Mentors & Leadership

Mentors from Past and Upcoming Congresses Include…

The Grand Masters

John C. Mather, Ph.D.

Winner, 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics

Dr. John C. Mather, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, studied cosmic microwave background radiation and received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California. As a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, Dr. Mather led a team to propose the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite mission to study cosmic microwave background radiation. This work, for which he won a Nobel Prize, helped cement the Big Bang theory of the universe. According to the Nobel Prize committee, “the COBE-project can also be regarded as the starting point for cosmology as a precision science.” Dr. Mather has served on advisory and working groups for the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.

J. Craig Venter, Ph.D.

Recipient, 2009 National Medal of Science
Scientist, Entrepreneur and Genomics Genius

J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his numerous invaluable contributions to genomic research. In 2013, he co-founded Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI), the genomics-based, technology-driven company creating the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of whole genome, phenotype and clinical data designed to enable pharmaceutical companies, insurers, and healthcare providers to impact and improve health. HLI is developing and applying large-scale computing and machine learning to make novel discoveries to revolutionize the practice of medicine.


In addition to HLI, Dr. Venter is also Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit, genomics-focused research organization with approximately 250 scientists and staff, and is Co-Founder, Executive Chairman, and Co-Chief Scientist of Synthetic Genomics Inc., a privately held company dedicated to commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global needs such as new sources of energy, new food and nutritional products, and next generation vaccines.

Dean Kamen

Recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation
Legendary Inventor of the Segway and the First Drug Infusion Pump

As an inventor, Dean Kamen holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents. While still a college undergraduate, he invented the first wearable infusion pump, and later the first wearable insulin pump for diabetics. In 1976, Mr. Kamen founded his first medical device company, AutoSyringe, Inc., to manufacture and market his medical device inventions.


After selling AutoSyringe, Inc., Mr. Kamen founded DEKA Research & Development Corporation. Among the many inventions, DEKA is working on is an advanced prosthetic arm in development for DARPA that will advance the quality of life for returning injured soldiers. Mr. Kamen and DEKA also created the Segway® Human Transporter.


Mr. Kamen was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2000. He was also awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002 and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering and has been a member of the National Academy of Engineering since 1997.


In addition to DEKA, one of Mr. Kamen’s proudest accomplishments is founding FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use and enjoy science and technology.

David Wineland, Ph.D.

Winner, 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics

David Wineland, Ph.D. was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics for “ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems.” His ingenious experiments are advancing the possibility of building a super-fast computer based on quantum physics. Dr. Wineland is also the recipient of the 2007 National Medal of Science in the engineering sciences.


Dr. Wineland has been a member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology for nearly 40 years. Starting in graduate school, an enduring goal of Dr. Wineland’s work has been to increase the precision of atomic spectroscopy, the measurement of the frequencies of atoms’ characteristic vibrations. This expanded to the development of accurate atomic clocks and demonstrations of the basic building blocks of a quantum computer.

Cherry A. Murray, Ph.D.

Dean, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (2009-2014)
Recipient, National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Dr. Murray, who has led some of the nation’s most brilliant scientists and engineers as an executive at Bell Laboratories and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, served as Dean of Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) for nearly eight years. She also holds the John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professorship of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
In 2014, Dr. Murray received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Murray is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering. She has served on more than 80 national and international scientific advisory committees, governing boards, and National Research Council (NRC) panels.


A celebrated experimentalist, Dr. Murray is well-known for her scientific accomplishments using light scattering, an experimental technique where photons are fired at a target of interest. Scientists can then gather insights into surface physics and photonic behavior by analyzing the spray of photons in various directions from such collisions.

Robert M. Metcalfe, Ph.D.

