Inaugural TEDxElmhurstUniversity to be Held on April 23

April 11, 2022 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

The TEDxElmhurstUniversity theme, The Sky Is Not The Limit illustration of a hot air balloon rising above the clouds.As part of Elmhurst University’s sesquicentennial celebrations, the inaugural TEDxElmhurstUniversity will come to campus on Saturday, April 23.

TEDxElmhurstUniversity aims to educate and enlighten in the spirit of TED’s overall mission—to research and discover “ideas worth spreading.” Featuring a number of speakers from Elmhurst University and the community, this year’s event is themed “The Sky is Not the Limit.”

This year’s speakers are:

  • Wes Becton, an executive coach and an Elmhurst University trustee since 2007. His topic is about being curious and not judgmental.
  • Mallory Burke ’22, an aspiring doctor and the owner of GrillGirlz LLC, a grill-cleaning service. Her topic—the more you know, the less you grow.
  • Earl Fields, a self-care advocate and entrepreneur. His topic is self-care as an underutilized strategy for daily life—his talk will shed light on its importance and “bring it to consciousness.”
  • Susan Frick ’85, a social worker at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago. Her talk is titled “Loneliness, Alzheimer’s Disease, and the Need for a National Conversation.”
  • Kim Graf ’24, who is going to school full time while also working full time as an EMT. Her topic is about how the strength and power that the mind has over pain, happiness, and overall life can help you succeed.
  • Jacob Hill, MBA ’12, a librarian and associate professor at Elmhurst University will talk about small-scale organizational change, and better ways to ensure compliance besides mandates and sanctions.
  • Zoya Khan, MBA ’22, a production controller at Target Upstream Distribution Center, will share her journey from college to groundbreaking leadership in the supply chain industry.
  • Kortney Peagram, a visiting assistant professor of business and economics at Elmhurst University. Her talk is “Emotional Literacy and Emotional Management: How to Regulate Yourself to Build Healthy Working and Personal Relationships.”
  • Shahnaaz Sakkaria ’23, a biology major at Elmhurst, will tell a personal story to illustrate the challenges of suffering a mental health disorder in an environment of stigma in India.
  • Soni Simpson, associate professor of business (brand innovation & change leadership) at Elmhurst, and president and founder of Lanus Khepri, LLC. Her topic is about “discovering the antidote to ‘Nope, can’t be done,“ and introducing the NEW SIPO Sweet Spot Model, which features four conditions that inhibit or foster productive creative problem solving within an organization.

TEDxElmhurstUniversity will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 23. Due to the high demand for tickets, a remote viewing location will be available in Schaible Science Center, Illinois Hall. Free tickets are available on Eventbrite. For more information, visit

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