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On Friday, November 16, 2018, fourteen Columbus area residents will become part of the TEDxColumbus community when they present their talks for On the Edge.


Meet Dr. Naomi Kertesz:

Impassioned pediatric cardiologist speaks from the heart


By Wendy Cornett


Young hearts rarely fail, but when they do, the consequences can be devastating. In a perfect world, society’s most capable would steadfastly protect the most vulnerable. One doctor is doing her part to move the Columbus community closer to that ideal.



Dr. Naomi Kertesz’s frustration is palpable as she grapples to quantify her exasperation ­– and disappointment beyond measure – with the pervasive lack of preparation within area schools for the very real possibility of a student experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.


“I’m tired of it,” she said emphatically. “I’m tired of hearing about another child collapsing at school.”


Her frustration stems from witnessing the aftermath of sudden cardiac arrest, which struck at least 10 well children in Columbus last year. Some of those children died. Those who survived dealt with lingering aftereffects that could have been mitigated with the right training and the right tools.


Maybe 10 doesn’t sound like a big number. Until it hits home.


As a pediatric electrophysiologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Kertesz treats heart rhythm disturbances, and she’s on the front lines when a young heart fails. She has vital knowledge to share with school faculty that could help save a life, and she’ll share it for free. They just have to let her in the door.


Awareness regarding sudden cardiac arrest in children and adolescents has been slowly rising thanks to the passage of Lindsay’s Law in 2017, which requires additional training for coaches and the dissemination of an informational video and handout for parents and youth athletes. But much more preparation is needed before area schools – some of which have student populations that number in the thousands – can say with confidence that they’ll know what to do when a child collapses.


“I’m not trying to scare people,” Kertesz noted. “I’m trying to tell them there’s a problem, but I have a solution. We can save some lives here.”


Dr. Naomi Kertesz is a professor of clinical pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She is also the associate medical director of Pediatric Cardiology and the director of Electrophysiology and Pacing at The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Additionally, she is the medical director of Project Adam Ohio and has been selected as one of Ohio’s top doctors for the last few years.


Want to know more? Purchase tickets through Ticketmaster or by calling the CAPA Box Office at 614-469-0939.



On Friday, November 16, 2018, fourteen Columbus area residents will become part of the TEDxColumbus community when they present their talks for On the Edge.


Meet Professor Trevon Logan:

Back to the future, in real life


It’s simply how progress works. In order to move forward, we have to look back. For one Ohio State University economics professor, it’s about more than tracing the roots of today’s policies or conditions. It’s about applying that historical data to benefit all communities—including those living on the edges.


By Cheryl Forcina


Trevon Logan loves Legos. There’s just something about the idea of building from the ground up to understand it better, he said.


Which doesn’t seem to quite click with his chosen profession: an economic history professor at Ohio State University. Or maybe it does—by illuminating his work as a contrast to his childhood passion.


“As scholars, we do the exact opposite [of Legos],” Logan explained. “We try to break things down to the basic level to understand why the system works the way it does.”


Which means that Logan examines and measures past economic trends, including living standards, to see their impact on today’s policies, processes and even a population’s well-being.


“People think big data is contemporary, but there’s historical big data,” Logan explained. And it can be applied to everything today from residential patterns and housing discrimination to business development and racial disparities in health—all seen through the lens of economics.


Take gas stations and their historical pattern of development, Logan said. Filling stations in low-income communities tended to be built closer to residential areas than their middle-class suburban counterparts. The problem: leakage of underground gasoline tanks into groundwater, which provides many of us with drinking water. Its contamination has been associated with, among other things, infant mortality. Years later, those rates were shown to be higher in low-income neighborhoods, Logan said.


As he talks about his work, it’s clear that the St. Paul, Minn., native’s fandom goes way beyond Legos. And he owes it to mentors and academic advisers who helped shape his interest along the way, taking Logan from his University of Wisconsin and UC Berkeley alma maters to stints at Princeton University and University of Michigan. Then, finally, here to Columbus.


“It’s an interesting mix of people here,” Logan said of his current city. “Columbus is well positioned to lead in the 21st century and to thrive.”


What concerns Logan, however, is who ultimately benefits from the city’s growth.


“[Progress] needs to be distributed evenly,” he urged. “People in power need to look at communities not as opportunities and investments. It’s definitely a different way of thinking.”


St. Paul, Minn., native Trevon Logan is Ohio State’s Hazel C. Youngberg Distinguished Professor of Economics. His extensive work in the field once scored him a White House meeting, advising officials on measuring living standards among different households.


Want to know more? Purchase tickets through Ticketmaster or by calling the CAPA Box Office at 614-469-0939.


On Friday, November 16, 2018, fourteen Columbus area residents will become part of the TEDxColumbus community when they present their talks for On the Edge.


It’s a really small world after all

by: Wendy Cornett


Bringing respect and even compassion to the much-maligned world of insects is no easy feat. But one woman has found a way to stir emotional attachments to six- and eight-legged creepy crawlies one spectacularly detailed photograph at a time.


