Speakers - TEDxValparaiso University
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Vivian Tzu-I Chiang, Ph.D.

Vivian Tzu-I Chiang

Empowering Universal Design for Learning through Human-AI Collaboration

Dr. Vivian Tzu-I Chiang is an ardent advocate for the transformative potential of data analytics and artificial intelligence in education. With a foundation in linguistic research and a background in language instruction, her journey began as a dedicated educator, sparking a curiosity-driven pursuit that culminated in a Ph.D. from Indiana University-Bloomington. The convergence of her academic background and her current role in the technology consulting industry has ignited her profound passion for bridging the gap between AI and education. Driven by the belief that leveraging the symbiotic relationship between human expertise and AI capabilities can revolutionize learning, she envisions a dynamic and personalized learning ecosystem accessible to all, tailored to meet individual educational needs.

Jason Corder

Jason CorderCome Together: Social Closeness and Establishing Connection To The Earth

Jason Corder was born in San Francisco in 1969 and is a film creator and writer, intrepid traveler, public speaker, songwriter and composer, and a graduate of Swarthmore College. Previously, he enjoyed a 20-year career as a visual artist, in which he was awarded a Ballinglen Fellowship and was a Sovereign European Art Prize Nominee. Having spent more than two decades living abroad, in Africa and Europe, he’s brought this global perspective back home in order to deepen dialogue and heighten perception. A full-time single father, he lives with his three sons in Arizona.


Kate Eckman, M.S.

Kate Eckman

The Surprising Secret To Leading With Confidence

Kate Eckman is the author of “The Full Spirit Workout: A Ten-Step System to Shed Your Self-Doubt, Strengthen Your Spiritual Core, and Create a Fun and Fulfilling Life.” She is a broadcast journalist and TV personality who brings her expertise in communications, performance, and mindfulness to her practice as a success coach for business leaders and professional athletes. She earned a bachelor of arts in communications from Penn State University, where she was an Academic All-American swimmer, and received her master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She graduated at the highest level from Columbia University’s executive and organizational coaching program and is a certified ICF coach (PCC) and licensed NBI consultant. Passionate about mindfulness practices for both brain and body health, she is also a meditation teacher and course creator for Insight Timer, the world’s number one–ranked free meditation app. Visit her online at kateeckman.tv and thefullspiritworkout.com.

Dan Faill, M.A.

Dan Faill

How to Make Imposter Syndrome Your Friend

Over-involved student leader. Fraternity member. Advisor. Husband. Dad. Ex-Husband. Entrepreneur. Failure. Imposter. These are just a few of the titles Dan has had over the course of his life. As an accomplished storyteller and international speaker, Dan incorporates his own lived experiences, in addition to blending industry-proven research, to craft engaging and relatable experiences for audiences. Having worked for over 15 years on college campuses advocating for safe and positive student communities, Dan now travels the country as a full-time speaker and consultant, engaging audiences in hard but needed conversations. Dan creates spaces that engage and inspire us to be our authentic selves, and be brave enough to have the conversations that matter. 

Aaron Hollis, M.S.

Aaron HollisMaximizing Your Expected Value

Aaron Hollis serves as the Director of Education for Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He completed his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in higher education from Eastern Illinois University. Aaron began his career at Valparaiso University as a residential learning coordinator (RLC) and is passionate about developing young leaders by promoting self-awareness and interpersonal communication skills.

Paul Hylenski

Paul Hylenski

How to win the Game of Optimizing Culture and Engaging our Teams

Paul Hylenski, a distinguished aerospace business leader from Maryland with over two decades of experience, is revolutionizing leadership through technology. His leadership journey began in the United States Marine Corps, where he developed foundational skills that have fueled his career. Renowned for reshaping conventional leadership, Paul combines psychology and social skills to foster environments where individuals excel.

A key innovator in his field, Paul founded SmartLeader.AI, a generative AI platform tailored for leaders and businesses. This platform exemplifies his dedication to reducing the administrative burdens of leadership by harnessing the power of AI. It offers tools and resources that enable leaders to streamline operations and enhance decision-making.

Beyond his role as a leader, Paul is a mentor and educator, particularly in the realm of AI in leadership. He extends his expertise through his YouTube channel, The AI Leader, where he teaches the application of AI in leadership, making advanced concepts accessible to a broad audience.

Paul is also a prolific thought leader and author, contributing regularly to LinkedIn and penning influential books like “Culture Change through Environment Change,” “Coaching for Growth,” “Error-Proofing Humans,” and “The Evolution of Leadership.” These works provide invaluable insights for leaders across various industries.

