Published 02/02/18

TEDxBryantU: A showcase of Bryant's collegial community

TEDxBryantU, a student-run initiative that is independently organized but licensed by the TED media platform, offers an inspiring opportunity to listen to members of the Bryant community who will share ideas close to their hearts and spark deep conversations about innovation.

Six alumni, five faculty members, and two students are the featured speakers who will cover such topics as reimaging customer service, pioneering new methods of decision-making, and living well with chronic illness.

TEDxBryantU came to Bryant after Samantha Scoca ’18, inspired by innovation throughout the University and wanting to give back in appreciation for all she’s learned, applied for a TEDx license. She formed a committee with five other dedicated students and put out a call for proposals to the entire Bryant community.

For this inaugural event on Feb. 10, the committee – under the guidance of Director of Faculty Development and Innovation Edward Kairiss, Ph.D. – set the formidable challenge of discovering unique and valuable ways to look at the world: “Innovation is value. It is details. It is intuition. We are all born with it, but so few take advantage. Why is this?” asks their mission statement. "Many people believe that in order to innovate, you simply need some inspiration. While this is partially true, innovation takes much more than that; it takes grit, passion, and heart. It is not our past experiences, rather our skills and perseverance that we bring to the table. Inspiration is easy, but innovation takes the courage to explore.

"Here at TEDxBryantU, we believe it is worth it.”

The committee’s call was heeded and Bryant students, faculty, and alumni from across the country enthusiastically came out to support the students and the conference theme.

Videos of this year’s presentations will be posted this spring. 

Program overview


  • Brian Blais, Ph.D., Professor of Science and Technology: "Your Lack of Imagination Can Kill You — Byt You Can Be Saved by Math"
  • Bary Fleet, M.Div., Adjunct Professor of Applied Psychology: "Your Inner Magnificence"
  • Tom Roach,  Ph.D., Associate Professor of English & Cultural Studies: "Low Maintenance: Why Our Obsession with Innovation is a Problem"
  • Michael Roberto, D.B.A., Trustee Professor of Management and Author: "The Devil's Advocate"
  • Joe Trunzo, Ph.D., Professor of Applied Psychology: "Living Well When You Don't Feel Well: Overcoming Lyme Disease and Chronic Illness"


  • Melissa Gurzenda ’21: "The Simplistic Depth of Innovation"
  • Corey Page ’19: " Passing the Torch"


  • John Bly ’01,  Principal & CEO of LBA Haynes Strand: "Merge Your Culture, Acquire Your Success"
  • John Boccuzzi Jr. ’90,  Managing Partner, Boccuzzi, LLC: "I Was Seduced By Exceptional Customer Service"
  • David Donlan ’00,  Chief Revnue Officer of Crayon, Inc.: Workplace Orientation is Not Training
  • Amanda Garber ’11,  Senior Account Manager-Tech, Games, & Media, CBS Interactive: "The Innovation of Modern Love"
  • John Logan ’16,  Live Content Correspondent, National Football League: "How Studying Magicians Changed My Perspective on Creativity"
  • Andrew Viveiros  '86, MBA '89, General Manager Sodexo: "How Feeding More Children will Impact the RI Economy"

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 (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today's leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED's annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on . TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Monica Lewinsky, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include , where new TED Talk videos are posted daily;  the Open Translation Project , which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative  TED-Ed ; the annual million-dollar  TED Prize , which funds exceptional individuals with a "wish," or idea, to create change in the world;  TEDx , which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the  TED Fellows  program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.