x = independently organized TED event

Theme: "Teach Me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge."

This event occurred on
January 29, 2024
Bronx, New York
United States

Join us for an engaging and enlightening day of ideas worth spreading at TEDxUMSV. This year, we are proud to present a thought-provoking event centered around the theme of the university's motto,"Teach Me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge."

In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, the pursuit of goodness, discipline, and knowledge has never been more important. At TEDxUMSV, we gather a diverse group of speakers, including students, faculty, administrators, alumni, and friends of the University of Mount Saint Vincent, who are passionate about sharing their unique insights and experiences related to these core values.

Be prepared to be inspired as our speakers take the stage to explore the profound impact of goodness in our relationships, the transformative power of discipline in achieving personal and professional goals, and the endless possibilities of knowledge in shaping our understanding of the world.

Through a series of captivating talks, our speakers will offer fresh perspectives, challenge conventional wisdom, and ignite conversations that push the boundaries of our thinking. From personal anecdotes to groundbreaking research, they will share stories that demonstrate the remarkable potential of goodness, discipline, and knowledge to create positive change in individuals, communities, and society as a whole.

Whether you are a student, educator, professional, or simply curious about the ideas that shape our world, TEDxUMSV offers a platform for engaging dialogue, meaningful connections, and an unforgettable experience. Join us as we come together to celebrate the pursuit of goodness, discipline, and knowledge.

University of Mount Saint Vincent
6301 Riverdale Ave
1st Floor - Cahill Theater
Bronx, New York, 10471
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Amanda Correa-Suarez

Special Education Coordinator at NYC Public Schools
An educator, a creative, and my favorite new title - a mother. As a dedicated Special Education Coordinator, I go beyond mere compliance, fostering a culture of self-reflection and a growth mindset among educators. With a wealth of experience coaching educators in diverse settings, I focus on addressing self-doubt, unlocking potential, and building positive work environments. Recognizing the link between job satisfaction and student success, I've spearheaded impactful professional development initiatives. Beyond professional responsibilities, I engage in community service, and channel my creative energies into teaching paint classes and managing a small business. I’m equipped with a Master's in Special Education, a Bachelor's in Psychology, and NY State Teaching and Leadership Licenses, but I've discovered that authenticity is my greatest asset. It's a philosophy that has allowed me to connect with others and contribute to a world where learning, leading, and serving go hand in hand.

Anthony Arce

College Senior at the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Anthony Arce is an example of resilience and determination. He emerges as a force for change and inspiration as a student leader at the University of Mount Saint Vincent. Coming from the borough of Bronx, New York, Anthony embodies being a first generation student navigating through adversity with resilience. As a junior majoring in sociology, he displays the power of perseverance and the limitless possibilities that stem from being so. Fueled by an unyielding drive to motivate and uplift others, Anthony is committed to transcend barriers, and demonstrate that where you come from does not dictate your destiny. Anthony Arce’s narrative is a testament to the boundless potential that resides within each of us, his journey from navigating personal challenges, to being an advocate for change within his community serves as an embodiment of resilience, possibility, discipline, and the transformative power of perseverance

Barron Witherspoon, Sr.

Influential business leader and a former senior vice president, Global Industry Affairs & Corporate Race Initiative, at Procter & Gamble
BARRON WITHERSPOON, SR. is one of the country’s most influential business leaders & a former senior vice president, Global Industry Affairs & Corporate Race Initiative, at Procter & Gamble. He was named in Savoy Magazine’s “Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America” & the “Top 100 Most Influential African Americans in Business” by the National Diversity Council. Witherspoon is the best-selling author of The Black Exec: And the Seven Myths, where he identifies the myths facing Black executives today no matter how well-intentioned the organization and company culture may be. Amazon ranks it among the top 10 financial interest books. His earlier book, The Fallacy of Affinity: A Case for Cross-Cultural Worship, which focused on the importance of multicultural and multi-ethnic worship, was also a top-seller and is currently in its second printing. An ordained minister, Witherspoon is a Tuskegee University graduate. He is married with two very accomplished adult children.