His commitment to leadership excellence and team collaboration continues to impact the aerospace sector significantly. Paul’s innovative approach and focus on AI integration in leadership are not only transforming the aerospace industry but also setting a precedent for modern leadership practices.

Sophia Rozzoni ’25

Sophia Rozzoni

Revolutionizing Acceptance: Navigating Discrimination, Crafting Mental Wellness, and Building LGBTQ+ Support.

I am Sophia Rozzoni, a junior at Valparaiso University studying business marketing with a minor in communications. Coming from Noblesville, Indiana, I’m an active member of Chi Omega sorority, serving as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair and Community Service Director. Outside academics, my passions include traveling, photography, outdoor adventures, and weight lifting. Since middle school, I’ve admired TED Talks, making it an honor to present my own at Valparaiso University. Excited to share my insights and foster discussions, I look forward to contributing to the TED Talk platform.

Jennifer Mrozek Sukalo, M.S.

Jennifer Mrozek Sukalo

Who Stole Your SWAGGER? – How to Step Into Your Most Important Leadership Role

Jennifer Mrozek Sukalo is an exceptional guide in the realm of leadership and personal development, empowering individuals to unleash their potential by reshaping the way they think, act, and behave. She is the award-winning author of “Claim Your SWAGGER – Stop Surviving and Start Thriving,” and her insights have graced renowned platforms such as Livestrong, Prevention Magazine, Fast Company, and more. With an extensive history that includes overcoming personal setbacks and over thirty years working with individuals, cancer survivors, leaders, and multinational Fortune 500 companies, Jennifer’s influence has positively impacted over 50,000 leaders globally.

With a science-based educational foundation in behavioral change and a wealth of practical knowledge, Jennifer stands out as a distinguished expert in leadership and self-improvement. She is a sought-after speaker and advisor, with a proven track record of delivering impactful presentations and workshops across 18 countries. Jennifer excels at helping people learn to harness their mental power and use what they already have to foster positive life changes, transforming themselves and the world around them.

Ram Verma, M.D.

Ram VermaQuantity vs. Quality Sleep

Dr. Ram Verma is a pioneering figure in the realm of sleep medicine, renowned for his expertise in understanding the science behind a good night’s rest. As a board-certified sleep physician, Dr. Verma has dedicated his career to unraveling the mysteries of sleep and its profound impact on human health.

With several years of clinical and research experience, Dr. Verma has merged his clinical insights with cutting-edge scientific advancements to revolutionize our understanding of sleep disorders, their treatment, and the broader implications for overall well-being. He has published multiple papers related to sleep disorders. He is very enthusiastic about the role of newer technologies and innovations in the field of sleep medicine. 

Dr. Verma’s passion lies not only in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders, but also in advocating for the importance of quality sleep in optimizing human potential and longevity. His engaging and accessible approach to complex sleep science has made him a sought-after speaker, captivating audiences with their ability to simplify intricate concepts while delivering actionable insights.

As a firm believer in the transformative power of sleep, Dr. Verma is set to share his expertise and thought-provoking perspectives in an upcoming TEDx talk. Through his presentation, Dr. Verma aims to illuminate the often-overlooked significance of quality sleep in our lives, exploring how it influences our physical health, mental acuity, emotional well-being, and overall productivity. He will also focus on common sleep disorders and newer innovations in the sleep medicine field that may be helpful to the audience.

As a thought leader in the field, Dr. Verma continues to drive conversations, spark curiosity, and inspire change in how society values and prioritizes sleep and its quality. His TEDx talk promises to be an enlightening journey, challenging perceptions and fostering a deeper appreciation for the profound impact of quality sleep on our lives.


John Williams ’24

John WilliamsConnections: It’s Everything.

John Williams is a senior meteorology major with a communications minor from Orlando, Florida. He currently serves as the sports director for VUTV, Valpo’s closed-circuit television signal and movie streaming website, the secretary for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and an ambassador in admission (AIA) for the Office of Undergraduate Admission. He is also currently a member of Alpha Phi Omega fraternity and the African Student Association (ASA) at Valpo. John was formerly the public relations and activity coordinator for the Black Student Organization (BSO).

Dave Won, MBA

Dave WonYou’re Not Bad with Money

Dave Won is a Certified Money Coach (CMC®) and the founder and CEO of Budget Captain, a holistic corporate financial wellness company. Dave’s mission is to alleviate the personal money stress so many Americans carry day in and day out. Being the son of South Korean immigrants, Dave personally knows the struggles of living through financial hardship. He is a former Air Force captain with a decorated military career that includes work supporting the Air Force One along with an overseas tour. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and earned his MBA from Indiana University. He has been featured on ABC. Away from work, Dave loves to travel and try new recipes with his wife and two daughters.




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