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IdeaFestival Bowling Green

gifted home

1906 College Heights Blvd. #71031
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1031
Phone: 270-745-6323
Fax: 270-745-6279

College Board Advanced Placement Program Innovate Kentucky: Create a Spark Little Learners, Big Ideas

Kentucky Association for Gifted Education (housed at The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU)

World Council for Gifted & Talented Children (housed at The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU)

National Association for Gifted Children

The Association for the Gifted

The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky (located at WKU)

IdeaFestival Bowling Green 2018: What's the Big Idea?

Introducing our six speakers:

Kristina Talbert-Slagle 

Dr. Kristina Talbert-Slagle grew up in Kentucky and is a proud alum of the VAMPY program at The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU. She was a Singletary Scholar at the University of Kentucky, graduating in 2001 with degrees in Russian & Eastern Studies and Agricultural Biotechnology. She completed her Ph.D. at Yale in 2010 and has since been working in global health, where she unites her interests in interdisciplinary sciences, complex systems theory, and strengthening health systems. She is now an Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Medicine.


Muamer Razic

Muamer Razic is an entrepreneur and an innovator. As the Founder of Level Lacrosse, he was able to use his passion for the sport to truly change the game. Competing at Idea State U, Bucks for Bright Ideas, e-Fest, and TopperTank not only gave Muamer capital to start his business, but provided him the knowledge and experience needed to be successful. He holds a BA in Organizational Leadership and minors in Entrepreneurship and Sales from WKU, where he spent his academic career developing his product and business acumen, as well utilizing the resources that the university environment provided.


Phillip Ashley Rix

Considered the preeminent chef of luxury chocolate, award-winning designer chocolatier and chef Phillip Ashley Rix is founder and co-owner of Phillip Ashley Chocolates, which has an international following and is sought out by high-profile clients, major events and top corporations. He has been listed as one of the Best Chocolatiers and Confectioners in America by TasteTV, hailed by FORBES Magazine the “Real Life Willy Wonka,” and had his brand selected as a Top Pick by Vogue Magazine. A self-taught chocolatier, he has been a featured executive chef at the James Beard House in New York City and the official chocolatier of the 58th GRAMMY® Celebration and 69th Primetime Emmy® Governors Ball.


Natalie Hinkel

Dr. Natalie Hinkel is a planetary astrophysicist at Vanderbilt, studying the composition of nearby stars and how that may affect the make-up of orbiting planets. She observes planets outside of the solar system, or exo-planets, and has studied exotic systems where planets orbit two stars (think Tatooine!) or what life would be like on an exo-moon (which has yet to be discovered!). She got her bachelors in physics at Oberlin College, where she rounded out her education by including dance, theater, and romantic lit so people would talk to her at parties. She enjoys rock climbing and hiking.

Her website is


Jessica Bellamy

A designer and activist from Louisville, Kentucky, Jessica Bellamy tells visual stories using data and personal narratives. In her work driving social change through design, she partners with nonprofits and community groups to creating compelling materials that break down complex service and policy information. She currently is an Adobe Creative Resident and is spending the next year trying new approaches in her creative process and execution of her designs as well as encouraging the creative community to support nonprofits and work with them on creative projects. Prior to the Creative Residency she founded and ran GRIDS: The Grassroots Information Design Studio in Louisville working with local and national non-profits, community groups, and social change initiatives.

Her website is


Sarah Nuse 

Sarah Nuse is the founder and CEO of Tippi Toes Dance Company, a nationally recognized business that focuses on health and nutrition for children and is franchised across the country. Nuse has been recognized in Entrepreneur Magazine and featured on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2012. She and her team have released four music CDs, and she is currently working on expanding the company, adding a line of ballet slippers and dancewear set to debut in early 2019. 



IdeaFestival Bowling Green 2017: 

Make nice with your ideas.


Session 1: Creative Technologies

Max Moore

Max Moore, of Max Moore Films and Vilas Entertainment, is an American music video director whose work has been featured on media outlets such as NPR, Vice, MTV, VH1, USA TodayPitchfork, and SPIN. His music video work with dozens of punk, hardcore, metal and indie bands from all across North America collectively totals over 35 million views online. In addition, Moore's narrative short films have also been selected for Academy Qualifying and International Film Festivals throughout the US and Europe. Moore completed his degree in Film Studies at WKU in 2013.

Luiggi Carlin 

Luiggi Carlin is a project manager for Southern Made Co. in Nashville, a technology company supporting today's digital marketers & agencies with marketing campaigns and web applications. He previously worked at Hitcents in Bowling Green and has lead teams of developers, animators, and illustrators. His work at Hitcents included the mobile games Draw a Stickman Epic and Battlepillars, and various mobile apps. A native of Peru who has worked to raise awareness on immigrant issues, Carlin graduated from WKU in 2011 with a degree in English.

Megan Tan

Megan Tan is a radio producer based in her closet in Portland, Maine. Before graduating from WKU with a degree in photojournalism in 2014, she worked alongside WNYC’s Radiolab, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Timber & Frame Media. Her film and photographic work has been recognized by College Photographer of the Year, National Press Photographers Association, and The William Randolph Hearst Competition. As a radio host and producer she has been recognized by The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, The AV Club, and The Guardian; and was listed in Refinery 29's "29 Under-30 Powerhouses Poised To Change The World." She is the creator, host, and producer of Millennial, a podcast about coming of age that explores what it means to be an adult.


Session 2 :Social Entrepreneurship

Hannah Drake

Hannah Drake, an artist-advocate with an inspirational message, is the lead artist for Project HEAL (Health Equity Art Learning), which uses arts and culture engagement to help communities discover creative new ways to identify their health priorities and to develop a health equity action plan for maximum impact. A writer and performer, Drake is currently working in the Smoketown neighborhood of Louisville. Project HEAL is the signature program of IDEAS xLab, a nonprofit that is driving large-scale social change by training artists to become a unique force of social entrepreneurs in the health sector. 

Alex Kimura

Alex Kimura is the executive director and cofounder of Sharing America’s Marrow (SAM), a nationwide grassroots campaign dedicated to fighting blood cancer and blood diseases. In 2015 Kimura and two other members of the SAM team undertook a fifty-state road trip with the goal of registering 50,000 people to the national bone narrow registry. While at WKU, where she graduated in 2012 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on social justice and equity, she founded WKU FeelGood, a student-run nonprofit deli that made grilled cheese sandwiches in exchange for donations to end world hunger.

Kenan Mujkanovic

Kenan Mujkanovic is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Young Visionaries Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Bowling Green, Kentucky that assists those in poverty and at the same time instills the value of education in youth. The foundation seeks to allow youth to give back to the community through service work and inspiration. The son of Bosnian refugees, he began the foundation when he was sixteen and has won numerous awards for his work including the Jefferson Award and the National Caring Award. He is the author of Voices of Bowling Green: Tales of Young Visionaries, is a freshman at WKU with a double major in biology and political science, and serves as a senator in the Student Government Association.



IdeaFestival Bowling Green Just Imagine logo

Registration is now closed to school groups

Registration has reached capacity and is now closed to school groups. 

If you are an INDIVIDUAL interested in attending, 
you may still register  
contacting Erika Solberg 
at or (270) 745-3015.

Please note: you MUST register in order to attend,

and you are not officially registered until you receive a confirmation email. 

February 15, 2018

Van Meter Hall and Downing Student Union
Western Kentucky University


Hands-on, Minds-on Activities


Past Festivals



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 Last Modified 1/22/18