[Live Blog] TEDxPSU 2018: Face To Face

We’re live from the 2018 TEDxPSU conference in Schwab Auditorium.  This year’s theme: Face to Face.  Stay in the loop with live updates, coverage, and photos of the speakers as they take the stage.

Live Stream


Live Blog

5:00 p.m.: That’s it, folks!  Thanks for joining us for TEDxPSU 2018: Face to Face.

4:50 p.m.: “Just going through the motions is tragic,” says Ralphs, as he shares a silly tale of trying to get into the wrong car after buying a gallon of milk.

4:46 p.m.: The last speaker of the day takes the stage, Dan Ralphs, to speak about dreams.

4:45 p.m.: “Are we going to be the generation that stops shutting people out?”  Nalini Krishnankutty finishes up her talk by listing the endless contributions that immigrants have shared with the United States.

4:38 p.m.: Krishnankutty takes us through the history of immigration in the United States, and how anti-immigration sentiment has been recorded in our legislation over the past several hundreds of years.

(Photo: Callaway Turner)

4:33 p.m.: She speaks about influential immigrants that have shaped our country and the world, like John Muir and Elon Musk.  “We call ourselves a land of immigrants,” says Krishnankutty, as she tells us that 14% of our population is made up of immigrants.

4:27 p.m.: Here to speak about how immigrants have shaped, and continue to shape, our country, Dr. Nalini Krishnankutty takes the stage.

4:23 p.m.: 1-800-273-8255 by artist Logic and semicolon tattoos are just two examples that Wettig shares with the crowd that raise awareness about suicide and mental health.

4:18 p.m.: Kelsey speaks to us about her generalized anxiety disorder, and how she dealt with being raped at seventeen years old.  “It’s okay to not be okay,” she tells us, “It’s okay to talk about mental health.”

4:14 p.m.: After a technical difficulty, Wettig is back onstage and ready to speak.

4:12 p.m.: Student emcee Brian Davis introduces Kelsey Wettig who is here to speak about mental health conversations in the media.

3:54 p.m.: “When we see someone embrace their true self, it empowers us to do the same.”  Waller talks about Rihanna’s personal branding choice when she released her Good Girl Gone Bad album; when she went against the grain by branding herself “bad,” the course of her career was changed.

“The future of branding is personal,” Talaya Waller, award-winning marketing scholar says of the next generation of advertising. #TEDxPSU pic.twitter.com/tIaHN2gGbH

3:51 p.m.: She presents that, “92% of people will trust a recommendation from a person more than from a company.”  Waller speaks that most people haven’t identified their own personal brand yet.

3:44 p.m.: “Millennials will have an average of ten to fifteen jobs in their lifetime, making us the most professionally agile generation,” Walker tells us.

3:41 p.m.: Dr. Talaya Waller is the next speaker, here to tell us about how we brand ourselves.

3:40 p.m.: “Give a kid a table at the seat of decision,” Herman says.  He finishes his presentation with the hashtag #whenwetrustkids.

(Photo: Callaway Turner)

3:35 p.m.: He speaks about Rough Cut Productions, his Philadelphia-based program, gives young people the necessary skills they need to produce media.  He recounts the tale of the kids and their teachers recording their own live stream of a TED talk.

3:30 p.m.: Herman shares his experience of working at a tuxedo store when he was sixteen, and his transition from handing out flyers in a tuxedo to becoming manager of the store.  It was then he started making decisions for himself.

3:23 p.m.: Douglas Herman is up now ready to speak about young people, the media, and trust.

3:22 p.m.: We’re back for our final session of speakers.  We’ll hear from Douglas Herman, Talaya Waller, Kelsey Wettig, Nalini Krishnankutty, and Dan Ralphs.

2:37 p.m.: Warshel wraps up her talk with an invitation for students to help her answer the problem, “can media make peace?”  This marks the end of Session 2.  We’ll be back at 3:15 for our last round of speakers.

2:35 p.m.: Yael Warshel shares her research about Palestinian and Jewish children regarding Sesame Street, and how peace media intervention only works when the definition of peace is constant and well-defined.

2:29 p.m.: She talks about how children make up about half of the population of conflict zones.  Warshel speaks about how shows like Sesame Street aim to resolve conflict, for example the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Sesame Street portrayed “peace building” by creating two different streets for the characters.

2:24 p.m.: Warshel speaks about how very little research has been done to answer the question.  She notes that sometimes media campaigns have no impact on behavior, and other times they create more harm than good.


2:17 p.m.: Dr. Yael Warshel takes the stage to answer the question, “Does media have the power to make peace?”

2:16 p.m.: He ends his talk on an optimistic note: everyone has the potential to intervene to try and stop assault.

2:14 p.m.: Bohara tells a story about a girl, Cathy, who was taken advantage of while under the influence.  He goes over how harmful “blaming the victim” is in cases of rape and assault, and about how important bystander intervention is, or stepping in and stopping a potentially tragic encounter.

2:06 p.m.: Student speaker Shreyash Manak Bohara, a self-identified feminist from India, is slotted to speak about ending sexual abuse.

2:05 p.m.: Begay wraps up her presentation with a plea to call your officials and representatives to help her stop uranium and other contaminants from entering water sources.

