TEDxCUNY 2024: UNRAVEL
Gerald W. Lynch Theater | April 12th, 2024
"It’s just like unraveling a tangle when you don’t know where the knots are, and you don’t know what the web looks like. But as you work on one section, it is connected to everything." ~ Kamailelauli’I Rafaelovich
The strands of our world are composed of our individual differences and collective experiences, woven together in ways that can seem too complicated to grasp. While it is tempting to surrender in the face of these complexities, understanding our world requires us to confront the knots in our everyday existence and detangle our perception of reality. To do so, the first steps are showing up and creating spaces for shared innovation.
By nurturing our joint efforts, we can succeed in making the chaos comprehensible and harnessing the power of our newfound understanding. Join us in our quest to unravel the complexities of life and weave the fabric of our future!
Meet Our Speakers
Carolina Rosa Martinez
Carolina Rosa Martinez is a first generation Brooklyn College & BMCC alumni holding a BA in English with a special focus on Comparative Literature. Carolina has served as an English tutor, MTSRP researcher and mentor, CUNY Peer Leader, Program Coordinator for the Brooklyn College Peer Mentoring Program, English as a Second Language instructor, and many other areas of service including clerical duties and translation. Currently, Carolina serves as a high school English teacher. As a native Spanish speaker and immigrant, Carolina found her foundation in education and overcame the language barrier to become an educator. Today, she supports others to accomplish their goals through the power of education, self discovery, and grit.
Johanna Strobel is an interdisciplinary artist, working across installation, sculpture, painting, video and VR. She holds degrees in Information Science and Mathematics from Regensburg University and graduated in Painting and Graphics from the Academy of Fine Arts Munich. In 2020 she received an MFA from Hunter College. She is concerned with time and related concepts like change, entropy, and information. Weaving together disparate references spanning across histories and geographies, she explores the entanglement between philosophy, semiotics and actuality. Her work was shown in exhibitions in Germany, Italy, Taiwan, Korea, Canada and the US, such as New Museum Nuremberg, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Museum Gunzenhauser, Chemnitz, Kunstverein Munich, Bethanien, Berlin, Nada House, New York, and NARS Foundation, Brooklyn. Johanna received grants among others by the German Academic Exchange Service, the State of Bavaria, the German Artist Alliance and the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. She is a member of NEW INC and Mensa International.
Shemeka Brathwaite, a Program Director at Brooklyn College, extends her influence beyond campus as a professional speaker. Drawing from her background as a designer, spoken word artist and storyteller, she has performed at renowned venues and in the choreopoem stage play "The Poets' Testimony." Her award-winning poem, "Virtuous Woman," is published in the anthology "Our Stories, Ourselves: The EmBODYment of Women's Literacy." Additionally, her collaborative documentary, "Walking Harlem," was showcased at the College of Staten Island Annual Film Festival. As a community activist, Shemeka collaborates with non-profits on initiatives, earning her proclamations from congressional, state assembly, and city council officials. With a Master's in Adult Education & Human Resource Development from Fordham University, a Bachelors in Fashion Design from Syracuse University, and coaching certification from New York University, Shemeka continues her educational journey by pursuing a doctorate in Community-Based Leadership at the College of Staten Island.
Rein Ulijn is the Einstein Professor of Chemistry at Hunter College. Originally from the Netherlands, after a successful early career in the UK, in 2014 Prof. Ulijn was recruited as the founding Director of the Nanoscience Initiative at CUNY’s Advanced Science Research Center. His lab team is trying to figure out how to figure out how to design, discover and evolve new materials and technologies by using the same building blocks that living things are made of. He has published over 200 papers, and his work has been recognized for its exceptional creativity through international awards and honors, including a Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship. Originally from the Netherlands, he gained his MSc in Biotechnology from Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from the University of Strathclyde and he previously held faculty positions at the University of Strathclyde and the University of Manchester, UK.
