x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The University Experience

This event occurred on
April 30, 2021
Salisbury, Maryland
United States

TEDxSalisburyUniversity x=independently organized TED event was founded in 2019 at Salisbury University to provide a platform for young adults’ creative ideas to be heard. The theme of our inaugural event is the University Experience, where our speakers are sharing their perspectives on higher education. Our speakers will be presenting a range of topics, from mental health to interdisciplinary education to the importance of art in advertising.

Virtual Event
Salisbury University
Salisbury, Maryland, 21801
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Aman Shahzad

Student Speaker
Aman Shahzad is a sophomore Biology major and Chemistry minor at Salisbury University on a Pre-PA track. Aside from her daily classes, she serves as an Honors Student Ambassador for the Glenda Chatham and Robert G. Clarke Honors College and works as a medical scribe at the Center for Interventional Pain and Spine. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time outdoors.

Anthony Rojas

Assistant Professor / Chemistry
Anthony J. Rojas received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 2014 where he worked with Seth R. Marder on developing C-H activation transformations and designing new functional materials like organic light emitting diodes and dye-sensitized solar cells. He entered Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in 2014 and earned his Ph.D. in 2018. His thesis work, with Stephen L. Buchwald and Bradley L. Pentelute, concerned the development of palladium-mediated bioconjugation reactions. During his time at MIT, he was awarded the Dow Chemical Fellowship and Wolf Fellowship from MIT’s School of Science. In 2018, he began his independent career as an assistant professor of chemistry at Salisbury University. The Rojas Lab develops ‘intelligent’ or responsive MRI contrast agents capable of providing spatial and temporal feedback during magnetic resonance imaging of tissues, in vivo.

Darrion Nguyen

Science content creator
Darrion Nguyen is a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin and received his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. He uses his background in both fields to create humorous, modern content with more of an educational approach. With a staggering 700,000 followers across TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, Darrion is making waves as a global STEM influencer and educator. Under his pseudonym, "Lab Shenanigans", he has created more than 100 video content and garnered over 14 million likes. By combining popular memes and concepts from biochemistry, Darrion seeks to make science accessible, propel STEM communication, and empower people to learn science.

Donovan Mack

Producer, Marketing & Public Relations Professional
Based in the Washington DC metropolitan area, Donovan is a seasoned creative with expertise in marketing, production, public relations, and culture. After graduating from Salisbury University in 2018, with a degree in communications, Donovan understood that there is a lot of power in developing a strong personal brand. As he continued to set an example along with his peers in showcasing black excellence, Donovan, dove in headfirst into building a brand for himself to propel his work, fulfill his passions, and inspire others to do the same. From working at major public relations and marketing firms to producing events and shows, Donovan has taken in the knowledge from his experiences and applied the unique details to all aspects of business. Today, Donovan and runs a creative agency called Mack & Creative, which focuses on building and producing a brand's creative content to carry out strategic messaging and plans to boost their overall presence to their perspective communities.

Emma Shankman

Student Speaker
Emma is an English literature major at Salisbury University and hopes to eventually be an entertainment lawyer.

Manuel Oliver

Artist, Creative Director, and recognizable mentor for the Advertising Industry. Gun Safety Campaigner, Global Activist, and International Speaker.
Father of Joaquin "Guac" Oliver, who was killed in Parkland, Florida, on February 14/2018, at the MSD high school mass shooting. Cofounder of the advocacy group "Change the Ref," which seeks to empower young generations through art programs and disruptive activations, so they create their tools to fight back gun violence. Manuel uses his art and guerilla advertising instincts to focus on his son's legacy and the more than 40K victims/year from gun violence in the US. He has painted more than 45 murals around the country and received invitations from international events to share his activism strategies. He developed sympathy from the youth by showing a rebellious response to the gun lobby and putting together powerful campaigns along with recognized creative firms. He challenged Corporate America by creating a "Gun Safety Certification Program" representing a new way of consuming goods and services in our country.

Shelby Gash

Student Speaker
Shelby Gash is a graduating junior at SU, with a major in Psychology and a minor in music. Shelby has always been captivated by the human experience, especially the ways in which people connect their lives to meaning and story. In her own fascination, she aims to understand her life in a way that not only tells a good story, but shows the power of choice. She hopes her focus and dedication to taking the good, letting go of the bad, and remaining her true positive self will inspire others as well. She is going to graduate school to become a psychologist, and hopes to help the world become a mentally healthier place in innovative and creative ways.

Organizing team


California, MD, United States
  • Jack Lenox
  • Rehan Choudhry