Catherine Crier

An Emmy, duPont-Columbia, and Gracie Allen Award-winning journalist, Catherine Crier joined Court TV’s distinguished team of anchors in 1999. She served as Executive Editor, Legal News Specials, in addition to hosting Catherine Crier Live, a fast-paced daily series, covering the day’s “front-page” stories. Crier, a Texas-bred independent with a spirited passion for justice, released her first book, the 2002 New York Times Bestseller, The Case Against Lawyers , an eye-opening and plain-spoken treatise on the law. Prior to her accomplished career in television journalism, Crier presided over the 162nd District Court in Dallas County, TX, as a State District Judge. When she took the bench in 1984, she became the youngest elected state judge in Texas history.

Crier currently manages her production company, Crier Communications, developing television, film and documentary projects. She is involved with many organizations and serves on several boards, including Soldiers For The Truth, dedicated to objective military reporting and assistance to America’s troops; PAX, an organization working to reduce gun violence in America that targets the nation’s children; The NY Law School Committee on Media; and Law and Developments in Literacy, working to expand education for girls in the nation of Pakistan.

TOPICS

You Make a Difference
Empowering the individual in a society that often discourages leadership, creativity and assertiveness.

The Supreme Court and You
A controversial yet enlightening discussion of the Supreme Court, its power and influence, and the role of politics within the nation’s third branch of government, this presentation will reveal the backstage maneuvering, the political strategizing and the extraordinary influence these nine justices have over our every day lives.

Behind the Bench: Big Trials of the 21st Century
Basing her remarks on the many dramatic cases she has covered Catherine Crier will take you behind the scenes in the country’s “big trials” including those of Scott Peterson, Michael Jackson, Robert Blake, Phil Spector, Michael Skakel, David Westerfield and Winona Ryder.

The World is Watching
In this presentation, Catherine Crier examines the extraordinary changes the U.S. has undergone in recent years, and the important role of television and the media in initiating and sustaining these events.

Government and Politics in the 21st Century
As the world changes and border lines blur between countries’ economies and populations, who really governs in the emerging global society? Catherine Crier evaluates the status and future of citizenship and democracy in the new millennium.

Examining Current Events
Catherine Crier takes a timely look at the domestic and international scene within historical context and political analysis to better understand this moment in history and where the future may lead.

Full Biography

An Emmy and DuPont-Columbia Award-winning journalist, and the youngest state judge to ever be elected in Texas, Catherine Crier is now a managing partner in Cajole Entertainment developing television, film and documentary projects.

Crier, a native of Dallas, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and international affairs from the University of Texas and received a Juris Doctor in two and a half years from Southern Methodist University School of Law. She began her career in law in 1978 as an Assistant District Attorney then Felony Chief Prosecutor for the Dallas County District Attorney’s office. From 1982 to 1984, Crier was a civil litigation attorney with Riddle & Brown, handling complex business and corporate matters. In 1984, she was elected to the 162nd District Court in Dallas County, Texas as a State District Judge. During her tenure on the bench, Crier also served as Administrative Judge for the Civil District Courts and worked extensively with the ABA, National Judicial College, and Texas Legislature on legal issues. Shortly after her reelection (unopposed) to a second term on the bench, a chance meeting with a television news executive led to a dramatic career change.

In September, 1989, Crier was hired to co-anchor the premiere evening newscast on CNN. Additionally, she co-anchored Inside Politics, all election coverage, and hosted Crier & Company, a talk show covering news, politics and international issues.

Crier joined ABC News in 1993, where she served as a correspondent and as a regular substitute anchor for Peter Jennings on ABC’s World News Tonight, as well as a substitute host for Ted Koppel’s Nightline. She also worked as a correspondent on 20/20, the network’s primetime news magazine program. Crier was awarded a 1996 Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for her work on the segment “The Predators” which examined nursing home abuses throughout the United States.

In October of ’96, Crier became one of the founding television anchors for the Fox News Channel, with her prime time program, The Crier Report, a live, hour-long nightly show, during which she interviewed the leading newsmakers of the day. Additionally, she co-anchored the evening news, election coverage and Fox Files, a magazine news show aired on the parent network.

