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Meet the speakers: TEDxDePaulUniversity

2016 TEDxDePaulUniversity speakers
TEDxDePaulUniversity speakers (left to right): Jacqueline Martinez, Alyssa Westring, Kinza Khan, Ken Butigan, Derise Tolliver Atta, Fr. Edward Udovic, Gabrielle Presbitero, Laith Saud, Winifred Curran, Dorothy Griggs, Mark McGreevy and Shailja Sharma. (Image by Jeff Carrion)
CHICAGO — With an overwhelming response to the call for speaker applications, the TEDxDePaulUniversity selection committee was astounded by the quantity and quality of candidates. Out of a pool of 80 applicants – and after ample deliberation – the committee accomplished the difficult task of selecting 12 speakers who embody the event’s theme: What must be done?

The speakers include DePaul University faculty, staff, students and alumni. Through the theme What Must be Done? each speaker’s talk has deep roots in their areas of research and personal interests that promise to inspire ideas and provoke stimulating conversation within the community.
The speakers are: Women’s work culture researcher Alyssa Westring; faculty mentor and associate professor Derise Tolliver Atta; writer, change agent and graduate student Dorothy Griggs; senior executive for university mission and church historian Rev. Edward R. Udovic, C.M.; bioinformatics enthusiast and student Gabrielle Presbitero; co-founder of NetWings and education advocate Jacqueline Martinez; peace, justice and conflict studies teacher Ken Butigan; College of Law alumna and domestic violence attorney Kinza Khan; writer, scholar and activist Laith Saud; international advocate for the homeless Mark McGreevy; associate professor of international studies Shailja Sharma; and gentrification scholar Winifred Curran. The master of ceremonies for the event will be The Theatre School’s diversity advisor Dexter Zollicoffer.

For more information on each of the speakers visit:

TEDxDePaulUniversity will be held April 29 from 1-5 p.m. at 247 S. State St., room LL105. For more on the event visit:

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, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. 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. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.


Wendy Smit