Allison Butler
Allison Butler, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, will moderate TEDxBryantU on Saturday, February 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Janikies Theatre.
“20/20 Vision” comes into focus at TEDxBryantU
Dec 12, 2019, by Staff Writer

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University will host the third annual TEDxBryantU, "20/20 Vision," on Saturday, February 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Janikies Theatre.

“Vision is the foundation for meaningful change and purpose in our expanding world,” says TEDxBryantU Lead Organizer Sarah DeSantis ’21. “The goal of the event is to inspire, educate, and challenge the attendees to step outside their comfort zones and develop their own vision for a better future.”

According to DeSantis, the eight speakers slated for TEDxBryantU 2020 were selected from a large applicant pool of talented and accomplished members of the Bryant community “because of their passion and desire to make change on campus.” Topics include the science behind confidence; a simple strategy for creating better habits that lead to new opportunities; and the future of America’s international engagement.

DeSantis and her fellow student organizers found inspiration in the words of futurist Joel A. Barker who said, “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world."

“Each talk is meant to inspire the audience to consider how to incorporate this vision in their daily lives."

“Each talk is meant to inspire the audience to consider how to incorporate this vision in their daily lives. I cannot wait to see how the audience reacts and implements these ideas,” adds DeSantis.

A student-run initiative, TEDxBryantU is independently organized but licensed by the TED media platform. DeSantis is joined by a committee of seven dedicated students: Amanda Whitham ’21, Club Facilitator; Luisa Martinez ’20, Lead Curator; Kyle McPherson ’22, Assistant Curator; Alex Morrow ’21, Marketing; Katie Nicholson ’20, Treasurer; Anh Nguyen ’22, Event Manager; and Justin Ngo ’22, Event Manager.

TEDxBryantU 2020 Speakers


  • Michael Biskupic ’21 will present “Envisioning the Future of American International Engagement”
  • Samantha Iacone ’20 will present “Making the World More Unified”
  • Carlos Meltz ’20 will present “The 23-year-old That Has lived 50”


  • Lauren Porosky ’07, Director of Broker Channel Sales, will present “Be the Catalyst”
  • Jennifer Sahady ’05, public speaker and Employee Education Consultant at Mercer, will present “Marriage and Money”
  • Don Wilson ’92, ’94 MBA, sales educator and public speaker, will present “What’s YOUR Woobie? – A simple strategy toward your uncomfortable path to new opportunities in life and in business”


  • Leah DeCesare, writer and Conference/Event Planner at Bryant University, will present “How a Pen and a Stamp Can Change a Relationship”

Guest Speaker

  • Alyssa Dver, Chief Confidence Officer at American Confidence Institute, will present “Confidence Is a Choice: Real Science. Superhero Impact”

TEDxBryantU came to Bryant when Samantha Scoca ’18 , inspired by Bryant’s culture of innovation, applied for a TEDx license and formed a committee with five other dedicated students. With successful events in 2018 and 2019, TEDxBryantU has sparked larger conversations on “Grit, passion, and heart” and “Keys to the Future,” that are still being discussed today. Watch former TEDxBryantU talks from 2018 and 2019.

Find out more

TEDxBryantU is free for all Bryant students, faculty, and staff. There is a $10 fee for alumni. 

For additional information, visit  

About Bryant University

For 156 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. Bryant delivers an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education that inspires students to excel. With approximately 3,700 graduate and undergraduate students from 38 states and 53 countries, Bryant is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, and Barron's. Visit

About TEDx, x= independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual gathering in Vancouver, Canada, TEDWomen and TEDGlobal conferences, and thousands of independently organized TEDx events around the world, then made available, free, on and other channels. 

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators  from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities; and the educational initiative TED-Ed.

Follow TED on Twitter at, on Facebook at, on Instagram at and on Snapchat at tedtalkshq.

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