Catherine joined Court TV’s distinguished team of anchors in November 1999. She served as Executive Editor, Legal News Specials, in addition to hosting Catherine Crier Live, a fast-paced, live daily series, covering the day’s “front-page” stories, until joining Cajole Entertainment in 2007.

Crier released her first book, the NYTimes bestseller, The Case Against Lawyers in October, 2002. Her second book, A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation became a #1 NYTimes bestseller and was followed by Contempt—How the Right is Wronging American Justice, Final Analysis: The Untold Story of the Susan Polk Murder Case. Her fifth book, Patriot Acts—What Americans Must Do to Save the Republic, was published on November 1, 2011.

Geri-Ann Galanti

Geri-Ann Galanti is a medical anthropologist as well as one of the leading experts in the field of cultural diversity. She is currently on the faculty of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where she received an Outstanding Teacher Award. Dr. Galanti has also taught at CSU Los Angeles’ Department of Anthropology and CSU Dominguez Hills’ School of Nursing, where she developed the curriculum for the BSN program’s Cultural Diversity in Healthcare course.

Dr. Galanti is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Caring for Patients from Different Cultures, the 5th edition of which will be out at the end of the year, as well as a highly sought after international speaker with over 25 years of experience lecturing to groups of nurses, doctors and managers.

 

PROGRAMS:

Cultural Competency
Designed to give participants an introduction to the kinds of conflicts and misunderstandings that can result from cultural differences. A variety of ethnic and religious groups are touched upon.

Working in a Culturally Diverse Workforce
Program addresses common problems that arise when employees (eg., physicians, nurses, aides, etc.) of different ethnic backgrounds work together. It is designed to help staff understand the behavior of their African-American, Anglo-American, Asian-American, Latino, and Middle-Eastern co-workers and to help improve working relationships.

Caring for Patients from Different Cultures
Looking at the kinds of cultural differences that can cause conflicts and misunderstandings between health care providers and hospital patients. Program focuses on four major cultural groups: African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinos, and Middle-Easterners, and suggests how to provide culturally appropriate care.

Cultural Issues in Oncology
This program is designed for all clinicians who work with cancer patients. Covered topics include cultural reasons why some ethnic groups experience higher rates of some cancers and cultural issues impacting the relaying of a cancer diagnosis. It also examines cultural issues affecting the way chemotherapy is administered and cultural variations in response to pain. Finally, the program suggests culturally sensitive ways to discuss oncology and end-of-life issues.

Conflict Resolution
Focusing on cultural differences that may lead to conflict among among healthcare staff. In the first part, case studies are used for small group active learning. Several tools are presented to repair damaged relationships and avoid future conflicts.

End of Life
An overview is provided of several cultures (including African-American, Asian-American, Latino, and Middle-Eastern) and religions (including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism) with specific reference to their beliefs and behaviors regarding death and dying. Topics covered include response to pain, folk remedies, attitudes toward death and the dying, afterlife beliefs, attitudes toward life extension, euthanasia, organ donations, and autopsies; funeral and mourning practices, Near-Death-Experiences, and Nearing-Death-Awareness. Also addressed is the question of what to do when the family does not want the patient to be given a fatal diagnosis.

Home Health Care
The program examines the kinds of cultural differences that can cause conflicts and misunderstandings among home health workers, their patients, and their families. The program will focus on four major culture areas and two religious groups: African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Middle-Easterners, Jews, and Moslems. Other groups can be included upon request. The program emphasizes understanding each group’s values and how they influence peoples’ behavior.

Language & Communication
Conflict and misunderstanding between both staff and patients and among staff often stems from miscommunication. This program examines issues relating to such things as nonverbal behavior, slang, speaking in one’s native language, and the use/misuse of interpreters.

Management
This program examines the kinds of issues that arise when managing a culturally diverse workforce. It is designed to help managers understand and deal with the behavior of their African-American, Anglo-American, Asian-American, Latino, and Middle-Eastern employees.

