Speaker Bios

The 7th Annual Social Enterprise Symposium

Friday, February 27, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland


Dr. David Backer, Assistant Director - Center for International Development & Conflict Management, University of Maryland, Park

David BackerDr. Backer joined the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) at the University of Maryland in March 2012. In his capacity as Director of CIDCM, he serves as an expert on projects in the area of conflict management policy research, as well as coordinates the development of the biennial publication Peace and Conflict. Previously, Dr. Backer was a Senior Program Officer at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

Mrim Boutla, Co-Founder, More Than Money Careers

Mrim BoutlaDr. Mrim Boutla is a cognitive neuroscientist turned career coach turned social entrepreneur. Mrim is proud to be a first generation college student who paid her way through college and graduated debt free with her Bsc in Psychology from the Unversité Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), as well as her MA and PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the University of Rochester. Both at Brown University and at the Kelley School of Business (Indiana University), Mrim leveraged her brain-based coaching method to help hundreds of liberal arts graduates, MBA students and PhD candidates get hired faster for career opportunities in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), social enterprise, and sustainable business. Blending her life experiences, her 10 years of studying brain plasticity and executive function and her in-depth knowledge of job search strategies and tactics, Mrim has developed a proven brain-based career development methodology that will help you get hired for jobs that maximize impact and income.

Ryan fisher, Chief Operating Officer, Mulciber Stove

Ryan FisherRyan is responsible the business and fundraising operations for the Mulciber Stove - a high efficiency wood stove that brings clean, local, renewable energy with a push of a button. Ryan graduated for the University of Maryland with a B.S. and M.S. in the Fire Protection Engineering program.

Tony Keith, Poet & Educator

Tony KeithTony Keith is a Washington, D.C., area native that identifies as a poet, educator, and a nerd. As a poet Tony has traveled around the world teaching poetry and empowering young people to engage in the art of spoken word. He most recently featured at Washington National Cathedral's Martin Luther King Jr Celebration, Bus Boys and Poets, and Bloombars.   As an educator, Tony has committed his life to working with first-generation, low-income, racial and ethnic minority students and engaging in cultural education and social justice programming on college campuses. He currently serves a Director of the Cathedral Scholars Program at Washington National Cathedral - a college preparatory program for selected high school students in Washington, D.C. Public Schools. As a nerd, his thoughts, writings, teachings, and performances are centered on topics dealing with race, gender, poverty, culture, and sexuality. Tony is graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelors Degree in Communication.

Dr. Stephanie Lansing, Assistant Professor - Department of Environmental Science & Technology, University of Maryland, College Park

Stephanie LansingDr. Lansing’s research focus is agricultural and municipal waste treatment, anaerobic digestion design, microbial fuel cells and sustainable technologies for developing countries. She currently teaches classes at the University of Maryland in Renewable Energy, Ecological Design and Engineering, and Sustainable Technologies for Developing Countries.

Taylor Myers, Chief Technology Officer, Mulciber Stove

Taylor MyersTaylor is responsible for much of the research and technical advancement of the Mulciber Stove - a high efficiency wood stove that brings clean, local, renewable energy with a push of a button. Taylor Myers is a PhD student at the University of Maryland studying Mechanical Engineering with a focus on fire science. Taylor received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Maryland in Fire Protection Engineering and worked for three years at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developing the Fire Dynamics Simulator, the world’s most popular fire modeling software.

Sheri Parks, Associate Dean - College of Art's & Humanities, University of Maryland, College Park

Sheri ParksSheri Parks’ research focuses on public aesthetics, with particular concern for popular culture as public mythology and its effect upon individuals, families and minority cultures. Her book Fierce Angels: The Strong Black Woman in American Life and Culture will be released in paperback edition in April of 2013. She is an active public intellectual, appearing in national and local media, and is in demand as a public speaker. Dr. Parks is active in the university’s civic engagement initiatives, as a steering committee member of the Coalition for Civic Engagement and as an instructor whose classes often include projects that benefit non-profit associations. In 2008 she was recognized by the campus as the Outstanding Woman of Color and as Faculty of the Year in the University Honors Program.

Dr. Mary Ann Rankin, Senior Vice President & Provost, University of Maryland, College Park

Mary Ann RankinProvost Rankin, Professor of Biology, became Senior Vice President and Provost of the University of Maryland, College Park on October 1, 2012. Prior to assuming this position, Rankin was CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) in Dallas. NMSI is a public-private partnership dedicated to expanding the pipeline of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) graduates and STEM K-12 teachers. Previously, she spent 36 years at The University of Texas (UT) at Austin, where she served for six years as chair of biological sciences and for nearly 17 years as Dean of the College of Natural Sciences.

Dennis vanEngelsdorpDr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Assistant Professor - Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. vanEngelsdorp's research focus is on pollinator health, and honey bee health specifically.  He is particularly intrigued with using an epidemiological approach to understanding and (importantly) improving honey bee health. This approach is multi-faceted, requiring understanding both the etiology of individual bee diseases and the large scale monitoring of colony health.  

Albe Zakes, Global Vice President - Communications, TerraCycle

Albe ZakesAlbe Zakes rose from marketing department intern to become Global Vice President, Communications, for TerraCycle, Inc., the world’s foremost post-consumer packaging upcycling company. He was named to PR News' 15 to Watch in 2012 - a list of top PR Professionals under 30 - and was recently featured in PR Week for running an 'Outstanding Media Camapign'. Zakes led the TerraCycle PR department to secure over 500 unique media placements and $150 million dollars in ad value for TerraCycle’s partners and products in 2012 alone. He has extensive experience in launching over 100 robust campaigns for new products and services in major print, television, and online media outlets; securing appearances for company executives on such programs as Oprah, Good Morning America, and CNN and placing feature articles in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Investor's Business Daily, Reader's Digest, Time, Businessweek and many more.