Expert/Authentic Voices

Marya Hornbacher is an award-winning essayist, journalist, novelist, poet, and the New York Times bestselling author of five books. Her writing across genres appears regularly in literary and journalistic publications around the world, including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Crazyhorse, AGNI, Gulf Coast, The Normal School, Fourth Genre, DIAGRAM, and many othersHer sixth book, a work of long-form journalism on mental health recovery, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2019, and her seventh, a collection of essays on solitude, will appear the following year. She is the recipient of the Annie Dillard Award for Nonfiction and the Fountain House Humanitarian Award for her mental health activism. She teaches in the MFA programs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Augsburg University.  Topic Expert  Voice for Barbara Bridges ,  Minneapolis, Minnesota

Angie Kalthoff is a K12 technology integrationist, has a focus on elementary, for a large public school district in central Minnesota. She previously taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for students who were new to the country. She has an interest in bringing Computational Thinking(CT) to the elementary classroom. Outside of her full time job she is a consultant and trainer for education technology companies. Her focus is meaningful technology integration where she creates opportunities for technology creation rather than consumption with devices.

As a technology integrationist, she is interested in computer science education and getting all learners to have access to CS classes so that they can make connections with technology and express themselves in new ways. Students love to create and they make thoughtful connections between what they were doing outside of school and subjects like English language arts, math and art. Her own passion for technology can be traced back to her pursuit of her own passions outside of school. She created a GeoCities website as a middle schooler because growing up in the 1990s, she was one of many girls who had a goal of marrying Zac Hanson. She lived in a small town and didn’t know how she was going to meet him. So to set herself apart from other fans and gain that chance, she created a Hanson website. She spent time researching the Hanson brothers and gathering facts in her A-Z Hanson book, complete with quizzes and fun facts, then transferred that knowledge to her very own GeoCities website. She was driven by the desire to meet the band and envisioned that Zac would fall in love with her, obviously at first sight. She never thought that what she was doing would be considered “techy” or that this passion project could be setting her up for a future career as a computer scientist, software engineer, learning designer, research associate or UX designer—all jobs that she learned about much later in life. Now that she works in education, she sees the need to bring computational thinking into classrooms and provide early Computer Science opportunities.  Voice of Layl McDill Learn more about Angie at   


Topic Expert:  Madelynne’s topic expert, Erik Helgeson:   Executive producer: Tuscaloosa. Feature film featuring Natalia Dyer, Devon Bostick and YG, 2019 release.   Read More



Rylee Main, Executive Director

Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance.  Rylee received her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, with a focus on water resources in Minnesota. In 2017 Rylee was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to represent environmental organizations on Minnesota’s Clean Water Council. Rylee currently serves as chair of the Minnesota Environmental Fund’s Board of Directors and formerly served as Treasurer for the Minnesota Conservation Federation.   email:     phone: (630) 806-9909   Topic Expert  Voice   for Maris Gilbert_ Water Quality  Minneapolis, Minnesota



Dr. Tim Lueker  A climate change scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography is striving to save the ocean through art and science.Using mosaic arts as outreach to promote awareness of climate issues affecting the oceans and environment, Dr. Tim Lueker of Encinitas says, “I want my artwork to bring to light the threats to the natural world, especially the oceans, from greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.” He hopes to accomplish this with students at local schools by working on coral reef mosaics.

Hearing tales of his idyllic San Diego birthplace as he grew up near Lansing, Michigan, Lueker shared weekly Jacques Cousteau episodes with his scuba-diving father, which engendered his love for the ocean and marine life. Lueker subsequently earned his BS degree in Oceanography at Florida Institute of Technology.

Having relocated to San Diego in 1983 to work with famed research scientist Charles David Keeling at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Lueker says, “At the time, other than ocean chemists, few took notice of the effects of CO2 turning to carbonic acid and shifting the equilibria away from carbonate ions. It wasn’t until studies showing how upwelling waters were dissolving calcium carbonate shells that Ocean Acidification became a popular concern. Now we know coral reefs, shellfish, plankton, and all manner of creatures in the oceans are threatened by rising CO2 in the atmosphere.”

Lueker earned his doctorate at Scripps and taught several Oceanography courses at community college, UCSD Extension, as well as Scripps Institute.

