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University of Mississippi

2nd TedXUM Lectures Jan. 28 Feature ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’


The University of Mississippi is gearing up to host its second-ever TEDxUniversityofMississippi, an event that features brief lectures from UM alumni, faculty members and others to showcase “ideas worth spreading.”

The event is slated for 1 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

Audience members will be engaged by a diverse group of speakers and onstage acts will entertain between talks, making for a lively afternoon, organizers said. The talks will be recorded and later posted on the TEDxUM Youtube channel. Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased online or in person at the UM Box Office.

Each of the talks are inspirational in their own way and “help us envision what could be and what we are capable of,” said Georgia Norfleet, a senior marketing major from Chicago who is helping organize the event.

“Each of our speakers are bringing so much of themselves to their talks and making connections that our audience won’t expect,” Norfleet said. “It’s so important to seek out understandings outside of our own, and this event will give the UM community the chance to do just that.”

The event uses the TED Talks conference format, which brings together lecturers and other participants in a globally popular set of conferences run by the Sapling Foundation under the slogan “Ideas worth spreading.” At the university’s first TEDxUM in 2015, the crowd size was limited, but organizers were allowed to host a much larger event this year under the rules set by the Sapling Foundation.

The event will allow students to discover “beyond the classrooms” and uncover growing communities and cultures that exist around the state and all over the world, said Shikha Shrestha, a sophomore integrated marketing communication major from Madison who is among the organizers.

“The diversity of our lineup is so interesting to me because we have speakers from our very own UM professors to alumni, each coming in with a different, unique perspectives and discussions but also interconnected in a way that will give the UM community a platform to start a conversation on these ideas worth spreading,” Shrestha said.

Matthew R. Wilson, assistant professor of theatre arts, who spoke at UM’s first TEDx, will emcee this year’s event. The speakers for Jan. 28 include:

  • Josh Mabus, a UM alumnus from Tupelo, who will discuss the difference between failing and quitting and how the difference affects how we judge ourselves.
  • Patrick Woodyard, a UM alumnus (BA international studies and Spanish ’10) and co-founder of the shoe and accessory company Nisolo, will discuss how consumers can get business to adopt measures consistent with their own values.
  • Dr. Joe Campbell, a UM alumnus and Hattiesburg-based anesthesiologist, will discuss innovative techniques to reduce suicide ideation.
  • Shannon Cohn, an Oxford-based filmmaker, will discuss endometriosis, a rarely discussed disease that affects millions of women.
  • Sue Grayzel, UM professor of history, will discuss how the government convinces us to “Keep Calm and Carry On,” in effect becoming extra eyes and ears for the state.
  • Anne Quinney, UM professor of modern languages, will discuss publisher- and editor-induced censorship that has changed the meaning of many of our favorite pieces of literature.
  • Katherine Dooley, UM assistant professor of physics and astronomy, will discuss the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and how scientific discoveries are truly a team effort.
  • Rory Ledbetter, UM associate professor of theatre arts, will discuss our inner monologue and how we can control our breathing to actually create better conversations and relationships.

For more information, visit the TEDxUniversityofMississippi website.