2020 Conference


TEDxUConn 2020

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Sunday, October 18th



Aarushi Nohria

UConn Student, Children Rights Campaign Coordinator for The Student Coalition for Human Rights

Idealistic Advocacy: The path forward

Aarushi Nohria is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut studying English and Human Rights. She has worked to protect children’s rights for the past seven years, especially in the realm of education. As the Child Rights Campaign Coordinator for The Student Coalition for Human Rights, she is currently leading advocacy and sponsorship initiatives against child slavery. She also serves as the Vice President of Huskies for Human Rights, one of UConn’s many student organizations intending to raise awareness of the various issues affecting our local community. Finally, she works as a volunteer tutor with The Education Project to help fill gaps in the education left after the COVID-19 pandemic decimated school schedules. She aspires to continue to serve her community as an educator and, where needed, as an advocate.


Amy Oestreicher

Enrolled in Advanced Shadow Puppetry Online Certificate program

Creativity Connects: How to heal the environment in a global pandemic

Amy Oestreicher is an Audie award-nominated playwright, performer, and multidisciplinary creator. A singer, librettist, and visual artist, she dedicates her work to celebrating untold stories, and the detours in life that can spark connection and transform communities. Amy overcame a decade of trauma to become a sought-after PTSD specialist, artist, author, writer for The Huffington Post, international keynote speaker, RAINN representative, and health advocate. She has given three TEDx Talks on transforming trauma through creativity, and has contributed to NBC’s Today, CBS, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen Magazine, The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, and MSNBC, among others. Amy has toured her multi-award-winning musical, Gutless & Grateful, to over 200 venues from 54 Below to Barrington Stage Company since its 2012 NYC debut, and developed her full-length play, Flicker and a Firestarter, with Playlight Theatre Co. Her multimedia musical, Passageways (original lyrics, music, book and mixed media artwork) has been performed at HERE Arts Center, Dixon Place, and the Triad Theater. Her plays have been published internationally, and have been performed by theatres, students, and cultural organizations nationwide. She has recently published her memoir, My Beautiful Detour: An Unthinkable Journey from Gutless to Grateful, has a Creativity & Gratitude on pre-order to be released in November, and is currently recording the audiobook for her CT Press Award-winning autobiography. See more at www.amyoes.com.


Juliana Barrett

Extension Educator

The UConn Climate Corps: A patchwork of adaptation solutions

Juliana Barrett is with the University of Connecticut Sea Grant College Program and the Department of Extension. Her work focuses on climate change adaptation and coastal habitat management working with Connecticut’s municipalities, NGO’s and state and federal partners. Prior to coming to Sea Grant in 2006 she worked with CT DEP on management plans for state natural areas and for The Nature Conservancy as the Director of the Connecticut River Tidelands Last Great Places Program. She has a doctorate in plant ecology from the University of Connecticut and is a co-author of the Vegetation of Connecticut and Salt Marsh Plants of Long Island Sound. As long as there’s no poison sumac, she likes nothing better than getting wet and muddy in Connecticut’s wetlands or hiking and kayaking through new places.


Katharine Morris

Founder of UCCO

How to Collaborate for Environmental Justice

Katharine “Kat” Morris is a scholar-activist currently completing her Masters of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut. During undergrad, she studied Cognitive Science and Anthropology as an Honors Scholar, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. As a Scholar of the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network, Kat conducted independent research on Cross Cultural Engagement and Intersectional Activism Among UConn Affiliates and founded UConn Collaborative Organizing, aka UCCO. Through UCCO, she provided an infrastructure for grassroots organizing which prioritized intersectionality and solidarity in activism for social and environmental justice. As the founding president, she led the organization of several protests and events in collaboration with over 20+ organizations; including the September 20th Climate Strike, the March Against Racism, the Eco-Fresh Clothing Swap, the March of Solidarity, Mental Health Action Day, the Healing Through Poetry series, and more! Before UCCO, Kat was the university’s first Pack Leader for the Protect Our Pack, Bystander Intervention Program, a member of the NAACP UConn Chapter, and several other campus organizations. She believes academia must serve the people rather than the institution and seeks to uphold this in all her academic pursuits. Her goal is to spread a culture of radical love in activism and everyday life.


Lindsay Angelo

Growth Strategist

The Business Model Puzzle: How brands thrive beyond crisis

Named a global innovation leader and Woman to Watch, you can find Lindsay Angelo at the intersection of brand strategy and storytelling. It’s here that she partners with brands to craft their strategies and tell their stories while delivering ground-breaking insights on the future of consumerism. Lindsay is the creator of a signature blueprint for driving brand growth through impact. Prior to advising, she spent six years at lululemon crafting their global growth strategy and growing the company into the number one yoga wear player in the world. Since launching her own strategy consulting practice, she’s worked with organizations including lululemon, the LEGO Group, WeWork, Norwest Ventures, and the Good Man Brand.
Lindsay’s entrepreneurial spirit was sparked when she bootstrapped her first apparel venture at fourteen years old. This pursuit later took her to the angel investment arena incubating early-stage brands and then on to Strategy and Marketing across the health and wellness, retail and technology spaces. Lindsay sits on the Advisory board for the World Business Research organization and provides global insights on the future of consumerism and social innovation to an array of media houses and publications including the National Post, Retail Executive, and Innovation Leader. A born entrepreneur, she intends to heal the world through business, one brand at a time.


