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Past Roundtable Events

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Play as a Classroom Tool

Saturday, November 17, 2018 | 10 a.m.–2 p.m. | Chicago Toy & Game Fair, Navy Pier

Lewis College of Human Sciences is pleased to announce that it has partnered with the Chicago Toy & Game Week for the next Roundtable event!

Lewis College is a sponsor of the Play in Education (PIE) track at the 16th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair on Saturday, November 17, 2018. The fair is North America’s largest non-hobby toy and game fair open to the public.

From building Lego trucks and playing Jenga at a party, play has an unmistakably large influence on our life. Play is pivotal in cognitive development and social skills. Expand your brains, get social, come out and play with us at the next Roundtable!

Navy Pier is accessible by driving, CTA and other public transporation, free trolley service, or Divvy bike. Learn more about your best transportation options to get to the Roundtable.

Schedule of Presentations

Introductions and Welcome

10 a.m.

Purposeful Play in the Classroom

10:15 a.m.
Speakers: Janine Halloran and Maria Metzler

Janine Halloran

Janine Halloran

Founder, Coping Skills for Kids (part of Encourage Play, LLC)

Janine Halloran is a licensed mental health counselor with over 15 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and their families. Her goal is to support kids in their social and emotional growth, and to support the family members and school personnel to help meet that goal. Janine started Encourage Play, LLC in December 2013 to help children learn social skills through play to help people learn more about coping skills and strategies to help their children.

Maria Metzler

Maria Metzler

Speech Language Pathologist
Founder, Totally Present Communication and Pyramid Communication & Technology

Maria Metzler is specialized in parent-child/family communication especially for the genetically vulnerable and environmentally fragile. She uses the hybrid communication practice of exploring, stabilizing, and mobilizing the building blocks of effective and meaningful communication within the construct of emotions as the base for lifelong relating. 

The Power of Playful Learning

10:45 a.m.
Speaker: Joyce Hemphill, Ph.D.

Joyce Hemphill

Joyce Hemphill, Ph.D.

Joyce Hemphill received her doctorate in developmental psychology from The Ohio State University and has 30 years of experience teaching undergraduate courses such as infant-child development, cognition, and learning. She retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012 and started organizing community play events, speaking and writing on the value of play, giving workshops on ways to play, and teaching classes on the importance of play. Currently Joyce is a board member of the American Association for the Child's Right to Play and Fox Valley (Ill.) Association for the Education of Young Children; is a play advocate with the US Play Coalition and writes a "Playing from Scratch" column for their monthly newsletter. She also recently a published book, The Power of Playful Learning: The Green Edition (Maupin House).

Play! The Doorway to Girls' Math success

11:15 a.m.
Speaker: Karen Tzanetopoulos, M.S., CC,SLP

Karen Tzanetopoulos

Karen Tzanetopoulos, M.S., CC-SLP

Speech and Language Pathologist

Karen Tzanetopoulos specializes in helping children with learning challenges find their best way of learning. She currently owns a private practice, and has previously worked in the public schools, the Chicago Institute for Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Karen became fascinated with the role that language plays in learning mathematics, and subsequently the National Science Foundation awarded Karen two grants to study the problems that children have in learning mathematics. She is a speaker at a variety of national and regional conferences on the subject of language and math. As a result of her research, she has developed some toys to help all children learn math concepts naturally through play.

Lunch and hands on play

11:45 a.m.

Play in Education News

12:30 p.m.
Speaker: Tim Walsh

Tim Walsh

Tim Walsh

Fearless Leader, The Playmakers

Tim Walsh is a game designer, author, filmmaker and professional speaker. The games he’s designed or co-designed have sold over seven million copies. His books have been praised by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and NPR. The films he’s co-produced or co-directed have won “Best Documentary” awards in three U.S. film festivals. His lectures on the value of play and connection are the culmination of a 28-year career as an entrePLAYneur.

Design in Educational Games for Children

12:35 p.m.
Speaker: Jennifer L. Miller, Ph.D.

