2020 Speakers


Igor Jablokov

(CEO of Pryon Inc., inventor of Alexa)

Igor is the CEO of Pryon, an AI company focused on augmented intelligence. Pryon’s cognitive technology helps machines better understand people, putting AI at the core of enterprise digital transformations. Impatient with the gap between the invention of AI technologies and their commercialization, Igor left his career at IBM and founded Yap in 2006. Just 5 years later, Amazon acquired the company for its AI technology, which is now found in billions of Alexa, Echo, and Fire TV devices. Igor was awarded both the Eisenhower and Truman National Security fellowships to explore and expand the role of entrepreneurship and venture capital in addressing geopolitical concerns.

Igor is a passionate supporter of career and educational opportunities in the STEM fields. As such, he serves as a mentor in the TechStars’ Alexa Accelerator, was a Blackstone NC Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR), and founded a chapter of the Global Shapers, a program of the World Economic Forum.

Igor holds a BS degree in Computer Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University, where he was named an Outstanding Engineering Alumnus, and an MBA from The University of North Carolina.


Phaedra Boinodiris

(RSA Fellow, IBM AI Consultant)

Phaedra Boinodiris is a Fellow of the RSA and has focused on inclusion in technology since 1999. She holds 5 patents and has served on the leadership team of IBM’s Academy of Technology focusing on kicking off internal startups that range from IBM’s first Serious Games and Advanced Simulation program to IBM’s first K-12 program.

Phaedra is currently pursuing her PhD in AI and Ethics due to a generous scholarship from the European Union in collaboration with NYU.

She has founded or acted as an advisor for multiple digital inclusion programs. She co-founded WomenGamers.Com where she launched the first national scholarship program for women to pursue degrees in Game Design and development.

She won the United Nations Woman of Influence in STEM and inclusivity Award in 2019, received the Social Innovator Award by IBM in 2018, received the 2014 Kenan Flagler Young Alumni Award, became a Fellow of the American Democracy Institute in 2011 and in 2007 was recognized by Women in Games International as being one of the Top 100 Women in the Games industry. Phaedra is the author of the book Serious Games for Business and is a regular public speaker and contributor to articles in Forbes, Fast Company, the National Academy of Engineering Journal, NPR and other publications.

She is also an adjunct professor at NC State University, serves on NC Governor Cooper’s COVID taskforce on Education, as a technology advisor to the state of Washington’s CIO office, and on the boards of Marbles Museum, First Robotics, and NC State University Exec Ed program. She holds a BA and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


John Chon

John Cohn is an IBM Fellow in the MIT-IBM Watson AI Research Group based in Cambridge, MA. John earned a BSEE from MIT (’81) and a Ph.D in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (‘91) where he was named a Distinguished Alumni in 2014. John has authored more than 40 technical papers, contributed to four books and has >120 worldwide patents. In 2005 John was elected a Fellow of the IEEE for contributions to high speed integrated circuit design. John is active in education issues at a local, state and national level. In 2019 John was awarded the IEEE CAS John Choma Education award for his efforts at STEM promotion. He is so passionate about promoting STEM careers that he spent 59 days living and inventing in an abandoned steel mill as part of Discovery Channel's technical survival show "The Colony". John lives with his family in a restored 19th century schoolhouse in Jonesville Vermont and is eager to share his love of science and technology with anyone who will listen.

Keethan Kleiner

Keethan Kleiner is an instructor of Computer Science at the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics. After graduating from NCSSM in 2009, Keethan attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he graduated with both a B.S. and an M.S. in Computer Science. He specialized in Artificial Intelligence and conducted research in Natural Language Processing, specifically Authorship Attribution. Before returning to teach at NCSSM in 2016, Keethan worked as a software engineer for a startup in Natural Language Generation. Keethan now teaches a variety of programming courses at all skill levels, including Computer Science research, during the school year and summer. Keethan is passionate about teaching, access to programming education, and school service. In addition to serving in Faculty Senate leadership, Keethan has served in the University of North Carolina System Faculty Assembly and on school committees and planning teams, including the academic planning team for the Morganton Campus. He is excited to be presenting at the Ethics & Leadership Conference.

Graham Culbertson

Instructor of Humanities Graham Culbertson teaches American Studies, Black Studies, and courses at the intersection of artificial intelligence and the humanities for the Ryden Center. Graham joined NCSSM from the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics in 2018, where he taught for four years in the English department. Graham has taught a wide range of courses in his career, including AP Composition, AP Literature, African American Literature, Women's Literature, Science Fiction, Intro to Film, and his personal favorite, an elective on the philosophy, politics, and economics of Star Trek.

Mariah King

Mariah King began teaching in NCSSM's residential and online programs in 2018. Over the course of an academic year, she teaches chemistry, industrial chemistry, computational chemistry, and nanotechnology. Mariah received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from UNC-Wilmington where she was first introduced to computational chemistry. She went on to study chemical engineering at N.C. State University through the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Ph.D. program. There, she was introduced to a variety of chemical systems that she studied using theoretical chemistry and computational chemistry methods. Thanks to the highly collaborative environment in the department, she was also granted the opportunity to extend her computational background to study atomic layer deposition techniques used in the manufacturing of electronic devices as well as the topological behavior of soft materials. Alongside her ongoing marathon in education, she enjoys spending time with her (very large) family and (very small) child. She also loves long distance, speed, and obstacle course running with Tough Mudders being her all-time favorite.

