Dr. Greg Tonkinson
Greg has spent much of his adult life teaching in various capacities. He has been on staff
with various profit and non-profit organizations. Currently, Tonkinson serves as the
Spiritual Life Director,Department Chair, and Bible Teacher at Valley Christian High School.
Greg holds degrees fromArizona State University, Phoenix Seminary, and Talbot School of Theology,
Biola University. In 2010, Tonkinson’s family was devastated when his wife, Leigh Ann,
was innocently killed in a car accident coming home from work. Tonkinson was instantly
widowed and left to care for their three young children. In the past six years, Tonkinson
has spoken about his loss to several audiences; helping them to navigate the issue of
faith through the turbulent streams of doubt, loss, and grief.
Overcoming depression through free therapy from strangers.
Blake grew up in Indiana in the Chicago suburbs, many of his family still resides in Indiana.
Blake is a graduate from Indiana University. Blake is an avid runner; he has completed five marathons,
dozens of half marathons, and 5K races! Blake is currently working on a project that has been my full-time
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) therapy and has also been opening the dialogue with so many people
about issues like PTSD, sexual assault, suicide, and domestic violence. This full-time project began on
November 12, 2015 because of the simple mindset of an eight-year old kid forever changed Ron Blake’s
life and those of 20,644 other people over the last 429 days.
Inseong J. Kim is an artist, author, executive producer, radio host of
“In His Love at New Faith Talk” 1360AM KPXQ+, wife, and mother of three children.
“Our heart is to share the hope and encouragement to those who are hurting as well
as hear everyone’s heart from the various angles.” Inseong, alongside her husband,
built three top 5% dental practices in Phoenix, Arizona. Her passion is to be a voice
for the voiceless, marginalized, and unfairly treated. As a 23-year-old Asian woman came
to America and faced the biggest challenge- communication. As Inseong was learning to
communicate, she encountered the heartache of those whom cannot communicate.
Through her training in Actuarial Science, she could project and foresee the different
views of the 21 Century problems. She attended a prominent woman’s university,
Ewha University in South Korea and studied, Special Education and earned a
Bachelor’s in Science degree in Actuarial Science at Ohio State University. She is a
student at Phoenix Seminary studying for her Master’s of Divinity in Bible Communication.
Dr. Roméo Farinacci
Why Cybersecurity is important.
Dr. Roméo Farinacci is the Program Director for Information Technology (IT) and Cyber Security at
Grand Canyon University’s College of Science Engineering and Technology (CSET). He brings over
18 years of experience, including military service and employment in IT/Cyber operations and
management, consulting, and education. His military service includes eleven years of Active and Reserve
duty in the United Stated Air Force as well as three years serving in the Wyoming Air National Guard.
While on active duty, he earned Associate’s Degrees in Electronics, Avionics, and Information Technology.
In addition to the Associate’s degrees earned while serving in the Military, Dr. Farinacci earned Bachelor’s
and Master’s degrees in Information Technology, a Master’s of Business Administration, and a Doctorate
of Management in Organizational Leadership. He currently holds several professional certifications including
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), GIAC Security Leadership Certification (GSLC),
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Project Management Professional (PMP),
and Six Sigma Green Belt + Lean. Upon completion of his active duty service, he moved into the civilian IT field,
working with companies in food service, communications systems, technology, software, and medical industries.
Before specializing in cybersecurity and holding positions as a Security Engineer, Security Architect, and CISO,
he worked his way into IT management. He also acted as a consultant and contractor for several organizations,
helping to establish a full Security Operations Center and overseeing several security-driven projects, and
assessing companies’ security postures. After earning his Doctorate, Dr. Farinacci began teaching a variety of
courses in information technology and cybersecurity. His classroom experience has taught him the true value
of integrating hands-on, practical experience into the learning experience particularly when it comes to better
learning and understanding cybersecurity. In his time at Grand Canyon University, Dr. Farinacci has been focused
on establishing and maintaining the relationship between Grand Canyon University and FBI InfraGard’s ACTRA program,
providing industry professionals with hands-on training on cybersecurity techniques for securing and preventing hackers
from exploiting vulnerabilities. Additionally, he works on enhancing the classroom experience of students in IT and
business. As the Program Director, he is working to improve the quality of IT education and helping to build a
cybersecurity program that will create graduates that are ready to enter the workforce and make a difference in
today’s challenging cybersecurity environment.
