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Philly Goes 2 SXSW EDU, Part 1

March 20, 2024

PhillyGoes2 SXSW EDU! Part 1

SXSW EDU is more than just a conference; it’s a convergence of innovative ideas, passionate individuals, and groundbreaking discussions. As we delve into our experience at this year’s event, we’re excited to share the invaluable insights we gained from some of the brightest minds in the TechEd space.

Our journey at SXSW EDU led us to connect with a diverse array of individuals, each with a unique perspective on the future of education and its profound impact on the younger generation. From a former Aerospace Engineer to a Grammy-nominated artist, the passion for revolutionizing education was palpable in every conversation.

In our upcoming 2-part series, we’ll take you on a captivating exploration of the themes, ideas, and discussions that unfolded at SXSW EDU. Through insightful videos and thought-provoking interviews, we’ll delve into the motivations and inspirations that brought these thought leaders to this renowned event.

Part 1 features:

James Miles the Fresh Professor smiling at SXSW EDU

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James Miles, a seasoned educator with almost 20 years of experience in New York City’s public schools, now teaches at Seattle University and directs Third Stone, the nonprofit behind Seattle’s Bumbershoot festival. With a background in arts education and international work, James is dedicated to using the arts to address educational inequalities, as showcased in his TEDxTalk and through roles on the Seattle Arts Commission and SXSW EDU advisory board.

James hosted a Panel Discussion and Workshop as 1/4th of the EdVengers entitled “It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop: Why Folks Say It Controls Your Brain”


Roy Moy III smiling on red carpet at SXSW EDU

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Roy Moye III is a talented speaker, singer, and aerospace engineer. With a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Wichita State University, he’s spent 8 years in the aerospace industry. As a singer, he’s performed national anthems for sports teams, been nominated for a Grammy with “1 Tribe Collective,” and has a music video boasting 46 million views. With TEDx talk experience, Roy passionately speaks to thousands of students and educators at USA Science and Engineering festivals. He founded STEMusic LLC, aiming to inspire diverse young minds in STEM through music.

Roy hosted a SXSW EDU Session entitled “Changing the Future of STEM Education with STEMusic!

Aya Waller-Bey posing and smiling on the red carpet at SXSW EDU

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Aya M. Waller-Bey, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Michigan, explores trauma narratives in college admissions. Her research has been presented at the University of Amsterdam, featured in Forbes, and she has spoken at events like the Aspen Center of Physics Winter Conference. A first-generation college student from Detroit, Aya’s work questions how organizations exploit the stories of marginalized individuals, building on her studies at Georgetown University, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Michigan.

Aya hosted a SXSW EDU Session entitled“Storytelling in College Essays Post Affirmative Action”  


Jeff Young from EdSurge smiling with mic in hand at SXSW EDU red carpet

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Jeff Young, an editor, reporter, and podcaster, focuses on technology and education’s future. He edits EdSurge and hosts the EdSurge Podcast, exploring learning’s future. With two decades at The Chronicle of Higher Education, teaching experience, and a Nieman Fellowship, Jeff blends expertise and insight. He holds a bachelor’s from Princeton and a master’s from Georgetown.

Jeff hosted a SXSW EDU Live Podcast Session entitled “EdSurge Podcast: Examining the Impact of the ‘College is a Scam’ Narrative”  


Ola and Sam holding their book "Creative Hustle" at SXSW Edu

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Olatunde Sobomehin and Sam Seidel, as co-authors of the book “Creative Hustle,” harmoniously blend their diverse backgrounds and expertise, each bringing unique strengths to the narrative. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Olatunde’s lifelong commitment to youth and community development, rooted in his family’s legacy of public service, resonates throughout the book. A graduate of Stanford University with a major in Urban Studies, Olatunde’s leadership in the Engineering department’s public speaking class and his inspirational role on the university’s top 25 Men’s Basketball Team in 2003 exemplify his multifaceted approach to creating positive change.

In tandem, Sam Seidel, the Director of K12 Strategy + Research at the Stanford, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in education transformation to the collaboration. Internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work, including the influential book “Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011), Sam’s advocacy for innovative solutions in education resonates deeply within the pages of “Creative Hustle.” His dedication to redefining educational paradigms and fostering impactful change serves as a cornerstone of the book’s narrative.

Together, Olatunde and Sam synergize their respective expertise, seamlessly weaving together a compelling narrative that inspires creative entrepreneurship and community empowerment. In “Creative Hustle,” their equal contributions form a powerful testament to the transformative potential of collaboration and collective action.

Ola and Sam hosted a SXSW EDU Workshop and Session entitled “Creative Hustle: Blaze Your Own Path, Make Work That Matters”  

Janelle Nguyen smiling in front of SXSW Edu Banner

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Janelle Nguyen, a seasoned sports professional and passionate advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), boasts an impressive background in college athletics, particularly in student-athlete development and advocacy. Despite initially veering away from a career in sports post-college, Janelle’s dedication to making a meaningful impact and educating others led her back to the field.

With her extensive experience working with student-athletes, Janelle has emerged as a trusted leader in driving advocacy efforts and spearheading affinity groups within the collegiate athletic community. She is actively engaged in various professional organizations, contributing through committee service and mentoring programs. These include Women Leaders in Sports (WLS), Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA), the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A), and Women in Sports and Events (WISE).

Recently, Janelle showcased her expertise and leadership by leading a panel at SXSW EDU, where she shared insights and strategies on fostering inclusivity and empowerment within the realm of college athletics.

Janelle hosted a SXSW EDU Workshop and Session entitled “Accidental Activists: Student-Athletes Fighting for Change”

Stay tuned as we embark on this enlightening journey, unraveling the intricacies of education’s evolution and the transformative power it holds for our society. This is just the beginning of our immersive coverage of SXSW EDU, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Join us as we embark on this enriching adventure, starting with Part 1 of our series below. Let’s ignite the conversation and pave the way for a brighter future in education.

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