x = independently organized TED event

Theme: A Life of Significance

This event occurred on
November 4, 2022
Newport News, Virginia
United States

"A Secret War and a Message in a Bottle" Paul Bibeau
"Sisyphus Smiles: Why We Should Embrace Challenge" Colin Bunn '23
"Real Life Does Not Have a Syllabus: The Messy Truth About Discovering Your Path" Susan Geoghegan
"Forgiveness is a Song We Must Learn and Sing" Dr. Antoinette Allen
"Making Significance Smaller" Claire Rooney '22
"Not as Normal as I Seem" Ryan Arnold '26
"The Value of Reading Fiction to Make the Present Less Real" Dr. Jason Carney
"The Power of Perspective" Amber Heyward '15
"Finding Purpose: Choosing Creation in a World of Consumption" Katrina Thaler '21
"The Unexpected Things You Learn from Parents With a Disability" Louise Byrne '24

Torggler Fine Arts Center
1 Avenue of the Arts
Newport News, Virginia, 23602
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Antoinette Allen

Antoinette Allen, Ph.D., has spent the past 29 years working in the areas of equity, human resources, logistics and leadership development. In 2018, she launched an educational consulting company to share her diverse content and experiences. Allen has held numerous leadership roles, beginning in the U.S. Air Force (retired Major), continuing as a senior manager in the Federal Bureau of Investigation before working as full-time faculty at the Office of Personnel Management's Federal Executive Institute, where she perfected the inclusion of creative arts-based learning techniques (art, dance, music, and poetry) into her design and delivery. Antoinette is an award-winning poet, sought-after international public speaker, trainer, certified life coach, writer, and workshop facilitator known for her energy, storytelling, and facilitation of unique, passionate, thought-provoking topics. In 2020, Allen coined the term, “systemic forgiveness,” and plans to integrate this concept into mainstream leadership concepts. She considers herself a lifelong learner who completed a Ph.D. in Education, M.S. in Behavioral Science, B.A.S. in Human Resource Development, and an A.A.S. in Logistics. With a life motto of, “Keep Moving Forward,” Dr. Allen seeks to connect her audience with the necessity of not only sharing their story but making no apologies for it either! Her recently released poetry book, “Black Girl in the Mirror,” is being used by multiple organizations to help teach leaders how to conduct challenging conversations, while exploring women’s leadership perspectives.

Claire Rooney

I am a proud class of 2022 CNU graduate. I majored in Business Management and Leadership Studies, but really I spent my 4 years at CNU learning from the institutions, processes, and people in our community. I loved it enough that I decided to stay and learn a bit longer through a fellowship in the President's office. I volunteer weekly with THRIVE Peninsula - a hunger and housing support nonprofit - and do weekly "why you should volunteer at THRIVE" video segments for their social media. I have recently adopted the motto "you're not too cool for school" because I think we waste far too much of our time diminishing the value of everyday life and tempering our excitement for the things we are interested in. I may not be an expert, but I did spend the first three years of my undergraduate career under this intense pressure to succeed because I thought in order to live a life of significance *I* had to become significant. The thoughts I have to share describe the mindset I wish I could share with my freshman self - to realize that I actually had it backwards.

Colin Bunn

Senior at Christopher Newport University double majoring in philosophy and political science and double minoring in leadership and philosophy of law.

Jason Carney

Jason Ray Carney is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English of Christopher Newport University where he teaches courses in writing, literary theory and the history of criticism, Gothic fiction, and popular literature. His academic book, Weird Tales of Modernity: The Ephemerality of the Ordinary, analyzes interwar pulp fantasy, horror, and science fiction; reviewing it, the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts stated "Carney’s book is a valuable addition to the literature on its topic. It deserves a wide readership, and a prominent place in the scholarship of American fantastic literature in the early twentieth century." Carney's scholarship on the literature of the unreal has appeared in The Journal of American Culture, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and several other publications. Most recently, Carney was authorized by the literary estate of Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Elie Wiesel, to adapt his harrowing The Trial of God into an original opera (musical composer: Andrew Scott Bell). Carney edits the award-winning The Dark Man: Journal of Robert E. Howard and Pulp Studies and Whetstone: Amateur Magazine of Sword and Sorcery, and is the are chair of the "Pulp Studies" section of the Popular Culture Association. In addition to scholarship and editing, Carney is also a fiction writer and published his first anthology of fantasy fiction, Rakefire and Other Stories in 2020.

