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In honor of its 25th anniversary at Fairfield University, the School of Engineering hosted TEDxFairfieldUniversity on October 28, 2019. The theme of the event, “Innovation and Inspiration,” reflects the many ways in which the engineering program at Fairfield has adapted to the changing world, continually finding new ways to provide transformative educational experiences for our students, and challenging them to live inspired lives in service to humanity.

The nine speakers who presented live at TEDxFairfieldUniversity are introduced below, along with links to each of the short but powerful talks. Enjoy!

What is TEDx?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxFairfieldUniversity where x=independently organized TED event. At our TEDxFairfieldUniversity event, TED Talks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

TEDxFairfieldUniversity Presentations

Stephen Badylak

“Two Steps Forward, One Step Back”
Stephen F. Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD

Dr. Stephen Badylak is a professor in the Department of Surgery and deputy director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. More than 10 million patients have been treated with bioscaffolds developed in his research lab. In his TEDx talk, Dr. Badylak asserts that research is not a sprint – it’s a marathon… and the next big breakthrough often comes right after a setback.

David C. Banks

"Taking Flight: Empowering Young Men of Color to Soar Above Adversity"
David C. Banks

David Banks is the president and CEO of The Eagle Academy Foundation, Inc., and was founding principal of the Eagle Academy network of innovative all-boys public schools in New York City, as featured on CBS This Morning. In his TEDx talk, Banks shares his visionary approach to the education of young men of color – emphasizing a partnership between schools and communities based on the guiding principles of academic excellence, leadership, and character development.

Cindi Bigelow

"Lessons Learned From My Father"
Cindi Bigelow, H’16

Cindi Bigelow is the third-generation president and CEO of Bigelow Tea, headquartered in Fairfield, Conn. In her TEDx talk, Bigelow shares the lessons passed down through generations in her family-run business: about having a strong work ethic, about career development, and about the importance of having – and being – a role model.

Donna Coletti

“The Longest Journey: How Palliative Medicine Changed a Surgical Mind and Heart”
Donna Coletti, MD, MS, FACOG

Dr. Donna Coletti is scholar-in-residence at the Kanarek Center for Palliative Care in Fairfield University’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies. In her TEDx talk, Dr. Coletti explores how a personal experience with an aging family member impacted her public health career – and her perspective on palliative medicine.

Lilliana Delmonico

"What Drives Your Future?"
Lilliana Delmonico ’20

Lilliana Delmonico ’20 is a bioengineering major in the School of Engineering and co-founder of the Biomedical Engineering Society at Fairfield University. As a college senior and captain of the sailing team, Delmonico knows a thing or two about “keeping an eye on the horizon.” Her TEDx talk offers a new twist to the age-old question, “What do you want to be?"

Sloane Guy

“Innovation Inspired by Adversity - Robotic Surgery's Third Wave"
T. Sloane Guy, MD, MBA

Dr. T. Sloane Guy is a professor of surgery and director of Minimally Invasive & Robotic Cardiac Surgery at Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. Having served three tours in the U.S. Army as a trauma surgeon in Afghanistan and Iraq, Dr. Guy – a “real-life Hawkeye Pierce” – offers a new perspective on surgery, basing his TEDx talk on experiences on the battlefield and in the operating room.

Aidan Kehoe

"Feeling Safe in Scary Times"
Aidan Kehoe

Aiden Kehoe is the founder and CEO of Skout Cybersecurity. Drawing from his years of delivering the highest level of cybersecurity technology and service, Kehoe’s TEDx talk offers a glimpse into the changing landscape of internet security and assures anyone with an online presence that “feeling safe in scary times” is indeed possible.

Dawne Ware

“Ethics: Yes, Even When Nobody is Watching"
Dawne Ware ‘89

Dawne Ware ‘89 is the CEO of Ware Consulting, LLC, with 20+ years of experience forming, building, and leading companies in the property casualty and reinsurance industries. With a healthy dose of #jesuiteducated, Ware’s TEDx talk explains why doing what’s right – in your personal life and your business life – should not be a difficult decision.

Mark Unger

"First Survivor"
Mark Unger

Mark Unger is the owner and director of Unger Global Companies, and author of First Survivor. His TEDx talk honors the extended family, friends, and dedicated doctors who gave him and his family the strength to confront – and reject – the diagnosis of “zero chance of survival” when his son was diagnosed with childhood cancer.

Thank You to Our TEDxFairfieldUniversity Sponsors