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Dozen presenters featured in ‘Growing Ideas’ TEDx event at Salve Regina on March 25

NEWPORT, R.I. (March 22, 2017) – A dozen community speakers with expertise in a variety of topics will serve as presenters during a TEDx event being held on the Salve Regina University campus on Saturday, March 25. The presentations, collectively themed “Growing Ideas,” will be given from 4-7 p.m. in DiStefano Lecture Hall, located in the Antone Academic Center on Lawrence Avenue.
Open to the public, seating is limited in accordance with TEDx guidelines. For tickets ($20 general admission)
“The purpose of bringing a TEDx event to campus was born out of the desire to introduce new ideas to Salve Regina’s students and to inspire them to expand their understanding on a variety of subjects,” said Araz Khajarian, a Salve Regina student who organized the event. “The TEDxSalveReginaU planning committee thought long and hard about an appropriate and inspiring theme that would encompass the purpose behind our efforts and the content of the TEDxSalveReginaU talks. We believe the theme of ‘Growing Ideas’ does this.”
The following speakers will be presenting on Saturday:
Vin Testa is originally from Wallingford, Conn., and has lived in the Washington, D.C. area since graduating from Salve Regina in 2011. He is currently in his sixth year as a high school math teacher in D.C. public schools. In 2014, he earned his master’s degree in special education with a focus on learning disabilities from American University. He has been on the board of directors for Dignity/Washington – the D.C. chapter of a national organization for LGBTQ Catholics, DignityUSA – since June 2014, served as vice president from 2015-16, and was elected president of the organization in June 2016.
Terry Wildemann integrates mind, body and spirit when coaching and facilitating her practical and real world professional development and business programs for intuitive leaders. An experienced entrepreneur, facilitator, speaker, certified executive coach and bestselling author, she guides students to tap into their “inner business game” to bring out the best in themselves and their teams. The outcomes are evolved, competent, confident, credible and coherent influential leaders who operate on all cylinders. As a 20-year volunteer, she has presented to over 11,000 transitioning military personnel.
Nikolai Blinow is a certified yoga instructor and licensed mental health counselor in the state of Rhode Island. She founded OMpowerment Psychotherapy with the goal of serving a unique niche in the mental health and personal development community. She integrates research-based Westernized, mental health practices with holistic approaches to treatment and does this by combining training in interpersonal communications and mental health counseling with yoga and mindfulness practices.
Dr. Jameson Chace: In addition to being an associate professor of biology, Dr. Jameson Chace also coordinates the interdisciplinary environmental studies major at Salve Regina. His research is based on creating opportunities for undergraduates to gain experiences in field ecology and environmental sciences. To that end, he has been awarded two NSF RI-EPSCoR grants related to marine response to climate change and the collaborative Northeast Water Regional Network (Rhode Island, Delaware and Vermont). He also maintains an active research program in hydroponics and in avian ecology. He is the author of 25 peer-reviewed papers and has given nine papers at national conferences in the past 10 years.
Dr. Craig A. Condella, a graduate of Fordham University, is an associate professor at Salve Regina in the departments of philosophy and cultural, environmental and global studies. He is a faculty fellow in the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy and teaches regularly in the humanities doctoral program. His primary research interests are in the fields of environmental ethics, the philosophy of science and the philosophy of technology. His work in the philosophy of science has centered on evolution, exploring both the philosophical implications of human evolution as well as the scientific credibility of Darwin’s theory in contrast to theories of creationism and intelligent design.
H. David Isherwood is currently an adjunct professor at Johnson and Wales University, where he teaches in the psychology department. He is also a mental health counselor working with the North American Family Institute in the Enhanced Outpatient Services, a service that provides in-home therapy for at risk children and their families. A graduate of Salve Regina University, he received a master’s degree in holistic counseling and a C.A.G.S. in holistic counseling and holistic leadership. 
Tina Melo is the founder of The Melo Project Runway For Youth 2014, a non-profit, Montessori infused educational Fashion Design program that empowers the youth. She has spoken on behalf of all artists to pass a Bill in Rhode Island to become an Art Tax Free State. She received a Citation from The Rhode Island House Of Representatives as an advocate for Youth and is certified by Boston University as a paralegal. She began her career after receiving her BFA in apparel design from The Rhode Island School Of Design in 1986.
Colleen Kelly Mellor: Author and Op-Ed commentator, Mellor is the embodiment of her mantra: “We’re not done yet,” which calls for all to pursue their dreams, no matter their age. She self-published her first two highly –acclaimed children’s books at the age of 67. She has published in the Wall Street Journal, Scripps-Howard, World News, and the Providence Journal, where she has a regular column.
Maryclare Heffernan: Raised in New Jersey in a family of artists, musicians, and good cooks Heffernan was surrounded by design, experimentation, messy creativity and wonderful food. She loved watching the process of visual and performance art as both a spectator and critic. She worked on her written word for years; fiction, essay and some non-fiction articles, all of which she occasionally got published. Late in life, after her father passed away and she inherited many of his oil paints, brushes and mediums, she started to paint. With the help of her artist sisters and other teachers, she has tapped into a deep artery of possibility. 
Scott Piltch: Coming from a background as a salesman for an industry-leading leadership development company called the John Maxwell Team, Piltch found himself living out his dream just a year and a half out of college. He was building all of the skills in business he desired, was thriving in his career, and living five blocks from the beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. Looking around, seeing many people in the millennial generation dissatisfied and unhappy with their career trajectory, he started to do some research and dig in a little deeper to get an understanding as to what was going on.
Matthias Klettermayer is public information officer and focal point for communication and outreach in the Division for Sustainable Development, which is part of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. He regularly gives briefings on sustainable development issues, in particular on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Jean-Victor Nkolo has over 30 years of accomplished professional experience, with in-depth knowledge of international affairs focusing on peace and security and development issues.
He served as spokesperson for three Presidents of the General Assembly and for the Security Council during several Council’s missions to Africa.  He maintains valuable relations with international institutions such as the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the League of Arab States, the Association of South Eastern Nations (ASEAN) and other regional organizations.