USG announces speakers for February TEDx event



Benjamin VanHoose

Big ideas and inspirational minds will fill Kent State’s Student Center next month.

The Undergraduate Student Government announced the speakers for its TEDx conference, scheduled for Feb. 18 in the Student Center Ballroom. Topics to be covered include education, diversity and politics, among others.

Titled “Rewind, Rethink, React,” the event is an independently-organized showcase of the TED Talks brand, a popular platform for experts in many fields to deliver presentations to a worldwide audience.

Kent State staff members make up 11 of the speakers.

Amy Fritsche, director of last semester’s production of “Irena’s Vow,” will talk about the play’s historical significance in today’s political climate.

Marianne Martens, assistant professor of library and information sciences, will explore online fandom issues, with a focus on the “Harry Potter” website Pottermore.

Three undergraduate students will also make presentations, including senior public relations major Keri Richmond, senior visual communication design major William Scharlott and senior English major Regis Coustillac.

The lineup of speakers truly spans all ages — 11-year-old Krish Mehra will give a presentation on the importance of young people learning computer programming. Mehra’s bio states that he became interested in computers at age 8 and has since created two apps.

Bringing a TED event to campus was one of USG Director of Programming Cliff Glowacki’s top priorities when campaigning for his position last spring. USG live-streamed a San Francisco TEDxWomen conference to the ballroom last semester.

The event will be separated into four sessions between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. In addition to the presentations, there will also be galleries, 3D printing demonstrations and musical performances throughout the day.

USG announced the conference back in November. Applications were made available for anyone interested in speaking.

A day pass for students is $20, $30 for Kent State staff and $40 for the general public.

Benjamin VanHoose is the features editor for the Kent Stater, contact him at [email protected]