TEDx Talks Talent

Six Conference Speakers Represent Each School and College at Inaugural University-wide Event

EVENT UPDATE: In front of a sell-out crowd of nearly 1,000 people, professors, entrepreneurs, administrators, students and community members gave short, dynamic talks around the theme “Rewind, Rethink, React.” Check out online conversations using @tedxkentstate and #tedxkentstate. Also, KentWired reporters wrote synopses on each of the sessions. (Photos by Alex Ledet)


ORIGINAL STORY: Kent State University is hosting its first TEDx event on Saturday, Feb. 18 in the Kent Student Center Ballroom from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature a wide variety of speakers, many of whom are associated with the College of Communication and Information (CCI).

One of the featured speakers is Aaron Bacue, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Communication Studies and an expert in interpersonal and relational communication. He specifically has focused his research on the “dark side” of relationships, such as hurtfulness, bullying and manipulation.

“I’ve always wanted to better understand how romantic partners generate and convey antisocial, relationship-damaging messages using the same skills used to produce prosocial relationship enhancing messages,” Bacue said.

Bacue’s talk will focus on describing different techniques for offering criticism of others’ ideas in a way that fosters dialogue and understanding, rather than defensiveness and aggression.

“From a receiver’s perspective, I am looking forward to learning from others’ knowledge and experience so we can begin to work together to improve society,” Bacue said.

Likewise, Amanda Leu, the coordinator of the CCI Office of Academic Diversity Outreach, will discuss her perspective on diversity initiatives in our society, with a focus on breaking down the systemic barriers that are preventing people from being successful in the first place.


Assistant Professor Marianne Martens, Ph.D., of the School of Library and Information Science, will present a case study of the popular Harry Potter fan site, Pottermore, to examine struggles between fandom and ownership in the digital realm.

Students have a voice in these conversations, too. Daniel Socha, a master’s student in the School of Communication Studies, was invited to speak about ways to re-imagine and think about culture.

“In this growing time of political turbulence surrounding immigration and refugees, I hope that my talk will help audience members think about ways to support refugees and immigrants,” Socha said. “I am honored to be giving the talk along with other incredible members of the Kent State community.”

Will Scharlott, a senior in the School of Visual Communication Design, will draw from his coursework and internship experiences at several internationally recognized design firms and at Facebook to discuss how designers are working with slow connectivity and other limitations in rural and low income regions to create engaging mobile experiences for a more socially-conscious market.

Senior public relations major Keri Richmond from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication will speak about finding value in the most painful experiences. She spent time in the foster system and has now become a big advocate for it.

“I was so excited when I heard Kent State would be holding a TEDx event,” Richmond said. “Ever since I’ve known what a TED Talk was, I have wanted to do one. I want the audience to leave feeling inspired and ready to take action. I hope by sharing a little bit of my story, I will empower others.”

TEDx is a local, self-organized event that brings people together to give audiences TED Talk-like experiences. For more information on TEDx Kent State, including speakers, ticket prices and scheduling, visit https://www.ted.com/tedx/events/20621.

Photo credit: Roy Borghouts via blog.ted.com
POSTED: Monday, February 20, 2017 10:41 AM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 08:47 PM
Maggie Wachtel and Jennifer Kramer