x = independently organized TED event

Theme: 2020

This event occurred on
January 17, 2020
Valparaiso, Indiana
United States

What is 2020? It’s a new year, a new decade - it’s perfect vision. This year we want to take a look (with 20/20 vision) into the past, present, and future at ideas worth spreading that we are overlooked, that will change the world, and that all of us can do right now to make a meaningful impact.

Duesenberg Recital Hall
1709 Chapel Drive
Valparaiso, Indiana, 46383
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alex Ruscetti

Computer Engineer
Alex Ruscitti is a computer engineer for Motorola Solutions, where he practices software development and cyber security. He is a Valparaiso University Alumni, obtaining a Bachelor's in computer engineering in May 2019. Alex has completed the Dale Carnegie professional development program, after which he was invited back as a course coach for another class. Alex serves as the secretary of his local Toastmasters club, where he works with others to develop their career skills. Alex resides in Plainfield, IL.

Alexandra Moran

Through 30 years of horsemanship, Alexandra Moran has found abounding overlap in her own personal and corporate life as in that of the lives of horses and their herds. University faculty member, corporate maven, and farm operator near Chicago, she weaves these divergent roles into the fabric of who she is and allows the horse to inform her relationships, decision making, and businesses. Alexandra combines years of horse experience with communication and leadership skills from the Board Room and the classroom. Her corporate management of a multi-million-dollar enterprise with at-will employees, staff, clients, and stakeholders in the ever-volatile financial industry in Chicago has challenged her to be creative. She is known to never lose sight of helping her team and clients get what they truly want for themselves. Her leadership style led to the 2014 Outstanding Leader of the Year award from a Fortune 200 financial company and 20 Under 40 for the Northwest Indiana Times.

Brian Tenclinger

Area Director Manager in the Global Membership and Education department at Kiwanis International
Brian Tenclinger is an experienced professional in the fields of higher education administration and nonprofit association management. Brian has an extensive background in leadership and organization training, as well as risk and harm reduction. He has done extensive research about volunteer engagement to better understand what a healthy volunteer program looks like with an eye toward the future. Professionally, he manages a team of volunteer leaders for a global service organization and serves as an elevated volunteer leader for his fraternity. He is an avid weightlifter who enjoys traveling and cooking. Brian lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his husband who is an award-winning pastry chef.

Carrie Koh

Interpersonal Efficiency executive coach
Carrie Koh is a healthcare executive and CEO of Carrie Koh Consulting with a passion for enhancing the way we communicate with one another to ensure efficient and innovative results with greater fulfillment along the way. She helps individuals and organizations overcome their greatest obstacles through bridging the divide between opposing perspectives and creating Interpersonal Efficiency, a state of leadership where strategy and feedback can flow freely, devoid of toxicity, judgement and fear. Facing the death of her first-born child has taught her that tragedy does not need to end in suffering. She uses these lessons in personal growth to enhance the professional development of her clients.

Clayton Poland

Civil Engineer
Clayton Poland is a civil engineer turned author, speaker, storyteller, and entertainer, encouraging folks to focus on the good stuff. Using his playful spirit and quick wit, he takes audiences on a captivating adventure that opens their minds to new possibilities. Clayton loves to use his skills as an accomplished storyteller to weave a custom tailored, uplifting message throughout each event leaving the audience entertained, encouraged and inspired. Clayton married Leigh, his high school sweetheart, in 1997. They have three kids: Ethan, Maddie, and Charlie. Their home town is West Monroe, Louisiana, and their hobbies are faith, family, friends, and food. They love to BBQ, boil shrimp or crawfish, invite all their friends over, and enjoy life together. They absolutely love spending time with people.

Edward G Young, III

World Traveler, writer, and former University Professor currently working for the Department of Homeland Security
Edward is a world traveler and transformational speaker. Former Division I college athlete, a little over 15 years ago, he broke his neck and did not know if he would ever walk the same, talk the same, or even leave the hospital alive after surgery. Following the injury, Edward battled the depression of having his physical abilities taken away from him and fell into a dark place. Never expecting to attain the same level of on-field joy again in his life, he found his way out of that darkness through travel and ultimately made a full recovery. As a further means of therapy, Edward turned toward sharing his story with the world and connecting with individuals from all walks of life to inspire others to travel while also encouraging them to embrace their own vulnerabilities and pursue their dreams wholeheartedly.

Jenna Rifai

Jenna is a junior at Valparaiso University. She is majoring in history with a minor in chemistry, while also being a scholar at Christ College. On campus, Jenna is a teaching assistant for chemistry and engages in theological research. Her research interests include Islamic thought on gender and religious scriptural interpretations. After college, Jenna plans to pursue graduate school in the religious studies. Jenna was born and raised in Valparaiso, Indiana with her four siblings. She’s very excited to speak at TedxValparaisoUniversity!

Jesse Hershberger

Jesse Hershberger is a senior undergraduate student at Valparaiso University with a triple major in Spanish, English, and Political Science while also participating in the Christ College Honors program. Her research interests include the usage of rhetoric in disability policy. After undergraduate studies, she plans to attend seminary to study disability and practical theology. Eventually, Jesse would like to work in church relations to assist churches in developing congregations inclusive of those with disabilities. She is excited to be participating in the years TEDx program and hopes that you will better recognize inequalities in your community afterwards.

Shana James

Life Coach
For 15 years Shana has coached more than a thousand leaders, CEOs, authors, speakers and people with big visions to step into more powerful leadership, start and grow businesses, create more effective teams, increase their impact, get promoted, find love, rekindle spark, create a legacy and become more personally inspired and fulfilled. She is known for her ability to assess, in just a few minutes, the cause of dissatisfaction and stuck points in someone's profession and love life. Then she creates a clear and unique path for you to have true success and incredible love. Referred to as a secret weapon, she cuts through distraction and helps you access your confidence, power and clarity. She is also a translator between women and men, providing effective tools to transform conversations and dynamics that have gone awry into connection and collaboration.

Shreedhar Pandey

Shree is an international student from Kathmandu, Nepal. He is a sophomore at Valparaiso University and is majoring in Computer Science with a double minor in Business Administration and Mathematics. Shree works as an Ambassador in Admissions and as a Front Desk Attendant in the Fitness Center. He is hugely involved in student organizations and is a Graphic Design Chair for the University Programming Council and Public Relations Chair for VISA. After graduation, Shree wants to start his own game development company. He is thrilled to give his talk at TedxValparaisoUniversity.

Stephanie Jass

Stephanie Jass has a PhD in History and over 25 years of classroom experience teaching American History and gender studies. She has worked as a teen counselor for over 20 years at Camp Arcadia in Arcadia, Michigan, and has served on the boards of two different non-profit organizations. Dr. Jass attends First Presbyterian Church in Tecumseh, Michigan, where she serves as the Elder for Education on the church Session. She is currently working with Issue Box Theatre in Toledo, Ohio to help marginalized people reclaim their voices and rewrite their stories. In her spare time, she sings with two other women in the vocal trio Ear Candy. You may recognize her from her previous appearances on the TV show Jeopardy! in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Organizing team



Whittier, Ph.D.

Valparaiso, IN, United States