TEDxBucknellUniversity enters ‘Uncharted Waters’


Sasha Weilbaker, Senior Writer

Student-run TEDxBucknellUniversity event packs Campus Theatre

The third annual TEDxBucknellUniversity event was held at the Campus Theatre on April 8. Andranae Nelson ’17 and Anthony Scrima ’18 co-directed the event, and John Quinn ’18 served as the emcee.

TED is a nonprofit that began in 1984 and is dedicated to the spread of ideas in the form of short talks. The University has been partnered with TED since 2015 to give students, faculty, and alumni a chance to share what they’ve learned through talks directed toward the community. Current fifth-year students Peter Puleo ’17 and Alejandro Ramirez de Arellano ’17 are the original founders of the event.

This year’s theme was “Uncharted Waters: Explore the Unknown.” Each speaker discussed the journey they had taken to push the boundaries of conventional actions or thought.

This year’s speakers included Associate Professor of Comparative Humanities John Hunter, Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Swanson Fellow in the Sciences and Engineering Philip Asare, Kirsten Young ’17, Ella Tazuana Johnson ’17, alumni Marissa Calhoun ’10 and Dwyer Haney ’10, and local businessman Nicholas Gilson of Gilson Boards.

The talks ranged from sexual education to leaving your job and sailing around the world, but all revolved around the theme of the exploration of new ideas.

“I went to TEDxBucknellUniversity because I’m always interested in broadening my horizons. We all have such a small window on the world, so I feel it’s our responsibility to live through others and listen to their experiences as much as we can,” Matt Geiger ’19 said.

According to Scrima, organizing the event takes eight months. The process begins in August with the selection of the TEDx student team, a theme, and a license application written to TED. If accepted, that application allows the University to use the TEDx name for the event.

In the past, TEDxBucknellUniversity has traditionally selected two students, two or three faculty, and two alumni speakers, but this year decided to change it up to include one community member, Gilson. Scrima also remarked that the team emphasized the diversity of ideas for this year’s event.

“Each speaker was intentionally picked because of their understanding of their proposed ideas as well as their ability to communicate them,” Scrima said.

Students interested in speaking go through an application process followed up by an interview. Faculty and staff speakers are chosen through recommendations by the team as well as peers. For the selection of alumni speakers, Josh Grill from Alumni Relations assists the team in finding alumni with a career path that might fit that year’s theme.

This year, the TEDxBucknellUniversity team wanted to start integrating members of the community into the event. Many of the students on the team knew about the work Nick Gilson and his company are doing and reached out to him because they believed his personal story and company’s mission would be a great addition to the event.

Taylor Milliman, ’18 said he went to the event because he is “a big fan of the TED format in general and wanted to hear what other people in the community had to say.” He is looking forward to attending the event next year and seeing where it goes in the future.

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