This year’s TenTalks event during Homecoming and Family Weekend at Eastern Mennonite University features three alumni: a tech startup founder, a public health leader, and an educator addressing racism and trauma. This year, with Homecoming moving online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TenTalks will be broadcast over Facebook Live on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 3 p.m.
The theme? “Lead Together During Crisis.”
The event, based on the popular TED Talks, provides 10 minutes for each speaker to educate and inspire the audience, followed by a five-minute question and answer session.
David Brubaker, dean of the School of Social Sciences and Professions, will emcee. Read about the esteemed speakers:
Ram Bhagat GC ’19, PhD, is the manager of school climate and culture strategy for Richmond Public Schools. In that role, he promotes equitable and just learning environments for all students while reducing the disproportionality in suspensions for students of color.
An educator, arts innovator, and peacemaker, Bhagat is committed to healing trauma in the schools and communities around him. His areas of expertise include culturally responsive circles, arts integration, restorative justice practices, trauma awareness and resilience, and trauma-sensitive yoga.
He is also widely renowned as a world percussionist, and co-founded the ensemble “Drums No Guns” in the early 1990s. The group later established a nonprofit foundation to work with youth and families traumatized by gun violence. Bhagat also co-founded the Richmond Youth Peace Project in the early 2000s, a youth-led organization which builds a culture of nonviolence among city youth.
Jeff Boodie ’07 is a social impact entrepreneur and the co-founder and president of JobSnap, a web app video interviewing platform oriented to help youth and young adults in underserved communities enter the workforce. On the hiring end, he’s also worked with clients such as Elle, Warner Music Group, Vera Wang, PETA, and Esquire.
Before entering the recruiting market, Boodie managed business funds for O, The Oprah Magazine. His work and advice has been featured in a Forbes article on the “Under 30 Summit” and the book Gen Z @ Work: How the Next Generation is Transforming the Workplace (Harper Business, 2017). He is an international keynote speaker and consultant.
Jeannine Uzel MSN ’18 is the director of public health nursing at the Virginia Department of Health. She became the director of public health nursing in 2017, bringing with her more than 30 years of nursing experience, including in intensive care units, hospice, school, university, and acute care psychiatric settings. Eight years of her career were spent as a nurse in the Henrico County Public Schools.
Uzel also managed the immunization program at VCU student health for a student population of 30,000. Her experience comes from a wide array of settings, from rural settings in the Chickahominy Health District to urban and suburban areas around Richmond.
*This speakers’ organization requires a public statement that she is receiving no compensation for her participation.