Meet Our Speakers

lise deguire

Dr. Lise Deguire

Psychologist and Author of Flashback Girl

Dr. Lise Deguire is a psychologist, author, and burn survivor. After being severely burned as a four-year-old, she spent years in the hospital, undergoing reconstruction surgeries. Dr. Deguire is the author of her multiple award-winning book Flashback Girl: Lessons on Resilience from a Burn Survivor. Dr. Deguire graduated from Tufts University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University. Dr. Deguire has appeared on NPR, NBC, ABC, and FOX. She has presented for The World Burn Congress, The Security and Exchange Commission, The American Burn Association, and the New Jersey Psychological Association. 

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amy franzini

Dr. Amy Franzini

Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Digital Media Informatics at Widener University

Dr. Amy Franzini studies the representations of children, childhood, parents, and parenting in popular media. She has presented her research regularly at the Popular Culture/American Culture Association national conferences and Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture/American Culture Association conferences. Dr. Franzini’s work has been published in the Journal of Children and Media and the Journal of Sex Research, and she has chapters included in Common Sense: Intelligence as Presented on Popular Television and Fleeting Images: Portrayals of Children in Popular Culture. She has recently finished writing a book, Secret Identities and Double Lives on Tween TV, that explores how the trope of secret identities on live-action sitcoms targeted to tweens provides a space for characters to explore identity and relationship issues, which in turn enables tween audiences to consider those same subjects. Dr. Franzini incorporates her research into her teaching in courses such as Media & Children, Visual Literacy, and Communication Theory.

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Should You Watch TV with Your Child?

anthony pompilii

Mr. Anthony Pompilii

Communication Studies Senior at Widener University

Anthony Pompilii is a communication studies major in his senior year. He also serves as the social media manager for Widener Admissions, the president of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) at Widener, and a student worker for University Relations. He is a member of the Widener Film Society, and he works for Widener athletic communications as a freelance photographer. He serves as the head coach of men’s tennis and the head coach for the 9th-grade boys’ basketball team at Sun Valley High School. In addition, he works as the head live streamer for St. John’s Chrysostom Church. His passions include fitness, theology, philosophy, education, and sports.

A Call for Struggling Athletes to Seek Help

brent satterly

Dr. Brent Satterly

Professor of Social Work and Human Sexuality Education at Widener University

Dr. Brent Satterly is a professor of social work at Widener's Center for Social Work Education. Dr. Satterly was awarded the prestigious Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2016 and the Widener Faculty Institutional Leadership Award in 2017. He teaches family therapy, human sexuality studies, pedagogy, trauma, and anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion (ADEI) courses in the BSW, MSW, and PhD programs. He has 30 years of clinical and educational experience as a Pennsylvania-licensed clinical social worker, and his expertise includes human sexuality and social work pedagogies, clinical work with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) populations, family therapy, and the use of pop culture in teaching social justice. He is well-published, including his recent 2020 co-authored textbook Sexuality Concepts for Social Workers (2nd ed.). Dr. Satterly’s ability to connect with students and passionately inspire transformations on an individual and societal level is the hallmark of his work at Widener.

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Teaching Is a Drag: Lipstick, Learning, and Liberation

gigi tewari

Ms. Geeta (Gigi) Tewari

Assistant Professor of Law at Widener University Delaware Law School

Gigi Tewari teaches contract and business law at Widener University Delaware Law School through an interdisciplinary lens—she holds a master of fine arts from Columbia University, a law degree from Fordham Law School, and a bachelor of arts from Cornell University. Tewari’s short stories and poetry have been published in literary magazines such as Granta, Epiphany Magazine, New England Review, The Southern Review, and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her writing captures identity conflicts that many marginalized communities face, along with a myriad of life issues such as professionalism, gender equality, and domestic violence. Gigi Tewari lives in New York, and she is a Margins Fellow with the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.

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How Money Keeps You Trapped in Toxic Relationships

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Marina Barnett

Dr. Marina Barnett

Associate Professor of Social Work at Widener University

In her teaching practice, Dr. Marina Barnett focuses on advocacy and commitment to social justice, assessment, working with diverse populations, and the use of technology. Her vision for her students is that they see themselves as leaders capable of engaging any population. Her courses demonstrate the social work values of partnering with clients, non-judgementalism, and valuing the uniqueness and capabilities of individuals. An assessment of strengths is an integral aspect of both her teaching and her practice. Dr. Barnett believes that every person has inherent strengths and gifts that enable them to contribute to society and address their own issues. She seeks to inspire others to take control of their own education, to become active participants in their own lives and in their communities, and to be dedicated and committed to the eradication of social injustice.

