Speaker Spotlight: Dallas Elleman

Dallas Elleman, TU Student

"I want to inspire the audience to ask the question “Why am I here?” and to use this question as a compass for finding meaning and living happier, more fulfilling and adventurous lives."

Dallas Elleman is an Engineering Physics/EE Robotics student at The University of Tulsa with minors in Innovation/Entrepreneurship and Cybersecurity. He is a recent transfer from Tulsa Community College whose academic career includes an internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, selection as a finalist in the National Science Foundation’s Community College Innovation Challenge, and a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship.

Before this, Dallas spent several unprofitable and ultimately unsuccessful years aspiring towards rock stardom while employed in the not-very-lucrative manual labor and construction sector, almost a decade as a Field Network Technician (cable guy) for Cox Communications in Tulsa and, in general, a great deal of time engaged in a long series of apparently (at the time) unrelated puzzles and challenges that eventually resulted in a strong compulsion to more productively join humanity’s timeless struggle for answers, progress and meaning through the pursuit of higher education.

Dallas's Talk: “Why am I here?” and how it relates to finding meaning and living happier, more fulfilling lives.

Speaker Spotlight: Katie Hoffman

Katie Hoffman, Writer, speaker, and Founder of Fairytale Reform

"By blending research, spiritual insight and my personal experience “in the field” I help people create healthy, fulfilling relationships— starting with the one they have with themselves."

website: www.fairytalereform.com

instagram: @iamkatiehoffman

Katie Hoffman is a writer, speaker and life-coach, on a mission to help others create lives and relationships they are proud of. In October 2016, she founded Fairytale Reform, a website dedicated to helping young women reframe what they have always been told about happily ever after. By blending research, personal experience and spirituality, Fairytale Reform provides tools, inspiration and community to help followers live their fairytales– whether they’re single, taken or somewhere in between.

Katie is dedicated to serving women along all walks of life and works closely with local and global non-profits to help women become physically, emotionally and economically independent. In May 2017, she will graduate from the University of Tulsa with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Psychology.

Katie's Talk: How to create healthy, fulfilling relationships in a modern society.

Speaker Spotlight: Zachary Fullingim

Zachary Fullingim, Community Servant to the Youth

"My vision for Oklahoma is to inspire a culture of unity and generational growth in low income areas by raising up youth leaders to be principled, self-aware, empathetic, courageous, accountable, motivated and passionately involved in serving within their families, communities, schools and teams."

Born February 28, 1992, Zachary was raised with his younger brother by his powerful single mother, who fell in love and married his fourth grade football coach. On February 23, 2003 that coach, the only father he had ever known, adopted the boys as his own. He graduated Lincoln Christian School in 2010 and attended Oklahoma State University from 2010-2013 where he played football and studied behavioral psychology.

He is a husband to his wife Caitlin, father to his daughter Caiah, project supervisor for his family’s commercial roofing company, Hi-Tech Systems Inc., volunteer football and basketball coach for Sand Springs 3rd grade, and facilitator for Tulsa Public Schools’ Student Athlete Advisory Committee. He sits on the board of directors for the non-profit Game Time Foundation, hosts football camps as a camp director and coordinator for Pinnacle Football Academy, and hosts youth and adult leadership development courses as a certified John Maxwell speaker and coach.

Zachary's Talk: Invest in Children: Impact a Nation

Speaker Spotlight: Lauren Miller

Lauren Miller, Social Advocate

"Communities are not content to sit quietly after violent police and citizen interactions. Therefore it is critically important we recognize the real reasons why Charlotte fell apart while under the same circumstances, Tulsa took heart and only then can we make a difference in times of tension between law enforcement and communities."

Lauren is a social advocate dedicated to seeing peaceful and effective communication throughout the community. She has spent hundreds of hours researching how community and police interactions can be improved and is the author of Project: Cohesion, a proposal on how to improve community relationships with law enforcement. She is also the coordinator of The 12th, an event in which Oral Roberts University students visited the Tulsa Sheriff Department and gave a presentation encouraging better communication between law enforcement and the community.

Lauren is passionate about encouraging and equipping the younger generation to make a difference in their communities and world.

Lauren's Talk: The Public vs. Police: How Both Can Win

Speaker Spotlight: Denise Dutton

Denise Dutton, Assistant Provost and Applied Assistant Professor of Political Science

"Denise Dutton excavates the moral aspiration at the heart of our experiment in self-government, and she dares us to live lives of our own making."

