Marsalis, Ted Howe, Joe Gransden, Tom Kennedy, Howard Paul, Dimitri Vassilakis, Kevin Bales, and many other notable musicians. Her CD, “If You Could See Me Now” for Hot Shoe Records, allowed her to put her own unique vocal signature on a diverse selection of standards and jazz classics. She is currently developing a new album adapting her jazz influences to contemporary tunes. Truly a world-class performer, Audrey Shakir continues to entertain audiences with her remarkable talents, both in Atlanta and beyond. Audrey will demonstrate that music is an art form that transcends language barriers, allowing emotions to be shared collectively and without words.


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The power to fight climate change is in our hands!

Since Congressional action on climate change legislation has been stalled for years, actions by individuals and organizations to combat global warming are all the more important.  Whether it is recycling, biking, or driving hybrid vehicles, many of us have embraced a lifestyle that reduces our carbon footprint.  But few of us have extended our sustainable living habits to include our financial lives and our retirement investing.   William Bruno will focus on how sustainable, impact and fossil fuel free investing offer underappreciated opportunities for fostering social and environmental change, and particularly for combating global warming. 

William’s career brings together his lifelong commitment to positive change with his professional work as a financial consultant for families and organizations.  Originally a lawyer and a congressional staffer, 13 years ago he became a financial advisor.  Since founding Green Eagle Financial Services, he has been helping families and institutions to invest in a way that is true to their principles while still offering the opportunity to achieve returns comparable to traditional investing.

 William has served on the Investment Committee of the Fairfax County, VA Bar Association and on the Episcopal Diocese of Washington’s Task Force on Sustainable and Responsible Investing.  He has spoken on green investing, climate change and impact investing at the Montgomery County Greenfest, numerous churches, employers, and other organizations. 

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Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) is a crucial but often misunderstood aspect of every space flight project.  John McCloskey (Chief Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland) will be providing an overview of EMC principles, their application in a space environment, mitigation strategies, and examples of undesirable results when these strategies are not implemented. 

John has worked at Goddard since May 1988 after earning his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Penn State University.  He supports a variety of projects, most notably the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is scheduled for launch in 2018.  John really enjoys teaching and training, and he has provided many EMC training and education opportunities for the Goddard workforce.

Java Joe’s going to teach us how to put a ring on it!

Joe will provide a “Buyers Guide” for Gems and Jewelry including: terminology, myths & misconceptions, scams, and tips for buying jewelry. Attendees will better understand the Jewelry trade and will have enhanced confidence when purchasing gems and jewelry. At the end of the presentation, lecture notes will be distributed.

Joseph Haber is a Graduate Gemologist and a member of the Accredited Gemologists Association. Joe sells gems, jewelry and crystals from his business, “Middle Earth Treasures.” Joe has been intimately involved in the gem and jewelry industry for over forty years and has taught classes in Gem Identification.