x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Vision to Victory

This event occurred on
January 27, 2024
Las Vegas, Nevada
United States

Welcome to TEDxUNLV, where brilliance meets the stage! Join us on Saturday, January 27, 2024, from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm, at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for an inspiring symphony of ideas and innovation under our theme 'Vision to Victory.' As the TEDxUNLV Organizing Team, we're thrilled to curate an electrifying event showcasing speakers poised to redefine perspectives and stir passions. Our diverse lineup of thought leaders, creatives, and change-makers will delve into groundbreaking concepts, sparking conversations that transcend boundaries. Stay tuned for impactful talks, exclusive content, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the transformative power of ideas. Let's unlock new possibilities together! #TEDxUNLV #VisionToVictory #Innovate #Inspire #Impact

Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall
4505 S Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89154
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Christen Smith

Honors Student Council Vice President
Christen Joy Smith is a UNLV Honors College undergraduate student majoring in Hospitality Management with dual minors in Marketing and Global Entrepreneurship. Christen is the UNLV American Marketing Association President, the Vice President of the Honors Student Council, the Marketing Director for Books, Beverages & Bites, and the Lead Peer Mentor to first-year Hospitality students. Christen won 2nd place at the 2023 President’s Innovation Challenge and is currently developing a web application to decrease household food waste. She was crowned 2023 Rebel Royalty and won the 2022 Helen J. Stewart Award. As a Scholar for the Troesh Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Christen hosts workshops on “Productive Journaling and Goal Setting.” For 10 years, she has remained a committed diarist and envisions herself journaling for as long as she can put pen to paper. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and eventually serve as in-house counsel for a major hotel brand.

David Church

Senior Vice President, Program Management
David Church, a seasoned senior leader, boasts over 20 years of diverse experience spanning program management, consulting, education, and process improvement. He holds degrees from the University of Southern California (Bachelor's) and the University of California, Los Angeles (MBA). With a background in organizational behavior, Big Five Consulting, and Fortune 100, David has taught at four universities, crafting specialized courses such as project management for executive MBA programs and process improvement for undergraduates. A certified Project Management Professional at the age of 24, he set a record as one of California's youngest PMPs at that time. Currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Program Management at Bank of America, David also serves as the Board Chair for Central Texas Table of Grace, a non-profit organization. Additionally, he holds a core adjunct faculty position at National University and Cal Lutheran University.

Dominick Delpech

Freshman Student
Dominick Delpech is a 19 year old freshman student. Born and raised in Las Vegas but carrying the cultural heritage of his Argentinian parents. Spanish is his second language. Currently pursuing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies, currently contributing soccer and news articles to the UNLV Scarlet & Grey Newspaper. Beyond print media, Dominick is an active member of the UNLV Social Media Team and the UNLV TV Team. Dominick’s communication journey began during his high school years, where he joined the world of public speaking and debate, as a frequent participant in Speech & Debate and Mock Trial competitions. He secured an internship with PBS Media producing, recording and editing content in a professional landscape for an on-air teen section. Dominick’s main goal in life is to have a positive impact on people’s lives, utilizing his voice to foster a welcoming sense of community where everyone is unafraid to express their ideas and thoughts without fear of judgment from others.

Dr. Andromeda Hightower

Teacher Educator
Andromeda Hightower is an autistic, trans nonbinary teacher educator and researcher with a PhD in Teacher Education. Their focus is on coaching and mentoring, with an emphasis on the challenges of feedback and long-term positive change. Their dissertation was a self-study that examined the decision-making process of coaching, revealing the layers of awareness that must be navigated to understand how and why certain decisions are made. It uncovered a complex network of motivations that inform a desire to help others towards positive, long-term change. In their current work, they strive to improve their craft as a teacher educator through novel approaches to feedback collection and implementation. They collect daily feedback on their practice and provide analyses to their teachers to model feedback implementation in their own classrooms. They are currently exploring ways to improve teacher education through feedback training and research.

Dr. Bo Bernhard

Vice President of Economic Development; University Professor; Speaker; Consultant
Dr. Bo Bernhard began his research career at Harvard University, where he completed a double major (sociology and psychology) magna cum laude thesis on the impacts of tourism – while captaining the baseball team, winning the outstanding senior award on the nationally-ranked soccer team, and garnering “Academic All-Ivy League” honors in the classroom. The foundations of Bo’s thesis have since been extended worldwide, and by the age of 30, he had delivered major research addresses on six continents. A highly sought-after speaker and consultant, Dr. Bernhard has worked for more than two decades with Fortune 500 CEOs and executives in the global hospitality and entertainment industries. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Discovery Channel, The Australian Broadcasting Channel, NPR, and ESPN. Bo is currently a Vice President at UNLV, where he oversees innovation and entrepreneurship programs at Black Fire, a new campus dedicated to the global fun economy.

Dr. Katherine Lee

Associate Professor at University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Kathy is an Associate Professor in Residence at UNLV. After graduating from Princeton University with her B.A. in Psychology, she earned a PhD in Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her training and experiences as a licensed health service psychologist and nationally certified school psychologist in Las Vegas, NV help her train future mental health professionals who work in K-12 schools. She is also a registered yoga teacher (RYT200) and has been practicing yoga for 13 years. As a busy working mother of four wonderful children, Kathy is excited to share her experiences with others, and impart lessons from her yoga journey to positively influence others to live their best lives.

Dr. Marcedes Butler

Postdoctoral Scholar
Dr. Marcedes "Dr. Sadie" Butler, visionary educator and researcher, holds a Doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California (USC). As a Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada (BGCSNV) postdoctoral academic fellow and part-time UNLV faculty, she bridges academia and community, focusing on at-risk populations. An award-winning advising administrator, Dr. Sadie champions inclusive learning through community-engaged research and initiatives like Mental Health First Aid. Committed to educational equity, she owns AcadademicHelp101.com. Her TEDxUNLV talk promises profound insights into student success dynamics, unraveling the journey of "Navigating College Persistence to Graduation."

Dr. Michael Baran

Social Scientist & CEO of Iris Inclusion
Dr. Michael Baran is a social scientist and CEO of Iris Inclusion. He draws on his research in cultural anthropology and cognitive psychology to inform his diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work–speaking, writings, consulting, leadership development, and eLearning. He has been supporting DEI efforts for 20 years – from Fortune 500 corporations to educational institutions, government agencies, and nonprofits. His work has been covered by Forbes, CNN, NPR, Boston Globe, Slate, and more. Dr. Baran has taught at Harvard University and the University of Michigan. He has worked as Associate Director at the Framewworks Institute and Principal Researcher at the American Institutes of Research. His coauthored book, Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions, was released in 2020 with a second edition in 2023. It is a Hudson News Bestseller, has been named by Forbes in “The 11 Books to Read to Be a More Inclusive Leader,” and has won several awards.

Dr. Michelle Rozen

Best-selling Author, Researcher, Change Expert
DR. MICHELLE ROZEN is known as The Change Doctor and is an expert on leadership, motivation, and change. Dr. Rozen is a researcher, a best-selling author, and a much sought- after motivational speaker to the world’s leading brands. She is a guest expert on major media networks on topics related to thriving in business and life. Dr. Rozen’s latest research, published in the Journal of Social Sciences, revealed that only 6% of people achieve their goals. She holds a Ph.D. in social sciences from NSU and resides in the Greater NYC area.

Dr. Steffen Lehmann

Professor of Architecture
Steffen Lehmann, Ph.D., AIA, RIBA, AA. Dipl. (born in Stuttgart, Germany) is an internationally recognized urban designer, scholar, author, researcher, and strategic leader. He is a tenured Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, and former Executive Director of three schools of architecture in the US and Australia, including the Las Vegas School of Architecture. He is the Director of the interdisciplinary Urban Futures Lab, translating a strategic program into positive impact, dealing with a changing profession and transforming society. Before UNLV, Steffen was a chair professor in the UK and the chair-holder of the UNESCO Chair for Sustainable Urban Development in the Asia-Pacific Region. Steffen has published 23 books on the theme of urban transformation. He is internationally known for the vital role he plays in advancing sustainable architecture and urbanism, higher Education, research and innovation, student opportunities and success, economic development and innovation impact.

Kelsey Matthews

Program Manager, Mental Health Professional, Author
Kelsey Elizabeth Matthews wears many different hats: program manager, mental health professional, author, advocate, chaplain, and Truman Scholar, to name a few. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from UNLV with her Bachelor of Social Work degree and is paving her own way in the workforce. She has spent many years in the non-profit sector, specializing in community engagement and program management. Her areas of focus include mental health, suicide prevention, and substance abuse, advocating to bring awareness to the drug and opioid crisis that took her mother's life. She also has a heart for survivors of emotional and psychological abuse, especially at institutional levels. This sparked her passion for leadership and her desire to bring the systemic issues present within our institutions to light. Her story is one of courage, resilience, and faith—defying all odds and overcoming every obstacle with grace and unrelenting grit. It is her hope to create lasting change for generations to come.

Lisa Maaca Bartlette

Social Service Entrepreneur
Lisa Maaca Bartlette is a social service entrepreneur and an expert in Trauma-Informed Care. She delivers evidence-based programs and keynote presentations throughout the U.S. in order to re-shape how we think about and address trauma. Lisa has practiced as a Social Worker in Ohio and California and provides consultation and training to California’s Child Welfare and Juvenile Probation workforce, among others. Lisa obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Hiram College and her Master of Science in Social Administration as a Mandel Leadership Fellow from Case Western Reserve University. She is currently a Doctor of Social Work candidate at Barry University, with a focus on Trauma-Informed Care and the Neurobiology of Trauma.

Mark Kamp

As the dynamic CEO of Millennia Productions, 'Marvelless' Mark Kamp is renowned for orchestrating transformative experiences that seamlessly blend the energy of rock and roll with the demands of the business world. In his best-selling book 'Opportunity Rocks,' Mark delves deep into the strategies that distinguish legendary rock artists, revealing powerful lessons from business and life. He's been featured on platforms such as ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO Max, and E-News. He was also an international entertainer, Las Vegas Headliner, and Hit Radio DJ. By fusing the electrifying spirit of rock music with proven team-building strategies, his message not only energizes but also breaks down barriers among audiences. He nurtures authentic connections among attendees and sets the stage for collaborative success throughout an event or offsite. When you attend one of Mark’s experiences, you're in for a transformative journey that resonates, revitalizes, and reignites teams with a shared rhythm and vision


Chief Operating Officer
Paul Jan Zdunek serves as the Chief Operating Officer at Miller Kaplan, a Top-100 Accounting & Business Advisory Firm, and Partner at Tipping Point Strategists, a consulting firm focused on transforming organizations through its foundational approach of Purpose, People, and Place. After a decade-long career as an orchestra conductor, Paul brings over 20 years of C-Suite experience providing leadership and advisory services as a business transformation & change management specialist for institutions requiring revitalization. His expertise includes organizational & leadership development, change management, conflict & crisis resolution, complex facilitation, executive coaching, and stakeholder management. Paul is an award-winning co-author of a book on cultivating GREY LEADERSHIP® titled Cowboys & Conductors: Conversations on Horseman-Humanship which he uses to teach executive courses within the Technical Management Program at UCLA and the Odyssey Program at Johns Hopkins University.

Priscilla Pfeiffer

Priscilla Pfeiffer, a seasoned professional boasts a two-decade career in entertainment & business. Her unique show business background allows her to craft mesmerizing performances, leaving enduring memories. Focused on delivering resonant and empowering messages, she inspires individuals to unlock their full potential both personally and professionally. Renowned for creating "wow factor" moments, Priscilla has an esteemed clientele, including brands like BMW, LinkedIn, Michael Jordan’s Air Jordans, Pfizer, Bacardi, Cosmo Latina Magazine, Zappos, & Celebrity Cruises. Her impressive credits include sharing the stage with Pitbull, Will-i-am, Joan Jett, Enrique Iglesias, and Marc Anthony, as well as performances on America’s Got Talent, Latin Grammy Awards, & NHL Awards. Priscilla also hosts the acclaimed podcast, Spark Your Inner Fire, delving into the creative mind. In essence, Priscilla is not only a veteran but a trailblazer whose performances consistently create lasting impressions.

Santiago Michel

Santiago Michel, a prodigious talent in the realm of mentalism, hails from Mexico City and proudly holds a degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. At just 29, he has established himself as a preeminent Hispanic entertainer, setting a record for the most shows performed by any artist in the history of Las Vegas. His mesmerizing blend of mind-reading and comedy has captivated audiences in over 12 countries, showcasing his unique ability to connect with people across cultural boundaries. Santiago's performances are more than mere entertainment; they are profound explorations of the human psyche, leaving audiences spellbound and deeply engaged. In recognition of his exceptional contributions to the world of entertainment, the City of Las Vegas honored him by declaring June 21 as 'Santiago Michel Day.' A testament to his outstanding achievements and influence, Santiago continues to push the boundaries of mentalism, inspiring awe and wonder wherever he performs.

Sasha Ball

PhD Student & Lifelong Learner
Sasha’s greatest accomplishments are her titles as aunt, sister, daughter, granddaughter, mentor, and friend. She is a low-income, multiracial, first-generation college student raised in Las Vegas, NV. Who decided that success to her was education and learning. After enduring a tumultuous childhood, and hearing the words, “you can’t” from a kindergarten teacher. She strives to share her experiences in education, perspectives, and expresses the value of mentorship. She believes that all students regardless of background deserve a chance to “fly” and live up to their definition of success. She earned her bachelor's degree with the help of TRIO support Scholars in 2006, her master’s in educational psychology and certification in human development from Ball State University and is currently enrolled as an Educational Psychology PhD student at UNLV. Sasha has learned that without failure there is no success, and nobody can write your story the way you can.

Shannan Mondor

Best-selling Author
Shannan Mondor is a best-selling author, podcast host, public speaker and a mindset and manifesting coach. She created Fulfillment in Faith to teach others to have faith in themselves, which is the foundation to having fulfillment in every area of their lives. Shannan overcame her past and used her experiences to empower herself to change. She now uses the knowledge she gained to help others release their past and find greatness within to live in confidence, strength, and freedom. Her passion is to teach as many individuals as possible how to create a life they love. Shannan has created a collection of resources to help and guide her to your best life, including her book How in the Hell Did I get Here., her podcast, Fulfillment in Faith, and her programs, Fulfillment in Faith and 1:1 Coaching Through Fulfillment in Faith. Through these resources, she will be inspired and empowered to live a life of joy, confidence, and abundance.

Tania Merolla

Communication Studies Junior
Tania Merolla is a Communication Studies Junior at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas, set to graduate in 2025. Tania adores the creative arts, namely writing and acting. After an unexpected event in the middle of 12th grade in 2018, her path diverted into one vastly different from what she originally planned as an 18-year-old. But, the lessons she learned will continue to help her grow throughout her life. In her free time, Tania participates in acting, writes (lately, lots of screenwriting), creates and edits short form videos for her various internships, watches every superhero film possible, and spends time with her family (including a very playful dog named Tina).

Taylor Cayro

As a child of the ‘90s, Taylor Cayro grew up on edutainment programs including Bill Nye the Science Guy, Blues Clues, Reading Rainbow, and his all-time favorite Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Carrying this inspiration into his higher education journey, Taylor is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His goal is to follow in the footsteps of his idols into the world of edutainment by educating viewers via modern social platforms. Playing the role of writer David Alan, Taylor guides viewers to new concepts by telling stories of his characters dealing with challenges and, learning together with the audience, how to resolve them. His two dogs, Kronk and Max, and kitty, Schrodinger, will be featured in this TEDx talk as Kronk has to overcome the challenges of one of the scariest subsets of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Wynn Tashman

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusivity Consultant
Wynn Tashman is an interdisciplinary researcher and educator, renowned for his consulting expertise in diversity, equity, & inclusivity (D.E.I.). With an academic background that spans a BA in Psychology, a JD in Law, and a nearly complete PhD in Multicultural Curriculum & Instruction, Wynn brings a unique perspective. His research focuses on creating evidence-based cultural competency trainings that practically address real-world issues, particularly supporting LGBTQIA+ students, employees, and clients in schools and workplaces. Wynn’s innovative approach, known as ‘The Moveable Middle,’ is all about doing diversity trainings differently by meeting people where they’re at and using a mix of legal knowledge, psychological principles, and educational techniques to foster environments where everyone can thrive. His work, a testament to the powerful impact of challenging conversations, has sparked transformative changes, making him an insightful and relatable voice in the field of D.E.I.

Organizing team


Las Vegas, NV, United States
  • Alainna Jayce Gonzales
    Team member
  • Gavin Froehlich
    Team member
  • Jamal French
    Team member
  • Katerina Koytcheva
    Team member
  • Merci Silva-Acosta
    Team member
  • Sheree Cain-Jones
    Team member
  • Sophia Long
    Team member