Apply now to be a student speaker at TEDxOU 2017: Elemental

fb cover photo

Are you an OU student with a story to tell? Exciting research to share? A new perspective? The TEDxOU Organizing Team would like to invite you to apply and audition to give the talk of your life at the annual TEDxOU conference on January 27, 2017.

Each year, OU hosts its own TED Talks event, and 2017’s theme is ELEMENTAL. The Talks at TEDxOU feature OU professors, community members, and students sharing their research, work, and perspectives. We want to hear your stories.

Here’s what you need to know about auditioning, based on official TED rules.

Time Limit: No student talk can exceed 9 minutes.

Content: Speakers must tell a story or argue for an idea. Incorporation of the event theme is optional. They may not use the TED stage to sell products, promote themselves, or promote businesses. Every talk’s content must be original and give credit where appropriate. Speakers cannot plagiarize or impersonate other persons, living or dead. Speakers must be able to confirm the claims presented in every talk – TED and TEDx are exceptional stages for showcasing advances in science and new ideas in other topics, and we can only stay that way if the claims presented in our talks can stand up to scrutiny from the scientific community. TED is also not the right platform for talks with an inflammatory political or religious agenda, nor polarizing “us vs them” language. If talks fail to meet the standards above, TED reserves the right to insist on their removal.

**TIP: Because TED Talks are relatively short in length, consider choosing a focused topic. Exploring one topic with depth is generally better for TED Talks than trying to cover a lot of material and not getting much detail. For example, Dr. Jennifer Barnes chose one specific observation, how audiences form emotional relationships with fictional characters, in her broader field of study, the psychology of fiction, for her TEDxOU 2015 Talk.

Visual Aids: Visual aids such as a PowerPoint are permitted, but not required. Every talk’s media and content must be in compliance with copyright law. Speakers must inform the TEDxOU organizers beforehand of any third-party material that will be used in presentations and must confirm fair use status or seek written permissions to copyrighted materials when applicable.

Speaker Release: If selected to give a talk at TEDxOU 2016, everyone who appears onstage must sign the TEDx Speaker Release form, allowing TED full use of the talk, including post the talk online.

Applications close at 11:59PM on Wednesday, December 7. Selected applicants will be invited to auditions, which will be held on Monday, December 12, 2016 at the OU Innovation Hub.Questions about student speakers at TEDxOU can be directed to Cassandra at ccew@ou.edu.

Applications are now open!

Beau Jennings performs selections from “Verdigris”

Songwriter and documentarian Beau Jennings performs original songs from his most recent project, Verdigris, based on the life of Will Rogers.

Beau Jennings is a musician, filmmaker, and former architect currently based in Oklahoma. Originally the frontman and songwriter for the indie-rock/Americana band Cheyenne, he toured the U.S. while calling both Brooklyn and Austin home. Jennings’ latest project is a documentary film and accompanying album entitled The Verdigris: In Search of Will Rogers, retracing Will Rogers’ life journey from coast to coast and retelling his story through original songs.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Doug Gaffin’s Navigation by Deja Vu

Dr. Doug Gaffin takes an in-depth look at how the unique structure of a bee’s eye helps her take in information and successfully navigate her world and how future technologies might use the same method.

Doug Gaffin earned his PhD from Oregon State University in 1994 and joined the OU faculty in 1995. He is a professor in the Department of Biology and former dean of University College. Doug has taught Introductory Zoology to more than 20,000 students throughout his career and is currently teaching honors courses as part of the Presidential Teaching Fellows in Honors Program. He has received the Outstanding Freshman Advocate Award from the National Center for the First-Year Experience, the Regents’ Award for Superior Teaching, and the David Ross Boyd Professorship. Dr. Gaffin’s research focuses on understanding the special sensory abilities of scorpions and other arthropods. In his spare time, he enjoys volleyball, camping, biking, hiking, and playing the banjo.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Crimson Chords Performance

A performance by OU a cappella group The Crimson Chords.

