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Speaker Sessions

In the morning at IdeaFestival Bowling Green, you will listen to speakers from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines as they talk about the big ideas that enabled then to pursue their passions and be innovators in their fields. Participants will also have the chance to ask questions.


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

All videos produced by Vid Monster Productions

Session 1: Making the Big Idea a Reality: Lessons from Entrepreneurs

Sarah Nuse: Dream Big

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. 


Muamer Razic: What Defines Success? The Surprising Beauty of Being Wrong, Being Right, and Finding Your Own Way

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: Chasing Willy Wonka Sponsored by the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce

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.

Session 1 Question and Answer 


Session 2: Sharing the Big Idea: Why Knowledge Is Power


Kristina Talbert-Slagle: What is Global Health? Insights from the 2014-15 Ebola Outbreak and Recovery in West Africa

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.


Jessica  Bellamy: Accessing Freedom Sponsored by Vid Monster Productions

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 jessicabellamydesign.com.


Natalie Hinkel: Braving the Elements

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 http://www.nataliehinkel.com/.


Session 2 Question and Answer

IdeaFestival Bowling Green Just Imagine logo

February 13, 2019

Van Meter Hall & Downing Student Union
Western Kentucky University


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 Last Modified 10/11/18