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2022: Solstice



Life is filled with highs and lows, maximums and minimums, successes and defeats. At the points we are furthest from our goals, we can look forward to the cyclical nature of our system and time to reorient and refocus ourselves. Emerging from a pandemic filled with darkness and shade, we are on the verge of light again. The return of the in-person TEDxUF events is also met with the restart of a cycle. New team, new speakers, new friends, new connections, new ideas. We are the incessant domino effect of ideas and inspiration, in which the natural products of our resilience and revival are a restored equilibrium and the rebirth of new beginnings.


Where one thought ends, another will always begin.

Meet Our Speakers
Christine Errico

Closing the gap about cleft lip and palate

Christine Errico is a certified confidence and transformation coach for cleft-affected individuals and an advocate for cleft lip and palate awareness and education. Born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, Christine overcame numerous obstacles, surgeries and bullying to get to where she is today. Drawing on her own experiences, she helps cleft-affected clients build self-confidence and acceptance. Christine has a PhD in business administration with a specialization in accounting, and is an accounting professor. She also owns multiple businesses and volunteers with Smile Train to help strengthen the cleft community in the United States. She recently traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to meet with cleft affected children and learn more about the work Smile Train does.

Daniela Blanco

If AI Shapes Our Future, Who Shapes AI?

Daniela Blanco obtained her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from NYU and is the co-founder and CEO of Sunthetics. At Sunthetics, she develops ground-breaking machine-learning platforms that accelerate the development and implementation of  sustainable chemical processes. Daniela has been named Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy North America, Top Innovator Under 35 in Latin America by MIT Technology Review, Top Female Founder by Inc Magazine, Top Graduate Inventor by Lemelson-MIT, Global Student Entrepreneur Champion, and Brightest AI-CI Mind by the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. Due to her vision of building a more sustainable chemical industry, she has been invited to speak at the 2019 International Entrepreneurial Summit for the Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations.

Chris Cyrille

Stitching Hope Into Our Everyday Lives

Chris Cyrille holds a BS in Information Technology from The Florida State University. He currently works as a Strategy Analyst researching and analyzing industry trends to determine how to optimize business units. He has always seen the world as a myriad of different colors, shapes, & patterns. During his time in undergrad, he decided to dig into a family pastime: style and fashion. Today, he’s built a business of this past time, Canopy Road Styling, where he shares with others how he sees the world through fashion. Chris styles fashion shows throughout the Tampa region and was nominated as one of the Tampa Club’s 40 Under 40 members.

E. Stanley Richardson

There Is No Magic More Powerful Than Music

E. Stanley Richardson is a Florida-native poet, actor, playwright, social and political commentator, and lecturer. He is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Alachua County, Florida (2020–2022) and authored the award-winning book of poetry “Hip Hop Is Dead–Long Live Hip Hop: The Birth, Death And Resurrection Of Hip Hop Activism” (2017). He is an accomplished actor, having performed such roles as Troy in “Fences” by August Wilson, Big Daddy in “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” by Tennessee Williams, and Frederick Douglas in “In Splendid Error” by William B. Branch. He is the Founder and Director of ARTSPEAKSgnv, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting youth literacy, creativity, and awareness through art activism. His work with young creatives continues as the Director of the Alachua County & North Central Florida Youth Poet Laureate Program.

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Piyush Jain

How CRISPR can revolutionize diagnostics

Dr. Piyush Jain received his undergraduate degree in Pharmacy from Dr. H.S. Gour University in India. He then moved to the US and received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences/Chemistry from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he developed light-responsive tools to control drug delivery and biological processes. Dr. Jain completed his postdoctoral training at MIT, where he created the first light-responsive CRISPR/Cas system that was based on modifying the guide RNA. Currently, Dr. Jain is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UF. His work has resulted in over 22 pending/issued patents including a successfully licensed technology. Dr. Jain has co-authored over 18 publications/manuscripts, been highlighted by over 10,000 websites, and co-founded a startup, Genable Biosciences LLC..

Jennifer Dasher

Why is anyone listening to me?

Jennifer Dasher is a professional Costume Designer and educator. She received her MFA from The University of Arizona and BFA from Texas Christian University. Jennifer is the owner of J.Dasher Creative, a creative studio that has produced designs for Cirque du Soleil, Paula Abdul, Glimmerglass Opera, and other Broadway and Off-Broadway works. She is a leader in the fusion of technology, costume, and storytelling; having successfully designed and integrated LED systems into costumes for a number of performances. Her work has been featured at annual United States Theatre Institute Conferences: as a winner of Tech Expo, Invited Exhibitor, and Panelist. As an educator, Jennifer's interest lies in empowering a diverse group of students with the tools to design their future post-graduation and change the face of the industry.

Fernando Paz

How popcorn unlocked the secret for crazy success.

Fernando Paz is Associate Vice President of Software Engineering, at Cox Automotive leading global teams responsible for innovative SaaS software and advanced analytics offering automotive dealers market insights and business intelligence. Previously, Mr. Paz held senior engineering positions at Dell and Motorola and has worked abroad in Penang, Malaysia, to establish a Software R&D Center of Excellence. Furthermore, Mr. Paz serves on the National Board of Directors for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). More importantly, Mr. Paz enjoys spending time with his wife, Carmen, and their three children, and occasionally can be heard DJing parties at his church. Mr. Paz holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Engineering from the University of Florida.

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