Inventor of Ethernet
Founder, 3Com
Recipient, National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Dr. Metcalfe is an internet pioneer starting at MIT, Harvard, and Stanford who invented Ethernet at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and founded the 3Com Corporation.Throughout his career at 3Com, Dr. Metcalfe served as founder, chairman, CEO, VP Sales and Marketing, and General Manager of the Software, Workstation, and Hardware divisions. Dr. Metcalfe is now Emeritus Partner at Polaris Venture Partners. In 2011, Dr. Metcalfe became Professor of Innovation in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He is an MIT Life Trustee Emeritus, member of the National Academy of Engineering, and in 2005 he received the National Medal of Technology for his leadership in the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet.”

Mike Rhodin

Senior Vice President, IBM Watson

Watson is one of IBM’s most significant innovations in the company’s 103-year history and represents a new era of information technology. IBM Watson is charged with accelerating a new class of “cognitive” software, services, and apps that will fuel a diverse cloud-based ecosystem of enterprises, academic institutions and entrepreneurs. Before heading up Watson, Mike Rhodin led the Software Solutions Group delivering industry-specific solutions in high-growth areas such as Business Analytics, Smarter Commerce, Smarter Cities and Social Business.


Throughout his 30 years at IBM, Mike’s career has been infused with a passion for helping clients extract value from their technology investments, improving their business performance, and simplifying the way people work.

Neil Gershenfeld, Ph.D.

Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms
Accolades include the “Scientific American 50,” Popular Mechanics “Top 25 Makers,” and a “Modern-Day Leonardo” by the Chicago Museum of Art

MIT’s Neil Gershenfeld is redefining the boundaries between the digital and analog worlds. The digital revolution is over, Gershenfeld says. We won. What comes next? His Center for Bits and Atoms has developed quite a few answers, including Internet 0, a tiny web server that fits into lightbulbs and doorknobs, networking the physical world in previously unimaginable ways.

But Gershenfeld is best known as a pioneer in personal fabrication — small-scale manufacturing enabled by digital technologies, which gives people the tools to build literally anything they can imagine. His famous Fab Lab is immensely popular among students at MIT, who crowd Gershenfeld‘s classes. But the concept is potentially life-altering in the developing world, where a Fab Lab with just $20,000 worth of laser cutters, milling machines, and soldering irons can transform a community, helping people harness their creativity to build tools, replacement parts and essential products unavailable in the local market.

Amy S. Hess

Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s Science and Technology Branch
The Person in Charge of the FBI’s Most Controversial High-Tech Tools

Ms. Hess began her career as an FBI special agent, where she investigated violent crimes, gangs, and drug trafficking organizations. She was an applicant assessor, a firearms instructor, and a charter member of the office’s Evidence Response Team. In 1999, she changed roles and investigated domestic terrorism and served as the division’s first Joint Terrorism Task Force coordinator and principal firearms instructor. In 2005, she was assigned to FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and was temporarily deployed as the on-scene commander for the FBI’s counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan.Ms. Hess returned to FBI Headquarters in 2008, where she was promoted to chief of the Executive Staff Section in the National Security Branch and named section chief in the International Operations Division.

In January 2014, she was named Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s Science and Technology Branch. In this role, she is responsible for the executive oversight of the Criminal Justice Information Services, Laboratory, and Operational Technology Divisions.Ms. Hess holds a degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University.

Robert S. Langer, Ph.D.

Recipient, National Medal of Science
Recipient, National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Dr. Langer is an Institute Professor at MIT. He has over 1,100 issued and pending patents, which have been licensed or sublicensed to over 300 companies. He is one of few individuals elected to the National Academy of Medicine, Engineering, Sciences, and Inventors. He is one of four living individuals to receive both the United States National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. He has also received the Wolf Prize for Chemistry and the Lemelson­-MIT Prize for being “one of history’s most prolific inventors in medicine.” Dr. Langer holds 27 honorary doctorates including degrees from Harvard and Yale.