Dr. Denise Dutton serves as an Assistant Provost at The University of Tulsa. She directs the Honors Program, teaching a range of seminars from the Ancient Greeks to the Enlightenment and guiding students as they join the centuries-old conversation about what makes for the well-lived life. She is also the founding director of the Henneke Center for Academic Fulfillment, a campus resource to support TU professors as they experiment with ways to engage and support students in the learning process and ways to share their scholarship with the general public.

Dr. Dutton earned her Ph.D. in Politics at Princeton University. She served as Assistant Professor of Political Science at Missouri State University for several years, before returning to her alma mater. She and her husband stay busy chasing after twin toddlers and the family Boxer.

Denise's Talk: In Pursuit of Happiness

Speaker Spotlight: Grayson Lynch

Grayson Lynch, Gunsmith

"I want to inform people of the facts and misconceptions surrounding firearms."

Grayson is a 22 year old business student at the University of Tulsa. He has had a lifelong love for guns. His passion for guns led him to Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma where he earned an associates degree in the Applied Science of Gunsmithing. This translates to a formal education on gunsmithing theory, technology and practices. The coursework covers numerous areas of study, and is the highest degree of formal gunsmith training. He also has other certifications from various companies that qualifies him to repair/modify their firearms. This education has given him a firm grasp of gun operation, creation, and repair.

Grayson's Talk: Taking Aim at Gun Misconceptions

Speaker Spotlight: Thomas Littlejohn

Thomas Littlejohn, Game Creation Advocate

"The purpose of giving my talk is to introduce individuals outside the field of Computer Science to the roles they can play in the development of new and original video games, bringing in outside perspectives and concepts to fuel creativity."

Github: tommygun101

LinkedIn: Thomas Littlejohn

Thomas Littlejohn is currently a senior triple major at TU pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Computer Simulation & Gaming. Having a background with the technical side of what it takes to build a game, his focus is on what pushes games to the next level, whether it is groundbreaking AI, unique gameplay experiences, or some other unheard of element which sets a specific game apart. He has spent time abroad in Japan studying games which have captured foreign markets and the reasons for their success.

Thomas's Talk: Game Design: Where Uniqueness Drives Progress

Speaker Spotlight: Luis Garcia

Luis Eduardo Garcia Garcia, Performance Artist

"To inspire people to dance everywhere."

Facebook: luisperformaceart

YouTube: Luis Eduardo Garcia Garcia

For booking, email luis.e.garcia429@gmail.com

Luis is a math/science tutor, mechanical engineering student, member of the 2016-17 Living Arts performance committee, and dancer for Portico Dance Theater. Luis presented his debut choreographic composition “Call of Nature” in the Exchange Choreography Festival 2016 at Studio K of Tulsa Ballet. He also was commissioned by Portico and Tulsa Symphony to Dance “Revue de Cuisine” music by Bohuslav Martinu at Philbrook Museum. Luis is an Equity Member Program Actor with Tulsa Project Theater. Has studied, and performed, West African Dance and rhythms from Deena Burks for over two years. He trained in ballet at Tulsa Ballet.

Luis's Talk: Dance Everywhere

Speaker Spotlight: Deborah Bradshaw

Deborah Bradshaw, Advocate, Educator, Author

"Have no fear, you are worth it!"

Deborah Bradshaw is a professional speaker, author and educator. Her formal training is in Education, Psychology, Business Management and Marketing, Body Language and Acting Techniques. Deborah has developed and facilitated classes coaching professionals in the use of acting techniques and body language in order to help them feel more comfortable speaking in public and to assist them in developing more effective communication.

Deborah lived in Southeast Asia as a child and young adult. Her experiences there have given her insight into cross-cultural communication. She uses these experiences and positive body language techniques to teach people how to understand the cues they are receiving. Through these methods, participants also learn to practice the science of body language to influence their own brain chemistry in order to create a more positive attitude and accomplish personal goals.

Deborah has presented to local and national audiences on topics ranging from Improving Education, Disability Related Issues, Better Communication as well as other motivational topics. She may be reached by email at deborahlovebradshaw@gmail.com.