With lack of program funding in 2005, Lueker says of leaving Scripps, “After 22 years as a researcher, graduate student, post doc and project scientist at Scripps, I took the opportunity to venture into the world of mosaic arts.”

He adds, “As a scientist I really appreciate ancient stone… Painting with hard materials is very challenging. Visually I strive to create something so like a painting that you can’t tell the difference.”

A natural teacher, the past president of the Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild reaches the decision makers of the future through his mosaic art classes. “I combined mosaics with ocean themes, and found a great avenue for sharing my appreciation and concerns for the oceans and environment with the fun of making mosaics.”

Since 2009 Lueker has conducted classes and workshops in Encinitas, Fallbrook, and Rancho Santa Fe, where several mosaics can be seen on the campus of R. Roger Rowe School.

An Encinitas arts commissioner since 2011, Lueker has resumed his work at Scripps, where he continues to research CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, while teaching marine ecology and environmental change with the art of making mosaics.

Lueker says, “I love the variety of life on earth: Coral reefs, Redwood forests, meadows of wildflowers in the High Sierras or Rocky Mountains. Nature’s beauty is beyond anything artists are capable of creating. I only hope my art will engender respect for life in all its forms on earth.”

Lueker’s mosaics can be seen on his website at    Topic Expert  Voice for Kira Corser  San Diego , California

 Kate Fisher  Calling her work domestic art, Kate Fisher makes objects that are either for or about the home. Fisher received a BA in Art History and a BA in Studio Art from St. Olaf College. She completed her MFA at the University of North Texas. During her graduate studies Fisher spent seven months in China spread over two summers. She worked for Lawrence University and Anderson Ranch Arts Center prior to here present appointment. Kate is currently the Studio Art Technician for the Department of Art and Art History at St. Olaf College where she has, on occasion, taught ceramics and/or 3D foundations. Fisher is also deeply invested in a project examining how women have gracefully tackled the lively experiment that is being both artist and mother. Examining how these dual roles simultaneously impact each other both practically and conceptually. Over the past few years she has been surveying, interviewing and documenting a cross section of ceramic artists who are also mothers. Fisher’s questions have covered studio practice, time management, life balance, home, relationships, childcare, and aesthetics. Her project site also highlights a mother/artist, working in an array of media, each month. Fisher’s project has also manifested in articles, exhibitions, and a group residency. To find out more please visit the project’s website at    Authentic Voice  for  Shira Richter

Aaron Klemz joined MCEA’s staff as Communications Director in February 2017. Prior to joining MCEA, Aaron served four years at Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness in communication and policy roles. During that time, he chaired the Minnesota Environmental Partnership Mining Cluster and coordinated turnout efforts for public input periods on the PolyMet and Twin Metals mine proposals. Aaron also taught communication courses and coached debate for over a decade as a college instructor in Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana.

​Aaron holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and a Masters degree in Advocacy and Political Leadership from University of Minnesota Duluth. ​Topic Expert Barry Scanlan

 Pat Samples
Our bodies are where our stories live and our aliveness resides, longing to be expressed. I support people in allowing their bodies to reveal these stories by unveiling what’s alive in them. I offer them open-hearted attention, permission to move from their internal impulses, and a non-anxious, witnessing presence. My services included one-on-one sessions, creative movement sessions called Free Motion, and workshops, called Essential Motion, that enrich body awareness and aliveness through mindful attention and movement. I have studied Essential Motion with founder Karen Roeper for 13 years and led weekly Free Motion sessions for 15 years. I have given talks and workshops on body awareness topics across the U.S.  and am the author of Body Odyssey: Lessons from the Bones and Belly and The Secret Wisdom of a Woman’s Body: Freeing Yourself to Live Passionately and Age Fearlessly.

