2024 Annual Conference
January 27th, 2024

Embrace the transformative power of nurturing environments. Join us as we explore the interplay of light and dark, nature versus nurture, and the incredible growth that occurs when we provide the right conditions. Let ideas bloom, cultivate a sustainable future, and discover the warmth and protection within our shared greenhouse. Get ready to step into a world where every obstacle is a stepping stone and where the light at the end of the tunnel illuminates new possibilities.

Event Details



This event is open to the general public, not just Rutgers students!


Impactful Speakers

We will be showcasing a series of talented and creative minds from all over the country.


Livingston Student Center

The conference will take place in the Livingston Student Center Auditorium on Livingston Campus.


January 27th, 2024

We will be unveiling on January 27th, 2024 @ 10 AM.

Meet the talented speakers


Nicole Gonzalez

Mindset Coach & Podcast Host

Nicole Gonzalez is an American podcast host, mindset coach, author, and motivational speaker. Nicole has always been passionate about reading and writing, which led to her career as an educator where she started teaching mindset and wellness courses. Realizing that people of all ages struggled with a lack of confidence, she began coaching people toward a healthier lifestyle and improved self-esteem. The Book Every Teen Should Read is Nicole’s first book and acts as a guide to help teens navigate their lives and develop a sense of self-worth, positive mindset, and personal values.


Julie Winokur

Filmmaker, Wordsmith, Visual Artist, Changemaker

Julie Winokur, Executive Director of Talking Eyes Media, has been a storyteller for over two decades, first as a magazine writer and then as a documentary filmmaker. She launched Talking Eyes in 2002 as a way to create visual media that catalyzes positive social change. Her work has appeared on PBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, and National Geographic. Her Newark-based project, Newest Americans, was named Best Online Storytelling Project in 2020 by Pictures of the Year International. She is a National Geographic Explorer and has been on the faculty of Rutgers University-Newark and the International Center of Photography in New York.


Mark Gregory Robson

Teacher, Researcher, Administrator

Mark Gregory Robson is Dean of the Rutgers School of Graduate Studies and Distinguished Professor of Plant Biology. His research is on toxic effects pesticide and exposure reduction. He has a BS in Agricultural Science, an MS and PhD in Plant Science from Rutgers and an MPH (1995) UMDNJ. He was awarded a Doctor of Public Health from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok Thailand. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini and a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences. He is the Editor in Chief of The Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment.


Saladin Ambar

Rutgers University Political Science Professor

Saladin Ambar is Professor of Political Science and Senior Scholar at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Dr. Ambar is the author of five books including the 2023 PROSE Best Book in Government and Politics Award from the Association of American Publishers for his Stars and Shadows: The Politics of Interracial Friendship from Jefferson to Obama (Oxford University Press 2022). Prof. Ambar's latest work focuses on Abraham Lincoln's 1838 Lyceum Address. He has recently contributed to the Lincoln Presidential Foundation's docuseries on the Lyceum Address, "Fortifying Our Democracy." He currently serves as Co-Director of the New Jersey Reparations Council's Democracy Committee. Dr. Ambar lives with his cats Orson and Oscar in Philadelphia.

Meet our Student Speakers


Bryan Plaza

Passionate Rutgers Student and Innovator

At Rutgers University, Bryan studied computer engineering while serving as a dedicated 911 operator and currently in the tech and real estate field. Throughout his Rutgers journey, Bryan fervently advocates for inclusivity and mental health awareness. His path has been molded by the warmth of supportive communities and the stark contrast of indifference, inspiring him to establish RU OK?, a student organization dedicated to community awareness and fostering a nurturing environment. Bryan was able to find others who share his values by being an active member of the professional engineering fraternity, Theta Tau. At every turn, he sought, fostered, or created a community for himself and others. His journey highlights the transformative power of perseverance, embracing change, and the strength of community.


Katie Lynch

Rutgers student, Indigenous scientist, and Artist

Katie is a Citizen of the Potawatomi Nation and senior at Rutgers University studying Biomedical Engineering. She is an avid health justice advocate who is passionate about using science to inform public health transformation. On campus, she serves as Engineering Student Body President, President of RU Indigenous, and a Diversity Peer Educator. Katie is also a former White House Intern, a 2023 Truman Scholarship Nominee for Rutgers University, and the first Indigenous student in Rutgers history to be recognized by the Udall Foundation. Her goal for the future is to give back to her Indigenous community, and make a difference in the lives of Indigenous people around the country and world.

Meet the Team behind the magic

A few words about TEDx

What is TEDx?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxRutgers, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxRutgers event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

About TEDxRutgers

On February 18, 2023 TEDxRutgers is bringing together world-leading thinkers, makers, and doers at Rutgers University to discuss doing the unprecedented. The audience will be composed of a diverse yet curated mix of students, professors, and thought leaders from Rutgers and beyond, for a stimulating day of presentations, discussions, entertainment and art that will spark new ideas and opportunities for all.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast event in nearby Whistler. The annual TEDGlobal conference will be held this October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED.

Thank You To Our Sponsors

Sponsor Acknowledgements

The School of Communication and Information (SC&I) is a dynamic center of learning at the heart of the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus. Founded in 1982, SC&I's research and teaching focuses on organizational communication, social and new media, library and information science, journalism and media studies, health communication, and information technology. The School’s competitive and renowned programs prepare students for top careers in today’s digital environment. SC&I has centers, labs, working groups, and clusters several focusing on areas such as school libraries, organizational development and leadership, and communication-related to health issues.

Rutgers New Brunswick (RU-NB) School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) and the Class of 1954 support TEDxRutgers February 2022 Conference. SAS houses thirty four departments and thirteen programs in four divisions, offering more than 70 majors and minors. The Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) Division in SAS hosts world class research and educational programs in six academic departments: Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Computer Science, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, and Statistics. MPS is proud to share a new Data Science Minor and transcripted Certificate program open to ALL students in any RU-NB program, designed to equip students with the basics of data science. For more information, please visit: https://mps.rutgers.edu/data-science .

The SAS Office of Undergraduate Education handles matters of curriculum and instruction, and provides resources and support for faculty and administrators. https://sasoue.rutgers.edu/

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can attend?

The conference is open to any idea seeking person.

Can I attend if I am not Rutgers affiliated?

Of course! Just make sure to purchase a guest ticket.

I have a ticket, but can't attend anymore :( What should I do?

Please email us at tedxrutgers@gmail.com if you are unable to use your ticket to allow for others to purchase them.

It says that tickets are sold out. Is there any way for me to get a ticket?

If you are a Rutgers Student, please email us at tedxrutgers@gmail.com so we can try to help you out!

Where can I park?

Visitors may park in the Yellow or Green Lot on the Livingston Campus during the weekends between Friday 5:00pm till Monday morning at 6:00am without a permission. Map available here.
For more information on parking on campus, please click here.

We'd love to hear from you!


If you have any questions, please email us and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

TEDxRutgers 2017