TEDxTroyUniversity, an independently organized TED event, gave students the opportunity to hear a variety of speakers share their ideas about the world based on their own experiences.
The conference, which took place Sunday, Nov. 5, and featured six speakers and an on-stage interview with film producer Scott Lumpkin, explored the theme “Puzzled.”
TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design, shares “influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity,” according to TED’s website.
Three of the six speakers — Travis Maupin, a junior computer science major from Phenix City; Avalon Dudinsky, a senior business major from Panama City; and Jamillah Bell, a junior from Montgomery — were students.
The other speakers included Luke Ritter, a history lecturer, and Adam Davis and Leah Langston, both Troy alumni.
Dudinsky spoke about her journey on the Appalachian Trail during her talk, connecting it to real-world problems that college students and others face during personal journeys.
“I took multiple days to write my talk and rewrite my talk and get to a point where I was comfortable with the content,” Dudinsky said of her preparations. “Then, I started rehearsing it and adding in where I would make fun comments and then writing that into the talk, writing more and more of myself into it.”
Dudinsky said she learned more about her strengths and weaknesses concerning public speaking during the process.
“I originally thought I was a really strong public speaker, and then I realized, ‘Oh, nope, you’ve got weaknesses,’” she said. “This is a dream of mine, to one day become a public speaker, so I think it is really awesome that I have gotten this opportunity to start out with that through TEDx.”
Ritter said his favorite part of working with TEDxTroyUniversity was getting to meet the “enthusiastic…exceptional students” who organized the event.
Ritter’s talk was about “what history teaches us about Islamophobia and the immigration crisis in the U.S.”
“One thing that this conference challenged me to do was to draw connections between what I know about the past and what we’re seeing today,” Ritter said. “We need to strive to do that, so that we can relate what we’ve learned—the lessons we’ve learned—to the public so we don’t repeat our mistakes.”
Maupin spoke on “constructive communication despite conflict” and said the idea came from an argument he witnessed on social media.
“Being able to see everyone else’s talks was pretty cool,” Maupin said.