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Chicago's Got Talent

Chicago’s Got Talent

April 23, 2019 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm



Speaker Bios:

Sandee Kastrul is the president and Co-founder of i.c.stars;  which provides opportunities to break the cycle of poverty that limits inner-city youth.  As the founder of a non-profit and social enterprise Sandee discusses the powerful result of optimism and raising the standards for our communities with a unique perspective on the intersection between community leadership and technology. Sandee has been working in education and transformation for over 2 decades. Her career in education has included focused work on cross-curricular integration strategies, diversity training and curriculum development. She worked as a teacher and consultant from early childhood classrooms through adult education affording her a wide perspective in effective project based learning techniques, leadership development, reverse mentoring and asset based pedagogy.


Kristian Hammond is the Bill and Cathy Osborn Professor of Computer at Northwestern University and the co-founder of the Artificial Intelligence company Narrative Science. He has spent most of his career focused on the problem of making machines smarter. Since the fall of 2016, he has been the faculty lead of the University’s CS + X initiative where he has been exploring how computational thinking can be used to transform fields such as the law, medicine, and education. He has recently taken on the role of directing Northwestern’s new Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence. Kris is an Ambassador at Large for the IBM AI XPrize and was recently a member of a UN policy committee examining the issues of autonomous lethal devices (killer robots). He believes in humanizing computers with the aim of stopping the process of mechanizing people. Kris received his PhD from Yale.


Kristi Ross is the co-CEO and President of tastytrade, the most-watched online financial network making finance fun and actionable. She is a co-Founder of dough, a visual front-end trading technology platform launched in 2014, which was ultimately combined with and rebranded when the team launched their own online brokerage firm tastyworks in 2017, a FINRA, NFA, SIPC member.Ms. Ross also co-hosts the show Bootstrapping in America, where she interviews innovative entrepreneurs. Previously, Ms. Ross was the CFO of thinkorswim Group as a private company where she led numerous mergers, acquisitions and integration. thinkorswim sold to TD Ameritrade for $750M in 2009. Prior to thinkorswim, Ms. Ross was CFO of Automated Trading Desk Specialists, a stock specialist on the Chicago Stock Exchange. Ms. Ross started her career in public accounting, specializing in financial services industry clientele including individual traders, proprietary, market makers, specialists, discount brokerage and advisory firms and has been in and around the trading business for more than 25 years.


Peter Kilpatrick joined Illinois Tech as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs on August 1, 2018. He previously served as professor of chemical engineering and McCloskey Dean of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame from 2008 to 2018. During his time at Notre Dame, the College of Engineering grew by more than 60 percent in its number of faculty members, increased its enrollments by nearly 70 percent, and more than doubled its external research funding to more than $50 million per year.  He is the author of more than 100 refereed journal articles in the areas of interfacial science and molecular self assembly, particularly as they apply to energy and to bioseparations. He also holds of 12 patents and has been actively engaged in two startups.He has won a number of local (NC State) and regional teaching and research awards, and holds an honorary doctorate from the Pázmány Péter Catholic University (Budapest, Hungary), the oldest university in that country. Among his professional service responsibilities, he is the immediate past chairperson of the Global Engineering Deans Council.


Mark Harris is the President & CEO of the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC), a member-driven, 1871-based, nonprofit organization that measures, connects and advocates for the Illinois innovation economy. Created by the State of Illinois 30 years ago, ISTC makes powerful links between the state’s universities, industry, startups and government to strengthen our economy and talent pipeline through data collection, policy advocacy and programs. Mark also leads the Illinois Science & Technology Institute (ISTI), which focuses on Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics (STEM) education by connecting companies and universities with classrooms to build a deeper and more inclusive talent pipeline. He holds a BS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an MA from the University of Chicago.

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