Keynote Speakers

Dr. Chris Atchison

Dr. Philip Bell

Dr. Steven Stack

2020 Keynotes

Dr. Chris Atchison specializes in Geoscience Education.  His research interest includes fostering full access and inclusion in the Earth Sciences for students and scientists with sensory, orthopedic, and developmental disabilities.  He is the Executive Director of the International Association for Geoscience Diversity (, an organization charged with advocating for students and geoscientists with disabilities, while promoting an accessible pathway into the Geoscience workforce through the development of innovative and inclusive research opportunities and instructional strategies.

Dr. Philip Bell  is a professor of the Learning Sciences & Human Development and holds the Shauna C. Larson Chair in Learning Sciences. He is executive director of the UW Institute for Science & Math Education focused on equity-focused innovation in K-12 STEM education, and he is co-director of the Learning in Informal and Formal Environments (LIFE) Science of Learning Center. Bell pursues a cognitive and cultural program of research across diverse environments focused on how people learn in ways that are personally consequential to them. He has studied everyday expertise and cognition in science and health, the design and use of novel learning technologies in science classrooms, youth argumentation, culturally expansive science instruction, and scaled implementation of educational improvement. Bell is also currently editing a series of research- and practice-based tools for science education called STEM Teaching Tools. The effort is providing resources for equity-focused improvements in science education.

Dr. Steven J. Stack, MD, MBA, FACEP,
Commissioner, Department for Public Health

Steven J. Stack, MD, MBA, FACEP was appointed commissioner of the KentuckyDepartment for Public Health by Gov. Andy Beshear in February, 2020. He resides in Lexington, Ky and is a practicing board-certified emergency physician.

For more than 20 years Dr. Stack has been a leader in the medical profession. He has served on boards of directors and in senior leadership roles for numerous geographic and specialty medical societies. In 2006, he became the first emergency physician ever elected to the American Medical Association (AMA) board of trustees, subsequently serving as board chair and in 2015-2016 as the youngest AMA president since 1854.

Dr. Stack has served as medical director of multiple emergency departments, including St. Joseph East, Lexington, St. Joseph Mt. Sterling, KY and Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis, Tenn. He has more than 18 years of emergency medicine administrative and clinical practice experience in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.

In 2018, Dr. Stack joined The University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business as adjunct professor. In this role, he lectures on healthcare policy and the mechanics of advocacy to physicians in the physician executive MBA program and to both physician and non-physician healthcare leaders enrolled in executive education programs.

Dr. Stack has focused experience in health information technology (IT). A nationally recognized advocate, he bridges bedside care with governmental policy and has served on numerous federal advisory committees for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology from 2010 -2016. Additionally, he served from 2012 - 2016 as board member and secretary of eHealth Initiative, a Washington, DC-based non-profit association improving health care through the advancement of health IT.

His other areas of expertise include emergency department and hospital management, health system reform, physician licensure and regulation and healthcare anti-trust issues. Dr. Stack has extensive experience in policymaking and advocacy at federal, state and county levels and before legislative bodies and executive branch regulatory agencies. He also is a skilled public spokesperson and longtime advocate for universal access to affordable and high quality healthcare.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Dr. Stack graduated magna cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. where he was a Henry Bean Scholar for classical studies. He returned to Ohio to complete medical school and emergency medicine residency at The Ohio State University before moving to Memphis to begin his clinical practice. In 2006,Dr. Stack and his family relocated to Lexington. In December 2017 he completed his MBA at UT Knoxville Haslam College of Business.

Dr. Stack is married and the proud father of one daughter. His wife, Tracie, is an MD, PhD and practicing board-certified allergy/asthma/ immunology specialist. In his leisure time, Dr. Stack enjoys the study of classical Greek and Roman history, United States presidential history, photography and traveling with his wife and daughter.