Adelphi sets its first TEDx

Adelphi president – and upcoming TEDx talker – Christine Riordan.

A heady selection of Adelphi University faculty and graduates will share “ideas worth spreading” April 5 when the university hosts its first-ever TEDx event.

Christine Riordan, who this month was officially installed as Adelphi’s first woman president, headlines a selection of speakers scheduled to take the stage beginning at 9 a.m. at the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center Concert Hall in Garden City.

Riordan, an award-winning educator and recognized leadership and diversity expert, will discuss the things successful people have in common, including passion, courage and resilience, according to Adelphi’s Center for Health Innovation, which is organizing the event.

The independently organized talk is licensed by TED (for Technology, Entertainment, Design), a nonprofit organization spreading worthy ideas through powerful talks – usually 18 minutes or shorter – delivered by leading thinkers and achievers. Past TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall and Sir Richard Branson.

While many of the talks are presented at TED’s annual conference in British Columbia and archived for free on, TEDx licenses thousands of individuals and groups for self-organized, TED-style events.

The inaugural TEDxAdelphiUniversity is scheduled to include nine total speakers, including Riordan, who will “collectively suggest ways we can improve ourselves, our communities and our society,” according to Elizabeth Gross Cohn, executive director of the Center for Health Innovation.

Expected to join the freshly minted Adelphi president are Bernadine Waller, a doctoral candidate and adjunct professor at the university’s School of Social Work, who will speak about responses to intimate-partner violence against women of color; Smithtown psychologist Deborah Serani, a graduate of Adelphi’s Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, who will discuss her personal experiences living with depression; and Anthony Zenkus, a licensed social worker and adjunct Adelphi professor who will discuss his work as director of Bethpage-based domestic- and sexual-violence resource hub The Safe Center.

Other scheduled speakers include a rabbi, on weighing faith against life experience, and an elementary school teacher (and Adelphi alum) championing technological means for teaching young children about social justice.

A full list of speakers and topics is available on the Center for Health Innovation website.

Admission (including lunch) for the April 5 event is “extremely limited,” according to Adelphi, and tickets are available ($20 for general admission, $10 for students) only through a lottery system. Winners will be notified by March 28.

Adelphi will also stream the event live, the university said in a statement.