Confluence is the coming together and merging of two rivers into one.
But it goes beyond just water. It involves allowing oneself to naturally respond to change and create connections.
Over time and space, we gradually draw together and deepen our connections with new people and ourselves through shared experiences and ideas.
Even our own minds are separated into the left brain and the right brain, logic and creativity.
When these two parts naturally flow together, new and stronger ideas emerge.
Broaden your mind to allow the joining and mingling of differing ideas.
TEDxAustinCollege 2021 | Confluence
September 25, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Mariam Abeje ’22
Topic: Bilingualism, where two personalities coexist
Mariam Abeje is a junior at Austin College from Murphy, Texas. She is majoring in Heathcare Administration and minoring in Chemistry and is pursuing a career in medicine. At Austin College, she is involved in Alpha Phi Omega, STAT, Pre-Health, and participates in public health research with Dr. Akuoko. She also works with MarNat: One Child at a Time to conduct fundraising events to serve underprivileged areas in Ethiopia. Abeje is passionate about helping underserved communities and bringing opportunities to people who can help make a difference in those communities.
Kate Kahle ’23
Topic: Raising awareness for autistic women
Kate Kahle is a Sophomore at Austin college from Dallas, Texas and is studying Political Science and Art. At Austin College she is involved in Mock Trial, Pre-Law Society, and Xi Epsilon Sorority and is also a ceramicist and skateboarder. As an autistic woman, Kahle is an advocate for autism awareness. She hopes to help neurotypical individuals see autism not as a tragedy or a disease but rather for what it is, a lifelong, genetic developmental disability which is just another way of thinking and being in the world. She would also like to encourage more research be done on symptoms of autism in women and girls so that they can be more easily and accurately diagnosed in the future.
Laura Lawson ’10
Topic: The importance of time and space for creativity
Laura J Lawson is from Dallas, Texas and graduated from Austin College in 2010 with a degree in French and Psychology and earned an MFA from The University of Memphis. She was selected for the first cohort of studio artists at The Cedars Union art incubator in Dallas and was awarded a two-month residency at the Centre d’Art Marnay Art Center in Marnay-sur-Seine, France. She is currently an artist, educator, and adjunct faculty for Austin College, Dallas College, and Tarrant County College. Lawson creates artwork that challenges the idea that landscapes are passive settings.
Ann Crews Melton ’03
Topic: The consensus model decision making
Ann Crews Melton is from Longview, Texas, and graduated from Austin College in 2003 majoring in religion. She received an MA from Emerson College in publishing and writing. Melton is currently the executive director of Consensus Council, a nonprofit based in Bismarck, North Dakota. She previously served as an editor at the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Be Magazine, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, and as a reporter and community columnist at the Bismarck Tribune.
Ting Sun ’87
Topic: Perception, courage, and authenticity
Ting Lan Sun currently resides in Sacramento, California and graduated from Austin College in 1987 majoring in Latin and English. She earned her master’s degree in education from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in education from the University of California at Davis. Sun is the Co-founder of the Sacramento-based Natomas Charter School (NCS) and served in several roles at the school, including as its Executive Director. Sun previously served as Educational Programs Consultant in the California Department of Education, as Senior Vice President at the California Charter Schools Association and as a senior consultant for Cambridge Education, an international school quality review and educational consulting firm. Sun is currently a member of the California State Board of Education.
Kelly Yarbrough ’09
Topic: What we can learn from the tall grass prairie
Kelly Yarbrough is from Manhattan, Kansas and graduated from Austin College in 2009 double majoring in Art and English. She also received her MFA from Kansas State University in 2016. She is the founder and lead program manager of the Tallgrass Artist Residency and a Regional Representative of the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission. Yarbrough works with mixed media drawing, arts administration, and community program development directly inspired by the native tallgrass prairie.