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer L. Miller, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology
Lewis College of Human Sciences, Illinois Institute of Technology

Jennifer Miller’s research interests are focused on the development of communication in complex social networks. Specifically, she is interested in examining the social environment of individuals to relate how vocal and social learning produce effective communicative skills. To examine the complex social interactions, she uses social network techniques that have been commonly used in business applications. Her work has been conducted in both songbirds and children. Jennifer teaches undergraduate courses in early development, learning theories, and introduction to psychology, as well as a graduate course in learning, motivation, and cognition.

Social Emotional Learning Through literacy and math activities

1 p.m.
Speakers: David L Hoyt, Claire Haasl, Jeff Knurek, and Kirk Dietz

David Hoyt

David Hoyt

"The man who puzzles America"

David L. Hoyt is the world’s most-syndicated daily word game creator and the inventor of numerous well-known puzzles, games and brain teasers including USA Today Word Roundup, USA Today Up & Down Words, Jumble Crosswords, TV Jumble, Word Winder, Just 2 Words, and more.

He is the current author of Jumble, the most syndicated daily word game in the world, seen in more than 600 newspapers each day. David’s puzzles and games are featured in newspapers, online, on mobile devices, in books and calendars and more.

Claire Haasl

Claire Haasl

Executive Director, David L. Hoyt Foundation

Claire Haasl grew up in Green Bay, Wisc. and found her path to the University of Illinois at Chicago where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Art History, in 2004. After working for a development corporation for two years, Claire moved to Los Angeles where she earned a Master of Public Art Studies from the University of Southern California. After graduating, Claire and David moved back to Chicago where she began working as an operations and development manager for a non-profit working in arts education. Years later, when David created GIANT Word Winder, Claire saw the potential of the GIANT games and began working with David as an outreach coordinator of Word Winder Inc. In 2015, Claire and David created the David L. Hoyt Education Foundation together because they recognized an increasing need for social emotional learning in young people and knew they had a way to make learning fun. In her spare time, you will find Claire and David hanging out with their dog, Daisy, in Lincoln Square, or globetrotting to all the places on their bucket lists. Claire loves to hike, read, and cook. Recently, Claire became a mountaineer after summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in January of 2017—a 19,341 ft. peak! 

Jeff Knurek

Jeff Knurek

Jumble Cartoonist

Jeff Knurek is an award-winning toy and game inventor, consumer product developer, graphic artist, illustrator, cartoonist, and puzzle creator. In 1989, Jeff invented the outdoor game Spikeball, his first invention to make it to market. Jeff’s other game credits include Family Fun magazine’s “Toy of the Year” award winners for What's In Ned's Head? and Monster Under My Bed. He also develops and licenses children’s magic tricks and products for Las Vegas headliner Mac King. In 2008 Jeff became only the third artist to draw the cartoon for the popular Jumble puzzle which is seen in over 600 newspapers. Jeff took over the art duties when the great Henri Arnold retired. Jeff’s unique humor and style can be seen in the caricatures and fun pop culture references placed throughout his cartoons.

Kirk Dietz

Kirk Dietz

Sixth Grade English Teacher
Sleepy Hollow Middle School, Tarrytown, N.Y.

Kirk Dietz is an educator with over 18 years of experience working as a 6th grade English teacher. Kirk likes incorporating games into his teaching because while the students are playing, they are unknowingly creating conversations about language. Kirk believes that using games like Jumble in his classroom teach students to recognize and use the intricacies and subtleties of language, and these are necessary for their future success. Currently, he is working closely with David Hoyt and his education foundation to infuse play in his classes. The two collaborate in an elective class Kirk teaches called Learning Through Play. Students in this class play and create various games and puzzles to identify the aspects that make them educational, engaging and fun.


Power and Access

October 12, 2017 | 3:30–5 p.m. | Mccormick tribune campus center (MTCC) Auditorium

A reception will follow the Roundtable in the MTCC Ballroom.

In a society that is dependent on technology more than ever before, this year’s Lewis College Roundtable will explore questions related to the access of technology. Who has access to technology?  How does technology provide the power to control people or things? Has technology blurred the boundaries of work and personal lives? How has technology changed the lives of people with disabilities? Join us as we explore these questions and more at the next Roundtable. This event is free and open to the public.