Adam Cheyer

Co-Founder and VP of Engineering of Viv Labs
Co-Founder of Siri and Formerly a Director of Engineering in the iPhone Group at Apple

Mr. Cheyer is co-founder and VP of Engineering of Viv Labs, a startup whose goal is to simplify the world by providing an intelligent interface to everything. Previously, Mr. Cheyer was co-founder and VP Engineering at Siri, Inc. When Siri was acquired by Apple in 2010, he became a Director of Engineering in the iPhone/iOS group. As a startup, Siri won the Innovative Web Technologies award at SXSW, and was chosen a Top Ten Emerging Technology by MIT’s Technology Review; Apple’s version of Siri was presented “Best Technical Achievement” at the 2011 Crunchies Awards and is now available on hundreds of millions of devices.

Mr. Cheyer is also a Founding Member and Advisor to (150M people taking action, victories every day), and a co-founder of (solving the world’s hardest problems through massively-scaled machine learning). As a researcher, Mr. Cheyer authored 60 publications and 25 issued patents. At SRI International, he was Chief Architect of CALO, one of DARPAs largest AI and machine learning projects.

Sylvester James Gates, Jr., Ph.D.

Recipient, National Medal of Science for Physical Science

Dr. Gates is an American theoretical physicist, who is known for his work on supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory. His doctoral thesis was the first one at MIT to deal with supersymmetry. Dr. Gates coauthored Superspace, the first comprehensive book on the topic of supersymmetry and he completed a DVD series titled Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality for The Teaching Company. In 2013, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first African-American physicist so recognized in its 150 ­year history. Dr. Gates is currently a University System Regents Professor, the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Director of the String and Particle Theory Center, Affiliate Professor of Mathematics, and serves on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science Commission on Forensic Science, and on the Maryland State Board of Education.

Marc Raibert, Ph.D.

Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Boston Dynamics

Dr. Raibert is CTO and founder of Boston Dynamics, a company that develops some of the world’s most advanced dynamic robots, such as BigDog, Atlas, Cheetah, SandFlea and the AlphaDog. These robots are inspired by the remarkable ability of animals to move with agility, mobility, speed and grace. Before starting Boston Dynamics, Raibert was Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT from 1986 to 1995. Before that, he was Associate Professor of Computer Science and Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon from 1980 to 1986. While at MIT and Carnegie Mellon Raibert founded the Leg Laboratory, a lab that helped establish the scientific basis for highly dynamic legged robots. Raibert earned a Ph.D. from MIT in 1977. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Aneesh Chopra

Chief Technology Officer of the United States, 2009-2012
Co­founder and Executive Vice President, Hunch Analytics

Appointed by President Barack Obama, Aneesh Chopra served as the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States. During his time in office, Mr. Chopra designed the National Wireless Initiative, helped launch Startup America and executed an “open innovation” strategy across the government. He is the author of the book, Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government. Mr. Chopra is currently the co-founder and executive vice president of Hunch Analytics, a technology firm focused on improving the productivity of public and regulated sectors of the economy through data analytics. In 2011, Mr. Chopra was named to Modern Healthcare’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare and in 2008, to Government Technology magazine’s Top 25 in their “Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers” issue.

Burnie Burns

Founder, Chief Creative Officer and Head Writer, Rooster Teeth Productions

Burnie Burns is the founder of Rooster Teeth Productions and the creator of the world’s longest running web series, Red vs. Blue. After a successful career as president of an Austin­ based tech company, Mr. Burns turned his attentions toward creating online videos and had an early viral hit with a parody of the “Apple Switch” ads. He quickly followed with the first Red vs. Blue trailer and formed Rooster Teeth shortly thereafter. He has since been recognized around the world as an innovator and leader in the field of online video and for his contributions in originating machinima, a form of film­making that uses video game technology in cinematic production. Mr. Burns is currently the Chief Creative Officer and head writer for Rooster Teeth.

Richard Roberts, Ph.D.

Winner 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Dr. Roberts was educated in chemistry at Sheffield University and molecular biology at Harvard University. He worked for 20 years at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where his group discovered RNA splicing for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1993. In 1992, he moved to New England Biolabs as Director of Eukaryotic Research before becoming Chief Scientific Officer in 2005. He has had a long-standing interest in bioinformatics, which most recently had been applied to his research on restriction enzymes.

Jack Szostak, Ph.D.

Winner 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Winner 2006 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research

Dr. Szostak, a biologist and chemist, is currently a Professor of both Genetics and Chemistry at Harvard University and the Alexander Rich Distinguished Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.  He has made a career as a pioneer in genetics; specifically, his discoveries helped to clarify the events that lead to chromosomal recombination and the function of telomeres, the specialized DNA sequences at the tips of chromosomes. He is also credited with the construction of the world’s first yeast artificial chromosome. That feat helped scientists to map the location of genes in mammals and to develop techniques for manipulating genes.

Currently, Dr. Szostak’s lab focuses on the challenges of understanding the origin of life on Earth, and the construction of artificial cellular life in the laboratory.

Mario Capecchi, Ph.D.

Winner 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Winner 2001 National Medal of Science
Winner 2003 Wolf Prize in Medicine
Winner 2001 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research

Dr. Capecchi, a biophysicist, is a Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Utah School of Medicine.  He is best known for his groundbreaking work in gene targeting in mouse embryo-derived stem cells.  He was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Medicine, along with Martin Evans and Oliver Smithies for their work in finding ways to manipulate the mammalian genome by inserting new genes into cells.  This research has led to the breeding of “knock-out mice” and “knock-in mice” — animals with a single gene removed or inserted. Dr. Capecchi’s knock-out mice allow scientists complete freedom on how to manipulate the DNA sequences in the genome of living mice. His research interests include the molecular genetic analysis of early mouse development, neural development in mammals, production of murine models of human genetic diseases, gene therapy, homologous recombination and programmed genomic rearrangements in the mouse.

Ferid Murad, M.D-Ph.D.

Winner 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Winner 1996 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research

A world-renowned pioneer in biochemistry, Dr. Murad’s key research demonstrated that nitroglycerin and related drugs worked by releasing nitric oxide into the body, which relaxed smooth muscle by elevating intracellular cyclic GMP. The missing steps in the signaling process were filled in by Robert F. Furchgott and Louis J. Ignarro of UCLA, for which the three shared the 1998 Nobel Prize.  Drs. Murad and Furchgott also received the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 1996.

Dr. Murad continues this important research on cellular signaling at his lab in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the George Washington University.

George M. Whitesides, Ph.D.

Harvard University, Professor of Chemistry
National Medal of Science
Winner 1996 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research

Dr. Whitesides is the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University. He has received dozens of awards, the most recent of which is the Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences for his creation of new materials that have significantly advanced the field of chemistry and its societal benefits. He has also received the Priestley Medal, which is the highest honor bestowed by the American Chemical Society, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry for his pioneering chemical research in molecular self-assembly and innovative nanofabrication techniques. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has been appointed a Fellow of numerous societies. A prolific author of more than 950 scientific articles and patent holder who has received many awards, he received the highest Hirsch index rating of all living chemists in 2011.

Dr. Whitesides is currently researching physical and organic chemistry, materials science, biophysics, complexity, surface science, microfluidics, self-assembly, micro- and nanotechnology, science for developing economies, origin of life, and cell-surface biochemistry. Given this broad range of research, he is active in several Wyss Institute enabling technology platforms: Adaptive Material Technologies, Bioinspired Robotics, Biomimetic Microsystems, and Programmable Nanomaterials.

Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H.

Former Surgeon General of the United States
Winner 1996 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research

Dr. Lushniak articulates the best available scientific information to the public regarding ways to improve personal health and the health of the Nation. He also oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, comprising of approximately 6,700 uniformed health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, protect, and advance the health and safety of our Nation.