OTHER PROGRAMS:

  • Mental Health/Illness
  • Nursing Homes Pain
  • Pregnancy, Birth, & Women’s Health
  • Religion and Health Care
  • Traditional Practices

Book cover

Full Biography

Dr. Geri-Ann Galanti is a leading expert in the field of cultural diversity in healthcare, with over 25 years of experience lecturing to groups of nurses, doctors, and managers on issues of cultural diversity and competency.
She received her doctorate in Anthropology from UCLA with an emphasis in medical anthropology and has been on the faculty of the School of Nursing at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills and the Anthropology Department at CSU Los Angeles. She is currently teaching in the Doctoring Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where she received an Outstanding Teacher Award.

She is the author of numerous articles, as well as the highly acclaimed book, Caring for Patients from Different Cultures, now in its 4th edition. She served for several years as Medicine and Culture section editor for WJM (Western Journal of Medicine).

Dr. Galanti is a frequent speaker at hospitals and conferences. She was one of the major developers and content expert of the curriculum for the CSUDH’s School of Nursing course on Human Diversity. Her work on a cable TV show on Culture and Health has been the recipient of numerous awards, as has the educational video, “Patient Diversity: Beyond the Vital Signs,” based upon her book and on which she acted as consultant.

She has worked on a number of grant projects to develop materials for training health care providers to provide more culturally competent care. The projects have been funded by the National Cancer Institute, the Association of American Medical Colleges, The California Endowment, and the National Human Genome Research Institute. Most recently she served as Cultural Consultant on a grant project with the University of California medical schools to train medical students and residents about issues around end-of-life care and is currently a member of the CME Advisory Committee for the end-of-life and palliative care curriculum.

Rita Davenport

Rita Davenport is an internationally recognized expert in the principles of success, time management, goal-setting, creative thinking, and self-esteem and confidence. Her unique background as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, author, speaker, humorist, and broadcaster sets her apart and has made her one of the most beloved and widely admired role models on the speaking circuit. She produced and hosted her own award-winning television shows in Phoenix, Arizona, for 15 years. Read more

Gary Marlon Suson

9/11 photographer Gary Marlon Suson lives in New York City. On September 11, 2001, his life, just as all American’s lives, was turned upside down by the attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon. Initially, after photographing the Towers’ collapse from his rooftop, Suson returned to his studio, deciding he wasn’t going to shoot anything else having to do with this tragedy. He didn’t want the stress of being in the midst of the chaos taking pictures, and especially didn’t wish to be wrongly viewed as someone trying to exploit a situation.  Besides, he felt that trying to document something of this enormity was pointless – “Who am I to think I can capture the magnitude of all this?” he thought. However, he slowly realized he had a responsibility to try to document for future generations what terrorism was.

After creating a website called SeptemberEleven.net he posted his photos and captions, providing a pictorial commentary on what had happened. Unexpectedly appointed the Official Photographer at Ground Zero shortly after the tragedy at World Trade Center, Suson took photos on behalf of the Uniformed Firefighters Association and Uniformed Fire Officers Association. The culmination of his efforts became the Ground Zero Museum Workshop, a not-for-profit museum that houses not only his stunningly gripping images, but exhibits of relics and effects recovered from the site.

 

 

GARY MARLON SUSON ARTICLES:
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GARY MARLON SUSON BOOKS:

 

Full Biography

Ground Zero Workshop Museum Founder Marlon Suson is a professional actor-playwright who resides in Manhattan & an Honorary Battalion Chief in the Fire Department of New York (FDNY). Just months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, he stepped away from his theatrical career after he was requested to take on a unique role: To be the Official Photographer at Ground Zero for the Uniformed Firefighters Association & Uniformed Fire Officers Association (FDNY). Like all New Yorkers and wanting to contribute to the relief efforts in any way he could, he began shooting on the morning of 9/11 and was appointed Official Photographer at Ground Zero in late December of 2001. He spent six days per week and approximately 17 hours per day “living” at Ground Zero, where he documented every phase of the ‘Recovery’. His work was overseen by FDNY Chief of Department Daniel Nigro. He was allowed access to every area at Ground Zero and given strict guidelines, which included:
• Not to release any of the images until the Recovery was over
• Not to shoot images of human remains.
• To share future proceeds with 9/11 charities.

