2017 Speakers & Instructors

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Rebecca Aslam, MS, RD, LDN

Updates on Vegan Nutrition

Rebecca is a Clinical Dietitian at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, MA. Her professional interests include plant-based nutrition as prevention and treatment for chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. She also has personal experience in plant-based nutrition throughout the lifecycle, having followed a life-long plant-based (vegan) diet.


Jennifer Burzycki, Cancer Survivor, Nutrition Enthusiast

Is Just Being Vegan Enough?

There are numerous motives for becoming vegan, such as the ethical treatment of animals, the protection of the environment, a more sustainable future, and overall health. However, when it comes to our health, being vegan may not be enough to rid us of the aliments our non-vegan friends experience. Many of us get excited when the food industry emerges with a new vegan option of one of our favorite foods; however, these products often contain processed fillers, chemicals, refined sugars, saturated and trans fats, and are, in effect, devoid of nutrients. Over time, vegans can find themselves just as overweight, malnourished, and overcome with chronic disease as our meat eater counterparts and quite possibly to an even greater degree.

Jennifer, who became a Whole-Food, Plant Based (WFPB) vegan shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, will discuss how to reduce our risk of chronic disease by achieving and maintaining optimal health on a vegan diet. She will examine the challenges of obtaining essential nutrients that vegans often encounter and what will happen if particular nutrient dense foods are overlooked and highly processed versions of them are consumed. Jennifer will focus her discussion on how processed vegan foods, marketed as promoting health, are often manipulated to distort nutrient ratios and/or contain ingredients that have no role in the body and pose their own health risks. Achieving a healthy vegan lifestyle is not effortless task. Jennifer will provide tips to assist you in determining where you can make improvements with your own food choices while focusing on obtaining optimal nutrition.

Jennifer has achieved certification in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Foundation at eCornell University, and currently teaches health and science at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men. Jennifer is also an avid runner and has assisted Runner’s Alley in Concord as a nutritionist for their half marathon and 10K training groups. Her passion lies in informing and educating adults about their role in preventing chronic disease. She seeks to assist others in identifying their own nutrient deficiencies along with providing knowledge regarding the role nutrients play in the body, and how they can best be attained. Jennifer assists individuals in their shift to a more WFPB diet and firmly believes that through proper nutritional education, and the implementation of adequate nutrient intake acquired through a WFPB diet, the risk of acquiring chronic diseases diminish. Jennifer stresses that regardless the condition you may find yourself in, it is never too late to improve your diet, thereby increasing your level of wellness, while reversing the damaging effects of the Standard American Diet.



Elizabeth Clements

Demo – Brewing Kombucha

Elizabeth Clements is a food blogger and recipe developer. She is currently studying to be a holistic nutritionist and intends to share her knowledge about healthy eating through a forthcoming blog and consulting services. Creating delicious, healthful recipes is her passion!


Jason Derry, Instructor of Communication Studies at Green Mountain College, Poultney, VT

Peace for the Other: Cultivating an Ethics of Dialog in Social Movement Praxis

As a child, I found joy, wonderment, and harbor primarily in two places: stories and nature. And thus began my journey with environmental communication.

Jason Derry is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies from the University of Denver. He specializes in Rhetoric, Ethics, and Media Studies, primarily within the subfield of Environmental Communication. Broadly speaking, this intersection seeks to investigate the transmission and/or suppressing of meaning and value within the mediated/symbolic/discursive realm primarily regarding the environment, and the implications of these on human and non-human life. Recent conference presentations include topics ranging from how disenfranchised communities have empowered themselves efficaciously through the planting of community gardens to topics exploring the tensions between the narrative-world and rational-world paradigms in in how television personalities understand and communicate climate change. Jason’s dissertation investigates media influences on children’s agency in response to climate change, within popular film and science discourses.

Jason also holds a Master of Arts in Environmental Education from Goshen College in Indiana, where his formal pedagogical training was highlighted by moments such as catching frogs with second graders, leading wild edible hikes, and sitting in a tree dressed up as a great horned owl to teach children about the nocturnal raptor. His master’s research thesis centered on the media effects regarding how children understand animal positionality and curricular strategies that seek to help children better understand both what (scientific literacy) and who (relational literacy) these animals are in a culture that so often either hyper-anthropomorphizes or hyper-caricatures them.

In addition to academics, Jason has a decade of experience in the broader environmental movement, including community organizing, writing policy at the state level, naturalist trail interpretation in the wetland forests of Indiana, protesting mountaintop removal in West Virginia, and grassroots lobbying of congress in Washington DC. He founded an environmental club and magazine as a student during his undergrad (Bachelor of Arts in English: Writing) at Spring Arbor University in Michigan, and an environmental and animal ethics book club during his time living in Boulder, Colorado.

In addition to teaching and researching at Green Mountain College, Jason is also the founder and project manager of the environmental children’s book company Oakenday Press, which works with physical scientists in reaching across paradigms, communicating their research to child audiences while never leaving the simple goofy-ness and joy that is typical of beloved children’s stories. Recent publications include works focused on elephants, pangolins, and women in STEM.


Sandra Koski

NH Veg Fest Drum Circles

Come drum with us at NHVegFest 2017 to elevate your mood and build up your immune system! We’ll start by learning some basic rhythms, then play a few songs and drum circle games. Please bring your non-animal skin drums or try out one of ours – we’ll have extras available. All ages and experience levels welcome keeping in mind drummers under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Lorelei Plotczyk

Environmental Impacts of Animal Agriculture

Bio coming soon!


Andy Siver

Demo – Growing Micro Greens, Shoots & Sprouts

Andy is a veganic farmer, fermenter and homesteader in Eliot, Maine. In this demo he will be showing how to grow microgreens, shoots and sprouts.


Casey Taft

Tips for Navigating Relationships, Wellness, and Everyday Life as an Animal Advocate

Dr. Casey Taft is a Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. He is an internationally recognized researcher in the area of violence prevention and winner of prestigious awards for his work from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has developed the only domestic violence prevention programs demonstrated effective for military populations via randomized controlled trials and has been assisting in implementing them across the Veterans Health Administration system and within the Department of Defense. He has consulted with the United Nations on preventing violence and abuse globally, has published over one hundred journal articles, book chapters, and scientific reports, and is the author of the upcoming American Psychological Association book Trauma-Informed Treatment and Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence. He is also co-owner of Vegan Publishers, a vegan-themed publishing company, and sees the prevention of violence towards nonhuman animals as a natural extension of his interpersonal violence work.

Stephanie Weldon

Demo – Vegan Cooking

Bio and description coming soon!