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TEDxPSU to Hosts 11th Annual TEDxPSU Conference on March 6

March 6, 2021 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, Penn State University will host its 11th annual TEDxPSU event, a virtual conference for students, faculty, and the community. This year, our conference theme “Time To Pause” reminds us to pause our bustling lives and reflect on new ideas, encourage new perspectives, and take a moment to appreciate the little things in life. With the pause of life that COVID-19 has brought, this theme feels more fitting than ever, and there’s never been a better time to sit back and challenge your mind.

Even though we can’t be together in Schwab Auditorium this year, you can attend our free conference at to listen to our engaging and exciting speakers. On February 13, we had the privilege to pre-record speakers in Schwab Auditorium and it was a success! Following COVID-19 precautions, some TEDxPSU team members were able to join and be present in Schwab auditorium as well. Additionally, we have two speakers who recorded remotely from New York, New York, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, bringing Ideas Worth Spreading globally while still prioritizing the safety of our Penn State Community.

The conference will start at 1 p.m. with the order below to follow:

Session 1

Seria Chatters: Radical accessibility
Director of Equity and Inclusivity of the State College Area School District in State College, PA and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Counselor Education at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

Jen Emigh: Breaking Down the Wall of “Everything is Fine” The Power of Authenticity
Director of the AURORA Outdoor Orientation Programs at Penn State University and Outdoor Leadership Instructor at Penn State University.

Perry Dripps: ADHD at 33
Educator, sustainability professional, musician, and cook who was formally diagnosed with ADHD.

Shah Chowdhury: From Aid Dependency to Self Reliance: A Journey of Self-Realization
Award-winning Environmentalist and Social Entrepreneur based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, currently spearheading an NGO called ‘Footsteps-Bangladesh’ which addresses social challenges in the fields of environment, health, and education.

– 10 Minute Intermission –

Session 2

Marisa Vicere: From Grief to Growth
Founded and became president of the Jana Marie Foundation in 2012.

Mark Anner: Defending Workers’ Rights, From Trauma to Empowerment
Professor of Labor and Employment Relations, and Political Science at the Pennsylvania State University.

Molly Countermine: Life Isn’t Supposed to be Good… All the Time
Beloved Associate Teaching Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State’s University Park campus, and local musician.

– 10 Minute Intermission –

Session 3

Isabelle Snyder: Real Discomfort, Real Change
Senior at the State College Area High School, where she is serving her second term as Student Government President, is active in Thespians, journalism, mock trial, and is the chair of the International Thespian Officer Board.

John Liechty: Augmented Intelligence
Professor at the Smeal College of Business with a PhD from Cambridge University.

Michael Mitole: What I Learned As An Orientation Leader in a Global Pandemic
Sophomore in the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University studying Finance and Economics.

Sam Bencheghib: Why I ran 117 marathons in 6 months Environmental activist, filmmaker and co-founder of the Make A Change World organization.

TEDxPSU is Penn State’s locally organized, student-run, yearly TEDx conference. Over the past 11 years, we have provided students, faculty, staff, and State College community members with a memorable, interactive full-day TEDx conference full of enlightening talks on a wide breadth of topics. Our goal as an organization is two-fold. First, we aim to showcase the best research, ideas, and values that Penn State students, faculty, and alumni have to offer our community and beyond. Secondly, we bring in speakers from outside of our community to provide new perspectives on the world at large. Our reach extends to Penn State, State College, our Commonwealth campuses, and across the United States and the globe. We pledge to continuously provide novel “Ideas Worth Spreading” to all of these communities.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of Ideas Worth Spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a “TED like” experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalk videos and live speakers come together to spark deep discussion and connection in a group setting. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x =independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

Tune in to the event on March 6, 2021 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time at Follow our social media on Instagram @tedxpsu, Twitter @tedxpsu, and Facebook to keep up with the organization and our upcoming events!

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