Deborah's Talk: The Eradication of Down Syndrome

Speaker Spotlight: Ellen Emeric

Ellen Emeric, TU Student

"I am excited to speak at TEDx because I want to give everyone the opportunity to see through the eyes of a City Planner for just a few moments -- the spaces where we live can be seen as blank canvases for both practicality and creativity."

LinkedIn: Ellen Emeric

Ellen Emeric is a senior at The University of Tulsa studying Sociology and Economics, and her interests in demography and the built environment have led her to pursue a career as a city planner. She currently works at Tulsa City Hall in the Planning and Development Department, and has conducted research for the city as well at Texas A&M University, where she was accepted as a summer research fellow in the departments of Urban Planning and Sociology.

On campus, Ellen passionately serves the Newman Center as a Peer Minister and Graphic Designer.

Ellen's Talk: Is Public Transportation the Answer?

Speaker Spotlight: Luke Crouch

Luke Crouch, Security & Privacy Engineer

"Since I started working on security & privacy for Mozilla Firefox, I've learned that online tracking is pervasive and sometimes very technical, but it's not magic - all internet users can and should understand it."

twitter: @groovecoder

Luke Crouch has 15 years of experience as a web software engineer. He currently develops web software at Mozilla, focusing on security and privacy prototypes and experiments for Firefox. In that role, he has built tracking protection services and features, measured online tracking, and shared what they have learned with collaborators at Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Princeton Web Transparency & Accountability Project.

Luke's Talk: How Online Trackers Track You, and What You Can Do About It

Speaker Spotlight: Autumn Slaughter

Autumn Slaughter, Clinical psychology doctoral student

"I have never been able to understand myself or my depression without the help of poetry: the poetry of others which helps to explain what I am experiencing, and my own poetry, which helps me marry what I know with what I experience."

Autumn Slaughter is a doctoral student in the University of Tulsa’s clinical psychology program. Her psychology background also includes a masters in counseling psychology from Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City. In addition to psychology, Autumn also studied English in her undergraduate program at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL.

She has been a featured poet at poetry readings in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and her work has appeared in regional magazines and on websites. Autumn has also published five books, including a memoir that explores trauma and depression (published under her maiden name) and two books of poetry.

Autumn's Talk: Stuck Between Here and There

2017 Speaker and Performer Lineup

We are pleased to announce our 2017 speaker and performer lineup!

Katie Hoffman will be talking about how to create healthy, fulfilling relationships in a modern society.

Zachary Fullingim has a vision of how youth leaders can inspire community in low-income areas he wishes to share with our audience.

Thomas Littlejohn's talk takes a look at the video game industry, and how it has evolved into the multidisciplinary field it is today.

Deborah Bradshaw will be presenting an inspiring talk about raising a child with disabilities.

Ellen Emeric wants to give everyone the opportunity to look at the world around them through the eyes of a city planner.

Denise Dutton will be discussing what it means to be a democratic individual in today's society.

Grayson Lynch is on a mission to create a well-informed society by dispelling myths about firearms.

Monika Perez's talk explores the modern emphasis on diversity in medicine both as a patient an aspiring physician.

Lauren Miller has been exploring how different communities react when faced with police/citizen violence, and wants to share how communities can create constructive rather than destructive reactions.

Luke Crouch wants to teach our audience how modern online trackers work - and what you, as an internet user, can do about them.

Dallas Elleman will inspire our audience to ask the question “Why am I here?” And then use the answer as a compass for finding meaning and living happier, more fulfilling lives.

Luis Eduardo Garcia will be performing native African dances to inspire people to dance everywhere.

Autumn Slaughter will be presenting spoken word poetry exploring her own depression and her years of research into psychology.

And finally, Asura Oulds will be back on the TEDxUniversityofTulsa stage this year for another fantastic vocal performance.

We're incredibly excited about our lineup of speakers and performers this year, and we can't wait to share all of their ideas with you!

2017 Theme Announcement: You Are Here!

You Are Here

Hi Everyone!

We are pleased to announce the theme for this year’s TEDxUniversityofTulsa event: You Are Here!

Every year, we set out to choose a theme that encompasses the whole university, encouraging interdisciplinary talks and performances about everything that makes the University of Tulsa what it is. We want to hear ideas worth spreading from the entire campus, encouraging “cross-pollination” between colleges, groups, and individuals.