A different approach to final exams.
Stephen Parisi is a current Honors Sophomore student at Grand Canyon University.
He is studying English for Secondary Education. As a future educator, he strives to
create innovative and practical solutions to further the education field. Learning from
his father who has strived through entrepreneurship in the business world, Stephen
developed a curious mind from a young age. From this young age, Stephen’s curiosity
has set himself forward on his educational path. As someone who strives towards a
continual learning prowess, he has taken advantage of his collegiate level of education
to influence students to gain the same curiosity implemented in himself. As a student,
Stephen has focused on his education while gaining the tools and knowledge necessary
to enter the work force as an educated individual. With his teaching set towards middle
school education, Stephen has set goals towards furthering educational standards through
striving towards roles of leadership. In doing so, he is motivated to further the educational
policies set in place to raise up the future generations of students. In the Phoenix community,
Stephen Parisi has been involved with local outreaches through Grand Canyon University
supporting elementary, junior high, and high school students. In doing so, he has gained
experience in multiple age groups and phenomenal people skills required for an educational
career. As for a future career, Stephen aspires to work towards important leadership roles to
promote creative and innovative ideas for schools to implement.
Both/And, not Either/Or.
Nicole Clifton is a Phoenix-native, living on the west side with her husband of 5.5 years.
She is in her sixth year as a resident director at Grand Canyon University. Nicole received
a Bachelor’s of Science in Christian Ministry and Counseling from Arizona Christian University,
and a Master’s of Science in Psychology from Grand Canyon University. As a resident director,
she has loved getting to engage with college students about a variety of topics, and over the last
5.5 years has presented on topics such as identity, embracing diversity, LGBTQ awareness,
healthy relationships and boundaries, sex trafficking, body image, forgiveness, and the power of
vulnerability and owning our stories. In the spring of 2016, she was selected as The Most Influential
Staff Member by the senior class. Additionally, she has been a long- time advocate for justice in
human rights issues, especially issues concerning vulnerable populations and victims of sex trafficking.
Clifton is an avid reader and committed to being a life-long learner.
Purpose, process, and love.
Nichols earned his double Bachelor’s in Kinesiology and Chemistry from Troy University
in 2002 and previously earned his Associates at Indian Hills Community College. Jeff holds
certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Tactical Strength and
Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F) both with distinction. After graduating Troy University,
Nichols joined the Navy and spent 11 years as a Navy SEAL. Nichols oversaw product
development, product assessment, program assessment, and operator delegate within
Special Operations Command (SOCOM) for Human Performance as the department head
within the Human Performance Department. After honorable discharge from Naval service
Jeff became the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Virginia High Performance (VHP) LLC in
Virginia Beach. VHP is a fully operational performance and training center focused on youth
athletic teams and clubs in the Hampton Roads area. VHP is also home to the
No Fail Mission (NFM); a training program designed and created by Nichols and
co-owner of VHP, Alex Oliver. The NFM trains and assists with rehabilitation of wounded
Veterans of the US Armed Forces. Nichols regularly travels and consults in America, Canada,
and Australia for amateur and professional teams.
Seeing vs. looking.
Allison Johnson grew up in San Antonio, Texas. She is also the second oldest of 5 kids
that range in age from 27 to 10. She has been a resident director at Grand Canyon University
for the last 2.5 years. Allison double majored with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Youth Ministry and
Biblical Studies from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. She then went on earn her Master’s
of Science in Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Johnson’s love for working with college
students came from her parents serving in college ministry for 10 years. She is passionate to
see and care for each of her students, and pushes them to engage with topics of diversity, self-care,
intentionality, and identity that holistically honors that individual. Allison has been a contributor for the
last 4 years to the online magazine, and “Red Tent Living: Reframing Femininity.” Allison spends her
free time living wholehearted adventures and traveling the world with her friends and family. You can
usually find her reading a book or painting while drinking a cup of coffee when she’s local.
Why I changed my mind on vaccinations.