Celia Anzalone Bowers

Author & Founder + President of Lead with Love International
Celia Anzalone Bowers is the reigning Mrs. Tennessee International, competing for Mrs. International in July of 2024. She is also the Founder and President of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Lead with Love International. Through her nonprofit, she has facilitated therapeutic writing workshops in four states and counting since becoming established in August of 2023. During her workshop she also donates a copy of her first book (Celia’s Eyes, 2011) and shares her raw, authentic story of childhood trauma, addiction, recovery, and ultimately the path that led her to where she is today. She is an entrepreneur in the mortgage industry, mother of two precious twin boys, wife to husband, Dr. Dane Bowers (Au. D.), and was a nationally ranked triathlete in 2021 and 2022. She is host to the podcast, Love Waits for You, a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children volunteer, holds a Bachelor’s of Science from Bryan College, and she currently lives and works in the Nashville, Tennessee area.

Christina Broderick-Royes, LSW

Founder & CEO, Intention Elevation
Christina is an activator. A futurist and visionary leader. She embodies strength in a multitude of areas but especially in ideation, communication, and significance — meaning that she talks the talk and walks the walk. Her passion for prioritizing mental health wellbeing stems from her career experience as a clinically-trained licensed social worker, a former psychotherapist, a certified school social worker, and an adjunct professor. Having worked across the entire lifespan, Christina founded her company, with the aim to provide a proactive, foundational approach to organizations looking to transform the way they tackle the mental health crisis. Christina has her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from La Salle University and her Master's Degree in Social Work from Boston University.

Damarcus Williams

Director of Student Activities at the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Damarcus Williams is the Director of Student Activities at the University of Mount Saint Vincent. Damarcus is a trailblazer in the field of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, where he has dedicated the bulk of his career to fostering environments that celebrate differences and empower every student to thrive. He envisions student activities as not just events but as powerful catalysts for positive change, creating spaces where students can engage, connect, and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive campus culture. His dynamic presentations inspire change and motivate others to join the movement for a more equitable educational landscape.

David Gilman

President of Gilman Performance Solutions
David applies his Psychology degree from the Mount even today. Previously a Manager of Training, Learning and Development at firms such as GE, Merrill and Prudential, David went into consulting and has served some of the world's largest firms, including Deloitte, PwC, BD, and UBS, each for over 100 days, and also firms of just 30 people. David’s focus is “helping others be more successful,” whatever their role or level. For the last 20 years, whenever someone asks David for his aspirations, he includes doing a TED talk. His TEDx talk will help people personally and professionally achieve success in "Do people look forward to being with you?" David met his wife during an internship while a student at Mount Saint Vincent, has two daughters, and lives in CT.

Eddie Vaisman

COO and Board Member, ChalkTalk
Eddie Vaisman is a startup executive obsessed with operational excellence. His education was in Physics and Electrical Engineering, which he used to conduct research funded by organizations such as NASA, DARPA, NSF, and CERN. After learning about startups, he jumped right in and was the first employee and data scientist at TrueMotion where he developed and patented algorithms to end distracted driving and automatically send an ambulance to those in a car crash (even if they're unconcious). Eddie Vaisman is a startup executive obsessed with operational excellence. His education was in Physics and Electrical Engineering, which he used to conduct research funded by organizations such as NASA, DARPA, NSF, and CERN. After learning about startups, he jumped right in and was the first employee and data scientist at TrueMotion where he developed and patented algorithms to end distracted driving and automatically send an ambulance to those in a car crash (even if they're unconscious).

Fernando Mendoza

Dean of Students at the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Fernando Mendoza, Dean of Students at the University of Mount Saint Vincent is originally from Bolivia, adopted and was raised in Connecticut, Fernando has over 15-years of experience in the Higher Education field. His passion for working with students comes from the mentorships, guidance and love that he received while being raised by a single mom. Fernando is a burn survivor with over 35% of his body scarred from a burn accident as a baby. Through overcoming obstacles, Fernando has lived life from a different prism and is thankful to be able to share his story, love and spirit with everyone he comes across. Having been honored at various institutions for student advisement and mentorship, Fernando is lucky and blessed to have had a successful career motivating and mentoring college students. Fernando is a proud #girldad and blessed to have a beautiful 14-year-old daughter who this TED talk is dedicated to.

