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University representatives take TEDx UniversityofNevada stage next month


block_n-3570686-6166518TEDxUniversityofNevada is set for Friday, Jan. 24, in the Joe Crowley Student Union Theatre at the University of Nevada, Reno. With the event program complete, 21 presenters are scheduled, including two University of Nevada, Reno faculty members and three University students.

David Aucoin is an associate professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Aucoin’s research focuses on the development of rapid diagnostics as a resource to countries where disease is endemic and expanding. He is the co-founder and chief scientific officer of DxDiscovery, a University startup focused on translating diagnostic research into FDA approved products.
Aucoin’s talk will focus on the challenges of diagnosing infectious diseases in resource-poor settings. He will highlight some of the work at the University to develop rapid and inexpensive diagnostic assays for these settings.
AuCoin has three active research grants through the National Institutes of Health. Two additional grants were recently secured through the Department of Homeland Security and the Naval Research Laboratory. All these projects rely on the identification of secreted or circulating microbial antigens that can be targeted for diagnosis of disease.
Peter Epstein is an associate professor and director of jazz and improvisational music at the University. Epstein began his career in 1984 in Portland, Ore. After several years apprenticing with many of the region’s top jazz artists, he relocated to Los Angeles, Calif., to study jazz and various world music genres at California Institute of the Arts. After receiving his bachelor’s in fine arts degree from CalArts in 1992, he moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. Since then he has appeared on more than 50 recordings, six of which are his own, and has toured in 20-plus countries.
He is a founding member of the School for Improvisational Music in New York City and has taught numerous workshops at universities, conservatories and music festivals throughout the United States (Eastman School of Music, California Institute of the Arts, New England Conservatory) and around the world (Nepal, India, Slovenia, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Portugal, Colombia). He received his master’s degree of music in saxophone performance from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2004. Epstein is a member of the Jazz Studies faculty ensemble, The Collective, and has appeared with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, Reno Chamber Orchestra and Reno Jazz Orchestra.
Unlike most presenters, who will be speaking at the event, Epstein will offer a performance.
Tim Grunert is the winner of the University’s inaugural Student Speaker Competition. He competed with talks from five other students for the spot to speak at this event. A sophomore majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University, Grunert is an Honors Program student as well as a member of the BS-MD Accelerated Early Admission Program through the University of Nevada School of Medicine.
During his talk, Grunert will use the Rubik’s Cube as a metaphor for people’s desire to no longer be alone and their need to find validation through technology.
Paul Kline and Kristin Stith plan to set the record straight about small towns with bad reputations. These two University College of Business MBA students have worked together, along with a team of other community leaders, to build the Biggest Little City initiative.
“We will be using the Biggest Little City movement as an example of what a small city did in an attempt to change the conversation,” Stith said. “We will be discussing the importance of a grassroots effort, and offer a formula that could apply to any town in the world.”
Klein is an award-winning creative director who specializes in storytelling advertising, campaign design, and public relations. He currently steers the creative and brand positioning for the City of Reno through the Office of Communications and Community Engagement. Klein has won 31 ADDY awards, including a Best of Show ADDY award, and two Jim Fish National Advertising Awards for public service. Additionally, he was named a Twenty Under 40 Young Professional and honored as the Outstanding Young Alumnus of the University in 2010.
Stith manages community relations for Dolan Auto Group. She is a southern California transplant who has developed a passion for the Reno-local initiative. In 2003, she moved to Reno to join the Wolf Pack’s softball team, where she earned various honors and accolades as well as a degree in speech communication and marketing. In addition to her efforts with the Biggest Little City movement, she is a member of the Reno-Tahoe American Marketing Association and is a local blogger. Her blog, “What Keeps the Biggest…little” features many stories about small businesses and events in the Reno area.
“I’m thrilled to see faculty and students from the University step forward and participate in this event,” Bret Simmons, University College of Business associate professor and TEDx UniversityofNevada organizer, said. “There are so many incredibly talented people at our University. Whether it’s in research, community engagement or learning, our University undoubtedly has people with ideas worth spreading. I look forward to seeing some of those ideas showcased during the event.”
More about the speakers Additional event speakers include six people making a big impact the Reno-Tahoe community and 10 speakers from outside the Reno area. The event boasts 10 published book authors and will offer copies of their books for sale the day of the event. The event will be moderated by University of Nevada, Reno students Joshua Smith and Jacob Capurro. For a full list of speaker profiles, visit http://www.tedxuniversityofnevada.org/speakers/.  
Ticket Sales Tickets for TEDxUniversityofNevada will go on sale Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. Cost is $100 per person. Last year’s event sold out in one day and this year’s event is anticipated to sell out just as quickly. Those interested in purchasing tickets are asked to do so only if they know they can attend the entire event from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. Visit www.tedxuniversityofnevada.org to purchase tickets.
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