Department of Veterans Affairs
June 17, 9:30am - 10:30am
Will A. Gunn was sworn in as the General Counsel for the Department of Veterans Affairs on May 26, 2009. As the Department’s top lawyer, Mr. Gunn oversees approximately 450 attorneys within the Office of the General Counsel, which provides proactive legal advice and representation to the Department concerning all aspects of its program and management responsibilities. The General Counsel supervises over 700 employees in Washington, D.C., and in field locations across the United States.
Mr. Gunn is a retired Air Force colonel, having served as a military lawyer in the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps. In 1990, he was selected as a White House Fellow and served in the Executive Office of the President in the Office of Cabinet Affairs. In 2003, Mr. Gunn was named the first-ever Chief Defense Counsel in the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions. Mr. Gunn built a defense team and supervised all defense activities for detainees selected for trial before military commissions—the first proceedings of their kind to be conducted by the United States in over 60 years. Mr. Gunn won acclaim for his principled leadership and commitment to ensuring that detainees received effective representation. In doing so, he set the tone so that the military lawyers under his leadership were able to vigorously defend their clients. These efforts radically changed public perceptions about military lawyers and raised international attention on the Guantanamo prison camp.
In 2005, Mr. Gunn retired from the military and was named President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington where he led one of the largest affiliates of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In 2008, he founded the Gunn Law Firm to provide representation to military members and veterans in a range of administrative matters.
A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Mr. Gunn graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with military honors in 1980. He is a 1986 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and while at Harvard, he was elected President of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, the nation’s oldest student run legal services organization. Mr. Gunn also has a Masters of Laws degree in Environmental Law from the George Washington University School of Law and a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Mr. Gunn has served as chairman of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Youth at Risk and has served on the boards of Christian Service Charities and the Air Force Academy Way of Life Alumni Group. He has held leadership positions in a host of other bar association and community organizations and has also received numerous awards and honors including the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau’s Outstanding Alumni Award, a Human Rights Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights, and the American Bar Association’s Outstanding Career Military Lawyer Award. In 2002, he was elected to the National Bar Association’s Military Law Section Hall of Fame.
Mr. Gunn is also a licensed minister. He and his wife, Dawn, live in Northern Virginia.
Mike Haynie, Ph.D.
Executive Director and Founder
Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Syracuse University
June 17, 10:30am - 11am
The Barnes Professor of Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University’s Whitman School, Haynie completed his doctoral degree in the field of entrepreneurship and business strategy at the Leeds College of Business, University of Colorado at Boulder. His academic research is focused on decision-making, identity and entrepreneurial thinking, and has been published in many of the leading entrepreneurship and business journals. He serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Business Venturing and the Journal of Management Studies.
Before beginning his academic career, Haynie served for 14 years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Trained in logistics and acquisition, he was stationed throughout the U.S. and around the world in both operational and staff assignments. Prior to joining the faculty at SU, Haynie was assigned as a professor of management at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Shortly after he arrived at SU, Haynie founded the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program, an initiative designed to offer world-class training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans disabled as a result of their military service. Nearly 800 veterans have received EBV training since 2007, and the program is now being offered by a network of world-class schools across the country. In 2009, the EBV was recognized as a ‘National Best Practice’ by the Secretary of the Army for serving soldiers and their families, and in 2011 the editors of Inc. magazine selected the program as one of the ‘10-Best’ college-based entrepreneurship training programs in the U.S.
His work empowering veterans through business ownership has been featured nationally on CBS’ 60 Minutes, the ABC Evening News with Diane Sawyer, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and Fox News, and also in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Inc., the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune and Entrepreneur. He currently serves on the external advisory committee of the Center for Integrated Healthcare at the Syracuse Regional Veterans Medical Center, on U.S. Senator Kirstin Gillibrand’s veterans’ advisory working-group, and is an appointed member of the U.S. Secretary of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach.
Christian Vogler, Ph.D.
Technology Access Program, Gallaudet University
June 17, 1pm - 1:30pm
Dr. Christian Vogler is the director of the Technology Access Program at Gallaudet University. He also is a principal investigator within the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Telecommunications Access. In this capacity, he has led research into accessible technologies for people with disabilities, with a particular focus on people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Current and recent work include the accessibility of web conferencing and telecollaboration systems, emergency communications, relay services, and everyday telecommunications of people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Dr. Vogler works closely with consumers, policymakers, and industry on accessibility issues. He also is involved in developing prototype technologies for improving the accessibility of current and next-generation technology. All of his research is aimed at improving everyday access to communications, and getting key information into the hands of the right people, in order to make an immediate difference.
