On the day of the conference they had spent more than a year planning, TEDxConnecticutCollege co-organizers Summer Wrobel ’19 and Rose Montera ’19 woke up to nearly a foot of snow.
“We were definitely nervous,” says Wrobel. “And yet, despite the snow, the conference continued into a big success. We had such an amazing team, ready to adapt to any challenge.”
The annual conference, organized entirely by students, took place March 2 in Evans Hall and featured 10 talks by students, faculty, staff and guest speakers. The theme of this year’s conference was “In Transit,” with topics relating to ideas of change, movement and transitions.
The speakers included an Oscar-winning producer, writer and director who gave a talk about life stories in transit, an associate professor of botany and environmental studies who spoke about the movement of invasive species, a campus safety officer who enjoyed a 35-year dance career that took him across the globe, and a first-year student who wants to see young adult fiction include the full spectrum of queer identities.
“I was blown away by each and every speaker, the creativity and bravery they exhibited on stage, along with the diverse ways they chose to present a story or idea,” says Wrobel.
While both Wrobel and Montera said they would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite talk, Montera was impressed by the creative storytelling of Campus Safety Officer Ronald Bastine, who used dance and song in his talk,“The Gift,” and Wrobel was particularly moved by the ideas shared by Natasha Bowman, president and founder of Performance ReNEW and author of You Can’t Do That at Work, in her talk, “The Power of One: Ordinary Actions Influencing Extraordinary Change.”
“I have been thinking about how ordinary actions can influence great change a lot in relation to the impact of TEDx Talks. I think TEDx Talks, and storytelling in general, are extremely powerful as they highlight how the vulnerability and curiosity of one person can provoke or change the mindset of another—or even the whole audience,” Wrobel said.
The event included a lunch catered by Mystic Market and a performance by the student MOBROC band Boatweiler. To illustrate the theme of the event, the student space designers displayed archival photographs from Connecticut College throughout its history.
TEDxConnecticutCollege is an independently organized TED event produced by the TEDxConnecticutCollege club. The club is open to all students and meets weekly to plan all elements of the conference, including catering, space design, set design, speaker selection and public relations outreach. Learn more at tedxconnecticutcollegeclub.squarespace.com.