Not many folks share photographer Danae Wolfe’s perspective on insects and arachnids, primarily because she uses a reverse lens macro technique that enables her to count the tactile hairs on a jumping spider.


But the stories she tells through her breathtaking photos go far deeper than the deceptively durable exoskeletons of these invertebrates. Insects, she tells her audiences, display remarkable maternal instincts, extraordinary adaptability and a fight for survival that is critical to the very foundation upon which all existence is built.


“Invertebrates are in massive global decline, and they form a fundamental core of our human and natural systems,” Wolfe said. “Without invertebrates, our world as we know it would completely collapse.”


And yet, conservation efforts to safeguard the continuation of invertebrate species are about as common as honey bees in winter.


“We’ve always been innately connected to charismatic animals like lions and tigers,” she added. “We want to protect them and conserve them even if we’re thousands of miles from them. Bugs are everywhere around us, and most of us have grown to hate them.”


Wolfe’s interest in photography began developing around age 12. Her mother had purchased a new camera, and Wolfe used it to take photos of flowers that would eventually earn her best of show honors at the county fair. A lifelong passion was born. She was always drawn to close-up, macro botanical photography, and in college, she became keenly aware of the bugs that populated her plant subjects.


“From there, it snowballed,” she reflected. “I need to photograph bugs, and I need to tell their stories.”


It’s Wolfe’s dream that photography and digital storytelling can build a bridge between humans and invertebrates that spurs an emotional connection. Putting faces to these tiny creatures enables people to look them in the eyes for the first time.


“My biggest hope is that people will just be a little bit interested in looking at bugs differently,” she shared. “I want them to think about the role that the insect or spider plays in our broader world.”


Danae Wolfe works as an educational technology specialist for Ohio State University Extension, where she teaches faculty and staff how to engage audiences online. She previously served as an extension educator in Summit County, where she taught horticultural programs about backyard bugs and pollinators, and native gardening. She shares her photos and stories on her Facebook page (Danae Wolfe Macro Photography), her personal blog ( and through online content publishers PetaPixel and BoredPanda.


Want to know more? Purchase tickets through Ticketmaster or by calling the CAPA Box Office at 614-469-0939.


On Friday, November 16, 2018, fourteen Columbus area residents will become part of the TEDxColumbus community when they present their talks for On the Edge.


Meet Rev. Joel Miller:

Love thy neighbor: A show of support, sympathy, dissent

by: Cheryl Forcina

America’s current immigration policies have forced many undocumented immigrants out of the country and away from their families, or to seek sanctuary in one of many communities and churches. One Columbus pastor continues to challenge the status quo, using his faith’s most basic teachings.


The Columbus Mennonite Church in the city’s Clintonville neighborhood sits on a leafy street block, bordered by tidy alleys and away from the bustling High Street intersection. You could say it looks peaceful. Even neighborly. Which makes sense for a church and faith born out of pacifist ideals.


So it’s no surprise when the Rev. Joel Miller explains his church’s stance on the government’s current hard-line immigration policy. “They say we need to obey the laws in place. But I point to a higher law: one of loving your neighbor,” Miller said. “This supersedes any national law and boundaries.”


It’s a resistance of sorts. And Miller’s Columbus Mennonite Church made its dissent publicly known last October when it became a sanctuary for Edith Espinal, a local immigrant facing deportation after having lived in Columbus for 20 years. Espinal still lives at the church, with her case ever evolving.


“Being in sanctuary with our congregation, (Espinal) is as protected as much as she can be,” Miller said.


It’s all thanks to Miller and his church’s game plan from the very beginning – to build public awareness around Espinal’s story.


“We were the first sanctuary in Ohio that went public. That was part of the strategy,” he said. “We wanted to build sympathy.”


What followed was an outpouring of grassroots support, with his congregation, local citizens and businesses stepping in and offering help.


It’s the kind of accomplishment fitting for Miller, who grew up among a small Bellefontaine, Ohio, congregation with 50 members – just the right size for a kid like him to be as involved and hands-on as he wanted to be. After graduating from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Indiana, he found his way to Cincinnati where he pastored for seven years before making Columbus home.


Along the way, Miller enjoyed looking inward and experiencing his faith on a more personal level. Only years later, he admitted, did he realize “it all connected – my faith, spirituality, social justice, everything,” he said.


And it all culminated last year when Espinal came into Miller’s life. “Someone like Edith is definitely living on the edge,” he said. “So I want to keep her story front and center, and elevate her voice. It’s one of many.”


The Rev. Joel Miller is pastor at Columbus Mennonite Church. He grew up on a farm in Bellefontaine, Ohio, but has lived as far away as Cairo, Egypt, before finding his way to Columbus, where he lives with his wife and three daughters. Learn more about Miller and his church at Get updates on Edith Espinal’s fight against deportation on Facebook’s Solidarity with Edith Espinal page.


Purchase tickets through Ticketmaster or by calling the CAPA Box Office at 614-469-0939.