x = independently organized TED event

Theme: "The Sky is Not the Limit"

This event occurred on
April 23, 2022
Elmhurst, Illinois
United States

TEDxElmhurstUniversity was a success! Thank you to all our volunteers and sponsors. View images from our inaugural event! https://www.flickr.com/photos/elmhurstuniversity/sets/72177720298411547/

190 Prospect Avenue
Elmhurst, Illinois, 60126
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Earl Fields

Self care advocate and entreprenuer
Earl Fields is a graduate of Barber-Scotia College, with a BA in English and Elementary Education. He is an experienced educator who taught 5th grade for seven years before advancing to Human Resources. Being passionate about human services, Earl earned his Master of Health Administration from Pfeiffer University and served as HR Director across the corporate sector and VP of HR of an area hospital. With over fifteen years in Human Resources and seven years in education, Earl noticed that many organizations dedicated to assisting individuals, particularly young people, overlooked a fundamental issue: how to care for oneself.

Edgar Palomino

Graduate student
Edgar Palomino was born in Mexico City and has lived in the U.S. since 1995. He graduated from Aurora University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Psychology. Currently, he is in his second year at Elmhurst University’s I/O Psychology master’s program. He got involved in I/O when he discovered a great interest in understanding how certain psychological theories (e.g., GRIT & growth mindset) could possibly align with certain philosophical concepts aimed towards living a meaningful life. This interest originated from personal experience in observing how individuals truly struggle with finding meaning and purpose in their lives and occupation. One of his goals is aimed at continuing this exploration to do his part within the potential crisis in meaning that is being experienced today.

Jacob Hill

Director, Veteran Services Office; Graduate Studies Coordinator Librarian; Associate Professor
Jacob Hill is a former U.S. Army soldier, university librarian and professor, and a local politician for the City of Elmhurst. He participates in management scholarship, veteran advocacy, sustainability issues, and open access education initiatives. Jacob is a devoted shade tree auto mechanic in his spare time, father of three boys who were stress-free angels during the COVID-19 remote learning period.

Jessica Sullivan-Wilson

Alumna, Director of Community Affairs
The art of teaching is in Jessica Sullivan-Wilson’s blood—literally. The granddaughter of an elementary school teacher and the daughter of a celebrated communications professor, education was at the forefront of her upbringing in Gary, Indiana. Raised to embrace the arts, Jessica grew up playing the piano and clarinet, and cultivated her enduring love of theater in local productions throughout her high school years. Jessica earned a B.A. in English and Theatre Arts Secondary Education from Elmhurst University and has served as an educator in both Illinois and her hometown of Gary, IN. In 2015, she concurrently earned both her J.D and M. A. in Liberal Studies-English from Valparaiso University. Jessica works as the Director, Community Affairs for Teach For America Greater Chicago-Northwest Indiana, and lives in Chicago with her husband Robert and enjoys crafting, spoken word and of course—live theater.

Jordan Stibal

Alumna, Marketing Coordinator
Jordan Stibal graduated from Elmhurst University in 2019 with a B. A. in Spanish and Interdisciplinary Communication Studies with an advertising focus. During her time there, she was involved in Relay for Life, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Elmhurst University Theatre, and Alpha Mu Gamma Foreign Language Honor Society. She also had the opportunity to study abroad during J-Term in 2019 to Madrid, Spain. Jordan currently works at Lions Clubs International in Oak Brook, Illinois. Jordan works for the Foundation, which helps empower Lions clubs, volunteers, and partners to improve health and well-being, strengthen communities, and support those in need through humanitarian services and grants that impact lives globally, and encourage peace and international understanding.

Kim Graf

Kim Graf is a transfer student experiencing her second semester at Elmhurst University! During her first semester, she made the Dean’s list with a 3.9 GPA. Graf was working full-time as an EMT, and now has an HR admin job at the same company—learning, growing, and testing the waters for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, as well as Human Resources.

Kimberly Graf

Kim Graf is a transfer student experiencing her second semester at Elmhurst University! During her first semester, she made the Dean’s list with a 3.9 GPA. Graf was working full-time as an EMT, and now has an HR admin job at the same company—learning, growing, and testing the waters for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, as well as Human Resources.

Kortney Peagram

Visiting Assistant Professor, Business and Economics
Dr. Kortney Peagram is a coach, consultant, facilitator, and educator. She is passionate about her work and has spent over 15 years crafting her skills. She is a social-emotional expert and helps leaders, faculty, and students better understand emotional literacy and management. As a consultant, Dr. Peagram works with organizations to deliver custom-tailored programs on conflict, bullying, diversity, workplace/sexual harassment, team building, and leadership. Dr. Peagram’s programs and workshops are engaging, interactive, and insightful. Dr. Peagram uses an experiential learning format to get participants motivated and thinking critically about positive changes in their organizations. Dr. Peagram has been featured on CBS, PBS, NPR, and Fox News as an expert on bullying and emotional management. She presented in Ireland 2019 and Sweden 2017 and 2021 at the World Anti-Bullying Forum.