Anita Raja is a Professor of Computer Science at Hunter College and a member of the doctoral faculty at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her research contribution is in the field of artificial intelligence, specifically in the study of decentralized control and reasoning in software agent systems operating in the context of uncertainty and limited computational resources. She directs the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research (DAIR) Lab at Hunter College. Her work is supported by grants from NSF, NIH, ONR, DARPA, DHS and PNNL and received best paper awards and the NIH Decoding Maternal Morbidity Challenge Award. She received a B.S. Honors in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics summa cum laude from Temple University, Philadelphia in 1996, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1998 and 2003 respectively. She is a senior member of AAAI .
Eduardo Salazar Uribe
Eduardo Salazar Uribe is a Venezuelan journalist who graduated from the Santa María University in Caracas, and holds a postgraduate degree in International Communications from the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain. In addition, he recently earned a Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, with a double concentration in bilingual/Latinx communities and international reporting. He has lived and worked in six countries, served as a reporter or producer for Euronews, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Venevisión, Vice News, and The New York Times. With over 10 years of experience, Eduardo has also contributed to outlets such as El Nacional, Caracol Noticias, Deutsche Welle, and CNN. He was a speaker at the Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany, where he discussed the co-creation of a new multimedia format with audiences. He specializes in conflict coverage, criminal justice, and the investigation of political, governance, and human rights issues. The Deadline Club, the New York chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, awarded him a merit scholarship at its last edition. Since 2017, he has been living in exile in the United States.
Brian Haggerty is an ecologist who translates complex sciences into practical programs and curricula that inspire transformative action and unlock social mobility. He has designed and implemented climate
change research and education programs for federal environmental agencies, university systems, K-12 schools, and a variety of NGOs and CBOs. He has also developed and coordinated networks of community science hubs where the public helps track the effects of climate change on our nation’s natural resources. Since 2018, Brian has been an Adjunct Lecturer in Environmental Sciences at Baruch College (CUNY) where he’s been recognized for innovative teaching that fosters inclusive and engaging learning environments. He is a first-generation college graduate and has graduate degrees in evolutionary ecology
from University of Virginia and University of California, Santa Barbara. Brian is dedicated to advancing coalitions that integrate nature as a meaningful solution for the environmental and social challenges we
face at all levels.
Emily Willen majored in Anthropology, with a focus in medical and biological anthropology, and Dietetics, Food, and Nutrition for her undergraduate degree. Her thesis focused on diet, pathogen trends, and the origin of disease by studying the morphology of the skeletal system from the paleolithic to modern era. She is currently a Masters Health Education and Promotion student at CUNY Lehman College. Emily studied culture and health abroad, including Sustainable Strategies at Korea University and Japanese Culture at Sugiyama University. After surviving her own health challenges, it is now her passion to dedicate her life to public health in helping others overcome barriers. She’s taken leadership workshops through the Lehman Leadership Development Center, which she now coordinates programs for, and with the CUNY Malave Leadership Academy. Through advocacy, she became a board member of Lehman’s Food Security and Sustainability Initiative Program and a facilitator of the Food Justice Leadership Program.
Luke Steinhauer is a premier vocal coach, international voice consultant, and Estill Voice Training® Master Trainer based in New York City. His clients include Broadway and film/TV actors, pop/rock artists & bands, Fortune 500 company leaders, and amateurs alike. Luke serves on the faculty of Tu Experiencia Broadway, The College Audition Advantage (TCAA), and Re-Crea Teatro in Mexico City. Previously, Luke has taught for Krowne Vocal School, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, The Theatre Aspen School, and The Pittsburgh CLO Academy. As a Music Specialist he’s worked with physically and mentally challenged individuals at The Block Institute as well as a Vocal Teaching Artist in New York City Public Schools. Currently, Luke is Director of Operations & Development for Estill Voice International and an M.B.A. Candidate at Baruch College. Luke has a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from The University of Michigan and has performed as an actor in New York City and across the country.