In addition, he was not salaried by anyone and had to take out bank loans in excess of $8000.00 in order to finish his documentation of the “Recovery.” The FDNY first caught wind of Mr. Suson’s work in December of 2001, when the Manhattan Trustee for the Uniformed Firefighter’s Association, Rudy Sanfilippo, was receiving complimentary immunotherapy and vitamin drips at a well-known holistic clinic. Mr. Sanfilippo, a survivor of the WTC collapse on 9/11, was having lung complications. Mr. Suson had arranged the free care for several firemen who were experiencing breathing problems from September 11. It was this impromptu meeting between Suson and Sanfilippo that led the Uniformed Firefighters Association to view Mr. Suson’s award-winning website, SeptemberEleven.net, and then allow him full, unrestricted access to every area of Ground Zero. Early on, he didn’t shoot very much; choosing instead to focus on becoming friendly with the Chiefs and fixtures that ran the WTC site. Firemen were at first spooked when they saw Mr. Suson shooting and were uneasy. They feared he was exploiting the sacred site but this changed quickly as they got to know him and also noticed that none of his images were showing up in any of the daily newspapers. This spoke volumes to the many men who had lost family members and whole fire companies on September 11. Slowly, he was welcomed into the Ground Zero “brotherhood” and was even allowed to document the private Honor Guards from only a few feet away without the men so much as blinking an eye. Mr. Suson recalled, “I have to say I felt as if I was always at home there. I looked forward to seeing the men (and women) every day. It was an honor for all of us to be the ones to help out firsthand in the recovery efforts. We knew we were making a difference.” Whenever financially possible, Marlon Suson’s non-profit Museum donates to assorted charities and is particularly supportive of charities having to do with Mesothelioma research, such as the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center (MAA Center).

One Battalion Chief in particular, Stephen Zaderiko, took Mr. Suson under his wing. “He spent time educating me on different aspects of the site, which included the art of making a recovery. He literally taught me how to dig when I wasn’t shooting; showing me what to look for in the way of remains. It was an honor to be able to dig but quite frightening the first time I did it. That’s when everything got quite real for me. No more hiding behind the lens. I really looked up to him; he was always at Ground Zero, even on his days off and always stayed upbeat.” Another Chief Mr. Suson credited for his images and emotional support was Battalion Chief Jim Riches. “Chief Riches lost his son on 9-11 and God himself couldn’t pull Chief Riches away from Ground Zero. I called him the gentle giant as he never spoke much but when he did, it mattered. He was very supportive of my work and genuinely cared about everyone at the site. It was quite a day when Chief Riches finally found his fireman son, Jimmy, Jr. in the North Tower area.” One last catalyst to Mr. Suson attaining his unique images at key moments during the recovery was a volunteer recovery worker known simply as “Mike The Beard.” A bear of a man who sported a thick beard, overalls, size 14 work boots, coke-bottle thick glasses and was always covered in the trademark brown-gray, Ground Zero mud, “Beard” often drove Mr. Suson around the site in an ATV. “He’d often wake me up at two or three in the morning while I slept in St. Paul’s Church and told me to be outside in two minutes. He would do this when he thought there was something happening down in the hole that should be documented, so he’d pick me up in this muddy, Honda ATV “Gator” and whiz me down to wherever the action was happening. I attribute some of my best photographs to his being so attentive and involved in my documentation.” Mr. Suson, who stockpiled his collection of images for many months, was virtually unknown to the media until the fire union granted him permission to release the images in the last week of the recovery at Ground Zero. On May 28, 2002, the New York Times broke the story of his singular journey into Ground Zero with a feature, half-page, color photo story entitled, “From a Camera at Ground Zero, Rare Photos of an Agonizing Dig” by Susan Sachs. The morning that the story broke, Mr. Suson was contacted by every major media outlet in the world, including Fox News Channel, CNN, SKY (UK), CBS, NBC and ABC. His first major interview, a five-minute featured segment on CNN Worldwide, was shaky. “I was only a few days out of Ground Zero and suddenly I had to talk about my experiences with a camera in my face and I couldn’t do it. I got choked up every time I opened my mouth, so CNN was kind enough to pair me up with a very sensitive producer who made sure I felt comfortable, which included my not being able to see the video camera. It was a slow process, that first interview, but the final product was an accurate tale in words and images that told the story of my journey into the heart of Ground Zero. I still get choked up every time I watch that interview as I can see just how emotionally vulnerable I was during that period.” That five-minute segment remains to this day the longest taped story ever produced on CNN. Gary Marlon Suson was a guest numerous times on Fox News Channel and recently did radio interviews on INSIDE MAC RADIO and for AUSTRALIAN RADIO for the 7-Year anniversary of the W.T.C. attacks.

