Austin College will host the fourth annual TEDxAustinCollege on Saturday, September 28, in an event that will feature short (up to 15 minutes) talks by six members of the Austin College community. The event will take place in Wright Campus Center, with Main Stage talks in Mabee Hall. Tickets are $30 each for the day’s live Main Stage sessions, with a discount of $15 available to educators and students. The ticket price includes lunch and a t-shirt. Ticket registration is now open at www.austincollege.edu/tedx.
Austin College community members may take advantage of campus simulcast viewing, which is free, though advance registration and ticketing are required.
The doors will open at 9:30 a.m. for Registration and activities in the Discovery Depot, an interactive space where participants are can share ideas and engage with the topics presented. Session One, with three speakers, will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by lunch, with Session Two at 1 p.m. The day will end at 2:30 p.m. The independently organized event, licensed by TED, will feature local voices and TED Talk videos under the theme “Shifting Perceptions.”
Austin College senior Oyindamola Olufosoye of Lagos, Nigeria, chairs the executive planning team for the event. Members of the Austin College chapter of the national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega launched TEDxAustinCollege in 2016. Rather than organize a one-time service project with limited reach, the students sought a project with the potential to engage individuals beyond the local community. “Every day, we go to class and are encouraged to explore big ideas,” Olufosoye said. “I attend Austin College knowing without a doubt that I will be inspired, not only to think but also to act. TEDxAustinCollege reflects the spirit of an Austin College education—it invites us to engage with our community and reach far beyond ourselves.”
Dr. John Richardson, Alpha Phi Omega sponsor and associate professor of biochemistry, believes that TEDxAustinCollege has the opportunity to bring the rest of the world into the engaging, provocative, and life-changing conversations that occur daily on our campus. “Rarely do we seek out opportunities to interact with the differences to our perceptions,” he said. “This year TEDxAustinCollege is committed to bringing us just such an opportunity by assembling speakers with a variety of perspectives, unique ideas, and an interactive way to explore these ideas both individually and collectively.”
The theme for the 2019 event is “Shifting Perceptions” and the executive student planning committee determined it in January. The students developed the theme narrative as follows:
“At one time humanity perceived the world as flat. We had yet to observe the curve of its surface and our planetary position in the cosmos. Our perceptions are formed by sensory stimuli and shaped by personal experiences. By sharing our unique accounts of the world both individually and collectively, we provide a slightly broader view and make space for tiny shifts in one another’s perceptions. We may discover that the world itself has not changed. Rather, it is our understanding of it that has changed. After all, the world was never flat, but it took a shift in perceptions to see that.”
2019 TEDxAustinCollege Speaker Lineup
Aaron Flores ’09
“Building Authentic Community by Seeing Your Neighbors”
Aaron Flores graduated from Austin College in 2009 with a major in International Relations and a minor in French. He is now a real estate and communications professional and dedicated volunteer based in Houston. He served on Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s transition team on public health policy and quality of life and was an inaugural appointee to the mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board. He is the editor of The Heights, a local publication for the Houston Heights Association.
“A Millennial’s Perspective on the 2008 Financial Crisis”
Seth Howard is a senior at Austin College, completing majors in Business Finance and Economics. He is vice president of Student Assembly and a peer tutor at the Academic Skills Center. Seth is from Denton, Texas, and competes nationally as a powerlifter, winning a silver and bronze medal at Bench Nationals in 2018, which earned him spot on the U.S. National Team. Last summer, he served as a Congressional intern in the Washington, D.C., office of Representative Roger Williams from Texas 25th District.
Minni Malhotra, M.D.
“Your Pills Won’t Save You: The Power to Reverse Disease”
Parent of Austin College alumna Saloani Malhotra ’17, Dr. Malhotra is a graduate of Calcutta National Medical College in India. She completed postgraduate studies in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Maharishi Dayanand University Rohtak. Board-certified in Family Medicine and in Functional and Anti-Aging Medicine, she specializes in patient-centered care.
Kusha Mohammadi ’15
Medical Clickbait: Are You Asking the Right Questions?
Kusha Mohammadi is a 2015 graduate of Austin College and a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Biostatistics and Data Science at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. He is an intern at the Baylor College of Medicine and Memorial Hermann Trauma Center, providing statistical insight to cancer and patient care data analysis. In addition, he continues to work on his dissertation in statistical inference on stochastic modeling with application in Alzheimer’s disease.
Julia Shahid, Ed.D.
“Teachers, Oats, and Rocket Science: What Makes a Great Teacher Great?”
Julia Shahid is a member of the Teacher Education faculty at Austin College, with 43 years of experience as an educator. She previously was a teacher of gifted and talented students in grades 4 to 6 and served as a curriculum director and a principal for many years. Shahid inspires and teaches college students who have the passion and drive to transform their communities as they prepare to become highly effective teachers.
Lindsay Williambrown ’02
“Accidental Anthropology: Working from Home, Homeless”
Lindsay Williambrown is a 2002 graduate of Austin College who earned an M.B.A from Penn State University. She has studied corporate anthropology, indigenous power, marginalization, and global scaling. Her work has won global business recognition from CEOs, Fortune Magazine, Forbes, and DiversityInc. She is a founding director of Kanarys in Dallas, a transparency-driven consultancy all about inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility.
Several regional businesses serve as sponsors for the event, including Aramark, Cadence, Skreen Door, DHD Films, UNDAUNTED, Hilton Garden Inn, 2×2 Media, and Swaggletooth. Additionally a large number of alumni and friends are founding and sustaining partners.
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Sal Khan, and Daniel Kahneman.
TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a “wish,” or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self- organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with 46 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. This year, the campus recognizes 100 years of co-education and has had several opportunities to recognize the history of women and accomplishments of current alumnae. Austin College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter