MEET THE PRESENTERS
Dr. Kate Polak is an Instructor and Research Associate at Florida Atlantic University. Her book, Ethics in the Gutter: Empathy and Historical Fiction in Comics, was nominated for an Eisner Award. Her recent research focuses mainly on the representation of violence and genocide, historical fiction, poetry, and graphic narratives. She is completing a book entitled "Days of Future Pasts," on the intersections between historical fiction and science fiction with Dr. Ian MacDonald. Her current creative projects include a collection of poetry and a graphic memoir exploring teenaged girlhood during the 1990s, tentatively entitled "Just Okay."
Colin Polsky, Ph.D. is the director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies at FAU, and a professor in the department of geosciences in the College of Science. His research and teaching examine how people create, perceive, and respond to environmental challenges. Polsky’s interdisciplinary training is in mathematics, humanities, French, geography, and science & international affairs (from U. Texas, Penn State, and Harvard). As the Center director and professor, he helps build and lead teams to advance knowledge of U.S. climate vulnerabilities, in both methodological and applied terms. His responsibilities include program building, both within and across university departments; fundraising from public and private foundations; staffing diverse and multi-generational teams; and communicating with varied audiences for both persuasive and reporting purposes.
Roni Raab, Roni is the long-running host of Florida's Jewish radio show, "Shalom South Florida," heard every Sunday morning on WWNN - True Oldies (37 years!!). He has a Masters Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, and is a columnist for various newspapers across North America. Roni has been living in South Florida for 45 years and is counted among the Sun-Sentinel's 100 most influential South Floridians. He is also a graduate of FAU.
Rabil, Robert G.
Robert G. Rabil, Ph.D., is an internationally renowned scholar. His books have been highly commended and reviewed by major academic journals. He is considered one of the leading experts on Salafism, radical Islam, and U.S.-Arab-Israeli relations. He earned doctoral degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. In May 2012, he was conferred with an honorary doctoral degree in humanities from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and in 2022 he won the FAU Scholar of the Year award. He is a professor of political science at Florida Atlantic University.
Reich, Laura M.
Laura M. Reich, Esq. is an attorney and arbitrator focused on art and communications law. She is a partner at the law firm of Harper Meyer, based in Miami, Florida. She is an adjunct professor at Florida International University School of Law and instructs paralegals at Florida Atlantic University. Ms. Reich is the current Editor-in-Chief of The Florida Bar’s International Law Quarterly. A frequent author and lecturer, she recently published "Reversing the Silk Road: The Rapid Rise of the Art Market in Asia and its Implications, International Law Quarterly"; "Prepare to Win: First Steps in International Arbitration, The Woman Advocate, and The Art of Arbitration, International Law Quarterly." Reich is also an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and the Court of Arbitration for Art. Her educational background includes the University of Florida College of Law (JD) and University of Florida (BA).
Karen Roberts, Ph.D., is an art historian and artist who teaches at FAU, Nova University, and is professor emerita at Broward College. As a professor of the year and recipient of two endowed teaching chair awards, she has been lecturing in the Tri-County area museums and art organizations. Her research reviews art as a reflection of cultural values. She has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, Russia, Japan, and China to pursue first-hand experience.