Meliora Highlights

MEL Talks

For the second year, MEL Talks will feature an array of faculty, students, and alumni speaking on topics related to research, innovation, and artistry at the University. Talks will include research into extending human longevity, the role of improvisation in our lives, and bringing clean water to Africa. MEL Talks will be held in the Louis Alexander Palestra on Saturday, October 18.
This year's line-up includes:

Creativity and Improvisation: Inspiration and Meaning for Music Teaching and Learning
Chris Azzara '88E (MM),'92E (PhD), Professor of Music Education

Improvisation in music is the spontaneous expression of meaningful musical ideas. It is analogous to conversation in language. We are all born improvisers, as evidenced by our behavior in early childhood. Improvisation enables musicians to express themselves from an internal source and is central to developing musicianship in all aspects of music education. Professor Christopher Azzara will discuss this and the key elements of improvisation - spontaneity, interaction, and being in the moment.

Return of the House Call: Care for Anyone, Anywhere
Featuring Dr. Ray Dorsey, Director of the Center for Health and Technology, and David M. Levy Professor in Neurology

Individuals with Parkinson disease and other conditions frequently cannot access care simply because of where they live.  Using the same technology grandparents are using to communicate with their grandchildren, we are providing care to patients with Parkinson disease directly in their home throughout New York, the country, and the world. Professor Ray Dorsey will present on his vision to enable anyone anywhere to receive care.

Secrets of Long-Lived and Cancer-Resistant Rodents
Featuring Vera Gorbunova, Professor of Biology and Oncology

Animal species differ dramatically in their longevity and resistance to cancer. For example, mice live 3 years and often develop tumors while similarly sized naked mole rats live over 30 years and are virtually cancer proof. Vera will identify mechanisms that allow such exceptionally long-lived animals to live long and healthy lives and how these mechanisms to benefit human health.

Mariachi Meliora: Creating a Home Within Rochester
Featuring Zamantha '13, Valeria '14 & Violeta Lopez '17, Founder and members of Mariachi Meliora

For the Lopez sisters, creating a home 2000 miles away was not the easiest thing, let alone finding ways to share their unique Mexican American culture with the University of Rochester. Listen to their journey of founding the musical student group Mariachi Meliora and contributing to Rochester¿s spirit of embracing diversity and new learning experiences.

The Efficiency of Trust: Capacity Building for Effective Change
Featuring Kit Miller, Director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

Think about the difference when trust is present in a relationship or in a group, and when it is not.  How can trust be attended to consciously, as a form of social capital and as a means of harnessing creativity? Kit Miller will share what she has learned as a leader and as a community change agent about trust and how it can be created within, between and among people.

Cells Can be Individuals, Just Like People 
Featuring Tim Mosmann, Director of the Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology; Michael and Angela Pichichero Director in the David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology; Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and in the Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology (SMD)

Many functions in the body are regulated by populations of relatively small numbers (hundreds or thousands) of cells.  Within each cell population, there is surprising diversity, and it may be easier to predict the behavior of the whole population, than the behavior of individual cells.  Dr. Mosmann will explore some of the surprising implications of thinking about a cell population as a collection of individual cells, rather than a homogeneous entity.

Racism: A Mere Pigment of the Imagination?
Featuring Dr. Lesli C. Myers '92, '93W, Superintendent of Schools, Brockport Central School District

Racism. A six letter word that is chocked full of meaning, emotion, and opinion. This MELTalk will examine personal and current situations and determine whether racism is indeed a mere pigment of the imagination.

Give Back As You Go: The Roadmap to Happiness With Untapped Shores, Inc.
Featuring Elizabeth Schirmer '11S (MBA), CEO, Untapped Shores International & VP Sales, Sweetwater Energy

What if you could fit an entire clean water business for a third-world entrepreneur in your carry-on luggage?  Now you can pack with a purpose and uncover a fun and simple way to save the lives of needful women and children at your destination - no scientific or medical expertise required.  Elizabeth will discuss how Untapped Shores unlocks powerful Psychology of Happiness principles to promote life-changing travel experiences for you, while launching lifesaving enterprises for them.

National Security Whistleblowers: To Be or Not To Be
Featuring Mark Zaid '89, Managing Partner, Mark S. Zaid, P.C.

Some have accused the Obama Administration of waging a war against Whistleblowers, but who exactly fits within the definition especially when national security is at stake. With the recent massive leaks of classified information by Edward Snowden and Bradley/Chelsea Manning, do the ends justify the means when individuals disagree with Administration policies? Mark Zaid, who frequently represents national security Whistleblowers, will explore the difficult challenges faced by those who believe their Government is violating the law and what they can do to pursue their beliefs.

For more information, please click here.
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