Back to All Events

Atlanta, GA - Transformation

  • Highland Inn & Ballroom Lounge 644 North Highland Avenue Northeast Atlanta, GA, 30306 United States (map)

Join us on January 17 as we kick off another year of true, personal stories about science in Atlanta! From unexpected love stories and life-altering natural disasters, to grappling with identity and navigating compromise, join our tellers as they explore how experiences — both delightful and devastating — can lead to transformation.

Hosted by Meisa Salaita and Kellie Vinal.

Doors at 7:30 pm. Please note: seating is first come, first served.

Stories by:


Meltem Alemdar is a social scientist and native of Ankara, Turkey. She came to Atlanta in 2000 to attend Georgia Tech's Language Institute, then decided to pursue a Master's, and then a doctoral degree.  Dr. Alemdar earned her PhD in Education Policy, with a concentration in Research, Measurement, and Statistics, at Georgia State University  in 2009. She is Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC). Her research focuses on improving K-12 STEM education through research on curriculum development, teacher education, and student learning in integrated STEM environments. Dr. Alemdar has led numerous NSF-funded research projects that spans on project-based learning, STEM integration, engineering education, and social network analysis. She is passionate about improving K-12 public education system through her research.


For the last ten years, Ed Greco has taught physics at Georgia Tech where he has been active in the development of new curriculum for undergraduate students.  A native Floridian, he moved to Atlanta in 2000 with his high school sweetheart to attend graduate school. When not in the classroom, he coordinates the outreach activities for the school of physics and serves as radio show co-host “Fat Daddy Sorghum” on WREK’s Inside the Black Box where he enjoys sharing his passion for science with the Atlanta community. Photography, Conchology, foraging for wild edibles, and exploring Appalachia on a motorcycle are just a few of his varied pastimes. Mostly, however, he enjoys spending quality times with his loving family.


Madison Hatfield is an actor, writer, and improviser based in Atlanta. She is a cabinet member of the award-winning theatre company Shakespeare on Draught, which brings charmingly underrehearsed Shakespeare to breweries and bars. You can also find her writing and performing sketch comedy with Eternal Slumber Party and improvising at various theaters around town. She does a pretty good Adele impression, so be on the lookout for that as well, just in general. Learn more at


Crystal Mandica is the Co-Founder and Director of Education for The Amphibian Foundation, a nonprofit corporation devoted to saving amphibians and their habitats & educating the public about why that is so important. Despite Crystal’s role at The Amphibian Foundation, her background is not in biology or the nonprofit sector. She instead received her Bachelor's degree in Political Philosophy from The New School University in New York City. Crystal has many interests: painting, photography, and music. When Crystal is not at The Amphibian Foundation, saving endangered species, you can find her taking macro photography shots, singing, playing guitar or piano, or doing oil paintings.


Maryn McKenna is an independent journalist who specializes in public health, global health and food policy. She is a columnist for Wired’s Ideas section, a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and the author of the 2017 bestseller BIG CHICKEN: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats, which received the 2018 Science in Society Award and was named a best book of 2017 by Amazon, Smithsonian, Science News, Wired, Civil Eats, and other publications (and is published in the UK and other territories under the title Plucked.) Her earlier, award-winning books are Superbug and Beating Back the Devil. She is one of the stars of the 2014 documentary Resistance, and her 2015 TED Talk, "What do we do when antibiotics don't work any more?" has been viewed 1.6 million times and translated into 33 languages. She writes for The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Mother Jones, Newsweek, NPR, Smithsonian, Scientific American, Slate, The Atlantic, Nature, and The Guardian, among other publications. She lives in Atlanta and Maine.

Earlier Event: January 14
Toronto, ON - Control
Later Event: January 22
Vancouver, BC - Kinship