West Virginia University alumni, faculty and students will take the stage in March as part of the first campus TEDx Talk. Themed “Leading with Hope in a Changing World,” the full-day conference will feature culturally relevant topics and boasts a line-up of locally high-brow influencers.
Hosted by the Reed College’s Director of Student Careers and Opportunities Eric Minor and University Relations Director of News April Kaull, the speakers include:
• Emily Calandrelli, the Executive Producer and host of FOX's Xploration Outer Space, a correspondent Bill Nye Saves the World, writer and host of Lockheed Martin’s Spotlight Space, a YouTube series that features the space projects they are involved in, and author of the Ada Lace adventures. Her first two TEDx talks, “I Don’t Do Math” and “Space Exploration Is The Worst,” have garnered nearly 500,00 views on YouTube.
• Ginny Thrasher, the WVU junior who won the first Gold Medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games at 19 dedicates many hours to practicing with the reigning National Champion WVU Rifle Team. During her collegiate career, she has won the NCAA Team Title in both 2016 and 2017, as well as becoming the first freshman to sweep both Individual Titles in 2016.
• In 2005, Dr. Judith Feinberg was the first physician in metropolitan Cincinnati to recognize that opioid injection drug use (heroin, prescription painkillers) had emerged as a health threat, based on increased admissions for a serious heart infection (“endocarditis”). Feinberg became involved in harm reduction efforts and established Ohio's first syringe services program, the Cincinnati Exchange Project. Currently professor of behavioral medicine and psychiatry and professor of medicine/infectious diseases at WVU, she is working hard to turn the tide on opioid-related epidemics.
• Ann Chester is the founder and director of Health Sciences and Technology Academy, a campus/community partnership program initiated in 1994 which reaches out to 9th-12th grade under-represented students across West Virginia and supports them toward college and professional school. In addition, Chester leads the West Virginia National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health and the West Virginia Health Careers Opportunity Program.
• Sara Berzingi, a Morgantown native and senior student in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, is double majoring in biology and English with a concentration in professional writing and editing. Berzingi spent the last four summers volunteering with aid organizations abroad, working to manage the Internally Displaced Persons crisis emerging from the siege of Mosul, volunteering in a labor and delivery ward in Erbil, Iraq, and teaching English to children in an Iraqi refugee camp. She is currently a diversity ambassador and student worker in the WVU Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Berzingi collaborated with the Reed College of Media on Muslim in Appalachia, a 360° series featured on the multimedia news platform, 100 Days in Appalachia.
• Daniel Brewster is a 14-year member of the faculty in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology where he teaches several courses including Sexuality and Society, and Social Problems in Contemporary America. He is the current recipient of the Neil S. Bucklew Award for Social Justice for his leadership, courage and support to Social Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
TEDxWVU will also be streamed live on our Facebook page for those unable to attend. For more information, please visit our website at http://tedxwvu.com/ and be sure to follow TEDxWVU on Twitter @TEDxWVU, Instagram @tedxwvu, and Facebook at @TEDxWVU for all the latest updates about the event.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com.
CONTACT: Erica Lindsay, WVU Reed College of Media