x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Small Fish, Big Pond

May 13, 2024
5:00pm - 8:00pm PDT
(UTC -7hrs)
Irvine, California
United States
This event is open to the public.
Tickets are available.

TEDxUCIrvine presents their annual spring conference, Small Fish, Big Pond, which aims to capture the essence of being a small being in a world that only gets bigger and more accessible. As globalization grows and people have more access to knowledge and other parts of the world, we as individuals have become the smallest we have ever felt in human history. So how can we differentiate ourselves in such a vast ocean? At our event, we have a fantastic lineup of speakers that will present TEDx talks on how they stay afloat, and they will challenge your perception on how you view yourself as a small fish in a big pond. Audience members can also enjoy performances from our UCI student groups throughout the event. To learn more about our speaker and performer lineup, go to our website or follow us on social media @tedxucirvine.

Admission to this event is free for UCI students and discounted for UCI staff/faculty. UCI students must present their student ID and pick up their free ticket at the Barclay Ticket Office. We encourage students to pick up their ticket in advance as space is limited and to avoid waiting in line the day of the event. Early bird ticket sales begin on April 12 where tickets are available for 15% off. Buy now before the early bird discount ends on April 26!

Irvine Barclay
4242 Campus Dr
Irvine, California, 92612
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Anahit Baghshetsyan

UCI Undergraduate Student
Born and raised in Armenia, currently living in the United States, and having traveled to various countries worldwide, most of Anahit’s experiences are centered around learning about foreign cultures and international current events. But despite her adaptability and knowledge of social matters, the what she loves the most in life are numbers and math theories. She is a cofounder and Director of Business Development for Toon, a social enterprise that helps children from vulnerable backgrounds internationally by selling merchandise featuring art made by them.

Andres De Los Reyes

Professor at University of Maryland
Andres De Los Reyes received his PhD from Yale University. He is a Professor of Psychology at University of Maryland. In his research, he seeks to understand why any two mental health studies often yield discrepant results about anything from diagnostic rates of mental health conditions to the effectiveness of mental health interventions. He is the author of the forthcoming book by Oxford University Press, Discrepant Results in Mental Health Research, a project inspired by his recent Fulbright Fellowship. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and the Chair of the Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education.

Arnel Calvario Ripkens

Occupational Therapist
Dr. Arnel Calvario is the founder of UC Irvine’s own Kaba Modern and Kaba Modern Legacy. He also served as the Board President of international 501c3 non-profit dance organization, Culture Shock International from 2016-2023 and currently is an active member of world-renowned dance crew “the KINJAZ.” He has managed dance crews Kaba Modern, Fanny Pak, the Beat Freaks, & Kinjaz during their runs on MTV’s hit show America’s Best Dance Crew. Arnel also helped manage Kinjaz during their 2017 run on NBC’s World of Dance. In collaboration with Culture Shock Los Angeles, he piloted a dance therapy program serving neurodivergent youth and currently works as a doctor of occupational therapy for Long Beach Unified School District.

Beth Ellen Nash

Founder of Wings to Soar Online Academy, Bestselling Author, Special Needs/Transformational Speaker
Beth Ellen Nash founded Wings to Soar Online Academy, an individualized online school that offers K-12th intervention as well as full-time school options. She believes that every child deserves a personalized education, so each child has their own personalized Path to Success™ Learning Plan. Beth Ellen is passionate about breaking the chains of failure, shame, and inadequacy freeing generations for greatness! She believes that when students with dyslexia and other outside-the-box learners are empowered with skills and confidence to soar that they are destined to be world changers! Beth Ellen is author of the Amazon #1 bestselling book, Dyslexia Outside-the-Box.

Michael Yam

NFL Network Anchor
Mike Yam is the host of NFL Total Access on the NFL Network and author of the children’s book Fried Rice and Marinara. Prior to NFL Network, Yam was the lead studio host for the Pac-12 Network. He also served as an ESPN anchor and host for ESPN radio and SiriusXM. Growing up with a Chinese immigrant father from Hong Kong and an Italian mother, Yam has always been fascinated by diverse cultures and perspectives. Yam is a passionate advocate for social issues and has authored op-eds on immigration and the Asian American community. Yam is a graduate of Fordham University and resides in Southern California.

Pyet DeSpain

Professional Chef
Pyetwetmokwe (Pyet) is a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribe, and an award winning global private chef. She is the first winner of Gordon Ramsay's new groundbreaking TV show, Next Level Chef, on Fox. In 2021, Pyet was named Top 25 best private chefs in Los Angeles by Entrepreneur Magazine. Her life's work is dedicated to Indigenous Fusion Cuisine, where she combines the food of her heritage - both Native American and Mexican. Pyet's passion is to uplift indigenous culture and traditions via storytelling, traveling and cooking.

Sina Tadayon

Actor, Writer, and OCD Advocate
Sina is an advocate for those suffering from OCD and other anxiety-related disorders. His path in OCD advocacy is deeply rooted in his own life experiences and a strong belief in the power of education to illuminate what living with OCD truly means. As a storyteller, he understands the impact of narratives in our lives. Everywhere we go, we hear and share stories, and he firmly believes that the complexity of OCD, along with the challenges it imposes on many, is a story that desperately needs to be shared.

Organizing team




Irvine, CA, United States