A group of students organizations were brought together for a meeting hosted by TedxPSU Wednesday night in the Life Science building on campus to engage in conversation about the groups and charities they are most passionate about.
TedxPSU program director Rachel Miller (senior-education) said she saw a need for a showcase of passionate student organizations to gather and share the projects they’re working on with each other.
The showcase brought together seven student organizations who displayed their groups’ goals, projects and missions. TedxPSU took the opportunity to announce five Penn State affiliated speakers who will attend its March 17 conference, joining the first six speakers who were previously announced.
The speakers that were announced were Lee Ann De Reus, human development and family services professor; Marcus Shaffer, architecture professor; Nichola Gutgold, communications professor; Jo Tyler, behavorial science and education professor and Lonnie Graham, visual arts professor.
These speakers join previously announced speakers Dan Thurmon, Danny Kim, Chad Littlefield, Debbie Sterling, Michael Paul and Terry Engleder at the conference in March.
“This semester we’re taking Ted talks to a whole new level,” Miller said.
TedxPSU hopes to create a ‘Ted culture’ at Penn State; spreading peoples’ ideas and visions by opening up a dialogue among passionate, hard working students, Miller added.
One of the groups showcased was Global Brigades, which works on a variety of sustainability projects in countries like Honduras, Ghana and Panama. Global Brigades members Sam Devries (junior-architectural engineer) and David Martino (junior-agroecology) said they joined the Global Brigades because they want to help in the efforts to solve international crisis locally and internationally.
Martino said he is most interested in the global water crisis and serves as co-president of the water brigades, which is a subgroup of the Global Brigades.
Both Martino and Devries agreed they are looking forward to the speakers at the March 17 conference because TedxPSU always puts on a great production of speakers.
Student representatives from the Keep a Child Alive organization also discussed the mission of their group and why it was important to be aware of what they do as an organization.
Sakena Sampson (sophomore-education) said the group works to raise money for people living with or affected by AIDS in India and Africa.
The group holds information sessions on campus to educate people on how to prevent the spread of STDs, initiates conversations on the fight against AIDS and informs people on how they can help in that fight, Sampson said.
Throughout the event, students were encouraged to engage in conversation about their organizations. TedxPSU organizers divided the groups of students into three groups, motivators, innovators and creators, and challenged them to learn about different groups at Penn State and what projects and goals those groups are working towards.
After the new speakers were announced, students voiced their enthusiasm for the upcoming TED conference and speaker line-up.
“It’s great to have students be inspired by these speakers,” John Oliver (senior-energy business and finance) said.