Prior to joining TAP in 2011, Dr. Vogler has worked on various research projects related to sign language recognition and facial expression recognition from video at the University of Pennsylvania; the Gallaudet Research Institute; UNICAMP in Campinas, Brazil; and the Institute for Language and Speech Processing in Athens, Greece. He also runs the DeafAcademics mailing list, a loose network of deaf and hard of hearing researchers all over the world.
He passionately believes that deaf and hard of hearing people have only scratched the surface of what is possible with the Internet and mobile communication technologies, and that the most exciting technological developments are still to come. Dr. Vogler always is on the lookout for people who are interested in communication technologies and want to make a difference in how we use them.
Co-Founder and CEO of the Center for Disability Rights
June 17, 1:30pm - 2pm
Bruce E. Darling is co-founder and CEO of the Center for Disability Rights (CDR), a Rochester-based disability rights organization and Independent Living Center. He also serves as CEO of the Regional Center for Independent Living as part of an administrative agreement between the two organizations. During his a career in disability rights and Independent Living that has spanned more that two decades, he has dealt with a variety of disability issues: fighting for access to public transportation, promoting accessible housing, opposing physician-assisted suicide, and creating community-based alternatives to institutionalization.
In 2000, without any additional funding, CDR began a project to transition people out of nursing homes and back into the community. Since that time literally hundreds and hundreds of people have returned to community living. Bruce has also worked with many other community groups to teach them about the 1999 Olmstead decision – directing that services to persons with disabilities must be provided “in the most integrated setting possible” - and they began nursing facility transition projects of their own. He has trained people from more than 37 states as well as the territory of Guam and the District of Columbia.
Bruce is proud of his work as a community organizer with ADAPT — promoting services in the community instead of warehousing people with disabilities in institutions and nursing facilities — both nationally and in New York State. As part of ADAPT, Bruce has assisted in developing and advocated for implementation of the Community First Choice Option, worked with CMS on implementing the national Money Follows the Person Demonstration Program, led efforts to file complaints with the Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, organized and participated in direct action activities, and been arrested for civil disobedience as part of ADAPT’s efforts to make the Olmstead decision a practical reality.
He has written a number of public policy analyses on disability rights issues, including Early to Bed/Late to Rise a 200-page evaluation of community-based personal assistance services which CDR published in 1993. Since writing that report, he has implemented many of its recommendations through the development of a Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program in several counties in upstate New York.
Jon Schull, Ph.D.
MAGIC (Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity) Center at RIT
June 17, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
A biological psychologist, inventor, entrepreneur, and human-computer interaction researcher, Jon Schull is the creator of eNable, an online community that designs, customizes and fabricates affordable 3D-printed prosthetic hands for children and adults with missing fingers and hands. Created less than a year ago, the community boasts approximately 600 members and is growing by about 5 percent per week. Schull, eNABLE, and its members have been featured in conferences, magazines, and news shows worldwide, including Science Online 2014, the Intel Sales Conference, National Collegiate Innovators and Inventors Alliance and the CBS Evening News.
Schull's Ph.D. is in Biological Psychology. He is the author of 19 patents, and is the former director of RIT’s Center for Student Innovation. In his current role as research scientist in MAGIC, Schull directs a new initiative in Access and Collaboration Technologies. The “MAGIC ACT Initiative” explores how emerging technologies like 3D printers and heads up displays can meet the needs of underserved populations, and develops web-based collaboration tools to support innovation, learning, and community engagement.
Richard DeMartino, Ph.D.
Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship
June 18, 9am - 10am
Dr. Richard DeMartino holds the Albert J. Simone Endowed Chair of Innovation and is the founding director of the Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship at RIT. He also is a professor in RIT’s Saunders College of Business.
The Simone Center is a university-wide organization with representatives from all the RIT colleges. Its mission is to promote experiential innovation, commercialization, entrepreneurship, and problem solving throughout the university employing RIT’s unique mix of technology, design/art, business, and humanities expertise. The Center includes unique programs and events that foster student multidisciplinary projects including: a national recognized student incubator, a vibrant IdeaLab (problem solving), innovation challenge contests and funding, business model contests, etc. It is also an NSF Innovation Corps commercialization site.
Dr. DeMartino's research and teaching interests include entrepreneurial motivations, technology commercialization, and small business growth. More recently he has conducted research on the entrepreneurial motivations of the deaf community, in conjunction with RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID). His articles have appeared in journals including the Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Small Business Management, and the Journal of Product and Innovation Management. Dr. DeMartino has received external funding from the Kauffman Foundation, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Science Foundation, National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, and NY Empire State Development. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.