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Session 5

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Konden Smith Hansen

Lecturer of Religious Studies at The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States

Konden R. Smith Hansen holds degrees in both History and Religious Studies from Northern Arizona University (BA, Religious Studies and History) and Arizona State University (MA, PhD, Religious Studies), and is completing a degree from Arizona State University (M.Ed, Instructional Design and Technology). Smith Hansen is a Lecturer of religious studies at The University of Arizona.

While specializing in American religion, Dr. Smith Hansen has proficiency in teaching university courses in World Religions, Religious Violence and Terrorism, Religion and Film, Pop Culture and Religion, Christianity, New Testament, Mysticism, and Mormonism in American History and Culture. In 2017 he took part in the Summer Institute program with the National Endowment for the Humanities with James Laine titled, World Religions and World Religious Discourse: Challenges of Teaching the Religions of the World, July 9 to Aug 4. In 2018 he helped to create the Religious Studies minor for Arizona Online at The University of Arizona, where he has created and regularly teaches half a dozen courses. Smith Hansen regularly teaches both in person and online courses, all of which are Quality Matter’s certified.

Dr. Smith Hansen’s major publications includes Frontier Religion: Mormons and America, 1857-1907, from the University of Utah Press, August 2019. The book won “Best First Book” award from the Mormon History Association in June 2020. His co-edited volume with Michael Harold Paulos was published by the University of Colorado Press – Utah State University Press in June 2021, titled, The Reed Smoot Hearings: Investigations of a Mormon Senator and the Making of an American Religion.

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Dr. Vistasp Karbhari

Ex-President of the University of Texas at Arlington

Former President of the University of
Texas at Arlington, USA

Vistasp Karbhari is an Indian-American civil engineer and university administrator. Karbhari was the eighth president of the University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to that, he was provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He is known for his research in composite materials and structural engineering. 

Karbhari earned his Bachelor of Engineering (in Civil Engineering, 1984) and Master of Engineering (1985) degrees from the University of Pune in India, and PhD (1991) from the University of Delaware. Before moving to Alabama in 2008, he was a professor of structural engineering and of materials science at the University of California, San Diego. He is author or co-author on over 500 publications in referred journals, conference articles, and book chapters and is the editor/coeditor of 6 books. 

As President of The University of Texas at Arlington, Karbhari was recognized for leading the University to Carnegie R-1 status and being designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution and for his initiatives on enhancing social mobility, student success and for STEM. Under his tenure, the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington has seen an increase in enrollment and funding.In September 2020, the full Board of Regents of the University of Texas System honored Dr. Karbhari by signing a declaration expressing their deep and sincere appreciation for his thoughtful vision, exceptional leadership and distinguished service to the University of Texas System as President of the University of Texas at Arlington from 2013-2020. On November 24, 2020, the American Association for the Advancement of Science - one of the world’s most respected organizations - selected Vistasp Karbhari as a fellow. Dr. Karbhari was elected for his “distinguished contributions to the field of composites in civil infrastructure, particularly in low-cost processing, durability and damage tolerance, rehabilitation and multi-threat mitigation.” The AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

Karbhari is also a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, ASM International, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE, the International Institute for Fiber-Reinforced Polymers in Construction and the International Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure. In 2019, he was elected a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

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Dr. Vistasp Karbhari
Konden Smith Hansen
Dr Kannan Rangaramanujam
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Dr Kannan Rangaramanujam

Co-Director, Center for Nanomedicine, Arnall Patz Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology, 
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Washington DC, USA

Kannan Rangaramanujam, Ph.D., is a professor of ophthalmology and co-director of the Center for Nanomedicine at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His research spans a wide range of nanomaterial applications, including nanomedicine and nanocomposites.

He has initiated an interdisciplinary translational research program based on dendrimers, with a specific focus on targeted drug delivery for ocular and neurodegenerative diseases such as cerebral palsy and age-related macular degeneration. Dr. Rangaramanujam is an author of four patents and more than 80 peer-reviewed publications.

He has won several recognitions, including the National Science Foundation CAREER and Unilever awards, and serves on the editorial board of Nanomedicine.
Dr. Rangaramanujam received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota. After two years as a senior research engineer at 3M Corporate Research, he joined the faculty of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan as a professor of chemical engineering, materials science and biomedical engineering.

Dr. Brian J. Grim

President, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, 
Utah, USA

Dr. Grim is President of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation. He was previously Director of Cross-National Data and Senior Researcher in religion and world affairs at the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project. He is an expert on global religious restrictions and hostilities, as well as international religious demography. He is an affiliated scholar at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs and Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project. He holds a doctorate in sociology from the Pennsylvania State University and is co-author of The Price of Freedom Denied (Cambridge) and The World’s Religions in Figures (Wiley-Blackwell).

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Dr. Brian J. Grim
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Dr Ashok Joshi 

Founder, Microlin LLC, Salt Lake City, USA

Dr. Ashok Joshi started his career as engineer with Ceramatec Inc, USA in 1984 and progressed rapidly to become CEO of the company in 1996. As a CEO, from dealing with a possible position of company sell -off due to no-confidence motion shown by the Board, to becoming the owner of Ceramatec Inc in 1999, backed by investor faith in his abilities, Dr. Ashok Joshi’s led the company growth to 300% over a short time span of 8 years.
Ceramatec Inc. was acquired by CoorsTek, the largest technical ceramics company in the world. A well-recognized innovator and high-technology entrepreneur, Dr. Joshi has developed several technologies in the Energy, Environmental and Biotech fields. He is an inventor of more than 130 issued US patents, and has over 40 pending US Patents. He is an invited speaker to various international conferences including NATO Conference on Advanced Battery Technology – 1972.

He is a recipient of many prestigious awards for his contributions including: Maxell Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award – 2014; Pioneers of Progress Award for Science & Technology, Days of ’47 State of Utah – 2014; Utah Genius Award for the recognition of creative people behind Utah’s economy – 2012; Industrial Research Institute (Washington) Achievement Award for Exceptional Work as a Entrepreneur, Scientist, and Philanthropist in the R&D Industry – 2009; Utah Asian Chamber of Commerce Award “Asian of the Year” – 2009; Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology – 2004, India’s National Small Business Entrepreneurial Award by the President of India Honorable Zail Singh – 1983; India’s Parkhe Award for Innovation – 1982 among others.

With the thought ‘Giving back will give me the biggest happiness.’, he started contributing and making a difference through his social work in rural India at first to 21 schools, later building schools including one in Wai that serves mentally-challenged children. He has funded trips for students in Salt Lake City to India to help out in schools and villages, including with women for whom he helped start small businesses with microloans. Dr. Joshi is also actively involved in community development serving on various Boards, including the national Industrial Research Institute and in Utah: Westminster College, Salt Lake Community College, and India Cultural Centre. He continues to contribute to colleges and
their students through mentoring on an individual basis.

Dr Ashok Joshi 

Dr Elizabeth Denley

Content & Publications, Heartfulness Institute

Editor-in-Chief, Heartfulness Magazine Sydney, Australia

Dr Denley holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Biological Sciences, from the University of Sydney, Australia (1981). She has been a Heartfulness practitioner for 27 years and is also a trainer.

Elizabeth has been involved in conscious living education and training since 1996, for both children and adults, with a real interest in communication and teamwork. She has worked in scientific research and the business world. She is the mother of two fine adults, and is also a musician and writer, spending a lot of her time these days on publications for Heartfulness.

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Dr Elizabeth Denley
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