Hi there!

I’m Liesl Ulrich-Verderber, EWC’s COO, and the Founder of EWCed and Amazing World Media!

After graduating from Harvard University with a degree in architectural design and economics, I started working with Ever Widening Circles as our COO and took up our mission to expand into education with EWCed in 2018, and explore how we could bring positive media to healthcare in 2019 with Amazing World Media.

My Background

Most of my undergraduate design training at Harvard University was through the Harvard Graduate School of Design. There, I honed my design skills and representation techniques, always with a flair for design that filled the mantra “Is it novel? Is it useful?”

I’d like to think that I have taken a bit of that mindset with me here at EWC, EWCed, and Amazing World Media.

As a professional photographer since the age of 14, and have had a lifelong passion for finding beauty in the world. Now, I use those same instincts as a writer and curator for Ever Widening Circles.

A Passion for Education

While I still spend a lot of time keeping the show running here on Ever Widening Circles, I am now collaborating with educators on EWCed. Over at EWCed, we curate content from Ever Widening Circles for educators to use in the classroom. Our mission at EWCed is to inspire students’ curiosity, connect them to the wider world, and give them a sense of what’s possible. We want to ignite possibility in our education systems with the knowledge that it is still an amazing world.

I have had a life-long passion for education. After serving on the school board as a high schooler, I have been an advocate for customized learning plans, and have seen some of the possibilities for change that are available in our education systems. At Harvard, I designed and taught leadership curriculum and classes to middle and high school students through the Leadership Institute at Harvard College. As we designed EWCed, these experiences teaching a diverse range of students with a video and discussion-based approach to learning have been a major source of inspiration.

Image: Liesl as a kid playing teacher wearing glasses

As a child, I loved to “teach” classes on the various things I’d learned watching PBS documentaries. As a teacher, I would always wear my cat eyeglasses and have my grandfather’s extendable pointer in hand.

When I’m not running around talking to educators and students (which is my favorite part of my job) I’m back in the Ever Widening Circles office pulling whatever hat we need for me that day off the rack and tackling problems from marketing to microwave malfunctions.

In my free time, I am an aspiring—but more often floundering—outdoor enthusiast, a camera-toting traveler, and a global story seeker.

-Liesl

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”-Victor Borge

Liesl can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV

Author's Articles

14 minutes

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How Paper Microscopes Can Change the World

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The Foldscope is a nearly indestructible paper microscope that costs less than a dollar to manufacture, and it is changing the future of education and medicine in developing countries. Here’s its incredible story…

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20 minutes

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Afterglow: A Spectacle of Snow and Color

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What happens when professional skiers take on mountain slopes at night lit by a tremendous array of colors? Prepare to be wowed by this spectacle of human creativity!

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9 minutes

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How Our Clicks Shape Our World

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We hardly ever think about the ways the media we consume affects us, or the power we have when it comes to dictating what we all learn from in the news. It turns out, we have more power than we think when it comes to deciding how positive, balanced, and worldly our media is!

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9 minutes

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Underwater with the National Geographic Crittercam

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National Geographic’s Crittercams are changing the way we learn about some of the most notoriously difficult animals to study on this planet. Today we ride along with manta rays, whale sharks, and humpback whales in an up close and personal way…

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22 minutes

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Basketball: The Beauty and Balance of the Game

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As we watch people who are incredibly talented in their field whether in sport, art, or everyday work, we watch the evolution of their craft. This is the story of how basketball became the game of beauty and balance we know today!

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32 minutes

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Medieval Medicine for the Modern World

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This is the tale of how an ax-wielding nun, a medieval text, and modern science came together to find a cure to one of today’s greatest medical dilemmas. Get ready for an incredible story of discovery…

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12 minutes

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At the Volcano’s Edge

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What happens when you use drones to explore the depths of one of the world’s most active volcanoes? We join explorer and filmmaker Sam Cossman on his journey to discover life at the edge of one of the planet’s most hostile environments!

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16 minutes

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The Glow-in-the-Dark World Beneath the Sea

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Just below the ocean waves is a world that, until recently, we had never seen before. This world of glowing sharks, eels, turtles, and much more has been swimming all around us, but it took asking the right question to find it!

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6 minutes

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What is Dark Matter and Why Does it Matter?

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Dark matter appears to be all around us, and yet it is incredibly difficult to detect. This frontier of science is changing not only the way we understand the composition of our universe, but also our place within it!

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20 minutes

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Ok Go Does it Again!

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You may have seen Ok Go’s new viral music video filmed in zero gravity, but today EWC does what we do best: we bring you a behind the scenes look at how the video was made, and the science behind the wonder!

