TEDxMaryville College To Host Inaugural Event December 3

TED Talks are widely recognized and frequently used in the classroom to spotlight visionaries, entrepreneurs and people professing unique and thought-provoking insights.

According to the Maryville College TED Talk website, a TEDx event is a collection of brief, well-crafted talks, performances and demonstrations that are idea-focused and address a variety of topics, in order to promote learning, inspiration and wonder. Simply put, the goal is “to spark conversation, connection and community.”

TED Talks often get lots of publicity because they are shared on the TEDx YouTube page, a platform with over 36 million subscribers. But it is worth noting that the stories that are highlighted on this large platform originate from smaller sources, like community centers, theaters and colleges.

Maryville College is providing a new stage for these conversations and stories to be shared through the emerging student-run club, TEDxMaryville College. 

The masterminds behind this club are members of the TEDxMC leadership team, students Ahmed Etman, Rukhshona Isomova, Nereida Djassi, Samir Rojas, Nélida Djassi, Justice Williams, Lavarius Thenthirath and Michael Bailey.

Ahmed Etman shared a bit about how TEDxMaryville College first started. The club was ultimately born out of a collective love he and his fellow students have for TED Talks. The vision for the club was to provide a voice for the whole community and to highlight the rich identity of Maryville College, which is made up of students, alumni and community members. 

The process of getting TEDxMC going started in 2020 when Etman began to build a team. The then TEDx leadership team applied for a license to be an official partner with TEDx, a lengthy process that required support from MC students, professors and community members.

Due to the pandemic, events that the club planned were canceled. But these setbacks haven’t distracted the current TEDx leadership team from their original goal of sparking conversation, connection and community. After renewing its license with TEDx, TEDxMaryville College is preparing for its first event. 

The first TEDxMaryville College event will take place on December 3 from 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. To accommodate as many members of the college community as possible, this event will take place in the spacious Ronald and Linda Nutt Theater in the Clayton Center. There will be seating for up to 100 guests. 70 of these seats will be reserved for students, and 30 for community members. Tickets are free for students and community members.

Students who wish to attend can RSVP via a form on the TEDx Maryville College official website: www.tedxmaryvillecollege.wixsite.com/tedx , up until next week.

Tickets will be distributed on a first-come first-serve basis at the event for anyone who did not RSVP.

The theme for this event is interdependence. The event’s goal is to get people to think outside of the box, and to realize that we could not persist without taking efforts to coexist with one another. 

While the full lineup of speakers is to be announced, TEDxMC has highlighted a few on their website thus far:

Michael McMillan, who is currently an Executive Chairman of United Bridge Healthcare, CEO of ProximoCX, and CEO of BizSprints, as well as an Advisory Board member of ArenaCX, will be speaking on “The Reality of an Interdependent Business.”

Irene Guerinot, Senior Lecturer at Maryville College, who holds a Master’s in Environmental Engineering and Physics, will concentrate on “being a survivor of domestic violence” and will blend that experience with her identities as a mother, an immigrant, an educator and a daughter.

Emily Huffstetler is a Maryville College junior pursuing a triple major in Writing Communication, Spanish and Design, and earning her Certified Nonprofit Professional credential. Huffstetler is the founder and CEO of Build for Bees (@buildforbees), a Tennessee-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to protect bee populations through education and habitat restoration. Her speech topic is “The Interdependence of Bees, Flowers and Humankind.”

Brandon Bruce, MBA, JD is an entrepreneur and adventurer, who has a passion for outdoor adventure. His speech topic will be focused on ”Bears & Bicycles.”

Ricky Hill is a retired FBI Agent and Security Professional and the Owner of A&A Investigations and Consulting Group. His topic surrounds “Teamwork and Security in our Integrated Society.”

When asked for any final remarks, leadership team member Lavarius Thenthirath shared, “Can I re-emphasize that this is a TED talk? We might be talking about it casually, but It’s a TED Talk. There’s a whole Youtube channel with thousands of inspirational speeches. We’re constantly using it as part of education and pick-me-up during the day, and we get to be a part of this.” 

Nélida Djassi shared that you don’t have to be on the leadership team to be a part of this. The TEDxMC club is still looking for volunteers eager to get involved. If you would like to volunteer, message @tedx_maryvillecollege on Instagram.

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