TEDx Hamline University Ignites at Hamline

Hamline University hosts the first official TEDx event featuring a variety of talks.


TEDx Hamline University Facebook

Alumna ‘17 Julia Albrecht ending the night of diverse talks with “How Peas Will Save the Planet.”

Audra Grigus and Hanna Bubser

It was a damp grey day in St. Paul this past Friday, but TEDx brought a spark to campus as it rang in its inaugural year at Hamline in Sundin Music Hall. The theme of the event was “Ignite,” which not only described the passion fueling all of the TEDx speakers, but also the organizers. Senior Conner Suddick, junior Raie Gessesse and their team of volunteers have been working for months on the organization and logistics of this first TEDx event.

“When we began planning it, we were like, if we’re going to do TEDx, we’re going to start out with a bang,” Suddick said.

TEDx are events run independently from the popular TED talks. TEDx allows smaller communities like universities to bring in the platform of TED without the strict parameters of an official TED event. This allowed TEDx at Hamline to enlist current students, recent graduates, faculty members and alumni to give the talks. In addition to this, Suddick and Gessesse chose four official TED talk videos to play throughout the day, which was one of the agreements in their licensure to host TEDx.

The TEDx team was able to put together a comprehensive day made up of talks from current students, alumni and faculty, all of which varied in theme and overall tone. Topics ranged from personal traumas, violence in social media, self identifying and even memes. Jasmine Lee’s talk, “The Meme-ing of Life,,” began as a joke between her and a friend. Memes are usually thought of in a humorous sense, after all. But after some deliberation, the December 2018 graduate decided that it may just work.

“I was like, yeah, I think I could pull it off,” Lee said. “And then I did it. I’m surprised they let me do it, honestly.”

Another TEDx Talk given by Marko Dewhurst ‘16 “Finding the New Normal: Are We Healed or Healing?,” shared the story of losing three of his family members, watching his father struggle with addiction and what his healing journey has looked like. Dewhurst talked about the process of healing and how it does not have a destination but is a continual process.

Dewhurst now focuses his energy on “[pouring] love onto the ones who mean the most” and “finding his new normal.”

At this completely student run event, the campus community had the opportunity to learn about the power of peas, teachers as civil disobedients and how we can prevent mass shootings, the day featured informative and engaging talks from the Hamline community.

“It’s things like these that are the reason why I came to Hamline,” said audience member senior  Kayla Shappell.

To learn more about TEDx Hamline University and the talks that took place, keep an eye out for videos, photos and blog posts that will be shared with the public at intermittent rates throughout the next month.

TEDx Hamline University Facebook
Senior Sejla Ceric and Associate Professor Letitia Basford kicked off the night of talks with their “Whose Crisis Is It?” talk at TEDx Hamline University on April 5.