Book offers quickly followed and Mr. Suson, courted heavily by Judith Regan of Regan Books, signed with the smaller Barnes Noble Publishing to release, “Requiem: Images of Ground Zero”, a 200-page pictorial of Day 1 through the closing ceremonies. The book was endorsed by the most notable firemen in the FDNY, with the foreward penned by highly respected Assistant Chief of Operations Joseph W. Pfeifer, whose brother Kevin was lost on 9/11. In keeping with his promise to the fire union, he donated hundreds of autographed books to the Uniformed Firefighters Association, to FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn, to 9/11 families and to firehouses all over the New York area. In addition, he sold books and museum posters for the UFA Widows Children’s Fund. His works were featured on the FBI Training Network in Quantico for their Homeland Security and Policing videos and in 2003, 8 of his images were reviewed by the Pulitzer Prize Committee for the 2002 awards. In August of 2002, Mr. Suson was a guest of the U.S. Secret Service at The White House, where he was given a private tour and signed dozens of books for the staff. From there, he came back to New York where he was an honored speaker at the U.S. Postal Service’s “Tribute To Heroes” ceremony, moving the packed audience with an emotional power point presentation of his Ground Zero images set to music. In September of 2002, Mr. Suson was a guest on Fox News Live with David Asman and then appeared on CNN with Connie Chung, accompanied by FDNY 9/11 Family Members Lee Ielpi and John Vigiano. Says Suson,”This was an emotional segment to be a part of, to say the least. I admire both men’s incredible courage to subject themselves to such a tough interview just one year after losing their sons.” His travels also included going to England, where he accompanied British Fire Chief David O’Dwyer of the Hereford Worcester Fire Brigades to the peak of a centuries-old, mountain fortress called “British Camp”, where Mr. Suson dug a hole and buried World Trade Center glass and dirt in a secret location in memory of the British citizens who died on September 11. The dirt was given to Mr. Suson by retired FDNY Lieutenant Paul Geidel, who spent nine months looking for his missing son, Gary Geidel, of Rescue-1 in Manhattan. Since then, Mr. Suson has spoken all over Europe on his work and experiences at Ground Zero, often showing up at firehouses with historical images for people on the opposite end of the world to remember the fallen. In 2002 and 2003, he had two different museum exhibits at The New-York Historical Society. One exhibit, “9/11: Loss and Remembrance”, featured the “Band of Dads” from Ground Zero.

In 2004, Mr. Suson, feeling unfulfilled in his mission to educate people as to what transpired during the Ground Zero Recovery, began writing his next Off-Broadway project, AMERICAN BROTHER – a ground zero-themed play. Mr. Suson recently penned a feature screenplay based on his own experiences at Ground Zero as the Official Photographer of record during the Recovery. Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis has offered to act in the project when it comes to fruition. Mr. Suson travels to different fire expos around the USA to sign books & museum posters for 10 assorted charities, including Artists 4 Hope, NYC Fire & Police Widows Fund, The FDNY Chief Raymond Downey Memorial Fund, The UFA Widows & Children’s Fund, HugsAcrossAmerica.net, Firefighter Ralph Geidel 9/11 Fund and the Brian E. Sweeney Memorial Fund. In 2004, Mr. Suson participated in a Ground Zero chemical detoxification program designed by the Church of Scientology and campaigned by actor Tom Cruise. Mr. Suson continues to raise awareness of the courage of the Ground Zero firefighters, police and volunteers through his unique and singular images. Most importantly, these images keep the memory alive of all those who perished on the fateful day of September 11, 2001 . Mr. Suson has often stated, “Time has a way of dulling our memories and so I hope these photographs will keep people from forgetting how we need to consistently fight the war on terrorism.” Mr. Suson, in 2005, opened the Ground Zero Museum Workshop in the Meat-Packing District of New York, which conducts daily, guided tours for tourists from all over the world, as well as hosting 9/11 families and survivors groups. Mr. Suson speaks around the world about his experiences as the Official Photographer at Ground Zero for the Uniformed Firefighters Association & Uniformed Fire Officers Association. Mr. Suson’s role as Official Photographer at Ground Zero for the Fire Unions (UFA & UFOA) was a one-time position that ended when the Ground Zero Recovery ended and he no longer shoots photography for either union. His affiliation was with the 2001-2002 UFA administration from the Ground Zero Recovery period and not the current UFA administration, whose members were not elected officials nor were in office during the events of September 11 or during the “Recovery” at Ground Zero.

