Welcome to our Speakers…Amber Kandarian, Founder – DocuThesis & SexyKnoweldge.com

Amber Kandarian invented
DocuThesis – the first hybrid short form documentary/research
thesis which gives voice to researchers in academia and business.  A visual arts veteran since her teens, Kandarian released her first feature film RESPECT THE DOC at age 21. As a respected documentary film-maker, she’s been a visiting lecturer at many universities and institutes in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Armenia including the Sydney Film Institute and CSUF.

With a UCI Studio Art degree, she embarked on a decade long journey to the far corners of the world.  She became Armenia’s first professional female DJ, later starting her own radio program on HYE FM in Yerevan, Armenia. A year later, she toured Georgia,Turkey, Bulgaria and Spain in her role as Armenia’s first female DJ: DJ Ambrosian and DJ AmberK. In 2005 Kandarian traveled to New Zealand to edit TVNZ’s The Rookie and Saturday Disney on Studio Two with Taylormade Media.  In 2006 Kandarian assisted in the BBC production of ‘A Story of War and Peace,’ about Armenia.  At this time, she also exhibited a series of contemporary artvideo pieces at the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art (ACCEA/NPAK).Returning to her academic roots, Kandarian became frustrated by the reclusive and arid manner in which our society isolates knowledge and academics.  Convinced that the documentary lens could make true knowledge sexy and attractive to popular culture, Kandarian developed DocuThesis.  Her mission is to support academia by translating the best theses from university into accessible videos the public can understand,
learn from.

Welcome to our Speakers…Lisa Bloom, Trial Lawyer, Author – Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World

Lisa Bloom is host of her own national live daily talk show on Court TV for eight years, Lisa is now a regular legal analyst on CBS News, CNN and HLN, appearing frequently on The Early Show, The Insider, Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew, The Situation Room, The Joy Behar Show, Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell and many other shows. In addition, Lisa runs a prominent Los Angeles based general practice law firm, TheBloomFirm.com, representing celebrity clients and ordinary people seeking justice in their lives.

A popular award-winning speaker to business, student and women’s audiences, Lisa has been interviewed by Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, Rachael Ray, Montel Williams, Julie Chen, Harry Smith, Matt Lauer, Diane Sawyer, Charlie Gibson,Tony Danza, Star Jones, Anderson Cooper and many others in the United States, England, Ireland, Australia and throughout the English-speaking world. Lisa’s first book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, published by Vanguard Books in the summer of 2011, became an instant New York Times bestseller and a favorite of critics.

***Lisa says her book’s for MEN too!  We ALL need to stay smart!

Welcome to our Speakers…Laurie Hassold, Multi-Media Artist & Educator

Laurie Hassold, Multi Media Artist and Educator (born in Louisville, KY) has spent most of her life in SoCal. She  teaches sculpture, drawing and 3D design at Orange Coast College, Irvine  Valley College and Santa Ana College, respectively.  Recent solo exhibitions  include Bert Green Fine Art, Los Angeles, Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica and Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana.  Her work was featured in the “Art Shack” show at Laguna Beach Art Museum in 2010, and will part of the “Extreme Materials II” exhibition this fall at the Memorial Art  Gallery in Rochester, New York.  In 2007, Hassold was delegate speaker and exhibiting artist for the symposium “Confronting Mortality with Art and Science” in Antwerp, Belgium.

Many of the dichotomous themes Hassold works with today can be traced back to a
childhood spent hanging around her father’s medical office.  Looking at her own blood under the microscope was her earliest experience with the disparity between outside/inside and mind/body.  At age 11, she observed her father assist on a complete hysterectomy and was allowed to feel the reproductive organs as they were removed from the patient’s body.  These visceral experiences of the body’s internal structures were in stark contrast with the 1960’s velvet flocked wallpaper and crystal chandeliers of
her mother’s house.  As a result, the tension between mind/body, life/death, inside/outside and beauty/repulsion have become the aesthetic foundation for much of the work Hassold does today.

Welcome to Our Speakers…Kelly Thornton Smith, Founder – The Center for Living Peace

Kelly Thornton Smith says “Good Happens”.

The  Center for Living Peace encourages children and adults through classes  and programs to “Be the Change they wish to see in the world”. The Center’s holistic four pillar approach acknowledges that peace can be lived and experienced in all aspects of our daily lives.

In  partnership with UCI, the Center for Living Peace also sponsors Living Peace, a series of conversations with international leaders committed to  making the world a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate place. The
Living Peace Series encourages their guests to take action. Past speakers have included Charlize Theron, Sir Richard Branson and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Kelly is also an active philanthropist in Orange County and beyond, most notably as a member of the Orange County Community Foundation Board of Directors and the
Foundation Board, Orange County High School for the Arts. She is also on  the Western Regional Advisory Board of Jumpstart and has played an active role in their well-known Read for the Record event.

Welcome our Speakers…Mildred Inez Lewis, Co-Founder – The Fox Lewis Project

Mildred Inez Lewis began her career as a
theater director at the Actors Studio in New York. Since earning her MFA in film and television at UCLA, her screenplays and plays have been produced and screened internationally. Mildred taught at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film Media Arts from 2000 to 2010. In 2010, she began teaching film and digital humanities in Chapman’s English Department. This year, she will serve as a University Faculty Mentor. In 2009, she co-founded the Fox Lewis Project, a production company. In 2011, the Project produced viral content for HBO’s True Blood and projects for corporate clients including mUrgent and IM=X Pilates. She has served as a juror for the CINE Golden Eagle (short subject) and Eastman Kodak’s International Film Competition. From 2006 to 2008, she served on the advisory board for filmyourissue.com. She has also been a board member of the University Film and Video Association.

Welcome our Speakers….Brianna Karp, Author – Girls Guide to Homelessness…

Brianna Karp
was born on March 6, 1985 and was raised in Orange County, California. To
outsiders Brianna’s life appeared normal, but at home it was anything but.  Brianna endured constant mistreatment from
her parents: molested by her father at the age of two and abused by her mother
until a late teen. She got her first job at age ten, a legal work permit at age
twelve, and supported her mother and younger sister by working multiple jobs
from age twelve to eighteen, when she left home.  A few years later, her life seemed to be turning around when she landed an Executive Assistant position earning $50,000 a year, but everything changed drastically in 2008 when she was laid off due to recessionary cutbacks.

With no safety net and unable to live with family and friends, Brianna eventually began living in a trailer at a Walmart parking lot.  While searching for permanent
employment, Brianna decided to write about her homeless experiences and started
the blog TheGirlsGuidetoHomelessness. As the popularity of her blog increased,
her life took a downward spiral, and Brianna was soon faced with insurmountable

Today, Brianna is a Marketing Assistant for the South Coast Repertory and is seeking a permanent residence. She is also the co-founder of World Homeless Day, a spokesperson for the homeless, and a passionate advocate for the issues of homelessness.