WSU to host TEDx conference

(Source: Adrian Eads)

Weber State University will host TEDx on Feb. 28 in the Eccles Theater from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with satellite viewing available from other locations on campus. The series will feature WSU students, faculty and staff, and will focus on WSU’s 2012 campaign theme, “Worthy of Your Dreams.”

TEDx WSU co-organizer Adrian Eads said in an email that all WSU students, staff, faculty and alumni will benefit from attending.

“We have some amazing presenters who are going to showcase the best Weber State (and our alumni) have to offer,” he wrote. “Attending TEDx Weber State University will cause you to think about things in a different light, and we hope everyone coming away will find it a rewarding experience. When people think of Utah, they think of the U of U, BYU; I want people to think of Weber State too.”

WSU’s TEDx, an independently organized event, will feature speakers from across campus that address the theme from various perspectives. TEDx events are based off TED Talks, the international conferences focused on technology, education and design.

Faculty, staff and alumni speakers will include WSU President Charles Wight, Adam Johnston, Stacy Palen, Sarah Steimel, Tim Border and Bill Allred of X96’s Radio from Hell. The speakers will be filmed and eventually posted to the official TEDx YouTube channel.

Eads said Wight will talk about universities taking on some of the cost of student loan default, and Palen will discuss creation in a way that relates to the theme. In addition to the live talks, several pre-recorded TED talks will be shown.

Currently, one group of students from the Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service are scheduled to present. Walker Institute interns India Nielsen, Stuart Call and alumna Mandie Barnes will present how internships help students achieve their dreams.

Call, the chair of the student board of directors at the Walker Institute, said he was excited to share how his experiences with internships have helped him.

“I think it’s an exciting opportunity to talk about something that has really benefited my college experience and my future job experience,” Call said. “I hope that (students) will benefit by understanding . . . the importance of doing an internship — how it can help them apply their education now and how it can help them network and find good job opportunities when they graduate.”

According to Eads, one presenter has recently dropped out, and he’s looking to fill the spot with another student. They’re currently looking at a student who will be recommended by the dean of the College of Arts & Humanities, Madonne Miner.

“If there is a student that’s interested, they can come and audition next week,” Eads said, adding that any student who would be interested in auditioning should contact him at [email protected].

“Our internships not only paved the way to our dreams, but it also opened doors through experience and networking . . . for me especially, (internships) made me realize what my dream is,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen went on that she hoped the TEDx event helps inspire people. “I would encourage anyone who wants to hear about maybe an alternative way to find your dream, because most people don’t connect internships and dreams.”

WSU is not the first place in Utah to host TEDx events. Utah State University, Park City and Salt Lake City have all hosted similar events as recently as November 2013.

Nielsen said she hopes the talks will help students realize “that they’re not going to ‘just Weber’ — they get to go to Weber. We have these fabulous programs and professors and opportunities and researchers that some people just don’t know about . . . it’ll be good to get our name out there.”

Tickets for the two sessions, held 10-11:30 a.m. and 1-2:30 p.m., will be available through the TEDx WSU site soon.