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Western New England University Hosts First-Ever TEDxWNE Event

SPRINGFIELD, MA (03/29/2021) On Saturday, March 20 Western New England University hosted its first-ever TEDxWNE event titled The Bigger Picture: What Ideas are Truly Worth Fighting For. The vision, according to Caleb Moulema, founder, licensee, and the event’s host is to provide “a local forum of ideas dedicated to meaningful change through the power of those ideas.”

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. TEDx is a grassroots initiative, created in the spirit of TED’s overall mission to research and discover “ideas worth spreading.” TEDx brings the spirit of TED to local communities around the globe through TEDx events. These events are organized by passionate individuals who seek to uncover new ideas and to share the latest research in their local areas that spark conversations in their communities.

Moulema is currently a sophomore at Western New England University majoring in Neuroscience. His hope is that this event will challenge the way people think and see the world.

“Today we celebrate the speakers and the powerful ideas they have come to share with you today,” says Moulema in his remarks introducing the streamed event to the live, yet socially distanced, audience. “Today our speakers will amaze you, inspire you, and empower you, but more importantly they will challenge you with their ideas in hopes of pushing you to rethink the way you see yourselves and the way you see others, and by doing so will lead you to changing this local community for the better.”

Taking the stage and their turn in the iconic red dot for this event were:

Special Education Teacher & WNE Alumna Laura DennisonNo Kick No Prob: Becoming You in a World That May Say Otherwise. Through Laura’s own experiences with discrimination and accessibility, she now combines pedagogy and empathy to teach a new generation about “belonging.”

Residence Life Professional & WNE Alumna Danielle RemigioCleaning Up the Grief Process. After the death of her parents, Danielle was able to reflect and learn about how we need to help those in our communities heal.

Associate Professor of Neuroscience at WNE Michael JarvinenA Gut Check Could Change Your Mind. Mental health challenges can result from changes to one’s environment, cognitive load, and social interactions. For many, drugs are deployed to “reset” the brain, to help cope with anxiety and stress. Michael explores the possibility that there may be alternative and enduring ways to provide mental well-being. What if our mental health is not just in our head but in our gut? This talk challenges you to rethink brain health and to consider the idea that miniscule microbes may have a big impact on our mental well-being.

WNE Student in Law and Society Nashali PaganIt All Starts From the Beginning Nashali explores how we can stop the high numbers of incarceration of people of color by starting with the allocation of resources to poor communities.

Media Professional & WNE Alumna Alex LymanWhat We Can Learn from COVID-19: Resilience for the Pandemic and Beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside-down, but Alex explores the possibility of creating an even better post-pandemic normal, simply by applying the lessons that we’ve learned during the experience.

Clinical Assistant Professor at WNE & Founder of Loud Coffee Press Kimberly PesaturoSquashing Imposter Syndrome: Why You’re Uniquely Qualified to Pursue Your Creative Passion. Kimberly reflects on Imposter Syndrome and how it was a detour on her company’s map, not a roadblock.

TEDxWesternNewEnglandUniversity is a local forum for ideas within the community that inspires people to change their lives, their futures and ultimately their world. “With the world in disarray across several arenas, it becomes easy to mistake the ails and harms around as how low our society has sunk, rather than how high our standards have become,” said Moulema. “Now is the time to look at where we have been and where we are right now, so we can trace through and understand what ideas got us here.”

TEDxWNE speaker Alex Lyman, who is also a current member of the WNE Marketing staff and two-time alumna of the University said “TEDx serves as a conduit of ideas and a generator of inspiration, which are two core concepts at the heart of Western New England University. The journey to TEDx is formidable, but the process prepared us for the moment. From completing the TED Masterclass together, to holding virtual check-ins and in-person rehearsals, the guidance and support the speakers were given is a true testament to the success of TEDxWNE and the hard work of our student leaders.”

This event was sponsored by Ahearn Holtzman, Inc., Graphic Applications, the WNE Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, and GBTV Western New England University.

For more information about TEDxWNE visit

To watch the March 20 event in its entirety, visit

Having just celebrated its Centennial, Western New England University is a private, independent, coeducational institution. Located on an attractive 215-acre suburban campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, Western New England serves 3,690 students, including 2,486 full-time undergraduate students. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are offered through Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the School of Law.