2021 TEDx Talks


How the Struggles of Today Can Build the Schools of Tomorrow

Heidi Fliegelman

It is no secret that COVID-19 significantly altered the world of education. Now nearly two years into the pandemic, the push to “return to normal” schooling situations rings louder than ever. In her speech, English and Theater educator, Heidi Fliegelman, unpacks why returning to normal is actually damaging to students. Armed with recent scholarly research, her own observations as both a pandemic-era student and hybrid teacher, and her students’ advice to educators, Heidi suggests how schools can learn from the past two years in order to change for the better. Heidi Fliegelman (she/her) is an 8th Grade English Language Arts Teacher in Delaware, and a theatrical teaching artist. A University of Delaware 2021 alum, her passions for arts integration and social justice activism inspire her current work and future aspirations.

How to Improve People’s Lives, Using Science

Jocelyn Alcantara-Garcia

Is your child “too creative” for their own good? I was too, and now I am a scientist! It all started as a near-miss and evolved into joining a field that attracts women STEM: conservation science. Heritage/conservation scientist Jocelyn Alcantara-Garcia studies, and takes inspiration from objects produced or used by humans. In this talk, she walks you from a near-miss as a child, to how the humanities shaped her interest in chemistry. She argues that conservation science is a powerful way to attract more women to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and stay in STEM!

How Do We Grow Food Anywhere, Without Soil?

Qingwu Meng

Plants don’t need soil to grow; they need water and nutrients that we can provide directly. In the pandemic era, we can all take home gardening to the next level and grow vegetables easily with DIY hydroponic setups. Through a series of photos taken during the pandemic, Dr. Qingwu Meng breaks down how to grow our own hydroponic food at home or even in space. Dr. Qingwu Meng is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Delaware. He teaches and researches hydroponic food production in greenhouses, indoor vertical farms, and space exploration. His Delaware Indoor Ag Lab (DIAL) aims to find the optimal environment to grow hydroponic leafy greens, herbs, and fruiting crops efficiently and sustainably.

Why Acts of Kindness Should Not be an Act

Andrea Everard

Intentional, purposeful kindness is a learnable practice and because the positive effects of kindness are experienced whether you are giving, receiving or observing kindness, by practicing kindness we all benefit. In her TEDx talk, Andrea Everard encourages the practice of intentional kindness to improve leadership effectiveness. Andrea Everard is a Professor of Management Information Systems, the Director of the MS Business Analytics and Information Management and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the Lerner College of Business. She strives to leave things better than she finds them and strongly believes that kindness should be the guiding principle of leadership.

What Do Art and Activism Have in Common?

Felicia Henry

Art-based activism, or Artivism can be used to amplify and center the voices of those impacted by state sponsored violence and racial inequity in the United States. Artivism can build solidarity across lines of difference and connect to our shared humanity. In this talk, Felicia will demonstrate how Behind the Walls, Between the Lines, a movement to deepen the awareness of the legacy of racial inequity in the United States, and inspire activism at its dismantlement, sparks social change. Felicia A. Henry is a Ph.D. Student in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. Her research interests include race, ethnicity, gender, criminal justice/mass incarceration, and social vulnerability in disasters. Felicia is the founder of Behind the Walls, Between the Lines (BTWBTL).


Pets in Disasters

Sarah DeYoung

People view pets as family members, and yet in disasters pets are often left behind, injured, or lost. In this talk, Dr. DeYoung describes the social aspects of pets in disasters and solutions for improving evacuation for companion animals. Dr. DeYoung is an assistant professor in the department of sociology and criminal justice and a core faculty member of the Disaster Research Center. She is an expert in evacuation decision-making, human-animal systems in disasters, and maternal and infant well-being in disasters.

Learn My Name, I Learned Yours

Sansskruty Rayavarapu

In this talk Sansskruty explores the anglicization of names, and the effects of these types of race based microaggressions. She shares the importance of proudly owning your identity by reflecting on her own experiences of losing her name and fighting to reclaim it. Sansskruty serves as the digital and visual communications specialist for the Delaware state senate majority caucus, and is a 2021 graduate of the University of Delaware. Sansskruty has a passion for standing up against racial injustices and amplifying the voices and experiences of others.

How Weightlifting Made Me a Better Educator

Max Dolinsky

You have a goal that you’ve been working on for years with little success. Are you just an unmotivated person? Max doesn’t think so. Here he explains how he applied the lessons from his weightlifting coach to motivate his college students. That lesson can also be applied to various aspects of your life. Max Dolinsky is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Delaware. He enjoys teaching corporate finance and investments, and passionately serves his students by striving to be their mentor, life coach, and role model. Max also offers career guidance and encourages the development of soft skills (e.g., networking, communication, Emotional Intelligence).

2021 Sponsors

Blue Hen Leadership Program

Division of Student Life

E-52 Student Theater

Honors College

Office of the Provost

Office of Communications & Marketing

University Student Centers

Writing Center