Stephen Ray Mitchell, M.D., MBA

Dean for Medical Education, Georgetown University

Winner 1996 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research

Dr. Mitchell currently serves as the Joseph Butenas Professor and Dean of Medical Education at Georgetown and is responsible for the overall operation, development, curriculum, and student affairs for the School of Medicine. He also opened and continues to be the director of the Georgetown University Hospital Childhood Arthritis Center.

Dr. Mitchell has been honored numerous times for his teaching excellence, including receiving multiple “Golden Apples” for medical student education at Georgetown. In addition, he has received the Kaiser Permanente Award from the faculty for the outstanding clinical teacher in the Medical Center, as well as every residency teaching award in the Department of Medicine, including induction into the Sol Katz Society.

Bohdan Pomahac, M.D.

Harvard Medical School Professor
Director of the Burn and Plastic Surgery Transplantation Centers

Dr. Pomahac established the Plastic Surgery Transplantation Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School’s premier teaching hospital and the nation’s leading center in face transplantation. Dr. Pomahac led the nation’s first male face transplant procedure in April 2009 (only the second such surgery in the country) and in the fall of 2009, he was awarded a $3.4 million dollar contract from the Department of Defense to perform and investigate the outcomes of face transplantation. In March of 2011, he led the surgical team that performed the first full face transplant in the country and in April of 2011, the team completed their second full face transplant. Shortly after, in May, the team performed the first combined face and bilateral hand transplant procedure in the nation. In October of 2011, the team performed the first successful bilateral upper extremity transplantation in the Northeast.

As principal investigator of both the face and hand transplantation studies, Dr. Pomahac is currently working on several grants and clinical protocols as well as preparing patients for face and hand transplantation. His clinical interests include facial reconstruction, burn reconstruction and microsurgery.

The Patients

Carmen Blandin Tarleton

Recipient of one of the world’s first full face transplants

On June 10, 2007, Carmen Blandin Tarleton’s estranged husband broke into her rural Vermont home, beat her with a baseball bat, and doused her with industrial-strength lye. Doctors called it “the most horrific injury a human being could suffer.”

Tarleton spent the next three and a half months in a medically induced coma, and when she awoke, it was to an unimaginable reality: she was blind and permanently disfigured, with burns covering more than eighty percent of her body. Her recovery would include weeks of painful rehab, dozens of surgeries, and total dependence on family, friends, and strangers for physical and financial care.

With so much taken away, no one could have anticipated what Tarleton would gain from her experience: an awakening. A purpose. Joy. By sharing her struggles and ultimate victory over catastrophic loss, Tarleton proves that life is a choice—and, in the process, offers a rare glimpse into the best and worst corners of the human heart.

Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.

New York Times bestselling author, “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey”

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in 1996. On the afternoon of this rare form of stroke (AVM), she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. It took eight years for Dr. Jill to completely recover all of her functions and thinking ability. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.

Larry Hester

Seventh person in the U.S. to have the so-called bionic eye implanted.

Larry Hester was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa when he was in his early 30’s. At the time, the degenerative disease would rob his sight while there were no known treatments. Now, Hester is one of several people in the United States to have a bionic eye – an Argus II Retinal Prosthesis Device. The device is activated as a visual aid to send light signals to his brain, allowing him to see for the first time in 33 years.

Hester is eager to provide researchers with the information they can use to enhance the technology further, so that future generations of patients will benefit from his pioneering effort.

The Prodigies

Shree Bose

Grand Prize Winner, 2011 Google Science Fair

As an eighteen-year-old Shree Bose triumphed over 10,000 other competitors to become the grand prize winner of the first-ever Google Science Fair in 2011. For her winning research, Shree looked at the chemotherapy drug, cisplatin, that is commonly taken by women with ovarian cancer. The problem is that the cancer cells tend to grow resistant to cisplatin over time and Shree discovered a way to counteract that thus opening new avenues for research.

Shree is a graduate of Harvard University and is now enrolled in the M.D.-Ph.D. program at Duke University.

