Meet Our Speakers
TEDxQueensU is excited to have an incredible line up of inspiring and accomplished speakers for our 2018 conference. Get to know our speakers and the diverse topics they have in store.
Award-winning business journalist Amanda Lang has been covering business in North America for 20 years. Based in Toronto, Canada, Lang is an anchor and reporter for Bell Media, including as an anchor on Business News Network, and as a reporter for CTV News, and across its media platforms. She is also host of a podcast to air on iHeart Radio in 2018. Lang has been an anchor for Bloomberg Television Bloomberg North with Amanda Lang. Previously, Lang was CBC's senior business correspondent, reporting for its flagship nightly news program, The National, and host of The Exchange with Amanda Lang, a daily business program airing on CBC News Network. For five years before that, Lang hosted The Lang and O'Leary Exchange, with television personality Kevin O'Leary. Prior to that, the pair co hosted SqueezePlay, on BNN, for six years.
Lang is also a best-selling author. "The Power of Why," (HarperCollins, October 2012) explores the connection between curiosity and success. "The Beauty of Discomfort" (HarperCollins, April 2017) examines how difficult it can be, and sets out strategies for how to achieve it.
Lang studied Architecture at the University of Manitoba, before becoming a journalist. Her first job in journalism was for Canada's Globe and Mail, and subsequently Lang joined the Financial Post newspaper, where she became the paper's New York correspondent. In New York she made the leap to television, where she first was part of the team that launched BNN and before long wound up at CNN as a reporter and anchor.
Josh has worked as a police officer since 2006, after graduating from Queen's University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. In 2010 he transferred from Durham Regional Police to Kingston Police, and quickly moved into the Community Oriented Response and Engagement Unit. Josh has been working at the Youth Programs Officer since 2015, the year this position was created. He was tasked with a platform for youth in the Kingston community, and developing programs to improve the lives of local youth. Josh spent extensive time both working with youth in the community, and evaluating new initiatives. In his 11 years, Josh has received two Chief's commendations and Extensive Recognition from Kingston community agencies. He has spoken to a number of conferences in the province and has also made a number of appearances at schools as a guest lecturer.
Caitlin Miron received her B.Sc.H. in Biochemistry in 2013 and is now completing a PhD in Supramolecular and Biological Chemistry at Queen's University under the supervision of Dr. Anne Petitjean. Caitlin's research employs aspects of organic, inorganic, and analytical chemistry in order to design and develop dynamic molecular systems for biomedical applications. The opportunity to pursue research abroad under the supervision of Dr. Jean-Louis Mergny at the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology in Bordeaux, France led to her discovery of a novel molecule that stabilizes an unusual form of DNA which has implications for anticancer and antiviral applications. She was awarded the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation (PhD) for this work. Her research has recently been highlighted in the media, including CTV, CBC, Global TV, The Kingston Whig-Standard, Hospital News, and BBC Radio.
Joze Piranian is a lifelong stutterer on the quest to confront his fears one stage at a time, through public speaking, stand-up comedy and random social interactions. He shares his tale of overcoming adversity to motivate people to face their fears, overcome their obstacles (their “inner stutter”) and fulfill their potential.
Joze holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Psychology from McGill University and a Master of International Business from Queen’s University. He is passionate about motivational psychology, stoicism, travelling and languages – he stutters in six of them.
Joze came in first at the inspirational public speaking competition Speaker Slam in May and subsequently won their Grand Slam in November, where the 2016-2017 winners competed.
Joze started doing stand-up comedy last year, performing in Toronto, Montreal and New York.
Françoise is a Registered Psychotherapist and a compassion fatigue specialist. Her experience stems from over 20+ years as a mental health professional, working as a crisis counsellor and trauma specialist in university counselling, military, law enforcement and other mental health environments. Françoise is co-executive director of TEND, whose aim is to offer consulting and training to helpers, trauma, compassion fatigue , burnout, self-care, wellness and organizational health. Since 2001, Françoise has given hundreds of seminars on the subject of compassion fatigue and secondary trauma across North America to thousands of helping professionals in the fields of health care, child welfare, the criminal justice system and other similar high stress, trauma exposed professions. Françoise is the author of "The Compassion Fatigue Workbook" which was published by Routledge in 2012 as well as several articles and publications.
Dr. Susan Bartels is an emergency physician and clinican-scientist at Queen's University. In addition to practicing clinical medicine, she conducts global public health research focused on how women and children are impacted by humanitarian crises around the world. While much of her work in Sub Saharan Africa, she has worked in the Middle East with the Syrian crisis as well as Asia and Haiti. She is currently the lead investigator on research projects funded by the World Bank Group / Sexual Violence Research Initiative, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Enhanced Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance. Dr. Bartels is interested in using innovative methods to improve knowledge and understanding of health-related topics in complex environments such as armed conflict, post-conflict settings, and natural disasters.
