x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Facing Forward

This event occurred on
February 23, 2023
University, Mississippi
United States

What ideas will have us Facing Forward in 2023? Perhaps we’ll be asked to look straight ahead–facing difficult realities. Perhaps we’ll journey to what we imagine lies ahead, as we plan for inevitabilities. Perhaps we will be motivated to not only face forward but to move forward. Only our next group of speakers will tell.

From nearly 300 nominations, our TEDxTeam has carefully curated an evening to appeal to a variety of interests. Join us on 2/23/23 for seven talks by eight thought-provoking speakers!

Ford Center for the Performing Arts
351 University Address
University, Mississippi, 38677
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Adam Gust

Professional Drummer
Adam Gust is the only Polyvagal-Informed professional drummer in the world. Adam focuses on identifying what happens when drummers find their “groove,” synchronizing brain/body and thought/feeling. Gust has hosted drum workshops at the Musicians Institute and performance workshops at the University of Southern California. He creates unique drum video content.

Arvinder Singh

Technologist and Entrepreneur
Arvinder Singh is a technologist, entrepreneur and researcher at the University of Mississippi. For over a decade, Singh has carved a unique career path in software, higher education, journalism, and advocacy.

Castel V. Sweet

Embedded Sociologist
Castel V. Sweet is a sociologist who explores the intricacies of community, culture and race, with a specific interest in the role of place and space. Through her work as a community engagement professional, she encourages exploring the unknown, making the unfamiliar familiar, and cultivating transformational relationships. Sweet earned her bachelor's degree in criminal justice/criminology from Hampton University, and her master's and doctoral degrees in sociology from Louisiana State University.

Michael Hood

Professor of Corporate Governance and Ethics
Hood currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Corporate Governance and Ethics for the University of Virginia, a board member for the School of Accountancy at Southern Illinois University, and a faculty member for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Nadeeja Niranjalie Wijayatunga

Obesity Researcher & Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Nadeeja Niranjalie Wijayatunga is an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management at the University of Mississippi. She is an obesity researcher and a registered dietitian nutritionist. Dr. Wijayatunga studies biobehavioral aspects of obesity and unhealthy lean – also known as skinny fat – as well as the role of diet and exercise in both conditions. Before coming to the United States for her doctorate in nutritional sciences at Texas Tech University, Wijayatunga worked as a medical doctor and was a faculty member at the medical school of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka.

Vince Hafeli

Mental Health Advocate
Vince Hafeli is an international speaker, author, and advocate for mental health and suicide awareness in the workplace. The President of Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, Hafeli has dedicated over 38 years of his life to the construction industry. Currently (2023), he is working toward a Doctor of Business Administration to further his research and training skills related to suicide in the construction field, while developing approaches to increase support for worker’s mental health needs.

Yongjian Qiu and Yiwei Han

Researchers, Biology, Mechanical Engineering
Yongjian Qiu and Yiwei Han are both assistant professors at the University of Mississippi. Qiu is the Principal Investigator at Qiu Laboratory, in the Department of Biology seeking to understand how crops will function in the face of global climate change. Research in his laboratory uses combined genetic, molecular, cellular, biochemical, and genomic approaches to determine how plants sense and respond to temperature changes. Yiwei Han is a mechanical engineer. He facilitates Qiu's research by designing, manufacturing, and implementing miniature and micro heaters to provide isolated heat to individual plant cells and organs. His micro heaters are being explored for use by researchers and practitioners in health and technology fields, as well.

Organizing team




Oxford, MS, United States