Copypasta from TEDx University of Pittsburgh:

Raymond Gastil, Director of City Planning for the City of Pittsburgh

Ray Gastil is City Planning Director for Pittsburgh, where he leads initiatives to improve neighborhood planning, resilient communities, comprehensive planning, complete streets, and riverfront planning. He co-chairs the Affordable Housing Task Force. The Department has responsibilities for the City Planning Commission, Art Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Historic Review Commission.He has served as planning director, Seattle, and Manhattan planning director, NYC, and founding director of Van Alen Institute, where he led exhibitions, publications, and design competitions, including Open: New Designs for Public Space. Earlier, he served as transit-oriented design director for Regional Plan Association. Recent publications include Success Looks Different Now: Design and Cultural Vitality in Lower Manhattan. He was 2011-2013 Visiting Professor and Chair in Design Innovation at Penn State, leading seminars, symposia, and studios on campuses, waterfronts, and urban innovation, and serves as Adjunct Professor, with the Master of Urban Design Program, at Carnegie Mellon University.

Janera Solomon, Publisher of 1839 Magazine and Executive Director of Kelly Strayhorn Theatre at East Liberty

Janera Solomon is the executive director of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, a historic live arts venue in Pittsburgh now in its seventh year of presenting progressive, evocative new works in dance, music, film, education and cultural programming. Recognized for her transformative leadership and contributions to the revitalization of East Liberty, janera managed the merger of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and the Dance Alloy in 2011, while maintaining affordable dance instruction at The Alloy School and creating a series of diverse programs designed to inspire and engage a wide range of audiences. janera has contributed significantly to the artistic development and career advancement of numerous dancers and choreographers supported by Kelly Strayhorn’s residency programs. An experienced curator, janera worked with the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and developed the First Voice International Black Performing Arts Festival produced by the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in 2007. She has worked on a range of cultural projects including content development and programming for Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, project management for the August Wilson Center, branding at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and program planning for the National Museum for African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. janera maintains volunteer board positions for several organizations. In 2014, she formed the August Wilson Center Recovery Committee. In a recent settlement, it was announced that the AWC will continue as a fully dedicated center for African­American culture in Pittsburgh. janera was recently featured in Pittsburgh Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh”.

Michael Boninger, Professor and Chair in the Department of Physical Medicine

Dr. Michael Boninger is a Professor and UPMC Endowed Chair in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. He has joint appointments in the Departments of Bioengineering, Rehabilitation Science and Technology and the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine. He is Director of the UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Rehabilitation Institute and the Senior Medical Director for Post-Acute Care for the Health Services Division of UPMC. He is also a physician researcher for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Boninger has an extensive publication record of over 200 papers. His central research focus is on enabling increased function and participation for individuals with disabilities through development and application of assistive, rehabilitative and regenerative technologies. Dr. Boninger also has extensive experience and publications related to training researchers. His students have won over 50 national awards. Dr. Boninger holds 4 United States patents and has received numerous honors, including being inducted into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.

John Fetterman, Mayor of Braddock

John Fetterman has served as mayor of Braddock for more than 10 years. After winning by a single vote, Mayor John threw out the traditional political playbook and worked to break the cycles of poverty and violence that were decimating Braddock’s chances by embracing creative ideas and innovative solutions. From a new community center to urban gardens and new businesses, Mayor John is charting a new path for Braddock.John grew up in York and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in finance from Albright College, where he played football and was class president. He also holds an MBA from the University of Connecticut and a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School.While living in New Haven, CT, John joined Big Brothers/Big Sisters. His ‘little’ was an 8 year-old boy. Confronted by the stark disparity between his own life and that of his ‘little’, John quit his position in risk management and joined AmeriCorps. John served two years in the Hill District, a struggling, yet richly historic African American community in Pittsburgh. He set up the first computer labs in the neighborhood and taught GED classes to young mothers and fathers.In 2001, John started a GED program in the town of Braddock, one of the poorest and most troubled communities in the commonwealth. He was elected mayor of Braddock in 2005 and is now in his third term.

Christopher Seymour, UPMC Dept. of Critical Medicine and Emergency Medicine

Dr. Seymour is Assistant Professor of Critical Care and Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is core faculty member in the Clinical Research, Investigation, and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness (CRISMA) Center in the Department of Critical Care, where he contributes to the Program on Critical Care Health Policy. He is affiliated faculty in the Center for Research on Emergency Medical Services (CREMS) in the Center for Emergency Medical Services of Western Pennsylvania. Dr. Seymour received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania before completing his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He then completed a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Washington, where he obtained masters degree in clinical epidemiology at the University of Washington, School of Public Health. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, he was instructor at the University of Washington.Dr. Seymour’s research program focuses on the organization of critical care during pre-hospital care – particularly the development of early diagnostic and prognostic models to facilitate allocation of patients and early treatments for those with acute illness. Specifically, he seeks to develop a research and acute care paradigm for pre-hospital sepsis similar that for acute cardiovascular disease. He has been awarded grants from the National Institutes of Health, Society of Critical Care Medicine, American Heart Association, and MedicOne Foundation.

Kerry Harling, UPMC Center for Integrative Medicine – Mindfulness Stress Reduction and Founder Of Holistic Highway

Kerry began her health journey way back in college where she studied neuroscience. In graduate school and during her public health masters courses she focused her studies on the effects of environmental toxins on human health, and saw the frustration as patients complained of a myriad of symptoms that had no specific diagnosis. They were left to ‘fend’ for themselves. At this point, she knew there had to be a different way of managing health. Through her many years of traveling and living overseas, she seemed to come back to a central question: How do we encourage certain health behavior in spite of our fast-paced culture, and how do we maintain balance in different settings around the world? “I was drawn to discover why most people by the time they reach their middle years, were so tired. Most had lost their vibrancy, their vitality and ultimately their health. I realized it was our lifestyles, our diets and our habits that determine our health and this drew me to Ayurveda.” After studying ayurveda and yoga at Kripalu School of Ayurveda and the world renowned Ayurvedic Institute, she now practice ayurveda throughout the Northeast, bringing health and vitality to her clients. She regularly blogs about ayurveda, teaches yoga, leads workshops and seminars in health and wellness topics, and she practice at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Integrative Medicine. She also runs the Ayurveda Sanctuary at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. She is a registered practitioner with the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), and Yoga Alliance.