Nominated Mentors
Experts nominated by Million Skills Backers to share their digital-age skills for all areas of life.

Self-Improvement

Learn how to gain knowledge about a relevant topic or combine new skills like storytelling and coding in ways that transform you and those around you. Improve the ability to find an ally in the uncertainty that the digital age brings with it, or alterthe way you use physical activity to learn and improve digital-age skills.

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mentor nominee

Larry
Buchanan

Designer, illustrator, coder, and journalist for The New York Times.


 

Larry has learned to combine art, journalism and computer programming to make meaning and communicate ideas. He is also the designer for our limited-edition $75 backer poster and $5 backer badge.

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mentor nominee

Malke
Rosenfeld

Dancer, math explorer, curriculum designer, teaching artist, writer.


 

Her program Math in Your Feet turns percussive dance into the platform for mathematical thinking, practices and topics. Malke has developed unique insights for both teaching and developing math skills. 

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mentor nominee

Daniel
Evans

Fine artist and owner of the Bloomington Clay Studio.


 

Daniel's insights on the creative process and how to make an ally of uncertainty are both critical and relevant to all of us in the digital age. 

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mentor nominee

Michelle
Hartz

Graphic designer, author and NaNoWriMo community leader.


 

Michelle has turned her participation in the National Novel Writing Month (currently underway) into three books and an evangelism about the benefits of writing.  

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mentor nominee

Jim
Ansaldo

Improv performer, school change leader and comic book expert.


 

When he was younger and only slightly more ostentatious, Jim Ansaldo referred to himself as a troubadour. These days, you might find Jim working with educators to manage school change efforts, on stage with ComedySportz Indianapolis, or recommending a good birthday present for your niece who loves comic books. Core to these eclectic pursuits is the improv mantra of "yes, and."

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mentor nominee

Anabel
Newman

Language Ed Professor Emeritus, author.


 

Anabel's work has improved literacy for troubled readers of all ages. She chaired the National Coalition for Literacy from 1989 to 1991, and the Indiana Adult Literacy Coalition from 1998 to 1999 and has authored numerous publications such as M2IP3. In 1992 she was awarded the Indiana Humanities Lifetime Achievement Award, and has received many other honors over the course of her distinguished career.

Working and Living Together

Learn how to build an open community, coordinate project contributions, bridge team boundaries within a company, promote mental health, play games to lower barriers and enlist everyday people to help complete not-so-everyday projects.

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mentor nominee

Jonathan
Liu

GeekDad writer, book aficionado, gamer.


 

Jonathan is a core contributor to the GeekDad blog and one of the most knowledgeable people we know about table-top games. In the digital age, gaming drives the success behind Wikipedia, eBay, and even our everyday interactions. We think Jonathan can help us understand those dynamics.

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mentor nominee

Ed
Finkler

Programmer, security expert, mental health advocate.


 

Better known as Funkatron, Ed co-hosts the popular Development Hell podcast on coding and open source culture. Along with his work at FictiveKin, Ed's current passion is Open Sourcing Mental Illness, which raises awareness of mental illness in the developer community.

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mentor nominee

Andrea
Wiggins

Researcher, teacher, photographer.


 

Citizen Science is crowdsourced research that is conducted at least in part by everyday people. A postdoctoral fellow with DataONE, Andrea is working to understand the role of technologies in supporting public participation in scientific research.

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mentor nominee

Matt
Snyder

User experience, design strategy, team leader.


 

Matt is a talented designer and strategist, with professional experience at Adobe Analytics and Cook Medical. As Head of User Experience for Lucidchart, Matt has developed unique and useful ways of connecting across disciplinary boundaries.

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mentor nominee

Jin Min
Lee

Consultant, instructor, courage & humility enthusiast.


 

Jin Min is the director of consulting at the Emmanuel Gospel Center, Boston, MA. Much of her work is in the areas of strategic planning, program design, outcomes measurement, performance management and executive coaching. Her specialty is helping urban community based non-profits understand how measuring outcomes and data-driven decision making can lead to tangible transformation in the lives of both clients and staff alike.