2:01 p.m.: Sonya Begay tells us about the impact that contaminated water can have on the Navajo people, including respiratory problems, increased livestock deaths, and cases of crops growing fungi.

(Photo: Callaway Turner)

1:56 p.m.: Begay tells us, “40% of my nation doesn’t have access to running water.”  She also tells us that water contaminants, like uranium, are having serious respiratory and health effects on people who drink the contaminated water.

1:48 p.m.: Sonya Begay, a member of the Navajo Nation, is introduced.  She plans to speak about health, specifically illness in the Navajo Nation.

1:46 p.m.: Orme concludes her presentation with the sentiment that initiatives, for example Women in Games International and Girls Who Code, are vital for mentorship and help to ensure that “aspiring developers have long careers in game design.”

1:41 p.m.: She notes that although independent developers have more freedom to develop their games and make them more diverse, they don’t have the resources to market on the same scale as larger corporations, like Steam.

1:35 p.m.: Orme believes that the “Everyone can make games” narrative is actually counterproductive when it comes to making games more diverse.  She believes it “perpetuates the idea that the road to game design is quick and easy.”

1:31 p.m.: Stephanie Orme takes the stage to speak about gender and sexuality in video games.

1:18 p.m.: And we’re back!  Jose Queervo, aka Jose McMahon decked out in drag, takes the stage and introduces a video about artificial intelligence.

11:54 a.m.: We’ll be back for Session 2 at 1:15.  This round of speakers includes Stephanie Orme, Sonya Begay, Shreyash Manak Bohara, and Yael Warshel.

11:29 a.m.: Freeman finishes up her presentation with the sentiment, “Being authentic starts with you.”  This is the end of the Session 1 speakers.

11:26 a.m.: Lisa Freeman recounts the tale of when singer Willie Nelson reached out to her, wanting to present with her.  She remarks that good things happen when you’re just authentic.

11:20 a.m.: After someone began to harm the community garden, Freeman realized that, “When you’re being authentic, some people just don’t understand.  It’s not about a green tomato, it’s not about a red tomato.  It’s about being authentic.”

11:12 a.m.: Freeman speaks about a young man helping her with her garden, and how “I didn’t know his name, he didn’t know mine.  But that was an authentic interaction.”  She notes that he didn’t know her educational background, he was just willing to help her.  Due to that encounter, she is able to still greet him on the street and recruit him to help keep her garden pristine.

11:09 a.m.: Lisa Freeman now takes the stage as our last speaker in Session 1.  She introduces herself as a “badass social worker,” and is here to speak about being authentic.

11:07 a.m.: Miller notes the discrimination that LGBTQ+ teens face in the classroom during sex education.  He now speaks about the “Time’s Up” movement to help raise awareness about sexual assault.  “Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted,”  KC Miller says.

10:58 a.m.: “The absence of information is not education,” Miller speaks about abstinence-only sex education, and how it’s a “complete failure.”

10:55 a.m.: KC Miller, a high school senior, is up now to speak about sex education and the Keystone Coalition for Advancing Sexual Education.

10:53 a.m.: “We want to become the missing link in energy.  Energy is outdated,” Lewis remarks.  “With our technology set, we can do this today.”

10:52 a.m.: Lewis is using artificial intelligence to help predict oil pipeline leaks.  He speaks about how oil and gas companies are hemorrhaging $30 billion annually from pipeline leaks.

10:46 a.m.: Next up is Meade Lewis, a self-proclaimed nerd and founder of a successful startup.  He’s slotted to speak about how science and technology are changing the world.

10:44 a.m.: After discovering that many conference go-ers were trying to get published, Leach asked them, “What problem are you trying to solve, who are you trying to help, what are you trying to do next?”  She realized that many people weren’t focused on solving a specific problem with their research.

10:38 a.m.: “Rushing through, instead of spending ten minutes on this side, cost me three hours, and a little bit of trust,” Leach speaks of her days working.  She notes that it’s better to ask colleagues for help and information, than thinking you can do it all.

10:33 a.m.: Leach learned that in order to better understand data for analysis, it’s important to understand the people that you’re analyzing.

(Photo: Callaway Turner)

10:29 a.m.: Anna Leach is on stage next with a talk about data analytics.  She recently graduated with a degree from the online Master of Learning Technology program.

10:21 a.m.: Brosnan’s mother battled cancer while he was growing up.  She was an incredible role model for Brosnan, and taught him to channel his inner voice to help fight adversity. 10:16 a.m.: “Do not allow yourself to spend mental energy on it,” Brosnan remarks, “if you’re not able to control the situation.”

10:07 a.m.: Brian Davis introduces the first speaker, Brendan Brosnan.  Brosnan played Penn State football until a chronic injury ended his career.  “You should not care about the things you don’t have the ability to control,” he spoke.  After his injury, Brosnan decided the best way to spend his energy was not to struggle to change his situation, but to change how he responded to each situation.

10:06 a.m.: Emcee Joe McMahon welcomes the crowd, and introduces this years theme: Face to Face.

10:04 a.m.: We start the conference off with a video about TEDx conferences that occur all over the world.

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About the Author

Ali Richards

Ali is a copy editor for Onward State, and is currently pursuing her major in Geoscience. She's from Washington, DC (Go Caps!), enjoys gneiss rock puns, and dislikes wavy chips. You can reach her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @haveagneisslife.

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