Keynote & Featured Speakers

Together we…ARE FEARLESS

Nothing inspires us for the road ahead like hearing directly from those who have forged the path before us. Our speakers are multidisciplinary, multicultural, and fearless leaders in their fields, who will share their personal experiences, reflections, and advice on the virtual plenary stage and energize attendees to persist in their own journeys.

NEW THIS YEAR: Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask speakers questions via a Live Q&A in the virtual conference platform!


Keynote Speakers

Judith S. Kaur, MD (Choctaw-Cherokee) • Monday, October 19 at 11am PT / 2pm ET

Judith Kaur, M.D. is a Professor of Oncology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and is actively engaged in clinical trials research with an emphasis on women’s cancers. As the medical director for the Native American programs at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, she has been involved in disparities research with community-based participatory research techniques over the past 25 years. She has published multiple clinical trials and epidemiology articles on malignant melanoma and has led multiple projects looking to improve comprehensive cancer control across American Indian and Alaska Native populations. She led and directed a pilot project in Alaska for telemedicine counseling for patients at high risk of breast cancer that has developed an ongoing clinical service to this underserved population in collaboration with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. Board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in palliative care and hospice she was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Currently the director of the oncology supportive care outpatient clinics, she was a hospice medical director for more than 30 years. She has published multiple clinical trials and epidemiology articles. Her most recently completed research project as principle investigator is the Spirit of Eagles Networks program which stimulates, develops, maintains, and disseminates culturally appropriate cancer information materials for American Indian and Alaska Native educators, health care leaders, and students while providing additional support for early stage investigators focused on research. Dr. Kaur was honored with the 2018 Mayo Clinic Distinguished Alumni Award for her contributions to medicine. 

Alonso Martinez • Thursday, October 22 at 11am PT / 2pm ET

Alonso Martinez is a Senior Lead Technical Artist at Google AI and is working on next-generation interactive / social characters. Previously he was a Modeler / Rigger in the Character Department for Pixar Animation Studios and has worked on 6 feature films including Academy award winning films: “Up”, “Inside Out” and “Coco”. He attended Ringling College of Art and Design and earned his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Computer Animation and enjoys robotics as a hobby.

Amy Beth Prager, ABD • Saturday, October 24 at 11am PT / 2pm ET

Ms. Amy Beth Prager is an applied mathematician and computational scientist, researcher, and passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, encouraging participation of young women and underrepresented groups in STEM. Amy completed her undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University in applied mathematics and theoretical chemistry. She then pursued a postgraduate education in quantum chemistry for 1.5 years, while working on scientific projects centered in North America and Europe. In the past two decades, her research has begun to focus more on the disproportionate barriers and systemic income inequality in countries with high education costs such as the USA and UK, particularly on women and underrepresented groups. She entered the doctoral programs in math education and mathematics at Columbia University, featuring additional coursework at Princeton University and IAS, and after becoming ABD at Columbia, completed over a calendar year of post-ABD study at MIT. Currently, Amy serves on the NCWIT Aspirations Team in her native Massachusetts, is a math lecturer at Cornell University (and other universities in the New England area). She is an active member and participant of SACNAS and the Mathematics Alliance, having served on and led panels, discussions, and keynotes at SWE conference. Further, Amy has contributed to significant to books on encouragement of women and underrepresented groups in STEM.

Featured Speakers

Ximena C. Cid, PhD • Wednesday, October 21 at 11am PT / 2pm ET

Ximena Cid is a Chicana Indigenous physicist with expertise in Physics Education Research. She is currently the chair of the Physics department at CSU Dominguez Hills, where she has been faculty since 2015. To the best of her knowledge she is the first indigenous person to chair a physics department in the US and one of few Chicanas in this position. She received her bachelor’s degree in Astrophysics from UC Berkeley, and her Master’s and Ph.D. in Physics from UT Arlington and completed a postdoc at the University of Washington. Ximena’s many years of dedication to empowering and uplifting Chicanx/Latinx and Indigenous communities in physics and STEAM fields has been acknowledged by being honored as the 2018 Homer L. Dodge Citation for Service to the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). The AAPT most recently inducted her as a Fellow of the society. She remains dedicated to organizations such as SACNAS, the National Society of Hispanic Physicists, AISES, AAPT, and more.

