Two years. Twenty speakers. Three musical performances. One talk from 60 feet below the surface of the ocean.
TEDxFIU launched in 2012 with an impressive slate of faculty, student and alumni speakers. We caught up with some of them recently to find out what has changed since they spoke and how their efforts are going.
Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious diseases expert and a 2013 TEDxFIU speaker, has been front and center in the news the past few months for her contributions toward the effort to contain the spread of Ebola in West Africa and beyond. She spent 31 days in Nigeria, which has since been declared to be Ebola-free, working with local health workers and government officials, and also welcomed questions about the virus in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session.
Phillip Koenig, now a senior at FIU, shared at TEDxFIU 2012 his program for cultivating leaders in middle schools. His nonprofit, Leading Miami, is running in seven local middle schools and boasts 50 mentors. Its next stop is in Chicago, where it will be introduced in two middle schools in early 2015.
Professor James Webb reports that funding and support for space exploration and education continues to remain stagnant or has decreased slightly from 2012 levels, making the final frontier even further away. Despite the gloomy national landscape, FIU’s astronomy program has flourished with the construction of the Stocker AstroScience Center, a state-of-the-art observatory.
TEDxFIU 2014 takes place Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center. The event will be broadcast live online at TEDxFIU.com beginning at 5:30 p.m.