Saturday, April 24


Saturday, April 24

10-11 a.m.

The Musical Child: Are we missing the developmental window?  

Joan Koenig

Music and language share the same developmental window, yet we would never dream of not speaking with our toddlers, and taking them to a weekly language class instead. This session explores the insights from my upcoming book – "The Musical Child" (July 2021) – of the extraordinary musical capacity of children under seven and how this affects children's physical, emotional, and cognitive development. It will empower you to practice music with children spontaneously and naturally. Collective musical practice is part of what enhances our humanity, what creates our sense of belonging.      

Joan Koenig began her musical life at the age of five winning several awards including the National Symphony Young Soloists competition. After Juilliard, she moved to France and worked as a soloist before founding the Ecole Koenig and dedicating her life to innovation in early childhood musical practice.

Session host: Roy Legette, Elementary Music Education, Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia

11 a.m.-Noon

Surviving and thriving post-retirement and stroke

Jerry Gale

Following his retirement from the University of Georgia in December 2020, Jerry experienced a stroke in late January 2021 while visiting his partner in Brazil. This presentation will highlight how improvisation, relational meditation, and reflection were used and are being used to facilitate physical and mental wellbeing. Concepts and skills will be shared.

Jerry Gale, Ph.D., LMFT, is an emeritus professor in the department of human development and family science in UGA's College of Family and Consumer Sciences. He is now a recovering academic and has a private family therapy practice. He embraces improvisational theater, relational meditation, and values social activism and engaged presence.

Session host: Lisa Renzi-Hammond, Institute of Gerontology, College of Public Health at the University of Georgia

Noon-1 p.m.

From Creative Seeds to Commercial Success

Susan Cohen

Creative ideas are fun and exciting. But even more, they fuel the economy and can provide inventors with economic returns. But ideas alone wither without the nurture and support they need to flourish. Join us for an interactive session in which we discuss how entrepreneurs grow their ideas into thriving businesses.

Susan Cohen is an assistant professor in the department of management in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. Her research interests include entrepreneurship, innovation, venture finance and acceleration, industry evolution, and corporate strategy.

Session host: David Sutherland, Entrepreneurship, Terry College of Business


Nonprofit Spotlight: Athens Area Arts Council

Jeanne Golightly (President AAAC)   

The Athens Area Arts Council is a non-profit arts organization, staffed entirely by volunteers, whose mission connect the arts to the community through promotion, education, and funding.

1:30-2 p.m.

Nonprofit Spotlight: ESP (Extra Special People)     

Briana Hayes (Leadership Development Intern) and Jake Sapp (Program Director)

ESP exists to create transformative experiences for people with disabilities and their families, changing communities for the better. Our mission is carried out daily not only through engaging people of different abilities but also by inviting others from the community to join us. 

2-3 p.m.

Is Pain Real? A Journey into a Peculiar, Perplexing and Paradoxical World

Mark Johnson

Join me on a journey into the peculiar, perplexing, and paradoxical world of pain. I will challenge the belief that pain always signals tissue damage, show how we can trick the brain to alleviate pain, and ultimately, address the question ‘Is Pain Real?’    

Professor and director of the Centre for Pain Research at Leeds Beckett University, U.K., Mark Johnson has been investigating pain since the mid-1980s focussing on how non-pharmacological techniques such as electricity, acupuncture, laser, and mirrors alleviate pain to improve well-being.

Session host: Alissa Tertichny, grad student, Department of Counseling and Human Development Services, Mary Frances Early College of Education at the University of Georgia

3-4 p.m.

Where We Are With COVID-19 and How Vaccines Are Helping

Fred Quinn

In the space of a single year, the novel SARS-CoV-2 has spread through most of the world, producing more than 53 million identified cases of the multi-symptom disease known as COVID-19. Safe and effective vaccines are making a difference, but where are we going and what have we learned?         

Fred Quinn, Ph.D., is the Athletic Association Professor of Infectious Diseases and department head in the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine. His current research focuses on understanding the pathogenesis and transmission of tuberculosis in humans and animals.

Session host: David Bradford, Department of Public Administration & Policy, School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia

4-5 p.m.

The True Selfie: Beauty, Authenticity, and Instagram

Rosanna Smith

Is makeup a mask or art? Your answer may depend on how you define the true self. I use both social media data and experiments to examine why people often judge others as inauthentic for engaging in beauty work and explore how we can eliminate this stigma.  

Rosanna Smith is an assistant professor of marketing in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. She enjoys analyzing TV shows and playing ultimate frisbee.

Session host: Aaron Meskin, Department of Philosophy, Franklin College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Georgia

5-6 p.m.

Empathy + Innovation: The Unexplored Intersection of Creativity

Chris Denson

Innovation and creativity are often fueled by an undying understanding of human need and potential. The further you go to truly feel and understand what others feel, the better we can create for, and with them. Without this sense of empathy, many good ideas hardly ever become great ideas, let alone live out their full potential to spark new, impactful movements in culture and business. This session will explore principles, real-world examples, and the how-tos of maximizing creative output through the depth of understanding. 

Chris Denson is an award-winning innovation advocate, author, host, and recovering comedian. He is the author of the 2018 Amazon #1 bestseller, "Crushing the Box: 10 Essential Rules for Breaking Essential Rules," creator and host of the Innovation Crush podcast series, and serves as the first-ever U.S. Director of Innovation at MullenLowe, an award-winning IPG creative agency.

Session host: Anna Abraham, Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development, Mary Frances Early College of Education at the University of Georgia