Students, faculty and members of the Jacksonville community eagerly lined up outside the Wilson Center on Sep. 27 to experience TEDx. The independently organized event relayed its familiar motto of “Ideas worth spreading,” while adding a touch of FSCJ flair to the occasion through the theme “lessons beyond the learning edge.” FSCJ, the first college in Jacksonville to host TEDx, had to adapt to the strict requirements hosting a TEDx event imposes. “Between the strict regulations and a licensing issue, FSCJ proved challenging to meet its mission, and we were denied. However, we are really excited that FSCJ accepted us the second time around,” said Keith Walters, Executive Producer.
The event was well received, and many people were turned away due to a full house. Once inside, guests were greeted with personalized name badges and breakfast. The excitement of the day ahead vibrated throughout the Wilson Center. Attendees, speakers and crew all took seats on the Wilson Center stage. “You [the audience] are as much a part of this production as the speakers and crew, and that’s why you are sitting on the stage,” said comical host and FSCJ professor Dr. Jeff Hess. A combination of pre-recorded video and physical speakers created a dynamic atmosphere for the audience.
The speakers, many of whom were part of our very own BlueWave, presented not only new concepts to chew on, but also a different perspective on learning in the classroom. To kick off the occasion, Amanda Cherie Payton, Industrial and Organizational Pyschology student, vivaciously expressed how nutrition should be a source of energy – and fast-food does not cut it. To continue the healthy and sustainable living section, Angela TenBroeck presented agriculture in a new fashion – through Aquaponics. Dr. Mike Reyonolds concluded the first section of the TEDx session by sharing his enthusiasm for the cosmos and encouraged all to “keep looking up.”
Danielle Kendrick kicked off the second section of the event by asking the audience if a participatory history culture—connecting historians and the public through social media–was possible. Speaker and student, Luis Mejia, illustrated the hardships of being an immigrant in the United States.
Impressed by the quality of speech, many audience members contemplated how to incorporate themes from the show into their own lectures,” I was tickled and tuned in from not hearing a single ‘um’ and this is an indication that the speakers were credible and well rehearsed. What great role models for students,” said Harolyn Sharpe, FSCJ professor.
Jeff Smith emphasized the need for transforming urban communities through the arts. Rachel Stromberg, leadership enthusiast and improv guru, wowed the audience with her ability to express herself on the spot. Stromberg concluded her speech with an audience activity, applying terms throughout the session and singing to the tune of ‘B-I-N-G-O.’ Dr. Kathleen Ciez-Volz initiated the final section with a talk on risk-taking, mistake-making and the benefits of lifelong learning. Then, Steve Piscitelli spoke about life success and why we do what we do in life. Dr. Jose Lepervanche, professor and TEDx event organizer, concluded the event with words of wisdom to encourage learning.
FSCJ would like to thank everyone who participated in the TEDx event. The BlueWave looks forward to hosting TEDx again.