September 10, 2021 King Center Concert Hall
855 Lawrence St, Denver, CO 80204
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE
Register here if you’re an MSU Denver faculty member, staff member, or student:
All other community members register here:
MEET THE PRESENTERS BIOS
From a young age, Thomas knew he wanted to help people. A variety of volunteer experiences and some meaningful mentors along the way pushed him to pursue a career in social work. Over the past 10 years…
Renee Fajardo is a mother of seven and a cultural activist who has spent the past 30 years preserving and promoting the rich heritage of Colorado’s multicultural communities through her work as a storyteller and writer. She has…
Since 2010, she has been the director of the MSU Denver Chicana/o Studies Journey Through Our Heritage program, which partners community organizations and university students with local high schools and middle schools to create teams that work on service-learning projects. She is the board chair of the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council. In 2018, she was inducted into the Denver Public Library César Chavez Leadership Hall of Fame.
Bethany Fleck Dillen
Bethany Fleck Dillen received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. While there, she also earned a master’s in the Science of College Teaching. Her research centers on cognitive development in childhood education and university classroom contexts. Both lines…
In today’s globalized world, Dominique is a third-culture person raised in cultures other than his or her family’s country of nationality. This is becoming increasingly common thanks to our shared dynamic of modern life on earth. His background led him…
Dominique’s project PhoneBook is a physical way in which good practices in industrial-design methods can combat global problems, designing consumer electronics for future global populations. He believes that industrial design is about moving humanity forward through human-centered design.
Eric James has had many jobs, including counting 5-cent aluminum-can deposits in Vermont, persuading people to keep their America Online dial-up internet access and balancing dan-dan noodles and chicken-dumpling soups as a P.F. Chang’s food runner. The way those jobs…
In his current role, Eric thinks a lot about how work creates stress and anxiety, often before we even start a new gig. That’s because work and labor have symbolic and material dimensions that inform our lives and our impressions of others. Many of us have asked questions such as: “What do I want to be when I grow up?” or “What will I do after college?” These questions socialize us to contribute in meaningful ways to society, but rarely do they acknowledge the importance of taking care of ourselves and our families.
When he’s not working, Eric is playing video games (including “Rocket League,” where cars play soccer), chasing around his two boys with partner Kathryn or enjoying the outdoors on the slopes or on the trails.
X (Antwaun D. Johnson) is a first-generation student, graduate of Overland High School and resident of Denver’s Five Points (District 9), which includes the Auraria Campus.
X was awarded the Stephen M. Hay leadership and activism award and Blacxera, the student organization he founded, was named…
X was recently added to the Provost Honor Roll and compiled a 4.0 grade-point average for the spring semester and a 3.92 in the previous fall. He is a recipient of the NAACP/Africana Studies Department academic scholarship.
X was a co-author of the From Constitution to Shared Governance Referendum that was approved by MSU Denver students in spring. He also has served on the Student Senate, chaired the Student Voice Committee and served on the Student Affairs Board and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council at MSU Denver.
X is a TRiO scholar and a COSI program recipient and has testified before Colorado legislature on behalf of MSU Denver and students for the continuation of the COSI program. That bill passed unanimously.
X has plans to become an attorney and pursue doctorates in higher education. “I want my life to be a testament to all that truth is the most important thing we can ever speak,” he says. “Therefore, I will let truth speak and me be me.”
Michael Kilman is an anthropologist, author and filmmaker based in Denver. He holds a master’s degree in Applied Anthropology from Portland State University. In 2013-14, he conducted his graduate research on the Denver-based community theatre known as the…
Evan Mazunik plays contemporary music as a composer, pianist and musical director in Denver. Despite starting piano lessons as a nearsighted 4-year-old with stagefright, Evan has discovered the joy of music through improvisation. He conducts ensembles…
Evan received a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance and a master’s in Jazz Studies from the University of Iowa. He currently serves as the choral director at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in the Denver Tech Center area. Outside of music, he is pursuing his passion for cooking.
Svetlana was born in Moscow but immigrated to Colorado as a teenager. She moved around quite a bit throughout childhood and as a result developed a habit of being minimalistic. She says she has never owned…
Her life can be split into three phases: the phase where she grew up in a privileged, sheltered life in Russia; the phase where she moved to the United States and became an undocumented immigrant; and now, she is a green-card holder pursuing higher education.
Growing up as an undocumented immigrant presented an unfortunate set of challenges, including finding employment, finding housing, affording college and obtaining health insurance. In 2016, the Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Center (JAMLAC) took her on as a pro bono client, and in 2018 she officially became a legal resident. She is a senior at MSU Denver studying Business Management.
Svetlana works full-time at Anthem Blue Cross and part-time at MSU Denver as a supplemental instruction leader. In her free time, she enjoys reading autobiographies and other nonfiction books as well as traveling. She is politically and socially educated and enjoys a healthy debate that exposes her to the point of view of someone with whom she may disagree. She’s still learning and growing every day, and post-graduation she hopes to find a meaningful career with a greater purpose.
Jacob Mora hails from Denver. Working within dance, music, film, theatre, art and fashion, Jacob performs, produces, directs and teaches across the nation.
Jacob is the founder and artistic director of Moraporvida Contemporary Dance (MPVCD), a 501(c)3 nonprofit dance company that is…
With a distinct and profound voice in the arts, Jacob has created curriculum for dancers, nondancers and people with special needs from ages 5 to 75. Tapping into the strengths of students, Jacob has been able to teach dance through gestures, pedestrian movements and various dance techniques internationally, providing a challenging platform for students of any level to grow. Jacob has a teaching mission to expand the view of what dance can be and bring the arts to all. Teaching dance through many techniques, Jacob can teach current styles and teach from a historical, technical, traditional place. Jacob teaches multiple techniques within hip-hop, modern, contemporary dance, jazz and classical dance.
Through performance, he uses his art and craft to explore the human condition as well as challenge perspectives in movement. Through outreach, educational performances and residencies, Jacob can tailor an experience to include the current curriculum being taught in a school’s particular level, as well as teach about the art of creating movements for choreography.
Jacob graduated from the University of Northern Colorado and received B.A.s in Dance and Theatre, with emphasis in Choreography, Acting and Performance. As a dancer, Jacob has been with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Hannah Kahn Dance, Santee Smith Group and Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre. He has worked with choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Betty Jones, Ron K. Brown, Milton Meyers, David Rousseve, Eleo Pomare, David Dorfman and Lisa Race, among many.
As a dance artist, teacher and choreographer, Jacob pulls from the culture of hip-hop, and dance culture. Creating unique musical scores and incorporating urban elements into his choreography, Jacob fuses a unique blend of contemporary and traditional techniques into his craft. His work has been seen internationally through MPVCD as well as college programs, festivals, guest-artist work and other dance schools and companies.
Jacob has been on the faculty with the University of Wyoming, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the New York Institute of Dance and MSU Denver. He also stays in the community by training dancers on the preprofessional level, including such schools as Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and Sweatshop Dance, and guest-teaching at festivals and institutions.
Nicole is a dancer, scientist, interdisciplinary artist and maker of many things. Borrowing the words of Salvador Dali, she strives to be “a carnivorous fish swimming in two waters, the cold water of art and the hot water of science.”
She has performed…
Nicole’s most recent project is “Pressing Play,” a mobile creativity unit housed in a 1973 GMC motor home. She has an MFA in Dance from the University of Colorado Boulder with a focus in Somatics and Multidisciplinary Performance and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. in Environmental Science from Columbia University in New York. Her current focus in dance and science revolves around the diverse application of the creative process across disciplines. Much of her focus has been on creating and directing a diverse array of multidisciplinary collaborative multimedia productions.
She was honored with the MSU Denver College of Professional Studies Outstanding Service Award, Career Catalyst Faculty Recognition, the Faculty and Staff Award for Exceptional Achievement in Community Engagement, designation as an Entrepreneurial Mindset Facilitator, an ATLAS Innovator Residency, an ACE performance grant and the Charlotte York Irey Award for talent in performance, choreography and teaching. She is on the faculty at MSU Denver, where she helped create and currently co-coordinates a Dance Program in collaboration with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (https://cleoparkerdance.org/).
Joseph Schneiderwind graduated with a B.S. in Engineering Physics in 2009 and an M.S. in Applied Mathematics in 2011, both from the Colorado School of Mines. After working for a few years, he returned to school for a Ph.D., passing candidacy exams before returning to Colorado…
During his time at MSU Denver, Schneiderwind has been researching difficulties faced by students with disabilities, especially in STEM programs. This research has led to multiple publications and presenting at national and international education conferences, all concerning the relative invisibility of issues faced by students with disabilities.
Alexander Sherman was born in Tampa, Florida, in February 1992. In 2001, he moved to the Boulder area to be with family. For the past 20 years, he has been trying to impact people and communities wherever he goes.
The topic of his TED Talk relates specifically…
This is not his first public speaking engagement, but it is his first time on a stage as large as TEDx. It is his first time doing a TED Talk, and he is excited to share with everyone. Alex has spent extensive time volunteering and working with organizations handling disabilities as well as underrepresented youth coming from diverse communities. Additionally, his expertise is with adolescents experiencing autism spectrum disorders. Many times, a “troubled” youth could easily be experiencing a disability that makes life difficult. Diversity and inclusivity are more present in the world than they have ever been before, so naturally how we talk about these things must change as well. After several years of floating between work and volunteer opportunities, Alex decided to earn an undergraduate degree in English with a Secondary Education Certification so he can help even more people. At first, the education was slow going, but after nearly six years of undergrad Alex is nearly finished. He would like to thank everyone who has participated in this journey. Most of all, Alex would like to thank his mother, Karen Settle.
Jann & Shari Simmons
As a mother/daughter duo, Shari and Jann are authors and speakers who bring awareness to audiences across the country about the impact of trauma/stress. They have a podcast on the Mental Health New Radio Network that highlights inspiring stories…
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Shari is a therapist in private practice and has managed several mental-health treatment centers and psychiatric facilities over the past 30 years. Utilizing her expertise in trauma, she is a consultant and educator to therapists, counselors, first responders, parents and CEOs. Her goal is to encourage participants to gain a deeper understanding of brain functionality when under stress (survival) rather than respond to behaviors punitively. Additionally, she is a university professor and teaches classes in Crisis/Trauma, Therapy and Management/Administration.
Jann is a survivor of extreme trauma who suffers from complex PTSD. After raising a family, she became a successful bank executive and is now an advocate for victims of trauma.
Together, they provide a dual perspective on what really occurs when a person perceives threat and what it takes to create interactions that are respectful, insightful, and less destructive. Their message is especially relevant in today’s world, as people have become witness to rising tensions and the Simmonses teach perspective and discernment in recognizing the signs of distress.
In light of what is taking place nationally, Shari and Jann challenge major reform in communication and provide tools that deescalate, dismantle misunderstanding and allow for peaceful interactions.
Call for Presenters is now OPEN!
In the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading,” TEDxMSUDenver is a TED-style event planned and coordinated independently, under license from TED.
TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On TED.com.
TEDxMSUDenver is a local gathering where live TED-like talks and performances will be shared with the MSU Denver community. The TED format is a suite of short, carefully prepared talks, demonstrations and performances that are idea-focused, and cover a wide range of subjects to foster learning, inspiration and wonder – and provoke conversations that matter. All TEDx events present multiple issues and a diversity of voices from many disciplines. After all, what’s the fun without a little variety?