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mentor nominee

Beck
Tench

Simplifier, illustrator, storyteller, technologist.


 

Beck believes that small things add up to big things over time. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, Scientific American, Quantified Self, Independent Weekly and several books and blogs. She is the creator of Experimonth , a change-making platform that encourages participants to try something new and be honest with each other about what happens.

Tools and Materials

Learn to understand the capabilities and limitations of digital-age tools and materials, whether video or printed canvas—or a combination of both—learning to manipulate these materials can impact a wide range of societal concerns, from politics to self-efficacy and interpersonal growth. In the digital age, this is how you make meaning and effect change. 

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mentor nominee

danah
boyd

Researcher, teacher, new parent, scholar.


 

As Principal Researcher atMicrosoft, danah is a bright star in the exploration of technology and society. Affiliated with New York University and Harvard's Berkman Center, danah is the most knowledgeable person we know when it comes to use of social media by teens, and their relationship to privacy issues.

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mentor nominee

Rich
Gann

Digital artist, painter, professor.


 

Currently at the Rhode Island School of Design, Rich works with all types of digital and physical media, having taught thousands of students to do so, as well. He has deep understanding of the qualities of digital media, print and paint, and how they combine to affect our lives.

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mentor nominee

Vincent
Raynauld

Academic, researcher, advisor, information hub.


 

A doctoral graduate from Carleton University, Vincent has become an expert in political communication, social media, Web persuasion and e-learning. He currently works for Laval University and non-profit Samara, and his Twitter feed is a rich resource for publications about political use of technology.

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mentor nominee

Chris
Eller

3D instructor, team lead, father, early adopter.


 

As lead for Indiana University's Advanced Visualization Lab, Chris gets to play with the latest display technology, like wall arrays and spheres. Always willing to share his knowledge, Chris is particularly passionate about 3D video, which he evangelizes and teaches at theDepartment of Telecommunications

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mentor nominee

David
Braun

Kinetic artist, designer, Victorian Industrial Style designer.


 

David's kinetic sculptures range in size from tabletop to 2 tons, from 18 inches to 18 feet tall. Leveraging an ability to go from idea to paper sketch to CAD to physical build, he brings to life new creations that embrace the Victorian Industrial Style. David believes in reuse and conservation, which means he leverages skills in both metal and woodworking to re-purpose found and collected parts in combination with new materials. His sculptures have been displayed at the Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum and he recently completed a permanent install for City Hall for the City of Kokomo.

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mentor nominee

Atul
Varma

Coder, teacher, liberator.


 

Atul enjoys building bridges of understanding between humans and machines. He has written illuminating software that's been used as the centerpiece of TED Talks, in maker events around the world, and by individuals who are just trying to have a less frustrating time using their computer. But his favorite moments are very personal: understanding where another person is coming from, constructing a metaphor they can relate to, and using it to explain technology in a way that liberates, excites, and empowers.

Managing Resources

Learn digital-age skills like creative storytelling, efficient use of time and effort, and making decisions in a complex world of interconnected technologies. Improve your thinking about place and history, or how to buy things in the digital age in order to find hidden connections, manage and transform the materials in your care, and better communicate your meaning to others.

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mentor nominee

Erik
Stolterman

Designer, educator, advisor, researcher, writer.


 

In his various roles at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, Erik has mentored hundreds of students over the years (including us) on the value of Design Thinking. He has researched and written extensively about the challenge of making decisions in a world of interconnected smart devices, vehicles and buildings. 

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mentor nominee

Cynthia
Brubaker

Architect, instructor, preservationist. 


 

As an Instructor at the Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning and preservation developer forlocal landmarks, Cynthia teaches us how to use digital technology to enhance our connection with place and history. 

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mentor nominee

Steve
Dyer

Farmer, business executive, director, volunteer.


 

Steve is one of the most passionate people we know about doing more with less. He always maximizes potential, whether in his former role overseeing process management for Sanofi, or in his current one working on the 500-acre family farm.

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mentor nominee

Natalie
DeWitt

Gourmet cook, researcher, teacher, gamer.


