The people bringing you TEDxCMU 2013

Ketaki Desai


Ketaki is a hopeless optimist. Originally from India, she has never lived in a single city for more than 5 years. She loves traveling, adventure sports, eating and the Steelers. A graduate student at Heinz, Ketaki recently started a company, LeSyn Labs, to build infrastructure for integrating K-5 education and technology. Connect with her @ktucky 

James Ranson

Head of Speaker Relations

James M. Ranson is studying arts management at Heinz College. He is currently a development intern for Pittsburgh Opera and an adjunct grant writer for The Glimmerglass Festival. A self-proclaimed “all-purpose tenor” since high school, James loves to sing in choruses and a cappella groups. He also enjoys Crossfit, motorcycles, film reviews, and A Game of Thrones.

Stephen Serrao

Head of Finance

Stephen Serrao is a junior Business Administration major with interests in psychology.  After studying abroad at two international universities, he found passions for traveling and understanding culture.  He is a half marathon runner, a trumpet player of twelve years, and–so he has been told– a great whistler.

Nadyli Nunez

Head of Logistics

Nadyli is a sophomore from New York City majoring in Economics and minoring in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She enjoys swimming and watering her basil plant but what she is really passionate about is salsa dancing and exploring food in the city. Nadyli has traveled to a handful of US states but mostly makes her trips to her family in Dominican Republic.

Kristin Dlesk

Head of Publicity Team

Kristin Dlesk is a sophomore Global Studies major from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is interested in France, cooking, yoga and is a member of the varsity swim team. This is her first year working on the TEDxCMU team and she can’t wait to be a part of creating this inspiring event!

Todd Medema

Speakers Team

A junior studying Business and Computer Science, Todd is a renaissance entrepreneur – besides running his startup,, he is always pursuing at least three hobbies and one side project. Right now, those are photography, blogging, cooking, and the AppXGames. When he has time, he also tweets random interesting things @ToddMedema.

Ardon Shorr

Speakers Team

Ardon Shorr a Ph.D. student in biology and last year’s TEDxCMU student speaker. He would like to thank his parents for encouraging him to explain everything he learned as a child, and hopes that they will never release the footage where he explains that the people who live on Mars are 1,000 years old. You can see what he’s up to at           (photo credit: James Pan)

Phil Chen

Finance Team

Phil is a junior studying finance and statistics. Born and raised in a beautiful coastal city in China, he lived in New Zealand for a year before attending a boarding school in New Jersey when he was in 9th grade. Phil finds passion in culture, religion, sports, technology, and fashion modeling. He is always ready to try something new!

Pralav Bhansali

Finance Team

Pralav is a senior Decision Sciences and Business Major. Being born and brought up in India, Pralav has a keen desire in everything ‘desi’. From student organizations here at CMU to even starting a corporate community service NGO in India. He’s all for entrepreneurship, ideation, human synergy and great food!

Mark Erazo

Logistics Team

Mark is someone who wants to try everything the world has to offer once. He enjoys dancing, video games, and teaching his Intro to Anime class. As a senior Mechanical Engineer at CMU, he hopes to one day design robots which will someday change the world as we know it. Connect with him at @erazo_mark.

Sun Park

Webmaster, Design Team

Sun is a Junior studying Communication Design. She’s into creating effective and simple visual communication, and enriching people’s experience through more memorable and interactive design. She enjoys trying new food, likes pastel colors, and spontaneous adventures.

Melissa Mak

Design Team

Melissa Mak is a junior studying Communication Design. She is inspired by natural designs, patterns and colors in urban and natural settings. She always tries to create meaningful and engaging pieces. In her spare time, she loves taking photographs, cooking with friends, and exploring the city. You can find her work here.

Leyli Guliyeva

Design Team

Leyli Guliyeva is a junior majoring in Communication Design with a minor in business administration. She works to effectively communicate complex information and enhance user experience through simplified designs. She loves classical music, playing tennis, avocados, and small farm animals. She hopes to one day own her own bakery specializing in macarons.


Golan Levin

Faculty Advisor

Dave Cummings

Advisory Board

Brian Rangell

Advisory Board

Meet the team from 2012