Stefan LoBuglio

Stefan LoBuglio has nearly 30 years of experience in corrections running correctional facilities, providing technical assistance, and engaging in research and policy advocacy. Currently, his firm, Justice Innovations works to strengthen justice systems in the US and abroad. Prior, Stefan led the National Reentry Resource Center where he oversaw federally-funded efforts to promote successful adult reentry.

For 11 years, Stefan served as chief of the Pre-Release and Reentry Services Division for the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. Prior, he developed education, reentry, and community correctional programs at the 2,000-bed House of Correction in Boston for more than 12 years.

In addition to his operational experience, Stefan has served on state-wide correctional reform taskforces in Maryland and Massachusetts, participated as an expert advisor on a number of reentry projects, testified before the U.S. Congress, assisted in changing state legislation, and co-authored publications on reentry and recidivism.

In 2007, Stefan received his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he focused his studies on the evaluation of correctional reentry programs. He earned an MA in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a BS in mechanical engineering from Duke University.

Brandon Murry

Mr. Brandon Murry is a computer science, math, and animation teacher currently located in Fayette County, Ga. Previously Mr. Murry taught high school in Las Vegas, NV for six years. He attended the University of Southern California where he studied computer science, film, and animation. With a passion for open source software, Mr. Murry is excited to share his perspective on AI and the future of computing education.

Matthew Turner

I am a research manager at CU Boulder working alongside Tom Yeh's A.I. ethics for K-12 lab. Our lab works with multiple disciplines to bring fresh ideas to new projects and find ways to affect cross-cultural communication. We collaborate with local government and business leaders to ensure that CU's academic missions become reality.

Our concern: As technology advances at an exponential rate, the changes to our education system, our government, and our culture will be dramatic. We want to make sure that our society not only survives these changes, but thrives because of them.

Our passion: Introduce the term "Humanics" as a way to define our efforts to bring tech ethics education into K-12, higher education, and our broader civil society. We want to ensure that all students develop a deep understanding of A.I., big data, ethics, and spirituality.

Our goal: Transition our education system toward training students to teach themselves and each other. We want students to be prepared for the hands-on Humanics approach.

Marshall Massengill

Marshall is a North Carolina native with a background in all things digital. He is an alumnus from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and North Carolina State University. He is an expert in Virtualization Architecture and IT Optimization.

Marshall is a senior consultant for VMware, a global leader in cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology, where he helps companies accelerate their digital transformation by enabling them to have freedom and flexibility in how they build and evolve their IT environments.

He volunteers with the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics FIRST Robotics Team (FRC Team 900 - The Zebracorns), where he helps students from NCSSM, Durham Public Schools, and local homeschool students learn about science, technology, engineering, applied data analysis, sensor integration, control systems, deadlines, communication, leadership, teamwork, and themselves by building ~150 pound competitive robots. And sometimes they win competitions with what he teaches them. ;-)

Kathy Baxter

As an Architect of Ethical AI Practice at Salesforce, Kathy develops research-informed best practice to educate Salesforce employees, customers, and the industry on the development of responsible AI. She collaborates and partners with external AI and ethics experts to continuously evolve Salesforce policies, practices, and products. Prior to Salesforce, she worked at Google, eBay, and Oracle in User Experience Research. She received her MS in Engineering Psychology and BS in Applied Psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology. The second edition of her book, "Understanding your users," was published in May 2015. You can read about her current research at einstein.ai/ethics.

Charlotte Dungan

Charlotte Dungan joined NCSSM as an Instructor of Computer Science in 2018 and transitioned to AI Program Architect in 2019. Charlotte was a computer programmer for 10 years. She received an education degree with concentrations in K-12 English and history alongside her programming work and began teaching in a variety of contexts, including alternative schools, enrichment programs, twice exceptional children, and starting several organizations that serve students in PK-12 STEM education. She has a master's degree in education from Harvard University where she conducted research with computer science educators and developed teacher support materials. At the national level she is creating guidelines for K-12 AI education and works to expand CS education in rural and underserved areas. She recently won an Aspirations in Computing award from NCWIT and an EdTech Trendsetting Educator award from EdTech Digest. She is a lifelong Girl Scout and volunteers at Kidzu Children's Museum on their "Dream Team.

Jamie Lathan

Sarah Judd

Quinci King

Quinci King is a recent Duke University graduate from University Place, WA. At an early age, Quinci’s interests at the intersections of social policy and business propelled him to consistent involvement in gubernatorial campaigns, High School Dems, DECA, and nonprofit work while in Washington and Idaho. Coming to Duke, Quinci strived to continue this work, engaging himself in both the Public Policy major and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate. This curriculum laid a concrete foundation for Quinci’s various involvements as a student on campus, including: Duke Student Government, East Campus Council, Duke Students for Housing Reform, and the University Council of Civic Engagement. Most importantly, Quinci has dedicated a majority of his energy to creating sustainable service opportunities in which Duke students and alumni can better engage with regional community via his startup Audacity Labs (AL). AL is a startup incubator and co working space in Durham designed to democratize entrepreneurship to youth by empowering them with the tools and resources to design, prototype, and launch social enterprises. Quinci’s engagements have been recognized by Duke via the award of a Robertson Scholar Finalist, an Incubation Fund Grant of $25000, the Rasheed Wiggins Award, as well as participation in both of Duke’s premier incubators: Mellisa and Doug Entrepreneurs and Design to Impact. While continuing to manage Audacity Labs, he plans to pursue management consulting for the education, media, and nonprofit sectors at McKinsey & Co. in Atlanta next spring.

Sandra Luksic

Michelle Dennedy