Evan leads the development efforts at Capitalize for Kids – a Toronto based non-profit focused on solving the toughest challenges in children’s brain and mental health. Prior to, he was an analyst on BMO’s trading floor where he spent two years on the fixed income, currencies and commodities team.
Evan graduated from the Queen’s Smith School of Business in 2014 as a member of the Varsity Football team and a peer educator with Queen’s Health Outreach.
Jacob Wilde is a fourth year biology and psychology undergraduate student at Queen’s University. He is an accomplished writer, an aspiring scientist, and a young man who is utterly passionate about problems and the process of solving them.
Jacob’s recent accomplishments include literary publication of eight poems on the subject of insects, humans, and the space in between; the design and management of a biology-focused summer camp for underprivileged youth through the Salvation Army; and the launch of his mental health focused YouTube channel Life~Lines, which collaborates with local clinical psychologists to produce animated videos deconstructing common sources of stress and anxiety, all in under five minutes.
Abby is a second year Life Sciences student and a member of the Queen’s Accelerated Route to Medical School program.
Growing up, Abby developed a love for words, particularly in the form of inspirational quotes. This led her to begin writing creatively in both French and English. In 2013, she was introduced to spoken word through a TED talk given by Sarah Kay. This sparked a desire to start writing spoken word in order to comfort, inspire, and present new or otherwise hidden perspectives.
Outside of the classroom, Abby volunteers with SwimAbility Kingston and ASUS Friends for Inclusion (Community Living Kingston) and trains with the fearless lifeguards of Queen’s Competitive Guard Team.
Landon Wilcock is a fourth year student in Political Studies at Queen’s University. This past summer, he began his ongoing work at the Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP), and has previously worked in the Wealth Management and Energy industries.
Landon has been actively involved in numerous student associations at Queen’s University. He currently acts as the Chief Financial Officer for the not-for- profit organization Queen’s International Affairs Association, as well as serving as a Peer Facilitator for the Bystander Intervention Program, which works to educate students and university employees on preventing and intervening in situations of sexual assault and violence.
In his free time, Landon enjoys writing, having contributed articles to both the Queen’s Observer and the Queen’s Journal. In his most recent article in the Journal, Landon detailed his own experience of sexual assault and post-trauma growth as a male survivor.
Dr. Feilotter is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen’s University, where she maintains an active program dedicated to the assessment of methods for biomarker validation and to the transfer of clinically actionable molecular information to the clinical setting. She has a special interest in the integration of platforms designed to support studies of human DNA, RNA, and protein biomarkers. Her roles as Service Chief of Kingston Health Sciences Center’s Laboratory Genetics and Director of the Queen’s Genomics facility allow her to focus on methods to bridge the gap between research and clinical application of biomarker findings.
A Kingston native and a graduate of Queen’s (ArtsSci ’83), David is a visionary artist who is passionate about community. He is the creator of public art projects Froid’Art (#FroidArtKTown) and Jardin’Art ( #JardinArtKTown ) uniting art, artists, business and the public for the benefit of the entire community through art.
David’s work has a beautiful relaxed, impressionistic feel to it. Wonderfully painted, his work often reflects his love for simple childhood memories.
In 2015 he created Martello Alley. From the darkness of an old alley, David saw beauty and opportunity. He saw a relaxed, fun, unique art gallery where art is shared, and where the public could see artists working on site. Martello Alley quickly became a top tourist attraction in Kingston because it was colourful and quirky yet approachable, proving that art and community can connect through creativity.
Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, the world’s top watchdog on housing, has set out to reignite the idea that housing is a social good, not an asset or commodity. In the role since 2014, Farha has presented reports to the UN on homelessness, the connection between housing and life itself, and the treatment of housing as a commodity and its consequences for people who are poor as well as the middle class. She has traveled to India, Chile, Portugal among other places to investigate whether governments are meeting their human rights obligations with respect to housing. Farha launched a new initiative called The Shift, a global movement which calls for everyone to approach housing as a human right, not a commodity.
A lawyer by training, Farha has worked to advance the rights of poor and marginalized groups throughout her career. She is the Executive Director of the NGO Canada Without Poverty and was instrumental in launching a historic constitutional challenge to government inaction in the face of rising homelessness in Canada. She was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by a Canadian university in recognition of her work, as well as the Barbra Schlifer Award for her commitment to advancing women’s rights.