x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Shape - Impression. Identity. Impact.

This event occurred on
March 16, 2018
Grand Rapids, Michigan
United States

From forerunners, to critical thinkers, to global visionaries, all people play a role in shaping our societies. We are challenging our community to look closely at their individual shapes and those around them to embrace broader conceptualizations. What impressions have shaped your experience? What shape does your identity hold? How can your impact shape society?

Loosemore Auditorium
122E Richard M DeVos Center
401 West Fulton
Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49504
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Ari Zucker

Sale & Marketing
Ari Zucker graduated from GVSU in the spring of 2017 with a B.S. in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Sociology. While a student there, he was the Student Director of the Speech Lab, participated on the NSAC team in 2016-17, and has completed several research studies on the various competencies behind public speaking. He currently works in software sales at a tech startup in downtown Detroit called LevelEleven where he speaks with sales leaders of companies across North America from both large and small companies.

Catye Palomino

Professor of Communications at GVSU
In the spring of her senior year of high school, Catye Palomino had no idea that winning a public speaking event at the Illinois State Speech Contest highlighted a gift she didn't even realize she had. Learning to connect with an audience and to communicate her passion has brought success for Catye in the classroom both as a public high school teacher and as an adjunct professor of communication at GVSU. Her philosophy is that if she expects her students to be interested then she needs to make it interesting. Outside the classroom (and inside if you ask her students) Catye also performs as a standup comedian. In 2015 she was runner up for Funniest Person in Grand Rapids. Additionally, Catye has participated in The Moth StorySLAM competitions and took second at the Detroit Moth GrandSLAM in 2015. Most people are afraid of public speaking, Catye is afraid she'll never get to speak in public again.

Jody Vogelzang

Registered Dietitian, PhD in community health, assistant professor at GVSU in College of Health Professions
Dr. Jody Vogelzang is a nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist and an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Medallion recipient. She holds a bachelor's degree in dietetics from Michigan State University, a Master of Science in Health Science from Grand Valley State University, a Master of Arts in Biology from Miami University, and a PhD in Health Services with a specialization in Community Health from Walden University. She is also certified health educator and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Since 2011, Vogelzang has been researching the food environment in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her funded research has produced primary data on food insecurity, food availability, price, and quality in neighborhood stores and supermarkets, and nutrition education in building self-efficacy with elementary age low-income children, and unaccompanied refugee minors.

Kelsey Perdue

Assistant Campus Director at Grand Circus Grand Rapids
Kelsey Perdue is the Assistant Campus Director at Grand Circus Grand Rapids, a tech training company that gives people skills for today's job market. Kelsey believes in building better communities for everyone, and is an avid giver of her "time, treasure, and talent" to support social justice and equity initiatives. She currently serves on the Boards of a political advocacy group, a nonprofit that improves children's wellbeing, and organizes communities for social action. Kelsey has been recognized with the LINC UP Community Spirit Award for her contributions. Kelsey is a current MSU Michigan Political Leadership Program Fellow. She is a native of Grand Rapids, MI and Summa Cum Laude graduate of Howard University in Washington, DC.

Mike Schuler, Ph.D.

Co-founder of Watershed
Mike Schuler is the co-founder of Watershed, a consulting group that facilitates change management initiatives. After a competitive swimming career at the University of Louisville, Mike left the pool deck to earn degrees in Philosophy and Business, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Development. Over the past 25 years, he has facilitated large-scale organizational change with clients from diverse sectors including government, banking, health care, education, technology, and energy. He specializes in leading executives through reconciliation to mitigate crisis and maximize potential. Mike believes whole heartedly that BIG change starts with relationship alignment.

Robert Talbert

Professor of Mathematics at GVSU
Robert Talbert is a Professor in the Mathematics Department at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan USA. He holds a B.S. degree in Mathematics from Tennessee Technological University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics from Vanderbilt University. Robert's scholarly pursuits are in the area of the scholarship of teaching and learning, with an emphasis on flipped learning and the use of technology in teaching and learning. He is also active as a speaker, having given talks and facilitated workshops in Canada, Jamaica, Spain, and the United Kingdom as well as dozens of locations in the United States. In 2016, Robert was named one of thirteen Flipped Learning Global Initiative Research Fellows, consisting of flipped learning experts from around the world. He lives with his wife and three children in Allendale, Michigan where he enjoys cooking, bicycling, and Lake Michigan beaches.

Sarah Park

Teacher at Edgewood Elementary
Sarah Park graduated from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in December of 2016 with a degree in Elementary Education and math. She is now a third-grade teacher at Edgewood Elementary in Fruitport, MI. She is also currently working on her masters in Educational Leadership at GVSU. She has a history of speaking at regional, state and national levels regarding math education. Sarah is passionate about mindsets in the classroom, particularly for those who struggle in math.

Thad Cummings

Thad Cummings is the author of "Running From Fear" and "Weathering the Corporate Storm." He resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he speaks and holds seminars on all matters of fear, worth and redefining enough. He is passionate about bringing new conversations to the landscape where all voices are heard, barriers are broken, and the polarization of our community is diminished.

Organizing team


Allendale, MI, United States


  • Jaclyn Ermoyan
  • Jordan Punches