2017 Roundtable Panelists

Amy Gonzales

Amy Gonzales

Assistant Professor
The Media School, Indiana University

Research interests: Effects of social interaction via communication technologies on individual identity, social support, and well-being, as well as the consequences of disrupted access to communication technology for people from disadvantaged communities.
Ellen Kossek

Ellen Kossek

Basil S. Turner Professor of Management, Krannert School of Management
Research Director, Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence
Purdue University

Research interests: Work-family, work-life balance, women's career equality and gender inclusion, workplace flexibility, employment practices to support workforce diversity/inclusion, global and domestic human resource management, and organizational behavior.

Stephen Sundarrao

Stephen Sundarrao

Associate Director, Center for Assistive, Rehabilitation, and Robotics Technologies
University of South Florida

President and Chief Executive Officer, Rehab Ideas

Research interests: Advanced vehicle modifications, and ergonomics and mobility devices for individuals with disabilities.

Sean Zdenek

Sean Zdenek

Associate Professor of Technical and Professional Writing
University of Delaware

Research interests: Disability and web accessibility studies, closed captioning, deaf studies, sound studies, and methods of rhetorical criticism.


Digital Discourse and Civil Society

October 13, 2016 | 3:30–5 p.m. | McCormick tribune campus center (MTCC) Auditorium

How can we promote ethical behavior and social good in the digital space? Has the Internet fostered more extreme viewpoints on controversial issues? Does the perceived anonymity in the digital space increase bullying and toxicity in online communities? Are the rules of etiquette and civility different online?

Read the Roundtable recap in the Fall 2016 issue of Big Picture.

Featured participants

Lucy Bernholz

Lucy BernholzLucy Bernholz is a senior research scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and director of the Digital Civil Society Lab. She has been a visiting scholar at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and a fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, the Hybrid Reality Institute, and the New America Foundation. Bernholz is the author of numerous articles and books, including the annual Blueprint Series on Philanthropy and the Social Economy, the 2010 publication Disrupting Philanthropy, and her 2004 book Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution. She is a co-editor of Philanthropy in Democratic Societies, to be published in June 2016 by the University of Chicago Press. She writes extensively on philanthropy, technology, information, and policy on her award winning blog,

Bernholz has a B.A. from Yale University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Howard D. Fencl

Howard FenclHoward D. Fencl is a vice president at Hennes Communications LLC, a crisis communications, crisis management, litigation communications, and media training firm based in Cleveland. His crisis experience includes helping clients deal with accusations of criminal behavior, leadership changes, industrial accidents, product recalls, and other high-stakes reputation issues.

Fencl previously served as assistant news director at WKYC-TV in Cleveland, where he and his news team received the Edward R. Murrow Award in 2013 for outstanding achievements in electronic journalism. He was vice president at Edward Howard & Co. (now Fahlgren Mortine), a public relations agency serving a diverse client portfolio including Hoover, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Rubbermaid, Kidde, and Huffy. In the 1990s, he was president and general manager of Multiverse, one of the pioneer internet service providers in Northeast Ohio. Fencl was pivotal in creating and launching Cleveland’s first presence on the web in late 1994 in his capacity as director of communications for The New Cleveland Campaign, a civic marketing organization. He also served as a television news producer and executive producer for a dozen years.

Fencl graduated as valedictorian from Denison University, and earned his M.A. at Hiram College.

Kishonna L. Gray

Kishonna GrayKishonna L. Gray is currently a MLK Visiting Scholar in Women & Gender Studies and Comparative Media Studies/Writing at the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. She is also the founder of the Critical Gaming Lab at Eastern Kentucky University. She is expanding on the work created at MIT to develop new initiatives surrounding Equity in Gaming. Her work broadly intersects identity and new media although she has a particular focus on gaming. Her most recent book, Race, Gender, & Deviance in Xbox Live (Routledge, 2014), provides a much-needed theoretical framework for examining deviant behavior and deviant bodies within that virtual gaming community. Her work has been featured in outlets such as the Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology; Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology; Bulletin of Science, Technology, & Society; and New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, Information, Communication, & Society, among others. Her work has also been featured in the LA Times, Paste Magazine, Engadget, The Guardian, BET, and Blavity. She’s a featured blogger and podcaster with “Not Your Mama’s Gamer” and actively blogs on her own website.

