This year is the inaugural year of TEDx talks at Truman State University. Whether in class or at home, most people have watched a TEDx talk. The mission of the TED organization is to spread ideas and spark conversation, a mission that Truman students are not foreign to.
The idea was first proposed by current sophomore Katie Alexander, who gained inspiration from watching TEDx videos filmed at other universities. She proposed her idea of bringing TEDx to Truman to last year’s Student Government president, Kyra Cooper, and the current vice president junior Deanna Schmidt.
“We ended up passing it onto an ad hoc committee,” said Alexander. “So we created a whole committee just to plan the conference. I was appointed the chair of the committee, and that’s how the whole ball got rolling.”
The eight-person committee is made up of students from all across campus, not just in student government. Junior committee member Kathleen Placke spoke about what drew her to join in the TEDx creation process.
“I wanted to have other people see these great ideas and people — professors and students — that we have at Truman,”said Placke.
Laura Bates, director of the student union and campus activities, and Janna Stoskopf, Vice President for Student Affairs, assisted with the application process for TEDx at Truman and to get the idea off of the ground. Truman was accepted into the program after one application.
“A lot of people don’t recognize the amazing ideas that we’re producing here and all the experiences that we’re generating, and to have a big organization like TEDx actually recognize that and want to give us a platform to actually promote those ideas was really humbling and exciting,” Schmidt said when she was asked what this meant to her.
Student Government and the TEDx planning committee are overjoyed for students to see the TEDx talks very soon, said Alexander. Students interested in viewing the talks can buy tickets from the Student Government office the week before the conference. Around 60 tickets are available to those wishing to attend. The conference will also be livestreamed from Baldwin Hall Little Theater , and around 100 tickets are available for that.
“I want as many students to be able to experience it as possible.” Alexander said. “The community of students is something that we’re really going for.”
All videos from the conference will be available on YouTube for everyone to enjoy. Though the identity of who is giving the talks has not been revealed, Alexander said there will be TEDx talks from students, faculty and alumni. Speaker reveals are happening in the upcoming weeks on the committee’s Facebook page. Placke said she thinks students will be excited when they see who the committee chose as speakers.
Schmidt also gave a preview about what the talks will contain.
“One thing I want students to know is that it’s going to be a really diverse array of talks about a lot of different topics that they’re going to be able to get a lot from,” she said.