A big reason we’re excited about You Are Here is precisely because we think it’s accessible to the whole school. After all, everybody is somewhere! Maybe that refers to the fact you’re physically here in Tulsa. But maybe you’re somewhere else — maybe somewhere digitally, thanks to the power of technology. You could be at a crossroads in your studies or research that you want to share with the world. Perhaps you’re at a place with a very unique culture. Or maybe you don’t know where you are at all, and you want to share how you’re figuring it out!

Wherever you may be, we’re already here, busy working on this year’s event— and we’re incredibly excited to see where our TEDxUniversityofTulsa 2017 nominees take the theme of You Are Here.

Speaking of nominees, we’re looking for speakers and performers until the end of October — which means that if someone you know is somewhere fascinating (physically or metaphysically) and would like to share it with the world, now is the time to nominate them! You can nominate anyone (including yourself!) here. It only takes a minute to make sure that their idea worth spreading gets shared with the whole university— and the whole world!

We’re also looking for performers for the event — vocalists, instrumentalists, spoken word poets, jugglers, actors, bands, dancers, extreme Rubik’s cube solvers, and any other performance you can think up that shares an idea about where you are. Be sure to nominate anyone (even yourself) who would thrive on the TEDx stage.

We’re excited to see where you are!

The TEDxUniversityofTulsa Team


The awesome design for this year’s event was created by the unendingly talented Julia Raines.

Lessons from the 2016 TEDxUtulsa: Dare And Live Your Truth

And so, just as the passing of the wind, the much anticipated TEDxUTulsa event on the 8th of April came and went. In the moments leading up to this event I had expected to leave the Lorton Performance Hall with my mind blown away. I had no idea that there was much more than that in store for me. 

Walking into the venue around noon that Friday, I was a bit anxious yet excited to have some of the dimensions of my mind widened by the talks from some of the best minds that our university, and indeed the city of Tulsa, has to offer. However, beyond the stretching of my mind, attending this event impacted my life and completely changed the way I perceive the world around me.

Firstly, never having encountered people living with mental illness, through the talks of some of our speakers I was drawn into their world. My ignorance in this regard was stripped and even though on a secondary account, I got to experience the emotions, struggles, and odysseys of those directly affected by it on a daily basis. The astounding truth that every 1 in 7 people suffers from mental illness has forever shifted my paradigm, developing in me a deep empathy that previously did not exist.

Never having being an avid visitor of museums, I got enlightened about their relevance in defining my truth. I was educated about the responsibility that museums have to present history in a way that makes us think critically about ourselves and the world around us. It has now become evident to me that one can not truly and honestly define who they are without the rich history that upholds them. In my next visit to a museum, I will carry this knowledge with me, realizing that they are not just a gallery of old artifacts, but a sanctuary within which the truths of the past are contained.

In addition to this, I was dared as an engineer to realize the impact that renewable energy technologies could have in the state and world that I live in. I was challenged to be creative in my thinking as an engineer, applying crucial concepts across multiple disciplines in order to solve key problems in the world- just like great scientists such as Carnot, Einstein and even Joseph Mayer did. I was further dared to invest in and be decisive about my own professional development, take action and make my goals come to life.

There were many other such similar sentiments in this regard that I could share about the 2016 TEDxUTulsa event and its impact in my life, resulting from the other great talks, performances and ideas that were shared on that day. But within all of them the one thing I did realize was how the essence of the theme Truth And Dare came to life in a way that I had never imagined entering the event. All the speakers and performers shared powerful ideas that resulted from their journeys whilst living out their truths. And in doing so, being brave enough to share those truths on such a powerful platform such as TED, they indeed challenged and dared me to live out mine. 

So the event may be over, but the legacy that lies in its message of Truth And Dare, lives on...

 

 

 

Road trip to Destination: Blow my mind away

Hi again. It’s me-Cece. Your official tour guide on the road trip we are about to embark on through the once in a lifetime (well once in a year really, but hold on, we’re going somewhere with this) experience which is the 2016 Tedx event hosted by our beloved school, The University of Tulsa. So since all the salutations are done and I’ve pretty much explained what the topic is about and all, now all the fun begins.

Now one of the main reasons why I believe that although this event is an annual occasion, this year’s will be one of those ‘once in a lifetime events’ is the Rock Star speaker line up that we have this year. And trust me I’m not just saying this!  I mean the line up includes extraordinary engineers, some who are about to pursue research in computational biology and bio informatics, others have interests in lightweight materials for automotive applications and in devices for people with disabilities and still others are working on developing a new type of solar energy that produces both heat and electricity. Excuse my bias for the engineers, it’s due to the fact that I am one myself ;-).

On the line up are also award winning entrepreneurs who juggle being slayers in their careers with being mothers; Art professionals who have their careers vested in the Science of Museums. And still yet, we have TU students, some who cannot be convinced that reading whilst on walking in the sidewalk is a dangerous act, and others who’s childhood experiences has taught them great compassion and understanding for those suffering from novel medical conditions.

Not forgetting the amazing performances we have lined up. I’m especially curious to see these and how they speak to our ambiguous yet exciting theme: Truth and Dare.

I haven’t even heard or seen any of these amazing peeps in action before, but I’m pretty sure that the combination of all of their greatness together in one room will definitely lead to a mental explosion of whoever is within the audience. So I hope you are holding on tight, because Destination: Blow my mind away, here we come! 

TedxUniversityofTulsa 2016: Exploring the theme "Truth And Dare"

Truth (noun): that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.

And (conjunction): used to introduce an additional comment or interjection. 

Dare (noun): a challenge, especially to prove courage.

A wise man called Jerry Seinfeld once said that to the average person,  if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy. This was in response to the fact that according to most studies, public speaking is people's number one fear, surpassing even death. As odd as this may be, it makes perfect sense to me.

There exists  an array of  feelings that come with being partitioned from a crowd; with this group of familiar and unfamiliar faces being your judge, examining every aspect of your outer being whilst generating perceptions about you that you have very little control over. One word that can pass in summing up the burgeoning emotions that come with this occurrence is discomfort

It is human nature to seek out comfort. Many of us are attending this prestigious university today so we can someday earn incomes that can afford us comfortable lives. We are raised along lines of convention, and with good intentions from those raising us since they usually have the best desires for us- one of these being a life of ease. 

However, life in reality is analogous to looking both left and right before crossing the road, only to get hit by a plane. It is filled with additional circumstances that we did not anticipate, that  push us into the challenge of constantly having to face new realities.

So when I read the theme for this year's TedxUniversityofTulsa I was deeply perplexed as to what anyone can possible say that's enlightening in line with this theme. Unpacking the meaning of the words within the theme reveals that life and living are indeed Truth And Dare. The commonplace of these words is the zone of discomfort that they are largely associated with, and how facing that discomfort leads to new schools of thought, inventive ideas and the learning of vital life lessons amongst many things.

In light of this theme and the relevance thereof allow me to introduce myself. My name is Cece and I'll be your blogger for this year's TedxUniversityofTulsa. As a female foreign student, I am constantly faced with different truths about my identity, both those born from my reality and those from the perceptions of others from different parts of the world. In addition to the challenges involved with getting my qualification, I often have to  gather the courage to overcome the fact that I'm a minority being a woman of color in a male dominated field. That's the story of my own Truth And Dare. What's yours?

 

TEDxUniversityofTulsa 2015 (from the TU Admissions Blog)

The thing I love about the University of Tulsa is that I, as a student, have the power to have an impact on my campus. Last semester I decided that I wanted to bring a TEDx event to campus. I saw a need for this program, because there are so many brilliant students and professors at TU working on projects and ideas that could change the world. But these ideas needed the right platform to be shared.

TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, seeks to spread powerful new ideas through concise, interdisciplinary talks. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis. This event was aimed at sparking deep discussion and connection around the theme “Innomagine”—the intersection of innovation and imagination.

I teamed up with my friend Hannah, who had a similar interest in the TEDx program, and we spent the year planning and organizing the first ever TEDxUniversityofTulsa. We started by sending out a notice to campus, asking students and faculty to nominate their friends or professors that have ideas worth sharing. We interviewed all of these nominees and selected eleven speakers. These speakers gave talks on a wide range of topics – from advocacy, to disability, to outer space. They shared original research and provided brand new perspectives on old questions. We also chose student performers: two spoken-word artists and a bluegrass group. One of the best parts of being an organizer is getting to help these talented individuals share their message and inspire others.