Born and raised in Arizona, Dani Stringer knew she wanted to be a nurse from
the age of 10 and went on to do just that. Stringer graduated Summa Cum Laude
from Arizona State University with both her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and
Master’s of Science in Nursing. By graduated at age 18, she became the youngest
pediatric nurse practitioner in the country! After school, she spent years working as
a Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, where she also became certified as a
Pediatric Mental Health Specialist. In 2014, she started a blog, www.kidnurse.org,
to raise online awareness for pediatric health issues. Since then, her writing has
been viewed by nearly 2 million people all over the world. When she's not taking
care of children, her favorite thing to do is travel the world with her husband, Daniel,
they’ve explored countries on every continent except Antarctica!
A different perspective that can change everything.
Despite being a quadriplegic, David Schneider is a thriving artist, entrepreneur, innovator, and
athlete. David has run his own web design company, pioneered new service dog training techniques,
received his SCUBA certification, worked as a Hunter Education Instructor for the Washington
Department of Fish and Wildlife, and much more. David is currently a quality manager for services
offered to people with disabilities, and working towards his MA in Vocational Rehabilitation counseling.
David enjoys playing wheelchair soccer, creating art with his mouth, and most of all, enjoying life.
Dr. Steven Hansen
Planned obsolescence of animal shelters.
Dr. Steven R. Hansen oversees the Arizona Humane Society’s (AHS) organizational operations and
leads the implementation and execution of its strategic plan as AHS and its partners strive to transform
Maricopa County into one of the best places for a pet to be a pet. Prior to joining AHS, Dr. Hansen spent
16 years with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), most recently as
the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. As a veterinarian, Dr. Hansen is unique; Dr. Hansen is one of
45 veterinarians in the world board-certified by the American College of Animal Welfare and the
American Board of Veterinary Toxicology. Dr. Hansen received his BS and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
degrees from Iowa State and has an MS and MBA from the University of Illinois. Dr. Hansen and his wife,
LuAnn, have a daughter attending George Washington University and a son who is a freshman at
Arizona State University. They are also proud pet parents to three rescue pets: Sammi, a three-year-old
Terrier mix, Nala, a 16-year-old Domestic Short hair cat and Georgie, a one-year-old Domestic Short hair cat.
Dr. Shawn Bawulski
A better view of Hell.
Dr. Shawn Bawulski is originally from the Chicago area, but has been living in Scotland
and Lithuania for the past six years, and relocated to Phoenix in August, 2014. In 2008,
he received a Master’s of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and in 2012, a
PhD in systematic theology from the University of St. Andrews in St. Andrews, Scotland.
He is married to Sara, and they have two children, Kate and Charlotte.
Motivation by design.
Andrew Collins is the Chief Executive Officer of New Learning Ventures, a nonprofit that supports
visionary educators to pursue and grow promising new ideas in education. Collins has served as
a classroom teacher and education director for over a decade in Arizona. Before joining
New Learning Ventures, Collins co-founded New Schools for Phoenix, a subsidiary of the Arizona
Charter Schools Association that focuses on developing high performing schools in low-income
communities within the urban core of Phoenix. He has supported the launch of over 30 schools
and numerous school improvement efforts focused on intentional school design and visionary leadership,
and has helped school leaders obtain more than four million dollars in funding for their ideas. Collins
also serves on the boards for Empower College Prep, Young Education Professionals-Phoenix, and
Teach for America Phoenix Alumni Leadership.
Tim Crown is a leader, investor, and strategic thinker behind one of the most successful
growth stories in American business. As Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of publicly
held Insight Enterprises, which Crown started with his brother Eric, Crown has led the
company into 22 countries with more than 5,000 worldwide employees and $5 billion in
annual revenue. Partners since they were teens, Crown sees - like his brother - opportunities
to leverage knowledge and capital virtually everywhere. Together, they challenge business owners,
empower staff to take risks, and lead from the front - little surprise, since Crown and his brother
are the sons of a military officer. Today, Crown is co-manager of AZ Crown, taking an active role
in assisting the companies AZ Crown invests with in strategic planning, technology management,
operations, and finance. He is also a long-time member of the Young Presidents Organization,
which is composed of leaders from 110 countries. Crown is a father, writer, avid mountain biker,
and endurance cyclist. He has been an active participant in Race Across America (RAAM),
an organization that sponsors an endurance cycling event.
