On April 22, 2019, all Upper School students participated in Speaker Day 2019, organized by the Upper School Council (USC). Speaker Day is a day-long program featuring a keynote address and small-group sessions featuring dozens of guest speakers, organized around a central theme. This year’s theme focused on the intersection between STEM and ethics.
The day opened with a morning keynote address by Principal Engineering at Google and SPA Class of 2004 alumnus Sam McVeety who presented on ethics, technology, and digital redlining. Students then attended two-morning breakout sessions, chosen earlier in the semester from a total of twenty-seven separate sessions. The twenty-seven sessions were led by STEM experts from around the Twin Cities, including (but not limited to):
- Dr. Jeremy Gottlieb | With a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and a Ph.D. in Computer Science with a focus on robotics, Dr. Gottleib has spent his career working on projects with NASA, Space Florida, and DARPA. His session was focused on "Should Machines Ever Have Rights?"
- Dr. Melanie Graham | Associate professor in the Departments of Surgery and Veterinary Population Medicine and Director of the Preclinical Research Center (PCRC) at the University of Minnesota where she leads a team dedicated to excellence in the conduct, care, and well-being of animals used in medical research. She is widely recognized for her expertise using refinement in animal models of chronic disease to reduce the burden on animals.
- Melissa Krasnow ’85 | Partner at Palo Alto-based VLP Law Group LLP with expertise on the intersection of technology, privacy/data security regulation, and ethics.
- Lisa MacDonald '87 | Director of the Identity Capabilities Management Division in the Office of Biometric Identity Management, within the Management Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security.
- Laura Meyer | VP of Business Intelligence for the Timberwolves and Lynx and expert on the role ethics play in targeted advertising/marketing.
- Mike Olson | Retired Secret Service agent with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the criminal justice/computer forensic community.
- Judy Onufer | Education Project Manager at H2O for Life in St. Paul, MN.
- Nikos Papanikolopoulos | Professor and artificial intelligence researcher at the University of Minnesota.
- Don Postoma | Program Director for Medical Bioethics at Health Partners.
- Francis Shen | Associate professor at the University of Minnesota law school specializing in the intersection of law and neuroscience.
Many thanks to the Upper School Council for their work on planning Speaker Day 2019.