Daryl Gungadoo, Media Lab Director at Adventist Review
Daryl Gungadoo was born on the island of Mauritius (Indian Ocean), and grew up as a “missionary kid” in East and West Africa. He studied audio engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with an undergraduate in electronic engineering and software engineering is from Andrews University (Berrien Springs, Michigan). Daryl is the Adventist Review Media Lab director, and has worked for Adventist World Radio (Guam, Italy, England) as the research and development engineer for the past 22 years. He is passionate about inventing technology to facilitate the propagation of the Good News. Part of his experience with MIT Media Labs included working with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). He has been a pioneer in podcasting, 360 VR, and Radio 2.0. Daryl and his wife, Johannie, have two children: Noah and Anoushka. He enjoys photography, UAV videography, scuba diving, hiking, cultural anthropology, paragliding and ham radio.
Kyle Courtright, Graphic Designer & Brand Strategist at Courtright Design
Kyle Courtright is a thought leader, mentor and award-winning independant designer specializing in branding, identity and marketing. In his 10+ years of relevant experience, Kyle has worked with 450+ brands including clients like Toyota, Entrepreneur, the Detroit Lions, USA Swimming, DR Horton, American Cancer Society and National Parkinson Foundation. He runs Logo Wave Awards International, a logo awards platform recognizing agencies and studios to bring positive organizational impact. Kyle has also authored a book on design which has been purchased by designers, marketers and business owners spanning 6 continents and 63 countries. You can join his community of 20,000+ followers on Twitter to take advantage of meticulously curated, helpful resources on graphic design and branding.
Ryan Becker, Absurdity podcast
Ryan Becker currently works at Southern Adventist University and serves as a Lay Pastor at Crosswalk Chattanooga with two years of pastoral experience from a two-church district in rural South Carolina. He is originally from Orlando, FL and graduated from Southern in December 2015. He considers his calling to empower people to embrace God's calling for their lives and he believes this can be accomplished through a variety of means, not just through pastoral ministry. He believes highly in the potential for individuals to positively impact their local church and their denomination as a whole. At 26-years old, he is passionate about podcasting, photography, soccer, and tennis. In 2016, after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in his hometown, Ryan was inspired to take action and use his voice to speak to important social, cultural, and religious issues happening around him. Thus, Absurdity was born. While it is one of the longest-running Adventist podcasts, Ryan doesn't consider it just an Adventist podcast. He hopes to build a platform that people from all backgrounds and walks of life can embrace and participate in. With over 70,000 downloads and counting, Absurdity is poised to make a powerful impact. Beyond Absurdity, Ryan has also started two other active podcasts: Echo Podcast and LEAD Podcast. One is aimed at questions on faith and life young adults experience and the other on practical ministry leadership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Ryan also serves as the Podcast Sponsorship Coordinator for The Haystack and works hard to train and advise other podcasters for how they can be successful in the same medium.
Matthew Lucio, Adventist History and Adventists are weird podcasts
Matthew J. Lucio is host of the Adventist History Podcast which tells the story of the Seventh-day Adventist Church from inception to 1915. AHP was launched to tell the story of a homegrown, American Christian movement. The lives of its founders spanned the most interesting and innovative period in American history. Matthew hopes AHP will spark conversations that lead to a deeper appreciation of Adventist history and a better understanding of who Adventist are. He also pastors the Peoria Seventh-day Adventist Church in Illinois and leads the new digital church there, Peoria Adventists. Introvert that he is, most of the time he would rather be home with his super woman wife, Laura, and their daughters, Aerith and Arwen.
Kendra Arsenault, Director of Program Operations for Advent Next
Kendra Arsenault is the Director of Program Operations for Advent Next, a video podcast dedicated to strengthening faith through academic discourses with Ph.D. professors and professionals about Theology, History, Society, and Culture. She is a graduate student at Andrews University pursuing her Masters in Divinity where she hopes to incorporate her two passions of theology and communication through the visual arts. During her undergraduate, she studied International Development Studies and African-American Studies while attending the University of California, Los Angeles. She has also worked in communication and marketing for a number of years creating campaigns and media projects for various non-profits. She has a love for creative writing and is now excited to use her diversity of gifts and training to serve Jesus and the global community.
Sarah Ruf, Community Relations Specialist for Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council
Sarah Ruf works in Phoenix, Arizona as a community relations specialist for the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, a government-funded organization that advocates for people with disabilities. After a foray in South America and earning a degree in Spanish, she worked in Tennessee and Arizona as a magazine editor and print journalist covering poorly behaved politicians, criminal court cases and beauty queens. She is passionate about fighting sexual exploitation and volunteers with Lighthouse, a ministry that serves women in the sex industry.
Natalia López-Thismón, professor at southern adventist university's school of journalism and communication
Natalia López-Thismón is a professor at Southern Adventist University’s School of Journalism and Communication. Before becoming a professor, López-Thismón spent time at the National Communication Association in Washington D.C. as Media Relations and Public Outreach Manager. She also worked as Associate Director for Communication and Communication Specialist at ADRA International in Silver Spring, Md. She started her career in public relations working as the Business Communication Assistant at the Miami HEAT.
Diane Joy Schmidt, photojournalist and writer
Diane Joy Schmidt is an award-winning photojournalist and writer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is from Chicago, where she was a regular columnist for the Chicago Tribune and regular contributor to the Sunday Tribune magazine; as a photojournalist she was a photo stringer for Time, Forbes, Town and Country, The Reader, Chicago magazine,In These Times and others, and adjunct faculty in photography at Columbia College. As a professional photographer, her corporate clients included Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Lands’ End, and major banks and hospitals. Her talk will focus on what goes into seeing deeply, stories behind her prize-winning photos, and she will also discuss how to make the commonplace assignments that we often face visually interesting.
Chelsya Waworuntu, Digital Strategist at Cheya Media
Chelsya Waworuntu is a passionate creator, entrepreneur, and committed to helping others unlock their passion and God-given purpose. She aims to guide others as they build their digital empire and find freedom through their gifts and abilities. Originally from New Hampshire, Chelsya had her mind set on being a physician and graduated with a Bachelor's in Human Biology from Kettering College. When she started her blog on digital strategy, she discovered her passion for digital evangelism and founded Cheya Media. Little by little, she immersed herself in opportunities that involved journalism, communications, marketing, videography, and social media. Chelsya is now pursuing a Master's in Communications at Andrews University while working as the associate director of The Haystack.
Mylon Medley, Assistant Director for News of the North American Division
Mylon Medley is the assistant director for news of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. She’d previously served as editorial assistant then assistant producer of the communication department for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. After completing her Master of Arts degree in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University in Washington D.C., she was selected for The White House Intern Program’s Fall 2012 class under the administration of President Barack Obama, where she served as an editorial assistant to the presidential videographer and the official White House video team. She received her undergraduate degree from Oakwood University, where she studied International Studies and Political Science. She also studied abroad at Villa Aurora in Florence, Italy through Adventist College Abroad after completing her time at Oakwood. During her free time, you can find her immersed in a captivating story told through a television series, audiobook, or podcast while hanging out with her dog, Zeus.