Adam Goodman, president and Chief Executive Officer of Goodman’s Interior Structures, is the third
generation to lead the family business. Following the tradition of innovation established by his father
and grandfather, Adam has used his leadership roles to help Goodman’s adapt to changing markets
and anticipate opportunities for growth. Goodman’s is now challenging customers to understand the
purpose of office space and to rethink traditional office planning paradigms. Under Adam’s leadership,
Goodman’s has developed many innovative programs to give back to the community. These programs
include Office Chair Hockey, Goodman’s Eye for the Good Guy, AIM to Make a Difference, Rooted in Good,
GoodInc, GoodART, GoodTHREADS and more! In 2009, Goodman’s won the first-ever ACE Award for
Community Impact and in 2011 Goodman’s became the third certified B Corp in Arizona. In 2012,
Goodman’s won the overall Impact Company of the Year Award from the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
In 2013, Goodman’s was the Better Business Bureau’s Ethics Award winner for Arizona and was honored
with the BBB’s International Torch Award for Ethics. In 2014 Goodman’s was named to the Game Changers
500 list as one of the top 500 companies in the world using business as a force for social change. In 2015
Goodman’s became the first Benefit Corporation registered in the State of Arizona. Adam has held leadership
positions with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Phoenix, the Jewish Community Association,
Young Presidents Organization, Phoenix Country Day School, the WP Carey School of Business Economic
Club of Phoenix, Independent News media, CEO’s Against Cancer, Conscious Capitalism,
University of Arizona Cancer Center, State of Arizona Secretary of State’s Commerce Council,
the Jewish Community Relations Council, the Phoenix Symphony, the National Dealer Alliance and the
Herman Miller Certified Dealer Network. Adam has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from
University of Texas at Austin. He resides in Paradise Valley with his wife Stephanie and their three children.
Dr. John DenBoer
Dr. DenBoer is a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in neuropsychological assessment with a variety of
patient populations, including dementia. He earned his M.A. from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs,
his Ph.D. from the University of Montana, and performed internship training with the VA Boston Healthcare System
(dual academic appointment at Harvard Medical School, Boston University School of Medicine), and postdoc training
at Barrow Neurological Institute. Dr. DenBoer has published extensively on diverse topics in Clinical Neuropsychology
and is an expert speaker at many local, national, and international conferences. He developed and tested the SMART
product through multiple research studies starting in 2010 and currently serves patients diagnosed with mild cognitive
impairment and early stage dementia.
Dr. DenBoer’s grandmother passed away with dementia in 2014 and it is in her memory and her honor that he has
developed the SMART BRAIN AGING.
Dr. Ileana Hester
The psychology behind different languages.
Born in Merida, Yucatan in Mexico and being Mayan descendant, Ileana Hester grew in a place
filled with culture and beauty. After high school, she attended the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan
where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Educational, Instructional, and Curriculum supervision.
This opened her doors to work in large-scale projects for the governor of the state of Yucatan for the
following three years. At this point, she was headhunted by Ohio State University to be a Spanish
Instructor and to take on the task of developing the Spanish bachelor. At this university, she also
obtained her Masters of Arts in Hispanic and Latin American Languages, Literature, and General
Linguistics. In August of 2008, she moved to Arizona and became a faculty advisor for the
Spanish bachelor. During that same time she got her PH.D in Spanish, Cultural Studies,
Latin American and US-Latino Cultural Production, and Mexican film. Now she works at
Grand Canyon University developing the bachelor’s degree in Spanish after having developed
the Spanish minor. Ileana Hester speaks fluently in four languages including; English, Spanish,
French, and Portuguese. Her love for languages currently has her dedicated to mastering Italian.
Brian E. Mueller
Brian E. Mueller joined GCU in July 2008 to usher in a new era for the institution. Since that time,
GCU has transformed from a small, private, liberal arts, Christian-based university to a thriving
center of teaching, learning and scholarship with an abundance of extracurricular activities to
enrich and enhance the academic and life experience of our community's future Christian leaders.
This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED.