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2024 TEDxSIUC Speakers

Karen Cupp


An entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in real estate investment, Karen Cupp shares her journey of wealth development in her talk, "My 455-Day Journey Around the World: The Journey that Launched Me." Karen's story is a testament to the transformative power of chaos and how it can serve as a catalyst for personal and professional growth. Her narrative focuses on discovering one's purpose and creating a life filled with love, inspired by her extensive travels and experiences around the globe.

Ann Latham 


ANN LATHAM, known widely as the Queen of Clarity, authored The Power of Clarity, a modern classic, The Disconnect Principle, a game changer that takes the difficulty out of difficult conversations, plus The Clarity Papers and Uncommon Meetings. She founded US-based consulting firm Uncommon Clarity, which, for 20 years, served clients as diverse as Hitachi, PBS, and the United Way. Ann's advice has appeared in publications such as The New York TimesBloomberg, and Management Today. She is also an expert contributor to Forbes.com

Ann quit consulting once hiking in the Alps, playing pickleball, and reading non-business books left no time for clients. Her goal now, besides having fun and staying fit, is to share her ideas that will help people be more productive, more effective, more confident, as well as happier. She does this through her writing and this TEDx talk. Connect with Ann in her books, on LinkedIn, and at AnnLatham.com.

Imani McHenry


Imani McHenry is a cybersecurity champion, educator, and youth advocate, as well as a proud alumna of Southern Illinois Carbondale. She is the founder of Infinite Cyber Tech Solutions, a business aimed at bridging the digital divide through technology access and training programs. Passionate about empowering individuals and organizations in the digital era, Imani's goal is to make every end-user in Illinois a "Digital Citizen". She is excited to collaborate with TedX SIUC to advance her mission of promoting cyber resilience, with the vision of establishing Illinois as the world's first line of defense in human firewall protection. Beyond her professional endeavors, Imani is a dedicated wife, mother, and TT.

Website: infinitecybertechsolutions.com
Social media FB/IG: iamicts

Toussaint Mitchell


Toussaint Mitchell is an SIUC alumnus, working as a Congressional Staffer in the United States Senate. He previously served as an Executive Staff Assistant to House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and was formerly the Parliamentarian for the Congressional Black Associates, a Congressional Staff Organization. Beyond his Senate duties, Toussaint serves as an Executive Board Member for Black Men on the Hill, a networking organization supporting Black men in achieving their professional goals on and off Capitol Hill. He hopes to share the significance of building meaningful relationships and the power of networking as a tool for career development.

Matthew Sebalja


Matthew Sebalja, a Senior at SIUC and a previous TEDx Organizer, wants to challenge the perception around traditional learning and education. His talk "For the Love of Learning," Dives into his story battling a love-hate relationship with the concept of learning through traditional education channels. His talk aims to highlight the importance of learning from the perspective of stories and hardship rather than the perspective of achievement. He is a firm believer in the idea that enjoyment of learning is a choice, and can be one that is easily made through a change in perspective. He wants to share this perspective with his audience and through this perspective shift he hopes to highlight why getting smart is much easier than we think.

Ryan Reed 


Step into the world of Ryan Reed, where the narrative transcends mere academia. On the cusp of receiving his third degree from SIUC as of May 2024 (Doctor of Philosphy in Rehab Counseling and Education); he comes With a wealth of experience—teaching over 15 university classes, mentoring 2000+ students, presenting at schools and forums across states, and an advocate driven to brighten and uplift lives.   

Turning personal struggles into a beacon of hope, Mr. Reed intimately understands the pain, both physical and emotional, that accompanies injuries as an athlete. His mission is more than research; it's about channeling personal agony into boundless empathy for athletes undergoing similar trials. 

Christopher Swims 


Hi, I’m Christopher E. Swims: a husband, father, Pastor, Funeral Attendant, and Educator. I am an alum of SIUC, where I majored in Speech Communication with a specialization in Interpersonal Communication. I am actively involved in the community, serving on various boards, and I am a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Mu Kappa Lambda Graduate Chapter. 

I’m excited about being a part of TEDx. Initially hesitant to apply, I'm grateful that a good friend encouraged me to do so. As you can see, I wear many hats. I've learned (and am still learning) how to be authentically myself without allowing the space to change who I am, but rather to empower me to change the space I'm in. Can't wait to see you on March 30 for TEDx SIUC! 

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