Genevieve Piturro

Founder Pajama Program
Genevieve’s journey has taken her from a little girl's question in a homeless shelter to the Oprah show to boardrooms & stages across America. She was a successful TV executive who dramatically changed direction - and found purpose - when a little girl’s question rocked her life and she founded the national organization, Pajama Program in 2001. Working to inspire others to listen to their heart-voice in pursuing their passions, Genevieve’s teaching and writing focuses on Purpose, The Human Connection and Legacy, demonstrating how vital these three pillars are in leadership and contribution. Her award-winning best seller, Purpose, Passion and Pajamas: How to Transform Your Life, Embrace the Human Connection and Lead with Meaning, shares life and leadership lessons she has learned along the way. Her second book, Purpose, Passion and Moxie: How to Lead the Way and Leave a Legacy, helps others start a nonprofit from scratch to success. Gen lives in Irvington, N.Y. with her husband, Demo.

Jason Acosta

Macro Social Worker, Adjunct Professor and Co-Founder of Live From The Bronx, LLC
Jason Acosta is a proud South Bronx native and a product of New York City’s foster care system. Driven by his personal story, Jason aims to inspire systemic change by centering identity and healing as the foundation for transformation. Jason’s experience spans across different educational and nonprofit institutions, including community colleges, nonprofit organizations, child welfare agencies, and teacher diversity initiatives. As an adjunct professor for Hunter College in NYC, Jason has the opportunity to work with NYC high school students where he encourages them to find their purpose as future educators through a course titled, Intro to Urban Education. Jason is also the Co-Founder of Live From The Bronx, LLC, a media brand that bridges community to the creative economy, and he is also the Co-Founder of The Bronx Summit, an annual event that centers and elevates the creative artistic genius of changemakers of color.

Jeff Dess

Author, Educator, Speaker Co-Founder of Trill or Not Trill
Jeff Dess is an award winning educator, best selling author and notable public speaker who specializes in the areas of Learning and Development and culturally responsive education. He is the Co-Founder of Trill or Not Trill – the disruptive educational firm and leadership institute renowned for its culturally responsive tactics and strategies in connecting with today’s youth and training leaders of the modern workforce. Jeff is an author of seven books and has performed as a spoken word poet internationally on the continents of Europe, Africa, Asia along with the Caribbean. As a consultant and Higher Education professional he along with his firm have partnered with companies such as Goldman Sachs, Twitter, Madison Square Garden, Dreamville,The Georgia Aquarium, NASPA,NSLS and have been featured in Ebony Magazine, Complex, AfroTech and The Root. He currently serves as the Director of Leadership & Engagement at New Jersey City University.

Jennefer Witter

CEO/Founder The Boreland Group Inc.
Jennefer Witter is the chief executive officer and founder of The Boreland Group Inc., a public relations firm headquartered in Riverdale, New York City. The agency specializes in women-led and minority owned businesses. It was selected by as one of five national, black owned businesses “making a buzz”. Jennefer was named one of the nation’s “10 most successful black CEOS and entrepreneurs” by MadameNoire Magazine, and her company was recognized as one of 12 black-owned businesses to be “loved by its community and beyond” by ThriveGlobal. Jennefer is an active public speaker and the author of “The Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Small Business Noticed” (AMACOM/HarperCollins). She has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Radio, MTV News, WJLA, HuffPost, and has written for Forbes.