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Stone Soup: A Recipe for Community Organizing

Angela M. Corbo

Dr. Angie Corbo

Associate Professor and Chairperson of Communication Studies at Widener University

Dr. Angie Corbo teaches courses in public relations, leadership, gendered communication, interpersonal communication, and organizational communication. Her research areas include promoting mental health resources on college campuses, political communication, organizational culture, and ethical guidelines for media coverage in cases of suicide. Dr. Corbo is an active member of the National Communication Association (NCA) and serves as Public Relations Division Chair. She has delivered more than 50 conference presentations at international, national, and regional conferences. Her conference presentation topics include a range of contemporary issues such as #MeToo, the reflective assessment process, pedagogical models for teaching civic engagement courses, crisis communication strategies, high impact practices in higher education, and reinventing new norms during COVID-19. Dr. Corbo was recently elected as the faculty chair and is the co-director of the SURCA (Summer Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities) program.

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Belonging and Inclusion: Beyond Buzzwords

speaker ryan raiker

Mr. Ryan M. Raiker, PCM, CDMP

Business Consultant; Process and Marketing Expert; and Adjunct Professor at Widener University

As a digital-first marketing leader, Ryan Raiker has experience creating marketing systems built around effective strategic planning, customer empathy, compelling content, and operational efficiency. He brings a strategic viewpoint to reimagine how people work and businesses operate. He is a recognized thought leader in business, technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and process. Raiker also serves as an adjunct professor in the fields of business management, entrepreneurship, communications, and digital media informatics. Raiker actively writes in publications on Medium and has been featured on NBC,, MarketWatch,, Data-Driven Investor, Insurance Innovation Reporter, Yahoo News, and more. You can learn more about him at

Define Your Personal Brand and Leave a Legacy in the Digital Age

speaker sassi 260x300

Ms. Natalie Sassi

Nursing Senior at Widener University

Natalie Sassi is a senior in Widener University’s School of Nursing Honors Program. She is an active member of the Widener University Student Nurse Association, as well as the Widener University Sexuality and Gender Alliance. Outside of school, Ms. Sassi is a scholar for the Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (PA AHEC), and she intends to serve vulnerable populations after graduation. During her undergraduate studies, Sassi has devoted much attention to uncovering factors influencing health care access and delivery. Her groundbreaking work and honors presentation on the nurse’s role in helping to combat human trafficking inspired her TEDx Talk.

Nurses Can Combat Human Trafficking

speaker veznedaroglu

Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu (Dr. Vez), MD

Cerebrovascular Neurosurgeon; Professor and Director of Drexel Neurosciences Institute; and Chair of Global Neurosciences Institute

Dr. Veznedaroglu is one of the most experienced cerebrovascular neurosurgeons in the country and an internationally renowned, comprehensively trained vascular neurosurgeon. He is a professor and director of Drexel Neurosciences Institute at Drexel University College of Medicine and holds the Robert A. Groff Chair in Neurosurgery. As chair of Global Neurosciences Institute, Dr. Vez, as he is known, leads a team of some of the nation’s most experienced neurosurgeons specializing in complex conditions of the brain. In addition to providing clinical care, Dr. Vez is the primary investigator of numerous clinical and basic science studies related to cerebrovascular disease and is a nationally recognized academic leader in cerebrovascular care. To learn more about Dr. Vez, visit

Technology & Innovation in the Neurosciences

Become a TEDxWidenerUniversity Speaker in 2024

We are planning for our fall 2024 TEDxWidenerUniversity event. Do you have an excellent idea for a TED Talk that will spark conversation and could improve lives? Are you willing to work hard with a vested coaching team to hone your talk? Are you able to attend several rehearsals in person at Widener University’s Chester Campus? If so, then we’d love to hear from you.

Please send a 150-word bio and a summary of your talk idea, along with links to any publishing or media credentials, to Jeannine McKnight at