APU Hosts Second TEDx Event

by Abigail E. Peck

Azusa Pacific hosted its second TEDx event with seven faculty experts presenting their ideas on inspiring innovation and meaning. Located in the Upper Turner Campus Center, the talks took place in front of a select audience and taped. A viewing party also took place in the Cougar Dome and the event live streamed on the APU website.

The first to present, Regina Chow Trammel, Ph.D., LCSW, assistant professor in the Master of Social Work Program, spoke on mindfulness. She defined mindfulness as staying focused on the present moments, allowing individuals to take a step back from stressors. To practice this she led the audience in three minutes of breathing exercises.

Keith Hall, Ed.D., executive director of the Academic Success Center, spoke about the innovator's toolbox and described three steps to inspire innovation. With creativity as the junction for all three, he emphasized the smile, style, and substance unique to each individual. Hall encouraged people to lean into their strengths in order to engage their talents.

Veronica A. Gutierrez, M.F.A., Ph.D., director of Undergraduate Research, and associate professor in the Department of History and Political Science discussed cultural resilience related to her knowledge of Cholula, the oldest city in the Americas and how it can relate to us today. Proud of her heritage, she inspired others to explore their history and culture.

Ryan Montague, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies, challenged the audience to engage others in difficult conversations in order to build deeper relationships. He pointed out that many use relational armor to prevent emotional availability. He proposed that we should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable to find fullness in relationships.

Skyla Herod, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry, introduced a formula for building resilient brains by differentiating positive and toxic stress. She emphasized our need for others to challenge us and grow our learning abilities in order to develop resilient brains.

Robert Duke, Ph.D., dean of the School of Theology and Azusa Pacific Seminary, shared his passion for foster care and discussed a solution to this national crisis. He suggested that early intervention into foster care children’s education gives them a better chance to attend and succeed in college.

To conclude the event, Deshonna Collier-Goubil, Ph.D., chair and associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, engaged the audience in a discussion on criminal justice and how it can be reimagined. She proposed that being in the center of controversy is an opportunity to institute critical analysis and change. She called individuals to remain open minded and lead, heal, and change from the middle.

TEDx is a program of locally organized events that bring the community together to share a TED-like experience. Some of the best talks from TEDx events appear on TED.com garnering millions of views from audiences across the globe.

  • Abigail E. Peck '18 is a public relations intern in the Office of University Relations. She is a public relations major and leadership minor.

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