Gray completed her Ph.D. at Arizona State University with a concentration in media, technology, and culture. You can follow her on Twitter at @KishonnaGray and the Equity in Gaming Initiative at @EquityInGaming.

Donald Heider

Don HeiderDon Heider is the founding dean and professor in the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago, and  founder of the Center for Digital Ethics & Policy.  He is the author or editor of seven books including Ethics for a Digital Age.  Heider is a multiple Emmy-award winning producer and reporter who spent ten years in news before entering the academy.

Heider worked previously at the University of Maryland, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He holds a B.A. from Colorado State University, an M.A. from American University and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.

Eric D. Wesselmann

Eric WesselmannEric D. Wesselmann is an assistant professor of psychology at Illinois State University. His research interests focus broadly on the dynamics of social connection and dissolution in various contexts. Specifically, he conducts research on ostracism and other types of social exclusion. He has published empirical articles and book chapters on how individuals feel when they experience being ostracized, as well as how and why individuals ostracize others. He also has published articles on the psychological aspects of such diverse topics as religious beliefs, stigma, aggression, and sexual harassment. He is a fellow of the Midwestern Psychological Association, has received the Association for Psychological Science's "Rising Star" designation in 2015, and has co-edited two themed issues for peer-reviewed journals—one for the Journal of Social Psychology and one for the Journal for Prevention and Intervention in the Community

Wesselmann has a B.A. and M.S. from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.


Algorithms: Human Influence on the World of Data

October 29, 2015 | 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. | MTCC Auditorium

Algorithms convert data into results-online news aggregation, investment trading decisions, and targets of surveillance programs are all determined by them. But this process is not morally or politically neutral; each algorithm carries in it cultural and political values. Behind every computation sits a person or group of people who've decided what information to collect, how to store it, how to analyze it, and how to use it. In this Roundtable, we discussed how algorithms shape the information we receive, and how transparent the social and political implications of these equations should or shouldn't be.

Read the 2015 Roundtable recap in Big Picture.

Featured Roundtable Participants

Angela CirucciAngela M. Cirucci received her Ph.D. from Temple University in the School of Media and Communication. She was previously a senior doctoral fellow and a digital humanities scholar with the Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory. 

As a researcher and theorist, Cirucci explores social networking sites and the ways in which their structures and affordances influence identifications. She is particularly interested in Facebook's drive to create an anti-anonymous culture. She has presented her research at many conferences including The International Communication Association, The National Communication Association and The Media Ecology Association, where she was awarded the 2012 Linda Elson Top Student Paper for her "First Person Paparazzi." 

Cirucci joined Kutztown University as assistant professor of communication studies in August 2015.

Jason ReschJason Resch (CS, '06) is a software architect at Cleversafe, Inc., and recently won the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from Illinois Tech. Author, entrepreneur, and a computer scientist with 133 issued and 310 pending patents, Resch has 17 years of professional software engineering experience. He began programming at age 7 and launched an Internet company at 16. 

Read the Summer 2014 feature on Resch in IIT Magazine.

Christian SandvigChristian Sandvig is an associate professor of communication studies and information at the University of Michigan and a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. His research specializes in Internet infrastructure and public policy.

Before moving to Michigan, Sandvig was an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he founded the Center for People & Infrastructures. He previously served as Markle Foundation Information Policy Fellow at the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, Oxford University. Sandvig has been named a "next-generation leader in science and technology policy" in a faculty competition organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Nick SeaverNick Seaver earned his Ph.D. from University of California-Irvine’s Department of Anthropology, and was co-chair of the American Anthropological Association’s Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing. His primary research area is looking at how people use technology to interpret, reproduce, and circulate sound.

In January 2016, Seaver joined Tufts University as assistant professor in the anthropology of science and technology.

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