2107 Keynote Speakers

Xyla Foxlin

Why the only thing better than success is failure: an anti-resume

Xyla is the Founder and CEO of Parihug, a company focused on integrating emotions and technology to create a fuller digital experience. She participated in her high school’s robotics program before leading Case Western Reserve University’s NASA Robotics Team, where she is a rising senior. Parihug launched a Kickstarter campaign in April with their first product, Pari, internet connected plushies that let loved ones hug each other from thousands of miles away.

Xyla Foxlin

Frank Hardin, Ph.D.

Robotics in agriculture: Tomorrow’s technology for today’s challenges

Frank Hardin serves as the youth education manager for the Noble Research Institute in Ardmore, Oklahoma, where he and his team advances the mission of the Noble Research Institute by delivering agricultural/science-based educational programs and experiences to student and educator audiences. Prior to his current position, he was a postdoctoral fellow in a Noble Research Institute laboratory, where he worked on reducing lignin content in switchgrass. Hardin earned three degrees (bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral) in cellular biology with an emphasis on molecular and biochemical parasitology from the University of Georgia.

Dane Schoelen and Jennifer Droke

Researching Robots in Space

Dane Schoelen is a Norman native who graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Oklahoma. He has a passion for space and robotics which has led him to participate in Botball in middle and high school, carry out undergraduate research with planetary rovers under Dr. David Miller, and intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory(JPL). This August, Dane will be starting a career at JPL as a Robotics Engineer in the Extreme Environment Robotics Group. Dane loves backpacking in national parks and hopes to go to space in his lifetime, in person or vicariously through a robotic explorer.

Jennifer Droke is an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student at OU doing robotics research. In addition to robotics, I am passionate about using science and engineering to facilitate social change.