Kevin Brooks

School counselor at Ossining High School
Kevin Brooks was born and raised in the Soundview section of the Bronx. Kevin was raised by his single mother, who was a public school teacher for over 20 years-education was in his blood. He attended schools within the NYCDOE for his entire K-12 education. Kevin’s schools were predominantly Black and LatinX. It wasn’t until he attended Fordham University, a Predominately White Institution (PWI), that Kevin really started to question issues of race, class, and other forms of oppression. It was during this time that Kevin also discovered youth development, through various internships with young people. After graduating in 2008 Kevin got his first grown up job at New Settlement Apartments’ College Access Center. This job was transformative, because it introduced him to the world of College Access. Kevin received his Masters from Hunter College in 2013, and is currently a school counselor at Ossining High School.

Kylee McGrane-Zarnoch

Founder & Executive Director of A Moment of Magic, Author, Content Creator
Kylee McGrane-Zarnoch (she/her) has been featured on The Today Show, USA Today, & has been named an Aerie Real Changemaker and Sara Blakey Red Backpack Fund Recipient. Ignited by experiences of having loved ones in the hospital, in December 2014, Kylee made it her mission to make the hospital a less scary place for children in need by donning a princess costume. Over the last decade, Kylee & her team created a nationwide network and meticulously established a system allowing college students from across the country to apply and join their royal family. Since then, A Moment of Magic has engaged more than 1,300 college student volunteers from more than 30 colleges & universities to partner with 300+ hospitals & NPO's to provide creative programming to more than 125,000 children. Today, Kylee uses her platform to advocate for causes she cares most about, including mental health, the power of creativity and vulnerability, and chasing your dreams (especially the ones that seem impossible).

Lenny A. Williams, MBA

Professor, Author, Co-Founder of Trill or Not Trill
Lenny Williams is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of the culturally responsive Educational agency Trill or Not Trill. He has trained over 500,000 individuals through this organization about leadership, entrepreneurship, cultural diversity, career readiness, and more. He has worked with companies and institutions such as Twitter, Macy's, Microsoft, The Georgia Aquarium, UCLA, University of Kentucky, Columbia University, Yale University, NYU, Rutgers, Iowa State, and more. Professor Williams holds an MBA in Marketing. As a Professor of Entrepreneurship, marketing, Lenny has taught at several universities in the United States and Jilin Haquio University in China. He also serves as the Associate Director of the Minority Male Achievement Program at NJCU. As a consultant and collaborator, Lenny designed and implemented the first at-home virtual educational platform at The Georgia Aquarium for K-12 students and Title 1 school.

Leonard Nalencz

Assistant Professor of English at the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Passionate educator for student success!

Linnita Hosten

A corporate communications expert and presentation coach
Linnita blends the study of human psychology of communication, linguistics, emotional intelligence, and behavioral science. She teaches professionals, leaders, and executives how to discover their individual speaking style and leverage it to gain a distinct edge in their careers and beyond.

Lisa R. Barry, Ph.D

HEOP Counselor & Adjunct Professor of Communication at the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Dr. Lisa Barry is a Counselor for the Higher Education Opportunity Program at the University of Mount Saint Vincent. She supports students with academic advising, career readiness, navigating their first year of college, financial aid issues, personal issues, and much, much more. Dr. Barry is also a college professor who has taught Communication, Media Studies, and Rhetoric for twenty-eight years. She earned her B.A. in Theatre and M.A. in Communication from the University of Colorado and Ph.D. in Communication (Rhetoric & Media Studies) from Penn State. She is a decorated scholar and has received many teaching, mentoring, and advising awards.

Louis Sanchez

Director of HEOP at the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Louis Sanchez currently serves as the Director of HEOP at the University of Mount Saint Vincent. He has 14 years of Higher Education experience, serving in various roles such as Director of Residence Life, and Director of Admissions for a Correctional Education Program to name a few. Louis has a passion for serving students as he knows first hand how difficult being a student can be as he himself is a first generation college student. Louis dropped out of high school and attained his GED in the year 2000. His journey didn’t stop there as he attained his Bachelor’s degree from Nyack College in 2009, and received his Master’s degree in Philosophy and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2014. For Louis, education isn’t just about the individual student, it can help shape future generations. Louis is also an immensely proud father of a daughter, Rosie, and a son, Asher.

