Emergent Media Center
10th Anniversary Celebration!

Wednesday, April 194 – 7 pm
Champlain Room, Center for Communication & Creative Media
375 Maple Street, Burlington


Experience 10 years of change-making student innovation
and leap into the challenge of our times with our
thought-provoking panel moderated by John Abele,
Determining Truth: Rethinking Society and Leadership under
Media’s Shifting Landscape


4:00 pm
Innovation Showcase (with food & cake!) – open house
5:30 pm
Celebratory Remarks & Champagne Toast
5:45 – 7:00pm
Thought-leader Panel

Moderator John Abele
Co-founder of Boston Scientific & FIRST Robotics
Cairn Cross
Co-founder, FreshTracks Capital
Narine Hall
Champlain College Assistant Professor,
Data Analytics & Computer Science
Paul Ledak
VP Innovation, Engineering & Technology at IBM, retired
Judy Rodgers
Images and Voices of Hope and President,
Communication Architecture Group
Michael Skoler
President, Louisville Public Media & formerly of NPR,
American Public Media, and Public Radio International
Miro Weinberger
Mayor, City of Burlington




Ann DeMarle

Ann DeMarle is an Associate Dean at Champlain College and the founding director of its Emergent Media Center, MFA and MS in Emergent Media, and Master’s partnership in China. Prior she founded Champlain’s Game and Multimedia undergraduate degrees. Upon receipt of the Roger H. Perry Endowed Chair, she launched the EMC with a mission to bring Champlain students’ media and technology expertise to businesses and non-profits looking to explore and create new solutions. Key projects include the UN sponsored, award winning BREAKAWAY game addressing violence against women, two Robert Wood Johnson funded games for Cystic Fibrosis patients, and a Ford Foundation project where users learn to make business decisions to solve rural economic inequities. She has received two IBM Faculty Awards, is an Apple Distinguished Educator, is an IEEE Computer Society Board of Governor, a trustee for Images and Voices of Hope, and on the Steering team of the Vermont Creative Network.

John Abele

John Abele is the Founding Chairman of Boston Scientific Corporation. He holds numerous patents and has published and lectured extensively on the technology of various medical devices and on the technical, social, economic, and political trends and issues affecting healthcare.

His major interests are science literacy for children, education, and the process by which new technology is invented, developed, and introduced to society.

Currently Vice Chair of FIRST Robotics which works with high school kids to make being science-literate cool and fun, and The Kingbridge Conference Centre and Institute, a conferencing institution whose mission is to research, develop, and teach improved methods for problem solving, conflict resolution, strategic planning, new methods for learning and generally help groups to become “Collectively intelligent.”

Cairn Cross

Cairn Cross is a co-founder of FreshTracks Capital and serves as a Managing Director of the Fund.  Cairn presently serves on the boards of FreshTracks portfolio companies Vermont Teddy Bear, NativeEnergy, Faraday, Budnitz Bicycles and Mamava.  

In 2014 he created Road Pitch which has grown into a five day motorcycle tour around Vermont bringing investors and entrepreneurs to 10 towns to listen to entrepreneurs pitch their ideas.

In 2011, the United States Small Business Administration named Cairn its Vermont, New England and National Financial Services Champion


Narine Hall

Narine Hall is the program director for Data Analytics and assistant professor in Computer Science at Champlain College. She has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Vermont with specialization in data science. Before joining Champlain she was the Chief Data Scientist at Faraday in Burlington, a visiting fellow at the T. J. Watson IBM Research Center and part of special projects group at the iconic software developer Wolfram Research. She founded a tech company called BlinkSecure in 2012, where she served as CTO. Her research interests include artificial intelligence, evolutionary computation, complex networks, data mining, machine learning, and modeling complex systems.

Paul Ledak

Paul Ledak recently retired as IVice President of Innovation, Engineering & Technology at IBM where he served various roles including microprocessor development (PowerPC and X86 architectures), supercomputer development, consumer gaming, and virtual worlds.  In the early days of the Emergent Media Center, Paul sponsored a virtual worlds development program jointly between IBM and the EMC.  

Judy Rodgers

Judy Rodgers is the founding director of Images and Voices of Hope (ivoh.org), a global media organization that seeks to strengthen the role of media as a force for good.  Since 2013 she has focused on ivoh’s inquiry into the genre of “restorative narrative”.

For over 15 years she worked in media companies (Twentieth Century Fox, CBS, Video Publishing House) translating the ideas of authors and thought leaders to video. In 2003 she became the founding director of the Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at Case Western Reserve University. In 2009 she co-authored a book on altruism called Something Beyond Greatness. She works as a consultant and coach, emphasizing strength based narratives to create individual and system-wide change.   She has been a student of raja yoga for over 20 years and lives in a retreat center in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

Michael Skoler

Michael Skoler is president of Louisville Public Media, which runs WFPL News Louisville, WFPK Independent Louisville and WUOL Classical Louisville radio stations, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, websites, community events and collaborations with public radio stations throughout Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley. Before coming to Kentucky, Michael served as vice president of Interactive Media for Public Radio International in Minneapolis for more than six years, where he oversaw PRI’s online and social strategy and its technology platform.

Michael spent a decade as an award-winning science and foreign correspondent for NPR, best known for his coverage of the genocide in Rwanda. He was an early pioneer in crowdsourcing and founded the Public Insight Network of 250,000 citizen sources now used by 60+ newsrooms.

He is also a serial collaborator, having created the Public Radio Collaboration that brought networks and hundreds of stations together for shared coverage from 2002-2005. He partnered with the Center for Public Integrity in 2012 to fund and lead the first State Integrity Investigation that ranked every state on its risk of government corruption. And he worked with the Wilson Center in DC to launch the online federal budget game BudgetHero, which was played by millions of people.

He has a BA in the history of science from Harvard College. In 1999, he earned an MBA at the University of Virginia as a Frank Batten Media Fellow and joined McKinsey and Company as a consultant serving media and technology companies. He has taught and lectured on journalism in the U.S., Europe and Africa and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 1992-93.

Mayor Miro Weinberger

Miro Weinberger has served the City of Burlington as mayor since March 2012 and, during his two terms as Mayor, has focused on enhancing quality of life for residents, fiscal stewardship of the City’s assets, innovation and economic development, addressing the City’s housing shortage, and 21st century policing. Under Mayor Weinberger’s leadership, the City has improved its financial status and has continued to be a hub for education, innovation, and the arts.

Highlights of his administration include the upgrade of the City’s credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service, which returned Burlington to an A credit rating, re-envisioning the City’s waterfront and making significant improvements to the Burlington Bike Path and other public infrastructure, passing multiple measures to increase downtown housing opportunities, and building the City’s senior management team with dynamic and effective leaders. The Mayor also announced a settlement agreement in the Burlington Telecom litigation in February 2014, putting the City on a path to resolving the financial troubles related to the municipally-owned telecommunications company which have plagued the City since 2009. Mayor Weinberger was reelected for a second three-year term with over 68% of the vote in March 2015.

Miro and his wife, Stacy Sherwat Weinberger, live in Burlington and are the proud parents of two daughters, Li Lin Bess Weinberger and Ada Champlain Weinberger.