Katrina Thaler

"I found my passion for leadership and human resources while studying Business Management at Christopher Newport University. While in college, I grew from a quiet student sitting in the backs of classrooms to a strong leader creating change and strategy at CNU through being an intern in the Center for Career Planning, a Small Group Coordinator of a campus ministry, an Orientation Leader, a Lead Tutor in the Center for Academic Success, and on the Student Advisory Board of the Luter School of Business. Since graduating in May of 2021, I’ve joined Collier Aerospace, a small aerospace engineering company as the Human Resources Coordinator. While at Collier, I’ve worked to build and lead the Human Resources Department with new initiatives and strategy in recruiting, onboarding, employee engagement, performance management, and training and development. Outside of work, I contribute to the Peninsula Chapter of SHRM on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Panel, as well as volunteer with my local church as a High School Small Group Leader. I’m my best self when living in community with others, engaged in critical conversations and new ideas, and striving for ways to change and improve the world around us. "

Louise Byrne

Current CNU majoring in Political Science with minors in Leadership Studies, as a part of PLP, and Human Rights & Conflict Resolution. On campus, I'm an RA, research fellow for the Reiff Center, and on E-Board for the Student Diversity and Equality Council. My career goals include going to law school, practicing law, and advocating for human rights. I've been passionate about a career in human rights since learning about the UN when I was 14. I am volunteering with refugee resettlement doing legal assistance for my class called Migration, Displacement, and Refugees.

Paul Bibeau

Paul Bibeau has been a reporter and producer for more than 20 years, with bylines in Marketplace, the Washington Post, the New York Observer, and other outlets. He produced The Secret War of Willis Hodges, an 8-part investigative podcast for WHRO about previously hidden portions of the Underground Railroad in Hampton Roads. He was a producer for HearSay With Cathy Lewis from 2018 until its final show in 2021. Bibeau reports stories on the military, politics, history and city government and has won multiple awards for investigative journalism. In 2006 he wrote Sundays with Vlad, a humorous book on the legacy of Dracula, for Crown/Three Rivers. As part of his research, he rented a car and traveled across Transylvania, tracing the path of Jonathan Harker in Stoker’s book. He appeared as a Dracula expert in an HBO documentary on the subject. Bibeau has a beautiful and tolerant wife and three boys who are smart and often break thing

Ryan Arnold

Current CNU first year student with intentions to major in Psychology and Leadership and minor in Childhood Studies. Advocate and Disney fanatic

Susan Geoghegan

"Susan Geoghegan was born and raised in Hampton Roads, Virginia. She attended James Madison University, earning a degree in Communications and Marketing, and quickly entered the world of sales and entrepreneurship. In 2016 Susan and her husband, Michael, welcomed their first child, Lorelei. Lorelei was born with a tremendous amount of medical complications and was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease. The life that was familiar and expected was gone. As new parents they learned to educate, advocate and mostly, cling to hope, as they navigated life as a rare disease family. In 2019, their son, Benjamin, was born - also with Mito. As a veteran ""medical mama"", Susan began working with NICU moms and Advisory Councils at Children's Hospital of King's Daughters. She networks and supports mito families around the world as they face the turbulence of medical parenthood. Susan is a writer, speaker, and creator who uses grief, hope and sarcasm to create light for those who find themselves on a dark, isolating journey they never expected to be living. In 2020 Susan launched When Autumn Comes Podcast, a popular podcast for Medical and Special Needs Mamas (and the people who love them). In 2022 her podcast evolved into a nonprofit that empowers, encourages and restores caregiving parents of medically complex children. While she has accomplished a lot in her life, Susan is most proud of the amazing adventures, endless love, buckets of hope and epic hair she has given to her perfectly imperfect, brave and beautiful children. "

Organizing team


Newport News, VA, United States