TEDxSVSU 2016 Speakers

Benjamin Champagne

Memes n Stuff (LoLz)

You can find value in everything and use seemingly worthless things to your advantage.

 Photo courtesy | Thor Rasmussen

Benjamin Champagne is co-owner of Counter Culture in Saginaw, MI. Educated at Saginaw Valley State University, he writes monthly reviews for Newpages.com. Counter Culture is an Arts Collective with a focus on art, music and any aspect of the humanities. Ben himself, writes, sings, paints, plays music, directs crowds and dabbles with yoga along with any other pursuit that tickles his fancy at the time. He isn't great at any, but nothing stops him from trying.

Brian Thomas

1,000 miles of ultrarunning through grief

Dr. Thomas' talk will explore what ultrarunning taught him about persevering after loss.

Dr. Brian Thomas is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Saginaw Valley State University where he teaches and does research on global cultures and food. Dr. Thomas has been running ultramarathons for over a decade. He has successfully completed over a dozen ultramarathons including three 100 mile runs and a solo, unsupported 50k run on the Great Wall of China.  He is currently training to run the Hallucination 100 mile trail run on September 9th in honor of his late wife, Holli Wallace. Through his running, he has also raised almost $20,000 in donations to various charities including, most recently, the Children’s Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region.  Dr. Thomas has two sons, Oliver age 5 and Elliott, age 10. 

Marlin M. Jenkins

How "crazy" is that? Probably not at all.

We can do better than flippancy when discussing mental health.

Marlin M. Jenkins was born and raised in Detroit. A graduate of SVSU, he's currently a poetry student in University of Michigan's MFA program where he writes about faith, pop culture, race, and mental health. He competes in poetry slams and has had writing published by a variety of publications, including The Collagist, The Journal, Word Riot, and The Offing. A former college Writing Center tutor, he's recently worked with students in Detroit Public Schools through a program called Inside Out.

Glenn Daniels

Why Smart Goal Setting is Dumb!

Creating success by setting powerful goals.  Goals that put you on the road to JOY!

Glenn Daniels has over 25 years’ experience in working with thousands of individuals and organizations to help set strategies that create powerful changes from within.  His clients are spread across a variety of industries including the United States Military, Communications, Insurance, Health Care, Funeral and Network Marketing.


His goal is to improve the life’s of individuals by sharing skills that motivate people to learn and be able to quickly apply their new found skills, creating the life that they desire.  He does this through entertaining and informative lectures and workshops that unleash the potential of each person, and connect work life and personal life to create powerful and joyful people. The end result is the creation of compelling personal goals that align with one’s desires and passion.

Darnell Jackson

What Carbon Footprint Are You Leaving Behind?

Activities that we take part in can shape those around us.

As human beings we all create a carbon footprint based upon the activities that we are involved in, which contribute carbon dioxide to the environment and have an impact on the earth.  Just as our actions have an impact on the earth in terms of our carbon footprint, so too do our activities have an impact upon those people that we come into contact with.  We all get a chance to shape our legacy, and there are certain steps that we can take to make sure that ours is a positive one.


Darnell Jackson is a Circuit Court Judge, informational speaker and nationwide presenter for the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence. He is the author of the acclaimed book “The Steps of A Good Man," which provides practical and proven methods for dealing with the challenges and setbacks of life.  This presentation will focus on those things that each of us can do in order to create a legacy that we can be proud of.

Elad Inbar

 Robots may take jobs, but they can earn you a million dollars

Elad will share his personal experience as a runaway from home who almost became a drifter and then as a leader of an organization focused on students engagement by using robots.

Elad Inbar is the founder and CEO of both www.RobotLAB.com, a multi award-winning company focused on teaching STEM subjects using robotics platforms in order to engage students; and www.RobotAppStore.com the first marketplace for apps for robots.


Passionate about robotics, Elad has shared his expertise with thousands of high schools, science museums, and research groups at prominent schools and universities around the world. He share his experience as a speaker in many events such as SxSW, TCEA, ACTE, FETC and many others. With parallel careers in academia and technology, Elad is uniquely qualified to bridge the cutting-edge robotics industry and the educational market.


Based in San Francisco, Elad has lived on three continents and recruited teams speaking more than 10 languages. He managed Israel’s largest internet portal’s R&D team back in 1999, managed the internet department of Orange Israel and founded massiveImpact and Affilimob, the first global mobile marketing network utilizing artificial intelligence, with offices in Taiwan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Israel and Italy. He is also the co-founder of the IROB Israel's Robot Association. His current ventures in robotics and education received wide publication and recognition in the Time Magazine, The New Yorker, Tech Crunch, IEEE, NBC, Financial Times, Fast Company, CNET, San Francisco Chronicle and many other media outlets.

David Deline

Introduce Yourself

David believes we all need to be equipped with a 2 minute speech about the topic we know the most about… [dramatic pause]... OURSELVES! During this talk, David will walk through pop culture's obsession with hearing artists names in music, humanities unfortunate tendency to judge based on first impression, his experience introducing himself and how it could make you rich one day.

David DeLine is Toastmasters District 62 public relations managers, motivational speaker, blogger, and serial introductionist. Prepare to be challenged to take your life to the next level as David guides you to reach out to everyone around you.  Why be afraid to say hello? Your next handshake could lead you down the path of success.