2014 Keynote Speakers

Richard J. Davidson, Well-Being is a Skill

Richie Davidson headshotThis talk will consider scientific evidence that suggests that we can change our brains by transforming our minds and cultivate habits of mind that will improve well-being. These include happiness, resilience, compassion and emotional balance. Each of these characteristics is instantiated in brain circuits that exhibit plasticity and thus can shaped and modified by experience and training. Mental training to cultivate well-being has profound implications for the workplace including its impact on leadership, creativity, employee health, productivity and collaboration

Richard J. Davidson is the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the Waisman Brain Imaging Lab, Founder and Chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ph.D. from Harvard in Psychology, at UW-Madison since 1984. He has published more than 320 articles, many chapters and reviews and edited 14 books. Author (with Sharon Begley) of "The Emotional Life of Your Brain" published by Penguin in 2012. Received a NIMH Research Scientist Award, a MERIT Award from NIMH, and the William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society. He is Past-President of the Society for Research in Psychopathology and of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. He was the year 2000 recipient of the most distinguished award for science given by the American Psychological Association - the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2006. In 2011, he was given the Paul D. MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences from 2011-2017 and as Chair of the Psychology section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from 2011-13.

Greg Downey, A Brief History of Innovation in Higher Education

Greg Downey headshotThe rhetoric of innovation implies something new and revolutionary, but higher education has a long tradition of experimenting with new technologies, new audiences, and new strategies for teaching and learning. In this talk, Professor Downey will draw on his research into technology and society to set the current debates over higher education innovation in historical context.

Greg Downey is an Evjue-Bascom Professor in both the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He uses historical and geographical methods to uncover and analyze “information labor” over time and space. Downey is the author Telegraph Messenger Boys: Labor, Technology, and Geography 1850-1950 (2002), Closed Captioning: Subtitling, Stenography, and the Digital Convergence of Text with Television (2008), and Technology and Communication in American History (2011).

Gloria Ladson-Billings, Getting Serious About Education: Preparing to Teach New Century Students

Gloria Ladson-Billings headshotToday's students arrive on our campuses with experiences and skills vastly different from their professors and other instructors. Their facility with technology and desire to remain "connected" provide both challenges and opportunities for re-inventing our teaching and offering new ways of learning. This presentation provides information about incorporating youth culture and new technologies into our classrooms as a way to insure that all students benefit from classroom instruction.

Gloria Ladson-Billings is the Kellner Family Chair of Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Faculty Affiliate in the Departments of Educational Policy Studies and Afro American Studies. Ladson-Billings' work looks at culturally relevant approaches to pedagogy and critical race theoretical applications to education.