Noah Frank

Honors Scholar in Political Science and Double Major in Economics

Highways of the Future: A Road to Nowhere

My name is Noah Frank, and I am a junior at the University of Connecticut, studying Political Science and Economics. Aside from being a lifelong learner and someone who deeply appreciates the value of community, I have taken a great deal of pride in considering the trials and tribulations here at home. I am a history buff at heart, with a knack for geography and political organizing. When I’m not studying, I’m either singing or I’m playing music, oftentimes with my a Capella group at school, the Conn-Men. In the future, I hope to continue speaking about the world as it exists around us, and to pursue a career studying law. Thank you so much to all of the organizers of the TedX event this year, I can’t wait to see what happens next!


Rachel Tambling

PhD, LMFT, Associate Professor UConn Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Mental Health Stigma and the Cult of Positivity

Dr. Rachel Tambling is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at the University of Connecticut. She received her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Michigan University and PhD in Child and Family Development with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Georgia. Dr. Tambling’s research is centered on intervention and service utilization in mental health care. She is specifically interested in treatment initiation, client engagement, and client processes of change during psychotherapy. Dr. Tambling is also interested in health equity, and the ways in which social determinants of health impact mental health and substance use treatment services help-seeking, utilization, and reimbursement. She is interested in research that explores ways to address barriers to health equity, including expanding the availability of couple and family therapy to populations who typically do not access or fail to benefit from therapy, and understanding the complex components of effective engagement and change during therapy. Dr. Tambling is also interested in the measurement of psychotherapeutic constructs and the ways in which measurement impacts outcomes of mental health and substance use services. Dr. Tambling is also the Editor in Chief of Contemporary Family Therapy.


Rhianna Bennett

UConn Student, English Major

Fandom Fueled

Rhianna Alexis Bennett is a Connecticut native serving in the Connecticut Air National Guard. At UCONN she is an English Major with a concentration in Creative Writing and is pursuing a minor in Africana Studies. After she graduates next spring Rhianna has plans to pursue a Masters Degree in Secondary Education in aspirations of becoming a Teacher. Beyond her education she is a creative: an aspiring writer, musician, artist, and online content creator. She is known for the space she takes up in the online Star Wars Fan community as a cosplayer, video essayist, and one of many cohost on the Star Wars podcast Sistas with Sabers that focuses on discussion of contemporary media through a Black feminist lens.


Robert Thorson

Professor of Geosciences, University of Connecticut

The Human Epoch: The Anthropocene Epoch as Earthly Modernity

Robert M. Thorson is a Midwest native turned Western geologist, turned New England academic. Currently, he’s a Professor and Head in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Connecticut where he juggles teaching, research, administration, writing, journalism, honors advising, and scholarly engagement. After his Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Washington in Seattle (1979), he held visiting appointments in history at Yale University, geography at Dartmouth College, American Studies at Harvard University, and civil engineering (obras civiles) at Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria, in Valparaiso, Chile. He is the author of seven books, hundreds of essays, and dozens of scholarly articles –most recently on the use of historical, archaeological, and geological evidence to create blended environmental histories. As a life member of the Thoreau Society, he walks to work on a private trail through the woods, around a pond, across ancient bedrock, above a stream, and between abandoned fieldstone walls.


Tiffany Kelley

DeLuca Foundation Visiting Professor for Innovation and New Knowledge at the University of Connecticut, School of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation Graduate Online Certificate Director

Addressing the Patchwork Model of Healthcare through Innovation

Dr. Tiffany Kelley PhD MBA RN is the DeLuca Foundation Visiting Professor for Innovation and New Knowledge at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. In her appointed role, Dr. Kelley is responsible for executing on the strategic plan to foster innovation across all academic programs. She developed and is the Director of the Healthcare Innovation Certificate Program. Kelley is a leading expert on the topics of healthcare innovation and informatics in the contemporary times of delivering safe, efficient, timely, patient-centered, effective and equitable care to patients and their families. Dr. Kelley is also an active healthcare innovator and entrepreneur.


Zoey England

UConn Student, Individualized BA, MPH with UConn Health

How to Safeguard Happiness through Service

Zoey England is a first-year Junior at the University of Connecticut, where she is anticipating earning an individualized Bachelor’s in the realm of population health and disease. She is also working to complete a FastTrack Master’s in Public Health. Zoey is an outspoken advocate on the importance of investing in mental healthcare as well as taking time for self-care. She spends most of her free time volunteering, most frequently with the U.S. Medical Reserve Corp and the UConn American English Language Institute as a conversation partner. When Zoey is not studying or volunteering, she can be found reading, playing with her dog, Bo, or attempting to craft the perfect macaron. She is an award-winning nature photographer, with her favorite subjects being honeybees and migratory butterflies. Zoey has also been playing the cello for almost ten years, performing with her orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 2018.