I am also an avid champion for creative aging. Research shows that we all have a burst of artistic impulses in our older years and an urgent drive to tell our important stories. From my first job in a nursing home while I was in college to my current work serving senior living communities across the metropolitan area, I’ve seen firsthand how this creative burst, when guided by skilled teaching artists, transforms lives. The stories, resilience and creative capacities of older people come to life!   Topic Expert for Barb Kobe , Minneapolis, Minnesota   Read More  Voice for Barb Kobe 

Dr Swarthout’s career has spanned over 30 years in a variety of settings including CD treatment centers, correctional facilities, hospital psychiatry & emergency departments, public health clinics, community-based housing programs and private psychotherapy/assessment practice.  One of the common threads encountered in all of these settings was the issue of addiction which permeates all corners of society.  While the healthcare industry has found many inroads to treat medical & mental health maladies, addiction remains an area where outcomes are abysmal.  Dr. Swarthout’s current private practice includes work with frontline providers who treat addicts & alcoholics in helping them devise strategies for thinking “outside the box” in terms of treating the illness.  In his own words: “As a therapist, I focus intentionally on behavior. We are creatures of habit whose actions arise or evolve for a variety of reasons. People often come to therapy to work on changing things that are not working in their lives any longer. Since these behaviors often have deep meaning, a part of the therapy process involves exploration of the beliefs and habits that are no longer working. I draw on a variety of techniques to discover what will be most helpful for each client to help them build on their strengths and achieve life goals.”  Topic Expert  Voice for Barbara Bridges  Minneapolis, Minnesota

Murad Owda      Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Bethlehem
Discussions are intended to highlight the experience of people living under occupation in the Palestinian territories, and also draw connections with related experiences of multi-generational stress experiences in communities in the United States.

Murad Owda grew up and currently lives in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, West Bank. He holds a MSW degree from Washington University in St. Louis, and currently works for Badil, an NGO in Bethlehem that focuses on the lives and rights of Palestinians. I hope that Murad will be able to join discussions in person, but we don’t know whether his Visa will be approved in time for October 2018. Topic Expert for Craig Harris   Bethlehem, Israel


Brecia Kralovic-Logan is a professional fiber artist, and advocate for creativity and women. She has taught art workshops over the last 30 years in schools, museums, colleges, for art organizations and at regional, national and international conferences. Her art work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and can be found in the collections of museums and private collectors.

As an arts educator, Kralovic-Logan developed community-wide art programs in Santa Barbara, Ca, received city grants and created a nonprofit art organizations: Vessels Fiber Arts Education Program that served students through-out Santa Barbara.

Kralovic-Logan is a certified creative life coach and Success Principles trainer, and the author of “The Spiral of Creativity- Mastering the Art of a Spirited Life.” She founded the International Women’s Festival Pacific Northwest to honor women’s accomplishments and call attention to issues facing women globally. She founded the Pebble Rebel Award which honors women who are making a positive difference in their communities. Kralovic-Logan serves as the Southern California representative for the Surface Design Association and for the Global Art Project for Peace, and is the art director for the Women’s Equity Council for the UNA-USA San Diego Chapter. She is the founder of the Women’s Woven Voices project, an international art collaboration that empowers women through writing, weaving and sharing their stories.
Topic Expert  Voice  for Anne Kleinhenz Santa Barbara , California

Mark Teresa is a licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in both Minnesota and California and has been in private practice since 1995. He received specialized training in contemporary psychoanalysis from the Psychoanalytic Center of California and psychoanalytic infant observation training from Reiss-Davis Child Study Center in Los Angeles. Training in Jungian depth psychology and Buddhist mindfulness practices complement his education. For Mark therapy is an illuminating and collaborative process that helps individuals unearth their innate dynamism and resiliency.

His approach emphasizes an individual’s inner strengths and resources. He intends to introduce a deeper, more trusting way of relating with another person by cultivating hopefulness and compassion toward one’s struggles and desires. To help his clients develop a more authentic personal narrative, he integrates their interests – including art, music and writing

Mark works with clients in his office in the Northeast Arts District in Minneapolis and worldwide via video and phone conferencing.
Minneapolis, MN  Topic Expert  Voice for Layl McDill

Veronica Quillien
Veronica is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis on Culture & Teaching. Her research interests are adult third culture kids of African descent and their reclaim of tribal identity, heritage language, language revitalization and documentation.
She continues her self-ethnographic case study as she re-learns Bàsàa, her native language. Sandjock left her native land at the age 12 and this research is part of her decadal reclaim of her tribal language and identity. Her trinity in language, culture and identity is a self-ethnographic case study that started as a collection of books capturing Bàsàa knowledge.  Topic Expert Voice for Laura Mann