Crisis Management Consultant and Author of Disaster Heroes
Creator of viral TED-Ed video "What Makes a Hero?"
Stephanie D. Preston is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan. She has an MA and PhD in behavioral neuroscience from the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied mechanisms of decision making in food-storing animals. Subsequent to this, she held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, where she used functional neuroimaging, psychophysiology, and behavioral research to understand the role of emotions on decision making.
Dr. Preston’s research is highly interdisciplinary, looking across model systems and levels of analysis with a variety of tools to investigate evolved, proximate mechanisms for complex behaviors. One line of her research looks at the mechanisms of empathy and altruism, focusing on perception-action mechanisms for feeling others’ state and the impact of evolved caregiving mechanisms on altruism. Another line of work examines mechanisms for making decisions about
resources, particularly how people decide to acquire and discard material goods, including issues of consumption, consumerism, compulsive hoarding and proenvironmental behavior. All research aims to develop a model of the ultimate and proximate mechanism for complex human behaviors grounded in research from comparative and biological models in animals.
Ali Miller, founder of the I Am movement, has successfully integrated her skills as a professional photographer with the raw struggles of college women to create a truly compelling look into everyday battles and ultimate victory.
A University of Minnesota student, Ali has struggled with anxiety and depression since the age of 15 and became a rape survivor at age 17. After being raised in Minnesota and spending her Freshman year in Nashville, Ali returned to her home state with a determination. A member of the Dean’s list, active leader in her Alpha Phi sorority, chosen and current member of the Society of Collegiate Leadership and Achievement, Ali is making an impact. Most recently, her development of a sexual assault awareness ‘game plan’ has contributed to a new decision to allow students on the jury during student involved sexual assaults.
Her passion for photography continues and her experiences are as varied as her taste in music – from running her own photography business specializing in senior pictures and weddings to being selected as the official photographer for The Skyline Music Festival. In April, Ali was the featured speaker at the University of Minnesota “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” event where she shared her story to an audience of close to 1000 collegians. Most recently, Ali told her story at the International Summit to End Sexual Violence in New York.
Holocaust Museum Docent
Mike is an only child who grew up in Williamston Michigan. He has been a police officer for 28 years, bouncing around with a few smaller departments until landing with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office in 1990. He started his career in the jail, and has worked his way up to the rank of Undersheriff. As Undersheriff Mike primarily focuses on the day to day operations, with an emphasis on human resource matters, budget, and policies. The Sheriff’s Office is a $17 million operation consisting of over 150 employees and 300 incarcerated individuals.
Mike has had the honor of attending many leadership and executive trainings; School of Police Staff and Command, Leadership Development, and Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Institute to name a few, but is most proud of his time spent at the prestigious FBI National Academy.
Mike’s passion is community involvement and helping people. Mike understood the importance of community policing before there was such verbiage. His involvement includes but is not limited to: The Livingston Sunrise Rotary Club, Board of Directors for LACASA (an organization focusing on shelter and services for those victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse) and Board of Directors for WorkSkills Corporation (an organization providing vocational training to people with disabilities). Mike is the “go to” guy in Livingston County when there is a charity or community project that needs a helping hand.
First Lieutenant Michael Thomas Squier is an Intelligence Officer assigned as the Officer in Charge of the Intelligence Training Section, 110th Operations Support Squadron in Battle Creek, Michigan. He was born August 17th, 1981 in Warren, Michigan. The fifth child in a “military family,” Lieutenant Squier is preceded in the United States Armed Forces by his grandfather, a Corporal in the United States Army Corps of Engineers during World War II; his father, now a retired Captain of the United States Army; his eldest sister, currently a Captain in the United States Navy; and his brother, a retired First Sergeant in the Michigan Army National Guard. Lieutenant Squier spent the majority of his childhood in Fraser, Michigan and, in June 1999, he was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.
Since enlisting in 2001, Lieutenant Squier has deployed twice in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and has provided on-site support during a multitude of disaster response operations including the California Wild Land Forest Fires of 2007 and 2008; tornadoes in the States of Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee; the uncontrolled reentry of a U.S. Satellite over the Contiguous United States; Hurricanes Gustav and Ike; Operation UNIFIED RESPONSE in support of Haitian earthquake relief efforts; and the multi-agency response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. In September of 2010, he completed training at the Airy Non-Commissioned Officer Academy as a Distinguished Graduate and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Military University.
Following the completion of his undergraduate studies, Lieutenant Squier transferred to National Guard Bureau (NGB) in Washington D.C. where he was responsible for the national-level coordination of remote sensing and domestic imagery collection following Hurricanes Isaac, Irene, and Sandy, as well as the first ever use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in a domestic operations capacity following the Rim Fire in Northern California. Having achieved the rank of Master Sergeant during this time, he was selected to attend Basic Officer Training at Maxwell AFB in 2013, and attained Distinguished Graduate status while earning his commission in September of that year. Following Officer Training, Lieutenant Squier moved to Battle Creek Air National Guard Base to work the MQ-9 Reaper mission. He now lives with his wife in Kalamazoo.
As a filmmaker and video producer for over 30 years, Mike produced a film in 2008 that would change the course of his career — and his life. RESPONSE ABILITY, the award-winning educational film on bystander intervention for 40 organizations and over 250 college campuses, immediately became a distinct and special project. This one struck a chord. This one caused a demand. This one sparked a movement.
The reasons why have showed up in each of the nearly 4,000 stories he has accumulated from his keynote audiences. Each story is heartbreaking. Each story is filled with the shame and regret from not intervening in a moment of need. Each story points to the pain we carry with us for the rest of our lives…pain that determines whether we will ever stick our neck out again and show courage. Pain that impacts our own confidence and self-esteem.
Now, as a filmmaker-turned-advocate, Mike delivers hope for a new world through this movement. He speaks frequently for organizations, campuses, companies and communities — delivering his powerful, yet challenging, keynote to audiences of all sizes. When not speaking, he is writing, training others, or creating the next big thing.
In 2015, Mike was designated a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) by the National Speakers Association. The CSP is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform competence.
Super Ewan is a Metro Detroit based hero serving food, clothing and necessities to his homeless and needy Super Friends for over two years now. His sidekicks include his mom & dad, younger siblings, exchange student and grandparents. Each month Super Ewan helps approximately 150-200 people.
When he takes off his infamous red cape, he is Ewan Drum, 9 year old fifth grader at New Haven Elementary. Ewan enjoys riding his scooter, playing video games and is the goalie for his soccer team, the Dill Pickles. He resides with his parents (James and Angela), little sister (Feenie), little brother (Crosby), Spanish exchange sister (Julia), his grandma (Mary) and Porkchop the wonder dog!