Claudia Stevens

To be an artist is one thing. To be a successful artist is quite another. What separates the two? Often it is simply entrepreneurship-the drive and know-how to turn your artistry into an art career.

Claudia Stevens, pianist, singer, musicologist, and composer, whose work has been performed on national stages, lectures on the topic of entrepreneurship and reveals key strategies for artists to undertake. Her presentations address topics such as self-management, marketing, and crossover careers.

As a scholar and performer she encourages listeners to consider both thoughtfully and creatively the importance of developing entrepreneurial skills. Stevens’ interdisciplinary presentation will benefit students and community members interested in pursuing the arts or a business career. She has created some 15 solo plays for her own performance as a musician and monologue artist, many of which were published or presented by leading universities and arts centers. Among her honors as a creative artist are a dozen touring grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and numerous residencies at cultural institutions.

Recent projects include a solo play cycle about animal rights and the librettos for a short chamber opera, A Very Large Mole, and for a new chamber opera, Riddle Me, created in collaboration with Allen Shearer.

Stevens holds degrees in music from Vassar College and University of California, Berkeley, as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano from Boston University, under Leonard Shure. She has held academic, conducting and performance positions at Brandeis University, Williams College, the College of William and Mary.

PROGRAM INFORMATION:

  • Lecture: “Breaking Some Eggs: Strategies in Career Advancement for the Entrepreneurial Artist”.
  • Lecture: “Revelation: an artist talks about her discovery of Jewish identity and Holocaust past.”

“An Evening with Madame F” was created by Claudia Stevens for her solo performance as a musician and actor, with additional original music by Fred Cohen. The work has been presented at the national and international levels for two decades. It is widely praised by critics, audiences, and the Holocaust survivor community as a uniquely authentic and profound artistic expression of the Holocaust. Drawing on first-hand accounts – those of her own family members and of several concentration camp musicians, Stevens depicts and mirrors the struggle of women who survived Auschwitz as entertainers. In an enthralling virtuoso performance, she incorporates music that was played and sung by concentration camp inmates. And, as the daughter of victims of the Holocaust, she also meditates on the complex ethical and artistic dilemma of expressing unspeakable horror through art. An Evening with Madame F was produced for television by PBS affiliates WCVE and WHTJ.

“An Evening with Madame F” has been programmed in New York, Toronto, Houston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Palm Beach, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, St. Paul, Louisville, Baltimore, Boston, and many other cities. Presenters have included Holocaust centers, Jewish Federations and Foundations, JCC cultural arts series and lectureships in Jewish Studies. Additionally, the piece is being presented by many leading educational institutions. Recently these include: Dartmouth, Stanford, Brandeis, UCLA, Lehigh, Southern Methodist, the Univ. of Calif. at Santa Barbara, Cornell, Swarthmore and many others. A major article about Claudia Stevens, her unique personal story and artistic contributions, appeared in a recent issue of Reform Judaism magazine.

Full Biography

Claudia Stevens creates and performs her unique and complex solo plays throughout the United States. A number of her solo plays and musical compositions for piano are published in leading music and poetry journals. She also has become a recognized thinker and sought-after speaker about the Holocaust, great women of science, and entrepreneurship in the arts.

