The Everyday Extraordinary

Posted: October 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

The TEDxUCR presentation of The Everyday Extraordinary took place on December 6th, 2011. The event featured eight local speakers including a dancer, a doctor, a machinist and professors of psychology, philosophy and engineering.

View more photos from the event on Flickr


  • Robert Levine
    Robert Levine is a Professor of Psychology and former Associate Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at California State University, Fresno where he has won awards for both his teaching and research. He is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association. In 2007 he was both named Outstanding Teacher of the year by the Western Psychological Association and received the Provost’s Award for Teacher of the Year at California State University, Fresno. He has published many articles in professional journals as well as articles in trade periodicals such as Discover, American Demographics, The New York Times, Utne Reader, and American Scientist. His book, A Geography of Time (Basic Books, 1997), was the subject of feature stories around the world, including Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, CNN, the BBC, ABC’s Primetime, and NPR’s All Things Considered and Marketplace. It has been translated into six languages. His recent book, The Power of Persuasion: How We’re Bought and Sold (John Wiley & Sons, 2003), has been translated into seven languages. An updated, paperback revision was published in 2006. He is President-Elect of the Western Psychological Association.
  • Eric Schwitzgebel
    Eric Schwitzgebel is a Professor of Philosophy at U.C. Riverside and author of Perplexities of Consciousness (MIT Press, 2011), and, with Russell T. Hurlburt, Describing Inner Experience? Proponent Meets Skeptic (MIT Press, 2007). He has written extensively on belief, self-knowledge, consciousness, and the moral behavior of ethics professors. His research has been featured on the Discovery Channel, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other national and international media outlets. His blog, “The Splintered Mind” (established 2006), is among the leading solo-authored philosophy blogs.
  • Brian Keeley
    Professor of Philosophy at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. Working at the intersection of philosophy & neurobiology, Keeley has previously conducted research on weakly electric fish at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In addition to his work on the nature of the senses and the strange epistemology of conspiracy theories, he is also the editor of Paul Churchland for the Cambridge University Press Contemporary Philosophy in Focus series. His work has been published in the Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Psychology, Philosophy of Science and the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience. He is currently working on a book about the history and philosophy of the senses.
  • Lawerence Rosenblum
    Lawrence Rosenblum is a Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside and author of See What I’m Saying: The Extraordinary Powers of Our Five Senses (Norton Press, 2010). He is an award winning teacher of perceptual, cognitive, and introductory psychology. Professor Rosenblum has published more than forty journal articles and book chapters on audiovisual speech perception, face perception, and general auditory perception. He has been the recipient of multiple National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health grants for his research on lipreading and multimodal speech integration. He is on the editorial boards of multiple journals and has been on review panels for the National Institute of Mental Health. His research has been featured in The Economist, Scientific American, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, and local and national television.
  • Paul Lyons
    Dean for Education in the developing medical school at the University of California, Riverside. During 13 years at Temple University he worked collaboratively with multiple educators exploring the intersection of literature and medicine. His interest in the wide range of issues involved in health and wellness led to collaborative educational offerings in medical ethics, nutrition, Public Health, Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response and green space development. His work in education and medical education has been recognized regionally and nationally by the American Association of Medical Colleges’ Humanism in Medicine Award, American Medical Student Association’s National Golden Apple for Teaching Excellence Award, a Lindback Foundation Award and Temple University’s Great Teacher Award. He has served as a media medical expert for a wide variety of news organizations including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, Prevention magazine, USA Today and local television, newspaper and radio outlets. Currently, he is constructing a unique core curriculum for the developing UCR School of Medicine that will reflect emerging needs of future physicians facing a healthcare system that is rapidly evolving in new and unusual ways.
  • Julie Simon
    Julie Simon has been a professional dancer for over 20 years, performing Brazilian, Caribbean Latin, and African dance styles. Julie has performed internationally in 11 different countries. A native of California, she was based in San Francisco for 7 years where she toured and performed all over the Bay Area as well as touring internationally. Then it was off to Paris, France, where she danced for 7 years touring all over Europe as well as the Caribbean and Africa. She also danced at several dinner shows and various cabarets on the world renowned Champs-Elysses as well as countless gala events. On her off time, she taught dance and dance fitness to teens and young adults for two years in Paris and choreographed annual performances. Julie has now been teaching in California for 7 years throughout LA, Orange County and the Inland Empire. In 2006 she started her own dance company, TROPICALEIZA. TROPICALEIZA is an Afro-Samba dance company that explores aspects of Brazilian and contemporary dance as well as other African-based movement through pulsating rhythms displaying power, joy, love and healing through dance.
  • Phillip Christopher
    Phillip Christopher is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and the Materials Science and Engineering Program. Prior to arriving at UCR he received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan, where his research focused on the design and synthesis of nanostructured silver catalysts for heterogeneous catalytic and photocatalytic oxidation reactions.
  • Gene Sherman
    Gene Sherman is a lifelong maker. A machinist, fabricator, 3D designer, and inventor with over 25 years in industry. He has visited over 400 manufacturing companies and has been fortunate that his career has led him to meet hundreds of talented makers/engineers/designers and to learn from them all. Gene got his start in his father’s machine shop at 16 and has had a very diverse career all centered around “making things.” From stampings, to automation, to mold-making, to setting up an ultra-modern system for semiconductor encapsulation, and to leaving his handprints on the side of the Discovery Space Shuttle, he has truly experienced “how it’s made.” In 2001 he started his own small company providing prototype design and machining to a variety of industries. This business has given him the opportunity to create products that range from an automotive fuel injection system, to satellite components, to automated machinery, motorcycle accessories, robotic vehicles and much more. But in recent years, he noticed that the skills he found so valuable were not being taught any more and turned his attention to education. In 2007, he went to work for UC Riverside in the Mechanical Engineering department as the Lab & Machine Shop Manager. He is also currently working on a Vocational Education Degree from Cal State San Bernardino. Over the last several years, Gene’s passion has been to start a community workshop where anyone can join to learn “hands-on” shop skills, become makers and create anything they desire.

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