Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble is an assistant professor in the Department of Information Studies in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, and holds appointments in the Departments of African American Studies, Gender Studies, and Education. Her research on the design and use of applications on the Internet is at the intersection of race, gender, culture, and technology. Her monograph, Algorithms of Oppression: Data Discrimination in the Digital Age explores racist and sexist algorithmic bias in search engines like Google (NYU Press, 2017). She serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, and is the co-editor of two edited books: The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online with Brendesha Tynes, and Emotions, Technology & Design with Sharon Tettegah. She is the recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award.
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Samuel Sinyangwe is a policy analyst and data scientist who works with communities of color to fight systemic racism through cutting-edge policies and strategies. Sam has supported movement activists across the country to collect and use data as a tool for fighting police violence through Mapping Police Violence and has co-launched Campaign Zero, a comprehensive policy platform to end police violence. Previously, Sam worked at PolicyLink to support a national network of 61 Promise Neighborhoods communities to build cradle-to-career systems of support for low-income families. He also worked with city leaders, youth activists and community organizations develop comprehensive agendas to achieve quality education, health, and justice for young black men. Sam grew up in Orlando, FL, and has been involved in organizing and advocacy since he was in high school. He graduated from Stanford University, where he studied how race and racism impact the U.S. political system.
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2017 Session Presenters
Abby is a former Professor of Spanish and Linguistics who is bringing her love of language to the world of UX and Content Strategy. As a linguist, she studies how language and society intersect, and how context affects the language we use and learn. She is currently on the UX Research and Design team at C.H. Robinson.
If she could insert a photo of her really cute dogs here, she would.
Adrian is a member of the W3C Web Platform Working Group, W3C Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group, and W3C Accessibility Task Force. He has written articles for trade journals, web sites, and participated as an author and editor on five web-related books. Back in 1998 he co-founded a software development consulting firm before leaving at the start of 2016 to start all over. Some may recognize Adrian from his days helping to run evolt.org, one of the first communities for web developers. Adrian has been developing for the Web since 1993.
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Amy is a web programmer who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and their three cats. She’s been working professionally with the web for about 10 years, but she built her first website in the mid-90s. Away from the computer, she is an avid knitter and Ravenclaw groupie. She enjoys new adventures, new people, and learning new things.
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Ashley has been in technical consulting sales for 10 years, and is the Business Development Manager for Bendyworks in Madison, WI. She is a Co-Organizer of the Madison Women in Tech, and an Ambassador to the Doyenne Group, which helps female entrepreneurs. When not at Bendyworks, she be found at home- painting, crafting, cooking and toddler-wrangling.
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Brandi Brown does all kinds of stuff. The proud owner of a rarely used political science degree from Williams College, Brandi has worked in advertising, web development and brand strategy and software engineering. She is also an accomplished stand up comic who has been featured in many publications, including The Guardian. Brandi has opened such comedians as Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress, Nick DiPaolo and Wendy Liebman. She’s currently the head writer for Blackout, the Twin Cities’ only all-black improv group (they added sketch) and has joined the American Civic Forum’s political theater group as head researcher. She’s currently freelancing as a brand strategy consultant, researcher and grant writer on top of performing and writing comedy.
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Corey Vilhauer is a user experience strategist at Blend Interactive, a web strategy, development, and design firm in the middle of the Midwest. He is a recovering advertising copywriter and a closeted fan of professional wrestling. He writes at length about methodology, empathy, and small-business content strategy at Eating Elephant, and writes about other things at Black Marks on Wood Pulp.
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Eryn O’Neil is a Minneapolis-based freelance PHP developer and tech lead. Grounded in the agency world, she has worked on everything from e-commerce and online promotions to a proprietary framework and CMS. Her philosophy is to build software by placing humans first: both the people who will use it and the developers who will build it with you (and maintain it afterward).
Living in Minnesota, Eryn spends most of her free time teaching blues dancing, flying on a trapeze, and wishing it weren’t snowing.
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Heidi is a widely experienced technical writer with an interest in writing herself out of work. She specializes in creating entire documentation suites for new companies and products in less time than you would believe possible. She speaks on topics like search-led writing, starting new documentation products, and whistleblowing as a technical writer.
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As with many developers, my programming origin story starts when I was just a kid, building websites on the whirring, clunky collection of metal boxes the mid-90s called a computer.
Unlike most, however, my first website was dedicated to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
As an 11-year-old, I didn’t know I could make websites for a living; my parents viewed it as a “fun little diversion” (my mother’s words), not anticipating how the internet would explode in the coming years.
So in college, I pursued a different passion: journalism. Over the following two decades, I wrote, edited, designed, managed and radio’d my way to a position as an award-winning investigative journalist who freelanced for NPR and taught journalists around the country how to incorporate the web into their writing.
Now, as a full-stack developer for Ten Forward Consulting in Madison, WI, part of my job is to incorporate writing into the web. In addition to programming and some design, I spearheaded and now direct our company blog, edit content for client blogs, and write and edit content for client sites.
I’m passionate about increasing inclusivity in tech, and volunteer regularly at the Madison YWCA’s web development bootcamp, drawing on my experiences as a graduate of Omaha Code School.
I’m also a primary organizer for the Madison Women in Tech community group , which has more than 700 members and organizes three to four events per month on topics ranging from networking to gaming to entrepreneurship to space junk (it’s a real thing).
I’ve built and now maintain two Ruby gems and have contributed to the open-source project Callback Women, which works to “radically expand gender diversity at the podium of professional programmers’ conferences.”
