Texas Tech University

TEDxTexasTechUniversity Conference Set for Feb. 28

Lisa Low

March 2, 2015

Bernard Harris and Katharine Hayhoe are on the list of scheduled speakers.


The Texas Tech University System will host the second TEDxTexasTechUniversity conference Feb. 28 in the Allen Theatre at the Student Union Building.

Conference organizers posed the question “What if?” and received responses from individuals with a wide range of experiences and diverse backgrounds. Nationally-recognized experts and entrepreneurs will share the stage with representatives of local and regional business, academic, faith and technology communities.

The list of speakers will include:

  • Julissa Arce, technology entrepreneur and writer on innovation and start-ups; former Wall Street executive and director of Define American, a culture and media organization using the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation around immigration, citizenship and identity.
  • Dr. Bernard Harris, Texas Tech alumnus, astronaut and president of the Harris Foundation. Harris became the first African-American to perform an extra-vehicular activity (spacewalk) during the second of his two space shuttle flights.
  • Kitty Harris Wilkes, director of the Center for Study of Addiction and Recovery, noted speaker and expert quoted in the Wall Street Journal, on “The Today Show” and CNN.
  • Katharine Hayhoe, atmospheric scientist and associate professor of political science, Texas Tech; director of the Climate Science Center; Time Magazine's 2014 Top 100 Most Influential People; featured on the Emmy Award-winning documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously.”
  • Calder Hendrickson, founder and president of AquaSmart; Forbes Magazine's Top 30 most influential leaders in the energy field.
  • Cory Session, brother of former Texas Tech student Timothy Cole and policy director for Innocence Project of Texas.

“The “What If?' theme of this year's conference represents the infinite possibility of the human mind, of human creativity and innovation,” said Aliza Wong, associate dean of the Texas Tech Honors College. “Our speakers have extraordinary stories to tell, visions to cast, passions to share and, more importantly, they now have a platform to provide this call to action to the TEDxTexasTechUniversity audience.

“Speakers will offer participants the inspiration to find their own voices, their own causes and dreams so TEDxTexasTechUniversity is not simply a display of rhetoric, but a movement of change and transformation.”

Designed to showcase the ideas and talents of Texas Tech and surrounding communities in engaging 18-minute presentations, 15 TEDxTexasTechUniversity presenters were selected from a pool of more than 70 applicants and include current undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, alumni and community members.

The event will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 ($10 for students). For more information and the complete speaker lineup, or to purchase tickets, visit the conference website.

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, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. 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 (Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a nonprofit organization devoted to ideas worth spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world''s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

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