Seven additional speakers have been confirmed for the TEDxACU conference: Kathryn Childers, Bailey Plake, Rusty Towell, Byron and Stacie Stephenson as well as two student speakers Hannah Johnson and Grace-Kelly Muvunyi.
The speakers will expand on topics focused on science, economics and art. They will also provide insight on entrepreneurship, graphic design, nutrition, humanities and learning to overcome challenges.
Kathryn Childers is a professional speaker and author and one of the first U.S. Secret Service Agents recruited in 1970. According to the TEDxACU website, “If you do it scared, imagine what your life could be” will share lessons from her years of embracing various opportunities and “ask audience members to consider how they will face the challenges in their own lives.”
Bailey Plake is a student minister at the Hills Church, and has spent much of her time in college traveling the world, changing the way she has shared stories of those in need. Plake will talk about how said stories told by various groups (religious, humanitarian and non-profit) “impact everyday conversations about suffering and need around the world” in her TEDxACU talk titled “The stories we tell and the first world problems they create.”
Byron and Stacie Stephenson are the owners (and pitmasters) at the Shed Market, a local BBQ joint that sells out daily and continues on the legacy set by Byron’s grandparents. “How to smoke a brisket like a Texan” will be a filmed-on-location TEDxACU talk and will “share a few pro-tips with audience members and address many of the ‘what ifs’ of smoking brisket – the Texas way.”
Rusty Towell is a NEXT Lab Director and professor at ACU who has mentored students involved in international science experiments and serves as the founding director of ACU’s NEXT Lab for Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing. “From ‘What if’ to ‘What’s next’ in nuclear energy” will be Towell’s second talk and will focus on how nuclear reactors will have life-saving potential “if the public is willing to support nuclear power.”
Hannah Johnson, an interdisciplinary studies major has grown up fascinated with “intersection of culture and the arts and the way in which people interact and engage with the world through art.” In her talk, titled “If it looks like an apple…”, she will have the audience readdress how they see images and logos, showing how images are sometimes more than not exactly what they appear to be.
Grace-Kelly Muvunyi, a nutrition major has spent the past few years studying nutrition habits from different cultures around the world, particularly the adaptation of habits of East African immigrants in the United States. Muvunyi will “explain how incorporating cancer prevention diet recommendations can be a part of anyone’s life” without cutting out culture-specific foods they enjoy in “If food could fight cancer.”
Not only has TEDxACU influenced the way students think, but it has inspired them in the ways they approach life as well as influence them to speak in front of the audience themselves.
“If you have something you’re passionate about and you think it’s something other people ought to know, then you’re the exact person they’re looking for to do a TED talk,” Johnson said. “The reason why I auditioned in the first place is because I was off on a tangent about graphic design and my friend convince me to apply.”
TEDx2019 will take place at Fulks Theatre on March 1 from 4-9:30 p.m. General admission tickets are available online for $30. Students can register for $20 at www.tedxacu.org.