Founded in 2006 as an all-girls group, The Crimson Chords today are OU’s only co-ed, student-led, contemporary a cappella ensemble. The members of The Crimson Chords write their own a cappella arrangements of music from a variety of genres (indie, pop, film scores, musical theatre, and anything else you could think of) and perform them at their mid-semester and end-of-semester concerts, as well as campus events and small local venues.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Jonathan Stalling on Improving English Pronunciation Using Chinese Characters

Dr. Jonathan Stalling shares a novel technique to help native Mandarin Chinese speakers improve their pronunciation of English

Jonathan Stalling is an Associate Professor of English at OU specializing in Modern-Contemporary American and East-West Poetics, Comparative Literature, and Translation Studies and is the co-founder and editor of Chinese Literature Today. Over the last 15 years, Stalling has explored the poetics of transliteration and interlanguages (his thesis at the University of Edinburgh in 2000 was entitled “Prefacing the Text: Toward a Transliterational Telos”) and this work led to the publication of Yingelishi and more recently Phonotaxis, but over the last several years this preoccupation has led to larger projects on accents in language as epistemic space and on radical new paradigms of ESL pedagogy.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Connor Sullivan’s Journey of Hearing

Connor Sullivan was born with hearing loss and received a cochlear implant after going completely deaf as a young adult. Now as a doctor of audiology student, he shares the science behind cochlear implants and how this technology changes people’s life trajectories.

Connor Sullivan is a Doctor of Audiology graduate student at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Connor, born with a hearing loss, currently has a cochlear implant and a hearing aid. Connor received his Bachelors of Science from the University of Oklahoma in December 2014. Connor currently is a Graduate Clinical Assistant for the Cleft Palate and Craniofacial team as well as a Graduate Research Assistant for the Hearing Evaluation, Rehabilitation, and Outcomes Laboratory at OUHSC. Connor has presented both nationally and internationally on the topic of Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome, the disorder that resulted in his hearing loss. Connor is passionate about using his personal experiences alongside clinical knowledge in audiology to help children and their families who are impacted by hearing loss.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Merleyn Bell On Being Biracial and Becoming Color Brave

Merleyn Bell is a biracial woman who founded a local radio show to talk about difficult issues centered around race. In this Talk, she stresses the importance of having uncomfortable conversations and shares insights she’s learned from doing just that.

Merleyn Bell is Art Director at the University of Oklahoma’s premiere literary publication, World Literature Today. In 2015, Merleyn created the radio show Race Matters as a platform for conversations with authors, activists, and scholars about the pressing topic of race. The show enriches the diverse offerings from World Literature Today, which celebrates its 90th year of continuous publication in 2016. During her decade-long tenure at World Literature Today, she has led the creation and development of the organization’s print and digital publications. Her design work has garnered many awards and made her a sought-after consultant to publications the world over. Before joining the staff at World Literature Today, Merleyn worked as a student intern for the organization. She now enjoys mentoring a new generation of students who are curious about the magazine publishing industry. Merleyn also works with a number of clients in the nonprofit sector, using her design expertise to help them

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Brian Bergman Declares That Great Cities are People With Great Imagination

Brian Bergman, co-founder of the largest recurring food truck festival in the U.S., talks about the importance of community and what individuals can do to help build cities worth living in.

Brian Bergman is the owner of pulpit, a branding and design agency in Oklahoma City. He’s infatuated with whiteboards, winnable arguments, and the long game. Brian is best known as the unofficial Mayor of H&8th Night Market. Follow him on Twitter at @ask_co_lab.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Kristen Baird Shares Stories From the Valet

Kristen Baird is a University of Oklahoma student who parks cars at both a local hospital and a steakhouse. The stories she has from both jobs add up to an interesting look at the small interactions in our lives.

Kristen Baird is a junior at OU studying secondary science education with a minor in Spanish. She is currently studying to become a high school biology teacher and has been selected for the Urban Teachers Preparation Academy, preparing her to teach in the Oklahoma City Public School district upon graduation. She also hopes to pursue a master’s in social justice in education. In the meantime, she works as a valet to fund her lavish lifestyle of living in a 40-year-old apartment and eating too much mac n cheese. Parking cars at the Norman hospitals and at a high-end restaurant in the city has given her the opportunity to encounter people with vastly different circumstances, and she will be forever thankful for this new view of humanity.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Jacki Bradshaw and What Being a Lesbian and a Sorority President Taught Me About Sisterhood

University of Oklahoma student Jacki Bradshaw shares her story about coming out amidst the heteronormative stereotypes of university Greek life.

My name is Jacki Bradshaw and I am originally from Jenks, Oklahoma. I am currently studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. What I feel everyone needs to know about me is I love to make people laugh, I am without a doubt an extrovert, and I am obsessed with Game of Thrones.What Being a Lesbian and a Sorority President Taught Me About Sisterhood

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx