Skip to main content

Villanovans Ignite Change at Inaugural TEDxVillanovaU Event



VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Villanova University community will “Ignite Change” once again—this time with TEDxVillanovaU.

The inaugural TEDx event at Villanova University, TEDxVillanovaU, is being held Wednesday, March 28, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., in the University’s Connelly Center. The event features live speakers from the Villanova community sharing how they “Ignite Change,” an appropriate theme for a conference devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” The private, ticketed event consists of nine live presentations—each no longer than 18 minutes—by alumni, faculty and students. TEDTalks videos and live performances by artists of the Villanova University community will be featured between lectures.

“TEDxVillanovaU’s vision is to showcase the most fascinating thinkers and doers from Villanova for a stimulating day of presentations, discussions, and entertainment that will spark new ideas, innovations and opportunities across all disciplines,” said Helen K. Lafferty, Ph.D., TEDxVillanovaU organizer.
TEDxVillanovaU presenters and their talk titles include:

• Eliza Behymer ’09 A&S, ’12 MS, Kathleen Gavin ’13 MS, and Amanda Slattery ’10 A&S, ’13 MS – Sharing is Not Just for Kindergarteners
• Jonathan Chain, ’13 MBA – Speaking of Change
• Alyssa Fischer ’12 MSSE and Wairimu Mwangi ’10 ChE, ’12 MSSE – A Framework for Change: Widening the Scope of Corporate Sustainability
• Timothy Horner, Ph.D. – Who would you kill for? The Nature in Genocide
• George James ’01 A&S – The Power of Relationships: Building Connections to Ignite Change
• Patrick Maggitti, Ph.D. – It’s Not Just for Artists Anymore: The Creativity Imperative of the 21st Century
• Ariana Meltzer-Bruhn ’14 A&S – Ability: Can You Do It?
• Michele Pistone, J.D., LL.M. – The Future of Higher Education
• Randy Weinstein, Ph.D. – How Dr. Seuss Damaged Engineering in the US

*More detailed information is available at

About TEDx, x = independently organized event: In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

About TED: TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.