Classically trained as a pianist, singer, conductor and composer, Claudia studied piano with the master teachers Leon Fleisher, Leonard Shure and Arie Vardi. She holds degrees in music from Vassar College (summa cum laude), the University of California at Berkeley and the DMA from Boston University. Her academic positions have included Williams College and the College of William and Mary as an Assoc. Professor of Piano, where she now is a Visiting Scholar. As a pianist she was the featured artist on a number of “Performance Today” on National Public Radio and PBS television broadcasts.

When Claudia Stevens developed a new career as an innovative performance artist and playwright, her creative work came to national attention. She is the recipient of grants from the International Theater Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, and twelve consecutive grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and has been an artist in residence at the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Baltimore Theater Project, and RS9 Studio Theater in Budapest. She also was in residence at the Gitameit Art Center in Rangoon, Burma at the invitation of the American diplomatic and arts community to address the suppression of artists in Burma. Most recently, Claudia has become a librettist, collaborating with San Francisco composer Allen Shearer in several works of chamber opera: “The Dawn Makers,” which premiered at Herbst Theater, San Francisco in 2009 to national and international acclaim, and a new opera, “Middlemarch, a Love Story,” currently in progress. Claudia lives in the Bay Area in California.
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Chien-Chi Huang

Chien-Chi Huang is an innovative trainer and marketing entrepreneur, a passionate advocate for Asian American communities and for health equality. With a Masters degree in Mass Communications from Boston University, and over a decade of experience working as a video producer and niche-marketing director, Chien-Chi is an expert in information creation, dissemination and promotion. She has spearheaded several new health initiatives including the Asian Breast Cancer Project, Asian American Problem Gambling Outreach efforts, Asian American Women’s Mental Health Symposium and Asian American Mental Health Forum, to address the unique issues and challenges facing the Asian American community.

A deft community organizer and trainer, Chien-Chi has provided capacity building assistance, technical assistance and network convening to community-based organizations and providers serving Asian Americans. Her work has been featured in mainstream media (the Globe, the Herald, Patriot Ledger, NPI) as well as Asian media outlets (World Journal, Sampan, Asian Spectrum, Asian Boston magazine, Korean Today, etc.) she has also conducted cultural competency trainings and prevention workshops at community health centers, service agencies, conferences, schools and faith-based organizations. Her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2005 and ensuing personal experiences prompted Chien-Chi to speak publicly about the importance of breast self-exam and aftercare for survivors. Chien-Chi is one of the founders of the Immigrants and Refugees Mental Health Network (IRMHN) and currently serves on the National Advisory Council for the Asian Pacific Islander Cancer Survivors Network (APICSN).

TOPICS

Breaking the Silence with Knowledge & Support for Asian Cancer Patients

Compassionate Care from the Patient’s Perspective

When Life Gives You Soybeans, Make Soy Milk (or Tofu for that matter)!

How to Reclaim or Retain Your Identity After Major Transitions in Life

The Key to Providing Culturally & Linguistically Appropriate Care

Full Biography

I am a breast cancer survivor and a community program manager from Boston, Massachusetts. I hope that by sharing my story, I can get others to pay attention to their breast health and see that cancer is treatable.

My cancer journey started in 2005. A few months after I turned 40, I felt a sunburn sensation on my cheeks while I was at my son’s soccer practice. Later, I had a butterfly- shaped rash on my face, and my fingers were red and swollen with papules and crusts in my cuticles. The dermatologist did the blood tests and ruled out lupus and rosacea. He gave me a topical ointment but it did nothing to alleviate the situation. I was very sick with flu-like symptoms, and then I felt the hard lump under my arm one day while lying in bed. I called my doctor and after she examined me, she called for a needle biopsy right away. I knew things were not looking good when she called my husband and suggested he come along to the appointment.

When the doctor said I had breast cancer, I was in total shock. I had just had my very first mammogram done a couple of months before. I decided to have a second opinion, but it confirmed the results—two lumps, one about one centimeter in size and the other one smaller. My survival instinct kicked in, and I thought to myself, ―I have to beat this thing; otherwise my kids will grow up without a mother.