Paige Brown

Winner, Global Good, 2016 Intel Science Talent Search

Paige Brown is the first place medal of distinction winner of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, for her research studying the water quality of six environmentally impaired local streams with high E. coli and phosphate contamination levels. She is currently developing a cost effective filter largely made of calcium alginate strands to remove the phosphate from storm water systems. She is studying chemical engineering at Stanford University.

Jack Andraka

Intel Science Fair Grand Prize Winner

When Jack was 15-years-old he created a new diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer that is 28 times faster, 26,000 times less expensive and over 100 times more sensitive than the current diagnostic tests. And, in case that’s not impressive enough, the test also works for ovarian and lung cancer.

His diagnostic test earned him first prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college science research competition.

Jack is studying at Stanford University.

Eric Chen

First Place, 2014 Intel Science Talent Search Competition
Grand Prize Winner, 2013 Google Science Fair
Winner, 2013 Seimens Competition Grand Prize Winner

At 17, Eric Chen won all three major science prizes – Intel, Google, and Siemens – for his research on new drugs designed to fight dangerous strains of the influenza virus.

The flu virus is deadly and costs millions of dollars in lost productivity. The emergence of a new strain could be a potential epidemic. Eric is working to design new drugs to fight this deadly infection. He did so by finding compounds that turn off a viral protein called the endonuclease.”

The emergence of new highly lethal influenza viruses such as H5N1 and H7N9 poses a grave threat to the world. Eric’s project aimed to discover novel influenza endonuclease inhibitors as leads for a new type of anti-flu medicine, effective against all influenza viruses including pandemic strains. By combining computer modeling and biological studies, he identified a number of novel, potent endonuclease inhibitors. He also performed comprehensive structural analysis, laying groundwork for further design and optimization of the anti-flu drug candidates.

Eric is studying at Harvard University.

Ryan Chester

Winner, Breakthrough Junior Challenge

Ryan Chester is a recent graduate of North Royalton High School in Ohio. In 2015, Mr. Chester was named the winner of the inaugural Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a science video competition that drew 2000 contestants worldwide. Mr. Chester won for his seven-minute video on Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. At a North Royalton School Board Meeting on February 8th, the city’s mayor issued a proclamation that that day would be known as Ryan Chester Day. Outside of school, he loves to play soccer, cook gourmet food, and make movies ­ he dreams of a career writing and directing films, and of one day opening a restaurant.

The Masters of Life Success and Happiness

Deborah Bedor, Ph.D.

CEO, College Admission Central

As one of the nation’s top admissions experts, Dr. Deborah Bedor has had the pleasure of coaching and advising Top Tier, Ivy League, and celebrity pre-college students for the past 25 years, guiding them to acceptance into our nation’s finest universities. Dr. Bedor is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude; recipient of the Schaff Memorial Prize for Scholarship; and holds both a master’s degree and doctorate.

Dr. B, as she is called, works with students globally on every part of the college application—strategizing, developing, and implementing the most unique and winning presentation of each student’s college portfolio and application. Everyone who works with Dr. Bedor becomes a stand-out candidate. Big ideas are her specialty.

Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan is recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on success and happiness in work and life. He is founder and president of The Strategic Coach Inc. A visionary, an innovator, and a gifted conceptual thinker, Dan has over 35 years’ experience as a highly regarded speaker, consultant, strategic planner, and coach to entrepreneurial individuals and groups. He is the author of over 30 publications, including The Great Crossover, The 21st Century Agent, Creative Destruction, and How The Best Get Better®. He is co-author of The Laws of Lifetime Growth and The Advisor Century.

Brendon Burchard

Brendon Burchard is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives that Make You Feel Alive. He is also the founder of High Performance Academy, the legendary personal development program for achievers, Brendon is regularly recognized as “one of the top business and motivation trainers in the world.” (Inc. magazine,, ABC, and more). Brendon’s books, videos, newsletters, products, and appearances now inspire two million people a month worldwide. His books have been #1 bestsellers on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and bestseller lists.

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