I study advertising and public relations at TU, and Hannah is a marketing major. In planning this event, we both learned skills that we could never get from the classroom. We were solely responsible for finding sponsorship and creating budgets. We had to contact vendors for food and printing. We set up meeting and rehearsals to figure out the venue and technology requirements. We had to manage speakers, performers, and volunteers. These are practical skill-building and leadership opportunities that will help us tremendously in our future careers, and make our resumes look pretty awesome in the meantime.

Planning this event was one of the most challenging projects I have taken on in my college career, and one of the most rewarding. Our long-term goal is to make TEDxUniversityofTulsa an annual tradition on TU’s campus. There are so many more ideas to be shared, especially since we get so many new talented students with each freshman class. We hope this event will continue to grow and spark discussion and collaboration within our campus community.

All the 2015 speakers and performers are posted here, and the videos of their talks are also available at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsRNoUx8w3rMtR-FjDo43rHoTDbosekrL.

Meet Your Organizers- Hannah Hutchison

Hannah Hutchison is a senior Marketing student at The University of Tulsa. Originally from Oklahoma City, she loves both cities for their own unique attributes such as the Brady District in Tulsa and the Paseo District in OKC.  She is interested in Digital Marketing, specifically Social Media and Analytics and has completed several internships in this area including being the Digital Intern at SONIC Drive-In Headquarters this past summer and currently at Speakeasy Market Strategy. On campus Hannah is involved in Kappa Delta Sorority and has served as Vice President Member Education, President, Panhellenic Delegate and currently as Gracious Living chair. Hannah's friends lovingly refer to her as a "Marketing Nerd" because she is constantly reading Marketing Books (Recently just finished Jab Jab Right Hook and The Art of Social Media) and articles from sources such as Mashable, Inc.com and Fast Company. Outside of her desire to devour any information she can get on Marketing she enjoys cooking, baking and traveling. Hannah is going to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for Spring Break and looks forward to seeing the Olympic Sights (she loves watching the Olympics- she recorded the entire London and Beijing Olympics). 

Hannah's  love of TED talks started when she was searching for a spoken word poet and came across the Sarah Kay "If I should have a daughter..." talk. It was then that Hannah started to explore the wider range of videos, and her love affair  with TED continued as high school teachers and college professors utilized them in class. She saw how they enhanced learning and inspired new thoughts and ideas. It was last February when a post from a high school colleague popped up showing his TEDxOU speech that she knew that she wanted to bring TED to the University of Tulsa. As part of the NOVA Fellowship, she reached out to Dr. Wood to share the idea and then not long after overheard Katie Snyder sharing her desire to bring a TEDx to TU as well. 


Meet your Organizers- Katie Snyder

Katie Snyder is a sophomore at the University of Tulsa, majoring in Communication with an emphasis in advertising and public relations. She minors in Art and English. Katie is originally from Des Moines, Iowa (a city that she humbly considers the greatest place in the world). Katie is involved on campus with University Ambassadors, Residence Hall Association, National Residence Hall Honorary, and the NOVA Fellowship. She also works in the Golden Hurricane Athletic Media Relations Department, helping to keep statistics and assist media during TU home games for soccer, volleyball, football, basketball, and softball. Loving to stay busy, Katie also works with the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities on campus, acts as Social Media Director for Bell's Is Back, and is the marketing intern for Galaxy Home Design in Tulsa.

When she gets a break, Katie enjoys Netflix binge-watching, listening to music with her roommate, and playing volleyball. She never says no to pizza. Her favorite things about the University of Tulsa are the small class sizes that allow her to better connect with her professors, her residence hall community, and the free game tickets for all sports.

Katie was first exposed to TED when a high school teacher showed a three-minute video, "How to Start a Movement" by Derek Sivers. This was the video that sparked her passion for the TED platform, and despite having viewed hundreds of other TED and TEDx videos since, that remains her favorite. During high school, she volunteered for TEDxYouth@DesMoines and experienced the energy and challenge of organizing an independent TEDx event. She was inspired by the unique and innovative ideas that each speaker, performer, and team member brought to the table.

The University of Tulsa is so diverse, and there is so much research, service, and innovating going on around the campus. Katie was inspired by her peers and professors to bring a TEDx event to TU and showcase all of these ideas and passions. Through the NOVA Fellowship, she met Hannah, who was motivated by a similar passion to bring "ideas worth spreading" to campus.