 

Natalie is incredibly knowledgeable about the intersection of food, culture and human behavior. As an Assistant Professor at Western Oregon University, her research examines the role that food plays in how we form our identities, in contexts that range from school food to online gaming.

Marketplace

Learn to incubate software-as-a-service startups, cultivate the development processes needed to expand an existing company, use social media and other online content to market products, or to align organizational tactics with strategic goals.

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mentor nominee

Jay
Baer

Social media strategist, author, consultant.


 

This digital marketing strategist is the author of The NOW Revolution and New York Times best-seller Youtility. As the president of a social media and content marketing consultancy, Convince & Convert, Jay understands how to profit from digital services. 

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mentor nominee

Mike
Trotzke

Tech entrepreneur, investor, organizer, gamer.


 

As a coder and co-founder of the hybrid venture capital/development shop SproutBox, Mike knows the technology business scene inside and out, from code to capital. He is also a legendary collector of games, which he sometimes uses to assess team chemistry. 

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mentor nominee

Michelle
Cole

Agile software expert, leader, coach.


 

Michelle is the Chief Operating Officer at Envisage Technologies, where she led the company's transformation to Agile software practices. Her deep understanding of adaptive organizational practices has led to a strong corporate culture with low employee turnover and high productivity.  

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mentor nominee

George
Veth

Social entrepreneur, strategy execution expert, investor.


 

Throughout his career, George has founded and guided consulting firms that help Fortune 500 businesses. Now the CEO of Fusings and managing director of the Mango Fund, he continues to evolve his success at social business. 

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mentor nominee

Marc
Chinoy

Strategic facilitator, company president, organizational guide.


 

Marc Chinoy, founder of the Regis Group, has assisted the leaders of groups worldwide, intent on improving the welfare of a wide array of public interests. The Regis Group has focused their efforts on helping complex groups find their way through some of the most difficult business decisions of the day. TRG helps clarify strategic direction, harmonize merging organizations, or resolve conflicts resulting from the circumstance of joint ownership.

Relationships

Learn to better connect with others across the distance of time and space, whether in the form of a collaborative wiki platform or a shared MP3. Improve your authentic connections with kids or adults using digital-age skills to overcome disconnection and communicate shared goals.

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mentor nominee

Harriet
Schwartz

Professor, leader, advisor, community organizer.


 

Harriet is a practitioner of Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT), which she applies to teaching and learning. An associate professor of psychology and education at Carlow University and faculty at the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, Harriet is the person who most bridges RCT practice and technology.

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mentor nominee

Naomi
Pickholtz

Child psychologist, mother, yoga instructor, assistant professor.


 

As a Clinical Psychologist at Indiana University Health, Dr. Naomi helps family relationships and mentors students. She uses digital technology daily to maintain close connections between family in California, New York, Nashville and Israel. Naomi's yoga classes include pre- and post-natal mothers and children with ADHD. A former hip-hop instructor, we hope that Naomi can teach us some new moves.

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mentor nominee

Mark
Dilley

Wiki guru, activist, community leader.


 

Mark is an advocate of wiki technology, helping to normalize and extend use of the collaborative tool. In addition to technical projects like Universal Edit Button, Mark is an activist and union organizer for the American Federation of Teachers in Michigan, understanding the art of motivation through strong relationships.

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mentor nominee

Kevin
McDowell

Musician, librarian, kid-friendly teacher, kazooist.


 

Best known as “Kid Kazooey,” Kevin is both a trained librarian and an excellent music teacher for students of all ages. Often found playing gigs with Pirate Flags and the Ballroom Roustabouts, Kevin is particularly gifted at engaging kids and cultivating an innate love of music. 

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mentor nominee

Emma
Klues

Cause marketer, social media strategist, laughter yoga leader.


 

Emma works on social media and digital marketing strategies at Elasticity. She's currently plotting her third year of an experimental program that brings a traditionally offline experience (summer camp) online, plus a third edition of a brand new, non-traditional fundraising event model for Camp Ondessonk. In her spare time, she's evolving the digital footprint of her neighborhood (in progress) and leading laughter yoga in St. Louis, which has almost no digital relevance whatsoever, except being part of an international movement.