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Events > 2018 TAIS Biennial Conference



Memphis University School

TAIS Biennial Conference 2018   

November 4th at Memphis University School

November 5th at Hutchison School, Memphis





Ron Harris 

Sunday's Keynoter



Ronald Harris is vice president of diversity and inclusion for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. In this role, Ronald is responsible for cultivating a corporate culture where diversity and inclusion are aligned with the company’s corporate strategy and values.  He has served in various management roles at BlueCross for 30 years and is also a co-founder of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Diversity Alliance. The Alliance acts as a resource to share best practices and address diversity awareness and community outreach across the country.  Ronald frequently serves as an expert speaker at business functions and conferences nationwide on diversity topics that impact the workplace. His presentations address issues such as generational diversity, disability awareness, stereotypes, effective cross-cultural communication, religion in the workplace and the business case for diversity.


Keynote Presentation:   We Are Better Together

Objective:  To convey the value of diversity but the greater value of inclusion.  Additionally, the importance of Communications, Respect and Trust as building blocks for inclusion.


 Michele Borba 

Monday's Keynoter


Dr. Michele Borba is an internationally recognized expert and author on children, teens, parenting, bullying and moral development. Her work aims to help strengthen children’s character and resilience, build strong families, create compassionate and just school cultures, and reduce peer cruelty.  Her practical, research-based advice is culled from a career of working with over one million parents and educators worldwide.  She is also the award-winning author of 22 parenting and educational books translated into 14 languages, her latest is Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.


Keynote Presentation:  The 9 Essential Habits that Unlock the Power of Empathy 

The “Selfie Syndrome” is leading to an empathy crisis in youth. Teens today are 40% less empathetic than just a generation ago; narcissism has increased 58%.  This isn’t just a crisis of character.  Dr. Borba explains why cultivating empathy is essential to creating caring children, compassionate schools, just communities and a civilized society. She shares her nine-step “Unselfie” plan to stop the Empathy Crisis and creative ways to raise successful, happy kids who are also kind, moral, courageous and resilient.  You’ll also learn that our exclusive focus on grades, scores and fat resumes is destructive to children’s mental health and robbing their potential to lead a happy and fulfilling life.  By putting empathy at the core, we’ll raise children that become the citizens we hope they’ll be.

Borba's Breakout Session (Monday):  

Teaching Empathy:  Why “the Other Side of the Report Card” is a Must for Student Success.

 Stephanie Ivey 

Featured Speaker, Monday



Dr. Stephanie Ivey is the Associate Dean for Research with the Herff College of Engineering and a Professor with the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Memphis.  She also directs the Southeast Transportation Workforce Center and the West TN STEM Hub.  She has a strong record of STEM workforce and education research, with particular emphasis on transportation workforce development, partnerships between industry and academia, and increasing representation of women in STEM.  She currently leads the transportation operations focus of the National Transportation Career Pathways Initiative.


 Stephanie's Breakout Sessions (Monday): 

 Early Engagement in STEM:  An Essential Ingredient for STEM Success

 STEM for ALL:  From concept to Practice

 Dave VerHaagen 

Featured Speaker, Monday



Dr. Dave Verhaagen is a psychologist and founding partner of Southeast Psych, with offices in Charlotte, NC, and Nashville, TN.  Previously the Clinical Director of three mental health agencies, he was also Southeast Psych’s CEO for 13 years and now he serves as their Creative Director, overseeing their publishing, websites, webinars, video production, podcasting, and all digital media production.  He’s the author or co-author of eight books, including Parenting the Millennial Generation and Therapy with Young Men, and he is a frequent speaker at state and national conferences.  He has served as an Executive Producer of two feature-length documentaries and two shorter films.  He and his wife, Ellen, live in Nashville and have four young adult children.


 Dave's Sessions (Monday):

 Collaborating with Millennial Parents

 Understanding a New Generation

Chris Nichols 

Featured Speaker, Monday



Chris Nichols has been a Physical Education educator for 22 years in the great state of Texas.  He has been recognized as a district finalist for Teacher of the Year and currently serves as the Early Childhood Chair Elect for the Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.  Chris has presented at state and national conferences and spent two years writing curriculum, creating and delivering professional development, and supporting physical education teachers as a Health and Physical Education Specialist in a large urban district.  Now an elementary Physical Education teacher in Garland ISD, Chris strives to promote a healthy and physically active lifestyle in both his personal and professional life.


 Chris's Sessions (Monday):

 Gopher Action Team Games

 Cooperative and Project Based Learning in Physical Education



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