2019 Speakers

TEDxGeorgiaStateU is an independently organized TEDx event hosted on the campus of Georgia State University. The theme of the event is “Voices: Speaking Up and Speaking Out” and we have invited speakers to share compelling ideas that will change the way we think about the world. We have an outstanding lineup of speakers for TEDxGeorgiaStateU 2019.

Mary FernandesMary Fernandes is a Clinical Neuropsychology Ph.D. student at Georgia State University (GSU) studying the ways in which anxiety affects individuals and their relationships with others. She is mentored by Dr. Erin Tone, director of the Lab for the Study of Anxiety and Relationships (L-STAR). Mary earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Animal Science from the University of Maryland, and she is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow. Within the L-STAR lab, she uses behavioral, eye-tracking, and neuroimaging methods to study thought and behavior patterns associated with anxiety. This talk references one of these projects in which Mary used measures of pupil diameter to help differentiate anxious response patterns from more healthy ones. Mary presented this research at the GSU 3-Minute-Thesis Competition and the American Psychological Association Psych-Science-in-3 competition, where she relayed her work to lay audiences in under three minutes. Both presentations won first place. Mary hopes to pursue a career in mental health policy to advocate for universal access to mental health and substance use services.


Lala Zahabi headshotLala Barka Mint Zahabi is an international student at Georgia State University majoring in Communication with a concentration in Public Policy and Administration. She is originally from Mali and moved to Atlanta for her higher education. Before graduating high school in Bamako, she lived in several countries on the African continent and speaks six languages. Her multicultural background allowed her to see the world from what she calls a “global perspective.” She is very passionate about African crisis, and the way her continent is portrayed in the media. After moving to Atlanta, she experienced a cultural shock through insensitive stereotypes that motivated her to educate her peers about her continent. As a high achieving student, she always took the opportunity to write or speak about Africa during her time at GSU. Lala is determined to be part of the next generation of African leaders who want to rebrand the image of the continent.

Mia Simone headshotMia-Simone Green is a junior psychology student at Georgia State University. She is Charlotte native who moved to the Atlanta area with her family. While she has always had a passion for psychology, her love time at GSU has sparked an interest in critical theory and analysis. Green is particularly interested in how psychology can be implemented in structural analyses of groups and organizations. As a part of the GSU Honors College, she is a diligent student with a love for academics and plans to pursue graduate school with an interest in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Outside of school, Green has a strong love for music and is an avid hip-hop fan. She curates playlists and discusses music with her friends in her free time.

Patrick Freer headhsot

Patrick K. Freer is interested in the singing of adolescent boys . . . or not. Why do many boys love singing as youngsters but stop in young adolescence? Patrick was one of those boys; he stopped singing because his music teacher did not know what to do with his changing voice. Patrick’s research with boys in nearly 30 countries shows that there is more than the changing voice at play, and there is much we can learn from boys about the types of singing instruction they want during the pivotal teenage years. Dr. Freer is Professor of Music Education at Georgia State University. He holds degrees from Columbia University and Westminster Choir College. He has presented research and conducted concerts worldwide, has published over 120 articles in most of the field’s leading national & international research journals, and is Editor of the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing. Oh, and he is a former competitive bodybuilder who was ranked 4th in the USA with appearances on ESPN. More about that later . . . it’s actually relevant to the topic!

Lakeyta Bonnette headshotLakeyta Bonnette-Bailey is an Associate Professor of African American Studies at Georgia State University and the Pre-PhD Faculty Associate for the Center for the Advancement of Students and Alumni (CASA). Lakeyta’s research interests include Hip Hop culture, political behavior, political attitudes, African-American politics, political psychology and public opinion. Her current research examines the impact of political rap music on racial attitudes and a co-edited volume (with Adolphus Belk Jr) examining the relationships between Hip-Hop culture and social justice. Dr. Bonnette-Bailey has written numerous articles including articles published in Ethnic Studies Review, New Political Science, Du Bois Review and book chapters in Contemporary Public Policy and Social Development in the Post-Civil Rights Era: Through the Prism of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream and Oxford’s Handbook on Protest Music (forthcoming). Additionally, Dr. Bonnette-Bailey published (2015) a book with the University of Pennsylvania Press entitled, Pulse of the People:  Rap Music and Black Political Attitudes.   In 2017 she hosted the first political Hip-Hop conference at Georgia State University entitled, Behind the Music: Hip-Hop and Social Justice, which examined the ways in which social justice is addressed and expressed within Hip-Hop culture. In 2018, she was a Nasir Jones/ W. E. B. Du Bois fellow with the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Later that year she completed two talks in in Ingelheim and Kaiserslautern, Germany discussing the relevance and importance of rap music, activism and social justice and she received her certificate in psychoanalysis from Emory University’s Psychoanalytic Institute.

image1 Anne Z.  Murphy joined the faculty of Georgia State University in 2003 and is currently a Professor in the Neuroscience Institute. She obtained her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Cincinnati and completed her post-doctoral training at the Rijksuniversiteit in Groningen, Netherlands before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.



Marian_Meyers_ photoMarian Meyers is a professor in the Department of Communication and is affiliated with the Institute for Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University. Her current research explores the role of popular media in contributing to the mainstreaming of neoliberal ideology so that neoliberal ideas, values and goals have become normalized within public discourse, resulting in increased inequality, the crippling of democracy and public institutions, and the undermining of social notions of the common good. She also has conducted research that combines feminist media studies with cultural studies to examine the media’s representation of women from an intersectional perspective that views gender, race, class, sexuality and other aspects of social identity as interconnected and tied to a broader political and economic agenda. Her most recent book, Neoliberalism in the Media (Routledge, 2019), is an edited volume of original research that explores the workings of neoliberal ideology within popular culture, from the news and advertising to an anti-drug campaign, popular TV sitcoms and dramas, corporate philanthropy and “kitchen porn.” Among her other books are African American Women in the News: Gender, Race and Class in Journalism, (Routledge, 2013), and Women in Higher Education: The Fight for Equity (Hampton, 2012).

Dr. Rubina F. Malik is a business professor, global citizen, and scholar. As a scholar-thumbnail_IMG_2622practitioner, she combines academic research, industry and teaching experience to develop a unique and powerful approach to her work. She is skilled at helping organizations and individuals in successfully navigating the realm of career sponsorship and leadership development for engagement, retention, and promotion of diverse candidates. All of the initiatives are aimed at creating sustainable skills that offer enhanced performance and greater profitability. Competitive edge-driving organizations from start-ups to Fortune 500 global brands depend on her support and expertise to propel programs such as mentoring, career sponsorship and leadership development. Additionally, Dr. Malik is a popular guest speaker at conferences and podcasts, she is frequently published in industry magazines, including highly respected academic and business journals such as The Harvard Business Review. To fulfill her passion and commitment to the community, she is on several non-profit boards that actively support education and equity-based incentives.

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