Videos Videos from our 2022 event Watch the livestream of our 2022 event here Individual videos coming soon Videos from our 2021 event Tyce and Mary Nielsen (Duo Transcend), world-touring Cirque style entertainers and motivational speakers, tell their moving and heartwarming story of rising above many setbacks and failures to become first runners up on America’s Got Talent Campions in 2020. They share their top three secrets to transcend and encourage others to apply these principles to rise up and transcend in their own lives. Bill Bissett, President of the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce, interviews Red Dawson, former Marshall University Assistant Football Coach. On the 50th anniversary of the rising of the Young Thundering Herd, Coach Dawson reflects on the Southern Airways Flight 932 plane crash in 1970, his experiences coaching the Thundering Herd and Young Thundering Herd, and his journey of personal healing and resilience. Ashley Perkins, PharmD., pharmacist, Marshall University graduate student, and founder of We Matter Too, Inc., openly shares how her own struggles with mental diseases have helped her to relate to and help her patients who have mental diseases. Leading by example, she envisions a world where individuals are not defined by their diagnoses, but where stigmas are removed, mental diseases are spoken of openly without fear of judgement, and more people are comfortable seeking treatment. Suzanne Strait, PhD, Associate Director of the Division of Science and Research at the WV Higher Education Policy Commission and Marshall University Professor of Biological Sciences, recounts her story of creating the West Virginia Mask Army in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Harnessing the power of social media, Dr. Strait mobilized hundreds of volunteers to design, sew, and distribute over 45,000 masks to health care professionals and others throughout West Virginia. Lt. Chad Napier, retired Metro Drug Unit officer and Acting West Virginia State Coordinator for Appalachia HIDTA, shares his experiences working with the “Handle with Care” program. The initiative, piloted in Charleston, WV, provides needed support to school aged children who experience trauma. When a child is identified at a scene of a traumatic event, law enforcement provides the school a confidential “heads up” to handle the child with care so they can employ interventions to mitigate the negative impacts of the trauma. Brandon Dennison, founder and CEO of Coalfield Development, shares how his innovative 33-6-3 Workforce Development Model has helped rebuild the Appalachian economy one worker and small business at a time. He explains how 33 hours of on-the-job training, 6 hours of higher education coursework, and 3 hours of personal development per week can transform workers and the economic landscape, providing potential, power, and purpose to individuals and communities negatively impacted by economic crises. Kathy D’Antoni, Ed.D., a lifelong educator and statewide education administrator in West Virginia, shares her experiences working with simulated workplace programs in in West Virginia schools. She highlights evidence suggesting that education should move from a compliance model that allows adults to more easily manage the system to a system focused on student engagement and empowerment. She suggests common sense student-centered changes to the school culture to empower students and uplift tomorrows. Lee Farabaugh, President and Co-Founder of Core10, talks about her innovative and unique Hereshore model of economic development. Instead of going offshore to outsource talent, Lee recommends outsourcing technology product development to smaller cities in the United States. She explains how training programs and jobs in these smaller communities allow companies to build local economies, provide training and good paying jobs, and allow workers to stay in their own communities while contributing to the local economy. Jack Lengyel found purpose amongst tragedy as he took on the emotionally staggering task of re-establishing Marshall’s Thundering Herd football team after the Southern Airways Flight 932 plane crash that killed nearly the entire team and coaching staff in 1970. Coach Lengyel reflects on the resilience of his Young Thundering Herd team and the Huntington, WV community working together to rebuild and rise from the ashes of tragedy. Videos from our 2020 event Edna Meisel is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the Marshal University Graduate College. With her banjo in hand and her band mates joining her on stage, Edna shares her love of Appalachian Old Time music along with some of the rich history of Appalachian musical traditions. Sabrina Thomas, an Instruction and Research Services Librarian for Marshall University Libraries opens up about her childhood in the foster care system and her path to achieving success in her family and career. She talks about the importance of building bridges for children aging out of the foster care system and wanting to attend college. Sabrina uses her deep and passionate insights to encourage foster kids not to give up on their hopes and dreams. Ellie White is a Marshall University student studying physics and Co-Director of Open Resource Telescopes. Ellie reflects on the deep connections between the vastness of space and the daily lives we live. Tying in her knowledge about the stars and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), Ellie highlights the importance of mentorship in passing knowledge to rising generations in order to sustain life on Earth. Ellie’s passion for astronomy, combined with her research at the Green Bank Observatory, gives her a unique perspective on mentorship. Her experiences being mentored, and then becoming a mentor herself, provide us with amazing insights into the power we each hold to make a difference in the world through supporting one another and build bridges to the future. Jennifer Wells, Executive Director of Our Future West Virginia, shares the resilience she has forged through experiencing tragedy in her own life and helping others recover and heal from tragedy as a social worker. Jennifer is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and was among those sheltering and suffering in the Superdome. Unable to rebuild their lives in New Orleans, she and her family were relocated to West Virginia. She shares her story of perseverance and how the impact of her trauma has equipped her to serve the children and families of West Virginia, providing them with the necessary tools to overcome their circumstances. Trey Kay is the host of the “Us & Them” radio program produced by PRX and West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Trey speaks about how his personal journey can help us come together in civil discourse during times of heightened political divisiveness. He tells of his experience living through West Virginia’s Kanawha County Textbook Controversy as a young student and how that experience gave him a front row seat to the differences between people and ideologies. Through his journey and efforts, he hopes to inspire others to engage in civil conversations about tough topics to expand people’s knowledge and acceptance of others, and to improve the overall tone of political discourse in our society. Hershel “Woody” Williams is a World War II Medal of Honor recipient and founder of the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation. Reciting Will Allen Dromgoole’s classic poem “The Bridge Builder,” Woody reminds us that we must build bridges for future generations, and he poignantly reminds us that we must rely on others to survive in times of war and peace. He shares his experiences at Iwo Jima that earned him the Medal of Honor and emphasizes that he wears his medal for the two Marines who died protecting him that day. Woody speaks of losing his best friend in the war and his lifelong efforts to honor the families of those who selflessly sacrificed their lives for our country and freedoms. Videos from our 2019 event Briana Nannen, a music educator, highlights the potential to use collaborative community music making experiences, designed to use music’s ability to harness the entire brain and rewire neurological pathways, to provide a valuable avenue for overcoming negative stigmas and healing individuals and communities struggling with substance use disorder. Briana Nannen is an Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at Marshall University. Sean Callebs is a network reporter for CGTN with over 20 years prior experience at CNN, where he covered a wide array of stories and anchored programs on CNN and Headline News. Sean was CNN’s point person based in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and reported from ground zero for weeks following the 9-11 attacks. He was nationally recognized for his reporting on the problems of poverty in the United States. Beth Wolfe shares her experience of growing as a leader throughout her life. From childhood to her professional career, she emphasizes the importance of overcoming adversity and continuing to grow as a leader over time. Her three pillars of leadership include: you don’t need a title to be a leader, leadership takes courage, and the small things can make all the difference. Leader. Educator. Mentor. Communicator. Beth Wolfe considers herself fortunate that her leadership and communication skills were recognized and nurtured from a young age, rather than being told to sit down and be quiet. As an undergraduate student hailing from diverse worlds, Rawan Elhamdani draws from her Libyan (African), Appalachian, and Muslim identities and experiences to address some key differences between perception and reality. Rawan shares personal experiences to explore insights for successfully overcoming stereotypes and building your own legacy. Rawan Elhamdani is majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in premedical studies. She has a publication in the Journal of Clinical and Cellular Immunology and has completed laboratory research on diabetic lysozyme function. As a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., Jordan Richardson works to influence the laws related to criminal justice reform. In his talk, Jordan highlights many of the issues of our current criminal justice system, especially the societal burdens of mass incarceration. He also proposes some innovative solutions that the general public can enact to improve the criminal justice system without ever changing the law. Jordan Richardson is an attorney and Senior Policy Counsel in the Koch political network where oversees its legislative agenda to advance criminal justice reform. Previously Recorded TED Talk Screened at Our EventIn this eloquent talk, Michael Murphy shows how he and his team look far beyond the blueprint when they’re designing. Considering factors from airflow to light, theirs is a holistic approach that produces community as well as (beautiful) buildings. He takes us on a tour of projects in countries such as Rwanda and Haiti, and reveals a moving, ambitious plan for The Memorial to Peace and Justice, which he hopes will heal hearts in the American South. Previously Recorded TED Talk Screened at Our EventAs a fire chief and first responder, Jan Rader has spent her career saving lives. But when the opioid epidemic hit her town, she realized they needed to take a brand-new approach to life-saving. In this powerful, hopeful talk, Rader shows what it’s like on the front lines of this crisis — and how her community is taking an unusual new approach to treating substance-abuse disorder that starts with listening.