DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > TEDxDePaulUniversity celebrates 'Metamorphosis' in person

TEDxDePaulUniversity celebrates 'Metamorphosis' in person

2022's five TEDx speakers stand on stage after the event
Five speakers — from left to right, Joseph Chen, Isaiah Boozer, Carlos Roqués, Liam Heneghan and Desirie McKay — took the stage May 4 for the first in-person TEDxDePaulUniversity in more than two years. (DePaul University/Randall Spriggs

(Updated 1/23/23 to include links to each speaker's YouTube video.)

For the first time in over two years, the Holtschneider Performance Center opened its doors to the Blue Demon community for an in-person TEDxDePaulUniversity on May 4.

Nearly 180 students, faculty, staff, family and friends turned out to hear TED-style talks from five DePaul community members. Each talk centered on this year's theme, "Metamorphosis," selected after a period of immense change and transformation in almost every aspect of life. The speakers focused on a variety of topics, including recovering after the suicide of a family member, the importance of animation and the beauty in nature's decay. Take a look through Newsline's slideshow from the event. 

This year's speakers, and links to the YouTube videos of their talks, follow:

  • Isaiah Boozer, an undergraduate student in The Theatre School (video of his talk);
  • Joseph Chen, a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (video of his talk);
  • Liam Heneghan, a professor in and former chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Studies in the College of Science and Health (video of his talk);
  • Desirie McKay, a licensed clinical social worker and field education coordinator in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (video of her talk); and
  • Carlos Roqués, an undergraduate student in the Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media (video of his talk).

"I felt honored and hopeful that [my talk] would have a positive impact," Chen says of the in-person presentation.

"There was immense camaraderie between all the presenters," Heneghan adds. "The presenters boosted each other's spirits, and the audience just seemed so supportive and into it all."

School of Music senior Alona Kamynina started the day's event by singing a Ukrainian nostalgia piece, "Sing Not to Me Beautiful Maiden." She immigrated to the United States from Ukraine in 2009 and chose the song to share a piece of her homeland with the audience.

"My heart aches for my native land and all the horrors that my people are experiencing while being afflicted by our brother country, Russia," Kamynina says. "Singing this piece in my native language and reminiscing on the memories I hold of my time there with my friends and family, it [was] truly a bittersweet experience."

Driehaus College of Business marketing professor and improv expert Jim Mourey served as the event's host. Following the talks, he led the audience throug​h an interactive improv activity to reflect on the day's topics and experiences.