C. Brandon Ogbunu, PhD • Wednesday, October 21 at 11am PT / 2pm ET

Brandon Ogbunu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. He is a computational biologist whose research investigates modern questions in epidemiology, population genetics, and disease ecology. In addition, he runs a parallel research program at the intersection of science, society, and culture. In this capacity, he writes, gives public lectures, and creates media of various kinds. He is currently an Ideas contributor at Wired, and has has written for a range of publications including Scientific AmericanUndark, and the Boston Review all on topics at the intersection of science and society.  He has also performed for Story Collider, and was recently featured in a June, 2020 episode of WNYC’s Radiolab. He also served as the instructor in the Emmy Award winning PBS web series Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings. 

Carolyn Finney, PhD • Friday, October 23 at 11am PT / 2pm ET

Carolyn Finney is a storyteller, author and a cultural geographer. She explores issues related to identity, difference, creativity, and resilience. Carolyn is grounded in both artistic and intellectual ways of knowing – she pursued an acting career for eleven years, but five years of backpacking trips through Africa and Asia, and living in Nepal changed her life. She returned to school after a 15-year absence to complete a B.A., M.A. and a Ph.D. (where she was a Fulbright and Canon National Science Scholar Fellow). Along with public speaking, writing, media engagements, consulting & teaching, she served on the U.S. National Parks Advisory Board for eight years. Her first book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors was released in 2014. She is currently doing a two-year residency in the Franklin Environmental Center at Middlebury College as the Environmental Studies Professor of Practice.

Austin J. Shelton, PhD • Friday, October 23 at 11am PT / 2pm ET

Dr. Austin Shelton grew up on the shoreline of Guam and was inspired to become a marine and environmental scientist. He joined the faculty of the University of Guam in 2016 as an assistant professor of extension and outreach. Shelton later received appointments to concurrently serve as the director of the UOG Center for Island Sustainability and UOG Sea Grant. In 2019, he was selected as an Obama Leader Asia Pacific. Shelton leads initiatives that support the transition of islands toward a sustainable future and is PI/co-PI on multiple NSF, NOAA, and USDA awards. Shelton earned a B.S. degree in marine biology from Hawai`i Pacific University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa. Shelton is a SACNAS lifetime member and LPSLI alum, founding president of the `Ilima SACNAS Chapter at the University of Hawai`i, former graduate student member of the SACNAS Board of Directors, and current faculty advisor for the University of Guam SACNAS Chapter. 


David Carreon Bradley, PhD

David T. Carreon Bradley, Ph.D. currently serves as the Faculty Diversity Officer at California State University, Fullerton, where his portfolio includes diversity, inclusion, and equity as it relates to faculty affairs, with an emphasis on faculty recruitment and retention, particularly from an equity-minded perspective. He previously served as the Vice President for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at Smith College, where he was also an Associate Professor in both the physics department and engineering program. He previously worked at Vassar College for over 10 years, where he was a tenured, Associate Professor of Physics and the chief diversity faculty-administrator. He conducts research on higher education organizational development, diversity and inclusion in higher education, access and equity in STEM, and acoustics – the latter for which he won the prestigious NSF CAREER Award. He has published two books and over fifteen refereed articles, and he has presented at over 40 national and international conferences and symposia. He is a member of the Board of Directors for SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science), is a leader in the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, is an alum of the Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institute, serves on the American Institute of Physics Liaison Committee for Underrepresented Minorities, and is past-chair of the Acoustical Society of America’s Committee on Education. He is currently working on his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Organizational Change and Leadership at the USC Rossier School of Education. His family doesn’t understand why he needs two doctorates. 


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