I was fortunate to have Dr. Lin, a Taiwanese oncologist, as my doctor. Communicating with her in my native language was very comforting, and most of all, I knew that she would take care of me as a person, and not just treat the symptoms–this is very important when choosing your doctor. Because I have an aggressive type of breast cancer known as ―triple negative,‖ Dr. Lin suggested I have chemotherapy first, injected directly into the tumor to shrink it, and then a mastectomy including the removal of lymph nodes, followed by radiation. This kind of breast cancer is not responsive to hormone therapy, but the good news is that once you pass the five- year mark, the chances of reoccurrence are very low. My treatment lasted eight months total.

I did not have much discomfort when I started chemo, but I began to lose my hair. So I took a proactive approach and shaved my hair with a friend by my side. I did not think I would cry, but I was very emotional when it actually happened. It was if I were saying goodbye to myself. I have to say that the scariest cancer experience I had was not about losing my hair, or my breast, or my life; it was about losing my mind. I was on Prednisone, a very powerful steroid drug, and I was not aware that the side effects would have an impact on my family and me. I was like a computer that was on all the time and could not shut off. I had very little sleep, and I thought I had the ability to figure out how to solve the Middle East crisis and why the Democrats lost the election. I became depressed, moody and paranoid for about six months. I remember one time, my son asked me to make a P, B & J for him, and I stood there for a long time, not knowing what to do first because the drug had impaired my cognitive behaviors. Now that I look back, I wish someone would have warned me and prepared my family for this hardship. As a result of this experience, I have learned to think outward more and count my blessings rather than focusing on my illness.

When I was in treatment, I went to the support group at a wellness center. It helped to see other survivors, but I was always the only Asian there. I was surprised to learn later that a few Asian-American women I knew had had breast cancer before me, but nobody talked about it. I know that many people out there are still suffering in silence, and that stigma, shame and misinformation prevent people from seeking treatment and support. My own aunt, who emigrated from Taiwan to Hawaii, died of breast cancer because she was afraid of losing her breast and refused surgery.

I wanted to change that, so here I am, ready to serve, empower and advocate on behalf of cancer survivors. Please take the time to learn how to do a breast self-exam. If you don’t know how, have your doctor perform a clinical exam for you. Be informed—find out your family history and if you have risk factors for breast cancer and schedule your mammogram on a regular basis. Pay attention to all your physical symptoms and talk to your doctor. Sometimes, timing is important—women have died because it was too late when they found the cancer.

John Sileo

John Sileo

John’s identity was stolen out of his business and used to commit a series of crimes, including $300K worth of

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Joy Loverde

Joy Loverde

Imagine this: You’re busy at work, preparing for an afternoon presentation, when the telephone rings; Read more

Erin Gruwell

Erin Gruwell is a collaborative writer for the best-selling The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them, which became a feature film starring Academy Award winner Hilary Swank. By fostering an educational philosophy that valued and promoted diversity, Gruwell transformed her students’ lives. Her initial commitment to her 150 students, which included working three part-time jobs to fund student activities, ensured they would all graduate high school, most would graduate college and many would complete a post-graduate education. She currently serves as president of the Freedom Writers Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 that positively impacts communities by decreasing high school drop out rates through the enhancement of the Freedom Writers Method. Gruwell and her students have appeared on numerous television shows, including Oprah, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Prime Time Live with Connie Chung, Barbara Walters’ The View, Good Morning America, and CSPAN’s Book TV to discuss their experiences and promote improved educational reform, and been featured on National Public Radio and in national newspapers and People magazine. She is also author of The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher’s Guide, a treatise on innovative teaching techniques; Teach With Your Heart, a memoir and call to arms for educational reform; and Teaching Hope: Stories from the Freedom Writers Teachers (2009). Erin Gruwell has earned an award-winning reputation for her steadfast commitment to the future of education and her ability to relate her experiences to a wide range of audiences has made her a popular speaker. She inspires audiences to achieve a higher purpose in their lives. Read more

Carolyn Warner

Carolyn Warner

Carolyn Warner, Founder and President of Corporate//Education Consulting, Inc., advises Fortune 500 companies, foundations and numerous national associations on workforce/work place issues, education, leadership, women’s issues and public/private partnerships. Through her speaking, seminar, consulting and training services she delivers over forty presentations each year, both in the U.S. and abroad, including three European Union conferences on education and skills training. Read more