Lori Tompos

Alumna, Adjunct Professor, Executive Leadership Coach
Lori Tompo’s purpose is to empower, motivate, and inspire leaders. She is the CEO of Avail Consulting and an Academy Leadership Affiliate. Lori has experience with and passion for developing impactful leaders of character and collaborative teams by focusing on positive strengths, strategic insights, and innovative solutions. She is a West Point graduate from the US Military Academy, one of the first women, and a combat veteran of the Gulf War. Lori has 20+ years of experience successfully developing leaders and teams to optimal levels, initially in the US Army and now in higher education and corporate america. Lori taught Leadership, Leading Change, and Managing Organizations for a revolutionary online MBA program using experiential goal-based learning for almost 16 years, plus three college courses in her role as an Adjunct Professor at Elmhurst University.

Mallory Burke

University student athlete and entreprenuer
Mallory Burke is a senior at Elmhurst University, double majoring in Biology and Psychology and double minoring in Medical Humanities and Chemistry. She high jumps for the Women’s Track and Field Team and is the Vice President of SAAC. She owns her own grill cleaning service, GrillGirlz. After college, Mallory intends to come back to Elmhurst University for her MBA and later continue on to medical school to become a doctor.

Shahnaaz Sakkaria

University student
Shahnaaz Sakkaria is a junior at Elmhurst University majoring in biology, minoring in psychology and chemistry as part of the accelerated LECOM DO program. She is on the executive board of the Student Government Association as the secretary. Shahnaaz completed internships with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) and held fundraising events/talks for this pediatric cancer research. She currently serves as their student ambassador. She has been a camp counselor at AMITA Health, specifically the iBODY program where she led a group of students through a medical question/proposal, dissections, and anatomical presentations. Shahnaaz also worked as a medical scribe in the ER before the pandemic where she charted the documents for the physicians, pulled up lab results, and placed in diagnoses according to their dictations. Her post-college plan is to go to medical school (this July) and hopefully become an ER physician. Her dream is to become a part of Doctors without Borders.

Soni Simpson

Associate Professor, Business Administration
Dr. Soni Simpson, a creative educator and collaborative consultant, has a passion for helping people, organizations and communities build upon their strengths to flourish and transform into futures beyond what they imagined. As a strategy coach, Soni helps organizations “level up,” becoming stronger as a result of the challenges they face. She facilitates finding creative solutions to strategic problems, transforming brands to better their worlds, and training high-performance leadership teams to drive their growth. Soni is a seasoned innovation, change and brand management executive with 30+ years of brand leadership and industry-related experience. She has a proven track record of growing multi-million-dollar businesses in highly competitive industries. She is a Northwestern Kellogg School of Management graduate with concentrations in finance, international business and marketing plus holds additional degrees in visual communications and adult learning.

Susan Frick

Social worker for Rush Alzheimers's Disease Center
Susan Frick, MSW, LSW, has worked at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center since 1997. She coordinates dementia-specific training programs for health care professionals and helps coordinate the Dementia Friendly and Dementia Friends initiatives in Illinois. Susan is the Director of Without Warning®, a support program for individuals and families who live with younger-onset Alzheimer’s and the Executive Producer of the documentary, created by the group, now airing on PBS and Amazon Prime entitled, “Too Soon to Forget: The Journey of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.” She works with patients and families in the Rush Memory Clinic and with people involved in RADC research studies. Susan graduated from Elmhurst University in 1985, received her master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago and has worked in the field of Alzheimer’s disease since 1987.

Wes Becton

CEO and co-founder of George Washington Street Partners
Wes Becton is CEO and co-founder of George Washington Street Partners, an executive leadership coaching firm that specializes in business consulting and executive leadership coaching. Wes spent more than 20 years in the healthcare industry as an executive specializing in multi-specialty physician practices and surgery centers and eventually serving as president of an ophthalmology practice. Wes is a graduate of the Army’s Ranger School and served as an infantry officer in Korea and as Commander of the U.S. Army’s Honor Guard Company. He also taught leadership and organizational behavior for 13 years (2005-2018) as an adjunct faculty member at Lewis University and is currently a frequent speaker and lecturer on the topics of leadership, innovation, and diversity.

Zoya Khan

Graduate student, production controller
Zoya Khan graduated from NIU in 2018 with a B.S. She recently went back to school at Elmhurst University for her MBA, with an emphasis in Supply Chain Management. She competed in Speech and Debate in college and developed a passion and interest in public speaking. She enjoys sharing ideas and encouraging discussions that empower, inspire, or question the status quo. Zoya is a first-generation Muslim American young woman in business and a leader at heart that wants to encourage others like her to find their fire within and own their careers.

Organizing team