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Inaugural TEDxVirginiaTech event on Nov. 10, will highlight innovative faculty, students, and alumni


   

Dennis Hong presents at TED 2011 Associate Professor Dennis Hong presents, “Making a Car for Blind Drivers,” at TED 2011 in Long Beach, Calif.


BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 15, 2012 – Faculty, students, and alumni who are inventing the future with ideas worth spreading will represent the university at the first TEDxVirginiaTech event on Nov. 10, 2012.

Twenty-one speakers, each a thought-leader in his own right, will share ideas, insights and inspiration centered around the theme “Knowing.” More than 200 people were nominated to present.

“Virginia Tech’s hands-on, minds-on approach to education, spirit of invention, and leadership in research make our university a perfect match to host this prestigious program,” said Melissa Richards, TEDxVirginiaTech Steering Committee co-chair and director of marketing and publications for University Relations.

Tickets are limited and requests for tickets are closed. However, there are many opportunities on the Virginia Tech campus, in the local community, and around the country with alumni chapters to attend a live streaming event. All the events will combine TEDTalks videos with live speakers to spark deep discussion and connection in small groups. If your organization is interested in hosting a live streaming event, visit the TEDxVirginiaTech website to submit an application.

Below is a list of the speakers. Visit the TEDxVirginiaTech website, Facebook page, and Twitter page for additional information.

  • Mitzi Vernon, professor of industrial design in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies
  • Caitlin Floreal, alumna who earned a degree in interdisciplinary studies from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Peter Vikesland, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering
  • Steve Matuszak of Blacksburg, Va., graduate student pursuing a master's degree in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Ishwar Puri, N. Waldo Harrison Professor and head of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics in the College of Engineering
  • Keith and Marie Zawistowski, faculty members in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies
  • Shane McCarty of Arlington, Va., a Pamplin College of Business graduate who is now a Ph.D. student in the industrial/organizational psychology program in the College of Science
  • Alex Endert of Spartanburg, S.C., doctoral student studying computer science and applications in the College of Engineering
  • Edward Boes, alumnus who earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering
  • Dan Goff, a senior majoring in geography and meteorology in the College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Ben Knapp, founding director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science
  • Jenni Sigler, graduate student pursuing a master's degree in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Justin Graves of Fredericksburg, Va., a recent graduate in sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences who is now a graduate student studying higher education administration
  • John Boyer, instructor in the Department of Geography in the College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Moises Seraphin, alumnus who earned a degree in aerospace engineering from the College of Engineering
  • Kathleen Alexander, associate professor of wildlife in the College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • John Sangster, doctoral student in civil engineering in the College of Engineering
  • Jerry Gaines, alumnus who earned a degree in Spanish as well as the first African American on a Virginia Tech sports team, first black athlete to earn a full scholarship, and first black athlete inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame
  • Jake Socha, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics in the College of Engineering
  • Chantelle Anderson, assistant coach for the women’s basketball team

Former Vice President of Student Affairs Edward F.D. Spencer, who retired earlier this year, will emcee the event.

The event will take place in the Holtzman Alumni Center from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 10. Seating is limited to 100 people. Requests for tickets are closed and those selected to attend will be notified soon. Others are encouraged to attend a live-streaming event. Locations will be released on the TEDxVirginiaTech website as they are finalized.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED