Biography

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Dr. Natoshia Anderson

STEM Educator Author

“ABC Engineering”

Biography

Dr. Natoshia ("Dr. Toshia") Anderson, is a Mechanical Engineer-turned award-winning ​STEM educator and STEM advocate​, STEM leadership consultant, and dynamic and informative, ​in-demand​ STEM motivational speaker, podcast host, and author. Dr. Toshia offers intensive professional and leadership development coaching and training for STEM entities, educators, and school system staff, and mentorship for young minority women and girls in STEM.

Fun Fact

In her spare time, Dr. Anderson can be found reading a good romance novel or binge-watching Netflix shows.

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Dr. Gloria Thomas

Director Academic Engagement and Achievement, LSU

"How critical thinking can strengthen academic engagement and the impact of those engagements on academic achievement.”

Biography

Dr. Gloria Thomas received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Southern University and A&M College, where she held scholarships from the Timbuktu Academy, the Honors College, and the Packard Foundation. She held several internships and also worked in the chemical industry for a brief period before earning a doctorate in chemistry at LSU as a Louisiana Board of Regents Fellow and an American Association of University Women Fellow.

Fun Fact

I was both a Boy Scout and a Girl Scout!

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David Adams

CEO of Urban Assembly Schools (UA)

"The impact of Social Emotional Learning on Critical Thinking"

Biography

An expert in Social-Emotional Learning, David Adams, CEO of Urban Assembly Schools (UA) in New York City, has spearheaded multiple initiatives to support the social-emotional development of more than 9,000 students. Starting as Director of SEL in 2014, David created the Resilient Scholars Program (RSP), a unique approach to integrating SEL into curriculum and classroom practices across the UA network. After taking on the role of Senior Director of Strategy, David led the expansion of the organization into a model provider of school support, with an emphasis on innovation and equity in public education. David is a Civil Affairs Officer in the Army Reserve and sits on the board of CASEL. 

Fun Fact

Mr. Adams was a camp counselor for 10 years

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Kevin Fite

Assistant Director of STEM Enrichment, Detroit Public Schools

“The advantages of after-school STEM/STEAM enrichment programs for students in K-12.”

Biography

Detroiter Kevin Fite has over 20 years of experience in the education field.  Currently, Mr. Fite is the Assistant Director of STEM Enrichment for the Detroit Public Schools Community District leading Robotics, Architect, Academic Games, Chess, The Detroit Children’s Museum, and many other STEM and STEAM-related initiatives.  One of Mr. Fite’s passion is teaching chess.

Fun Fact

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Richard "Rick" Gallot

President of Grambling State University

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Biography

He was born into a Gramblinite family.  He is the son of former Grambling Mayor Richard J. Gallot Sr. and Dr. Mildred Gallot, the retired head of the Grambling State University history department, both graduates of what is now Grambling State University. The new Tiger-in-Chief was inducted into the Grambling State University Alumni Hall of Fame and the Southern Law School Hall of Fame. He is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. 

Fun Fact

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Richard "Rick" Gallot

President of Grambling State University

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Biography

He was born into a Gramblinite family.  He is the son of former Grambling Mayor Richard J. Gallot Sr. and Dr. Mildred Gallot, the retired head of the Grambling State University history department, both graduates of what is now Grambling State University. The new Tiger-in-Chief was inducted into the Grambling State University Alumni Hall of Fame and the Southern Law School Hall of Fame. He is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. 

Fun Fact

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Dr. James Gray

Superintendent, Jefferson Parish Schools 

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Biography

Dr. James Gray has served in public education for 25 years as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, and most recently as the Director of School Leadership for the Vermilion Parish School Board. Dr. Gray has served on numerous state committees including state principal forums. He was selected as a state-wide Compass evaluation trainer and was a co-developer of the Compass Leader Rubric designed to evaluate Louisiana’s school administrators.

Fun Fact

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Dustin Miller

State Representative for District 40 in St. Landry Parish and Co-owner of Acadiana Practitioners

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Biography

Mr. Miller is the State Representative for District 40 in St. Landry Parish located in south Louisiana and Co-owner of Acadiana Practitioners in Opelousas, LA.  A graduate of Opelousas Catholic High School and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, he has worked as an intensive care nurse at Opelousas General Hospital prior to completing his master's degree for nurse practitioner at the Southern University and A&M College.

Fun Fact

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Mike Ellison

Recording artist, Actor, Performer, Fundraiser and Volunteer

"Critical Thinking in Educational Film Projects"

Biography

Ellison wrote and produced BROKEN MIRRORS: Bullies & Bystanders soon thereafter, to address bullying and teen suicide. He produced and performed with the “Fela Outreach Initiative” for middle and high schools. The live music and multi-media presentations taught students about the life and legacy of famed Nigerian musician and activist, Fela Anikulapo Kuti; while highlighting culture, history and progressive development throughout the African continent.

Fun Fact

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Pontus Carlsson

Recording artist, Actor, International Chess Grand Master, Fundraiser and Volunteer

“How chess thinking can revitalize your business.”

Biography

GM Pontus Carlsson is an experienced Colombian born chess Grandmaster and player of the Swedish National team. He is a 10 folded Swedish Champion and has won numerous international tournaments in for example Spain, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Carlsson is also a two folded Swedish Junior champion as well as a former Nordic Junior Champion.

Fun Fact

He is fluent in 7 languages (Swedish, Czech, German, Spanish, French, English, Mandarin) and played soccer on the professional level during high school.

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Dr. Sibrina Collins

Executive Director of the Marburger STEM Center, Lawrence Technological University

"Superhero Science: Addressing Equity in STEM.”

Biography

Dr. Sibrina N. Collins is an inorganic chemist and STEM administrator. Over the course of her career, Dr. Collins has mentored 17 undergraduate chemistry students and published peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals such as Inorganic Chemistry, Acta Crystallographica, Journal of Chemical Education, the Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, Nature Chemistry, and Nature. Dr. Collins is now the founding executive director of the Marburger STEM Center, at Lawrence Technological University. The Marburger STEM Center is the intellectual home of campus-wide STEM initiatives at LTU, which promotes inclusiveness, excellence, creativity, and innovation. She was recently recognized as an Honoree by the Southfield Area Rotary Club for Black History Month and was selected for the 2021 John G. Petty Sr. Community Champion Award.

Fun Fact

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Claudia Dixon

Founder & CEO of JBECK Accounting and Consultancy

“Parental critical thinking support and its impact on student learning.”

Biography

Baton Rouge native, Claudia M. Dixon is an experienced accountant with a successful career in banking, business development, accounting, and financial planning. She's a proud mother of 4 amazing children, owner of J Beck Accounting & Consulting, CEO of Music & Money and is also a pretty good Spanish-speaker... Hola!

Fun Fact

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Dr. Katherine Cox

Program Director for the Department of Anesthesiology Residency Training Program

“Outcomes of building a Critical Thinking process: My Education and Professional Journey.”

Biography

Dr. Katherine Cox is a Southeastern Louisiana native. She completed her undergraduate degree in biological sciences at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where she became involved with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professors Program while completing her pre-medical degree.  She earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, LA, where she also completed her residency training.  She is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and Basic Perioperative Transesophageal Echocardiography.

Fun Fact

Dr. Cox has been riding and training horses for Hunter-Jumper competitions since high school.

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Dr. Kimberly Gaiters-White

Dean of the Evelyn Reid Syphax School of Education at Virginia Union University

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Biography

Dr. Kimberly Gaiters-White is Dean of the Evelyn Reid Syphax School of Education at Virginia Union University. She has also served as Dean of the College of Education at Albany State University (Georgia), and Dean of Academic Affairs at Ferrum College. And also research evidence-based strategies to increase the licensure success rates of underrepresented populations, especially at Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCUs).

Fun Fact

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MaKenzi Barrow

MyGRIT One on One Student

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Biography

I’m 11 years old. I live in Zachary,Louisiana. I go to Copper Mill Elementary School. My parents are Michelle and Kory Barrow. I’m in Beta club. I'm so grateful for what I’ve learned. Just being able to better develop and think about what I learn in school is amazing. Being able to put the effort in at first gives you so many great outcomes.

Fun Fact

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