Twelve speakers will present “ideas worth spreading” at the third annual TEDxACU on Friday from 8:30 a.m – 5 p.m. in the Fulks Theatre at the Williams Performing Art Center.
This year’s speakers will cover a variety of topics from coffee to millennial feminists to black college football players to outer space.
TEDx is a self-organized event connected to the global TED conference initiative which began in 1984. Presenters must give their talks in 18 minutes or less.
The dozen presenters will address the theme of what’s “Next” through their perspectives, industries and disciplines. This year’s lineup includes several students, alumni and visitors from around the country.
Special events during the day include a performance by Disability Resources’ handbell choir, the Bell Peppers, and a speed painting performance by alumni Chera Chaney, a 2016 art and design graduate.
Chandler Graf, a senior biochemistry major from Georgetown, will give a video presentation titled “How Science Can Help You Brew a Better Cup of Coffee”. Graf was asked to present after Dr. Lauren Lemley, organizer of TEDxACU, overheard him training a new barista at Beltway coffee, where he works as a barista.
“[She] thought that the same information baristas learned could help everybody drink better coffee,” said Graf. “I was super excited to do it because I’m passionate about the idea that coffee doesn’t just have to be a boring drink that wakes us up, it can be a speciality drink that is unique each time you make it.”
After Graf’s video presentation, a break will follow where conference attendees can try six unique coffees provided by local shops in Abilene.
Madeline Dayton Madeline Dayton, sophomore global studies major from Katy, will present “What Do Millennial Feminists Owe Their Great-Grandmothers?” Dayton has worked in Washington D.C. and plans to go to law school. She said she arrived at her topic after a history class with Dr. Kelly Elliott her freshman year. For her first time on the big stage, Dayton said she’s feeling all the pre-presentation butterflies.
Dr. Cara Jacocks, communications professor at SMU, will discuss “Socially Construction Down Syndrome: Confessions of a Rockin’ Mom”. Jackocks is mom to Everett, who was born and diagnosed with Down Syndrome in 2013.
Dr. Bonnie Feldman will highlight the invisible epidemic of autoimmune diseases in her talk titled “The Single Most Valuable Legacy We Pass On”. She is chief collaboration officer of DrBonnie360 where she collaborates with entrepreneurs to improve autoimmune care.
Jackie Beth Shilcutt, adjunct dance professor at ACU and class of 2004 graduate, will talk on the choreographic process in her presentation “Next Steps: Presence in Transition”. She has performed and choreographed dances from Texas to New York to Brazil.
John Triscitti, director of the Midland County Public Libraries, will share how “Literacy is the Answer” to global social and economic equality.
Knox McCoy and Jamie Golden, c0-hosts of nationally ranked podcast, “The Popcast”, will show the power of pop culture in their talk “Clear Eyes on the Full Heart of Pop Culture”.
Paul Munshower, physics teacher at Abilene’s Wylie High School, will share his experiences from schools around the globe in his talk “Broadening the Borders to Built Better Schools.”
Daniel Rangel, founder of socially conscious brand Creativum, will present “Lessons from a World-Class Street Peddler,” a talk based on his four-year backpacking trip through Argentina.
Dr. Brandon W. Jones, assistant director of Academic Success Center at Clemson University, will share his research on social and athletic experiences of high-achieving black college football players. His talk is titled “The Magnifying Glass: Black Football Players on College Campuses”.
Jarrod Brown, class of 2000 graduate, founder and president of non-profit Mission Lazarus, will give a talk titled “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” about global corporation’s business principles and social entrepreneurship in impoverished countries. Brown has worked in Honduras and Haiti.
Dr. Amber Straughn, astrophysicist for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, will turn attendees’ attention to outer space in her talk, “Infant Galaxies to Alien Atmospheres: NASA’s Next Huge Telescope.” Straughn works on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope science team.
Tickets for the conference can be purchased here.