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22 minutes

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A Ring in the Desert

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Out in the middle of the desert is a place revered by a special group of people. This place is not a religious site, a natural wonder, or the resting place of an important person. It is a phone booth. And it’s story has become a global phenomenon.

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15 minutes

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What We Learn From Art that Challenges Us

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Why should we care about art that makes us think “I don’t get it”? Olafur Eliasson is an artist answering that question and is artwork is changing the way we see the world around us!

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6 minutes

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So, You Found A New Dinosaur?

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Let’s say you have discovered the skeleton of a dinosaur, how do know if your discovery is a new species? When Elmer Riggs discovered the first brachiosaurs in 1900 this was the question he had to answer. So, how did he do it?

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7 minutes

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Do Butterflies Self-Medicate?

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Are humans the only species that use medicine to improve our quality of life? The answer is changing the future of medicine for our species, and opening up a new world of possibility for the future of our health!

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4 minutes

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What the Heck is a Leap Year?

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Ever wondered what a Leap Year is really all about? It turns out, Leap Years are a little more complicated than we usually think! Don’t worry, Niel Degrasse Tyson is here to explain!

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15 minutes

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The Oldest Lives on Earth

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How old are the oldest living things on earth? The surprising answer is what artist Rachel Sussman set off to find and photograph, and the story these organisms tell is one that puts human life into striking perspective!

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4 minutes

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Squishy Robot Fingers: The Future of Sea Exploration

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What’s the big deal with something called “Squishy Robot Fingers”? For marine biologists, this new innovation is a groundbreaking way to conduct research on the ocean’s most delicate organisms.

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6 minutes

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An Astronaut’s Perspective on Earth

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Can a view change our perspective? While many of us may never see Earth from above, hearing astronauts talk about seeing Earth from space serves as a beautiful reminder of the broader picture we are a part of!

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8 minutes

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The Incredible Journey of Jane Goodall

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How would knowing the story of your childhood hero have changed what you thought was possible growing up? For many, Jane Goodall is a childhood hero, but her story, in her own words, is and incredible and inspiring journey. Let her tell you more…

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7 minutes

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Giant Crystal Cave: An Underground Wonder!

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The earth beneath us holds some of the world’s most incredible wonders, the Giant Crystal Cave of Mexico is one of the most extraordinary. Join us as we head underground to explore the scientific depths of this amazing place!

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9 minutes

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Saving the Life of a Humpback Whale

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While out in the Sea of Cortez with friends, a whale conservationist came across a young humpback whale trapped in fishing nets, the incredible adventure that followed is an amazing testament to powerful connection we share with the natural world!

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5 minutes

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Incredible Crystal Nanoflowers

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What happens when Harvard scientists begin to create microscopic gardens of “flowers”? The incredible project behind these beautiful images is a combination of art and science that speaks to the possibility unleashed when these two disciplines collide!

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12 minutes

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How Powerful is Paint?

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Can barbecue and paint have an impact on a community? Artistic duo Haas & Hahn share their story of helping to create change in the Favelas of Rio, and some of strange, but wonderful tips they have learned along the way.

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8 minutes

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Do You Dance Like A Dinosaur?

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While you may have your own unique moves on the dance floor, it turns out dinosaurs may have also used dance to woo their mates! Here are how the incredible mating displays of birds are helping us to unlock secrets of dinosaur behavior!

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7 minutes

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A DIY Smartphone Microscope!

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With just a few simple steps and some cheap materials, your phone can help you explore the microscopic world around you! Can you imagine how fun this might be for the kids in your life?

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30 minutes

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Have a Little Faith!

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Zach Anner is a comedian with cerebral palsy who is a self-proclaimed “religious idiot.” On his quest to learn more about the religions of the world, he takes us on an incredible journey that is as hilarious as it is enlightening! Check out our new favorite YouTube series here at EWC!

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18 minutes

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An Old Legend Leads to Remarkable Discovery

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Andrés Ruzo grew up hearing legends of a boiling river in the Amazon. Years later, he went on a search for the source of the legend and uncovered a remarkable natural wonder. Here is his remarkable story from the TED stage!

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20 minutes

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Do You Have a Creative Genius?

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What is creativity? Is our modern way of thinking about it wong? It’s hard to put a finger on inspiration, but author Elizabeth Gilbert thinks that the answer to our creative woes might require turning to the past for answers. Check out her incredible TED Talk!

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7 minutes

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Art, a Space for All

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What can art teach us about putting aside our differences? A Pakistani-American artist is bringing us together with a sculpture that inspires awe and transforms our ideas about religious differences!

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