Mahfuz Chowdhury

Brand Strategist
Mahfuz Chowdhury is a national award winning Brand Strategist, who played a pivotal role in transforming a start-up agency into a global brand. He has spent the last 15 years empowering brands, leaders, and changemakers through impactful storytelling and creative strategies. He has addressed audiences from Microsoft, IBM, KPMG, PwC, EY, and earned recognition as a Guinness Book of World Records holder for speaking at the world's largest virtual podcast conference. Mahfuz is also the host of the Growth Decoder podcast for Canadian Western Bank, delving into entrepreneurs' pivotal moments and growth challenges. With two published books, including "The Resilient Brand: Storytelling in a Digital Era," Mahfuz shares insights on marketing, branding, and personal development, showcasing his expertise in crafting authentic brand narratives.

Poonam Bhuchar

Attorney, Author, Mediator, Life Coach and Speaker
Poonam Bhuchar, a practicing attorney, is an acclaimed speaker and coach on overcoming trauma and emotional pain in order to live a happy, fulfilled life. Born and raised in London of Indian parents, she immigrated to the United States at 21 and experienced a multitude of painful challenges in her life, including sexual assault, abuse, health issues, financial setbacks, and the aftermath and cultural humiliation of divorces. Poonam developed the S.A.F.E. Method to help others acknowledge, discuss, and grow from their emotional pain without self or imposed stigma or judgment. Her top-selling book "SAFE from the Pain” guides readers into the light of a prosperous, happy life. Poonam has appeared on 30 podcasts and been interviewed on Fox. In addition to her coaching and speaking, she is now using her legal knowledge and personal experience to create pre-divorce and individual wellness retreats. Poonam recently introduced an online course on "Becoming Emotionally S.A.F.E."

Raajvi Singh

College Student at Baruch College
Raajvi Singh is a sophomore at Baruch College in New York City, where she is pursuing a major in International Business. Deeply committed to social causes, Raajvi has dedicated herself to numerous non-profits. During the pandemic, she worked relentlessly, ensuring educational access for underprivileged children and aiding over a thousand individuals in rural India with essential menstrual hygiene products.Currently, Raajvi is interning with the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council where she engages with international issues and contributes to a broader dialogue on global relations. Alongside this, her role at Nolcha Shows, provides her with a platform to connect with diverse communities, contributing to a more interconnected world by bringing people together through organized events and cultural exchanges. With her unwavering commitment to making a difference, Raajvi Singh embodies the spirit of change and stands as a beacon of hope for a brighter future

Raymond Batkay

Regional Sales Manager NE, Chicago Pneumatic, Pnuematech & MARK Compressors
Raymond Batkay was born in the Morris Park Section of the Bronx, NY. He graduated from Lakeland High School in Westchester County and subsequently enlisted in the United States Navy in 1996. His first Duty Station was onboard the USS OLYMPIA SSN717, a submarine based out of Pearl Harbor, HI. He later rode various Submarines as a member of Submarine Squadron 7 in Pearl Harbor and later served at Naval Submarine Support Command in Groton, CT. He currently manages the Northeast Region for Chicago Pneumatic. Raymond received his undergraduate degree from the Eastern Connecticut State University with a concentration in English and a minor in History. He received his MBA from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and performed as an Adjunct Professor in the Business Department at the school for the better part of a decade. He is married to the former Jill Santiago and has 6 children. He currently resides in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

Sonja Dawn Van Breda,

Public Speaker
Sonja is originally from Australia and has lived in NY since 2008. With a background in broadcast television, she is also a Public Speaker for mental health with NAMI-NYC. She has lived experience with abuse, bullying, anxiety, depression and PTSD. She is currently writing a book ‘Funny Mental Life’ about her recovery which she embarked upon in 2013 after a severe PTSD episode “I changed my perspective about myself and my past trauma, in order to shine a new light of understanding. My hope is to share my story in order to change the stigma on mental health by showing that sharing our stories is just a conversation.

Organizing team

Andrew (Drew)

Bronx, NY, United States