My confidants are my two ragdoll-siamese cats, Gus and Baxter, and my identical twin sister, Candace; my superpower is that I’m immune to poison ivy. I like bourbon barrel-aged stouts and American pale ales, mango sherbet and queso blanco. I’ll read any fantasy or sci-fi I can get my hands on. Ask me about the time I fished for (and ate) wild piranha.
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Jason is a technical writer and monitoring evangelist at Datadog, where he spreads the message that monitoring increases knowledge and knowledge is power. Prior to becoming an evangelist he was the DevOps & Web Performance community manager at O’Reilly Media and a software developer at MongoDB. In his spare time you can often find him travel hacking, cooking in a restaurant or hunting for rare whiskies.
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Kim Doberstein is honored to work at the University of Minnesota as a web developer. Kim’s career journey has been a true adventure including the roles of: high school science teacher, teacher trainer, college instructor, technology assessment and integration specialist, project manager, analyst, web designer/developer, web accessibility specialist, information architect, web user experience specialist, and a Girl Scout horse camp assistant director.
As a front-end developer for Lullabot, Marc focuses on creating great experiences no matter the device, browser or abilities of the person accessing a site. Marc is currently writing Mastering Drupal 8 Theme Development for Packt Publishing and serves as co-maintainer of Drupal 8’s core Responsive Image and Breakpoint modules. He previously worked for a local Twin Cities suburb for 10 years, doing web development and graphic design; he also served on the board of the National Association of Government Web Professionals for five years, including a year as President of the organization.
Marc earned a BA in English and a concentration in Public Service from Albion College in Michigan, as well as degrees in web design and graphic design at Minneapolis Community & Technical College. Marc enjoys living in the Twin Cities suburbs with his wife and four-year-old daughter, as well as their cat and dog, and getting together regularly with family who live nearby.
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Michelle is an independent graphic designer and front-end developer in Minneapolis. Before beginning her career, she studied Visual Communications, with minors in Psychology and Sociology. Together, this resulted in a love of How To Solve Problems. Lately she has been specializing in WordPress theme development and high-end presentation design for her clients. She loves the open source community and speaks/volunteers/organizes at WordCamps and other events and conferences around the country.
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Mykl is a web designer and passionate community builder. As owner of Orange Jackalope Creative, he specializes in the design and development of a variety of digital experiences for both local and national organizations.
In addition to building engaging websites with WordPress, Mykl is the director of Social Media Breakfast – Minneapolis/St. Paul, host of the Social Media Boombox podcast, and co-organizer of the MN Blogger Conference. He speaks frequently on the topics of design, typography, and social media.
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2017 Workshop Presenters
Amy Grace is a content strategist and user experience researcher with more than decade of experience “making rainbows and herding cats” in higher ed, publishing, and nonprofit. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in user experience design from Kent State University. Her experiences include at University of South Carolina, where she served as the first content strategist, and Texas A&M AgriLife, where she directed content strategy, information architecture, and social media for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and five state agencies. She served as an expert reviewer for “Content Strategy for WordPress,” published in 2015. Bragging rights include holding a sensei rank in karate and singing happy birthday to Muhammad Ali.
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Bryan Kujawski is the Director of the Center for Academic Innovation at Capella University. With a strong passion for all things innovation, he brings his background in Experiential Learning to innovation, giving people the opportunity and support in getting their hands dirty. Bryan has presented and led innovation workshops many times, including a recurring spot at Hennepin County’s Innovation & Technology Expo, GeoCode 2.0, and the Games+Learning+Society Conference.
Hilary Dixon is a designer, researcher, and writer living in Minneapolis.
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For more than fifteen years, Jen Kramer has been educating clients, colleagues, friends and graduate students about the meaning of a “quality website.” Since 2000, she has built websites that are supportive of business and marketing goals in a freelance capacity and as part of an agency.
Jen is a Lecturer at Harvard University Extension School in the Master’s of Liberal Arts in Digital Media Design, teaching five courses per year, advising students, and assisting in curriculum design.
Jen is also a prolific video author, creating 27 training courses for lynda.com, O’Reilly Media, and Aquent Gymnasium.
She is also available for individual private tutoring, customized classroom training, and occasional freelance web design work.
Jen earned a BS in biology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MS in Internet Strategy Management at the Marlboro College Graduate School.
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Jen Sharber is a service designer in the fine city of Chicago, where she works as a consultant with small businesses who aim to do good for their communities.
In years prior, she led knowledge management and digital strategy efforts at Teach For America, designing for the unique struggles of beginning teachers and the coaches who train them. Jen spent her early professional years as the proverbial UX shop of one, doing a mashup of content strategy, information architecture, and web usability consulting.
Over time, Jen has developed particular skill at cross-pollinating between different disciplines, weaving together concepts from service design, knowledge management, and a variety of UX practices. Her most creative and enduring solutions come from seeing hidden relationships between these fields.
Jen is passionate about coaching new designers. Her favorite challenges include building impossibly large affinity diagrams and mixing the perfect Sazerac.
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Justin Lee is the Design Lead for the Center for Academic Innovation, as well as Lead Media Designer, at Capella University. With nearly two decades of experience as a graphic and web designer, and as a self-proclaimed experimenter, stretching his creative muscles and trying new things is commonplace for Justin.
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Kevin Lamping is a Front-end Engineering Consultant. He helps organize Hill Country JS, a front-end meetup in San Antonio and runs the Parent Programming podcast. In his free-time, when he’s not playing with his kids, Kevin dabbles in tabletop gaming, piano and gardening.
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