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TEDxUSF to feature locals with grand vision


What does an ant whisperer, the student body vice president, a hula hooper and the dean of engineering have in common? They’ll all be sharing the same stage this weekend to give a TED talk.

TED is a global phenomenon meant to bring together some of the world’s brightest minds to share their ideas, hopes and dreams.

Since there are a million more ideas worth sharing, TEDx was created to bring local communities together to listen to their dreamers next door.

USF will host a TEDx event Saturday at the School of Music that will give the stage to the university’s professors and students who have something to say.

Speakers include:

Rhondel Whyte, the student body vice president, who left Trinidad and arrived in this country hoping he may also achieve the American dream.

Jill McCracken, a professor of rhetoric, who studies sex trafficking and violence against girls and women.

Parmvir Bahia, a research associate and neuroscientist, who believes science can be brought to everyday people by reducing the gap between scientists and non-scientists.

Daniel H. Yeh, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, who focuses on global health and thinks the problems of water, energy, food and sanitation can solved by biorecycling. 

Jonathon Burroughs, a sophomore majoring in health science, who appreciates the greatness of nature and advocates living modestly.

Carissa Caricato, a graduate with a degree in mass communications, who sends hula-hoops to girls around the world and believes simple joys can make a world of difference in the lives of the downtrodden.

Robert Bishop, the dean of engineering, who grew up surrounded by creativity and believes art and engineering go hand in hand.

Deby Cassill, a professor at USF St. Petersburg, who claims to be an ant whisperer and wants to share the rich, inner lives of fire ants.

Ryan Swanson, a graduate with a degree in architecture, who funded an event to improve urban areas under the theory that creativity can bring together urban communities. 

Gloria Munoz, a graduate with a degree in creative writing, who is part of an alumni team that focuses on collaborative art projects for a cause.

While tickets are no longer available for the 100 seats in Barness Recital Hall, the first 100 people in line Saturday morning will get to watch a live streaming at another room in the School of Music.

For those who aren’t able to get a seat, there will be other streaming parties hosted by student organizations and resident halls.

The first lecture starts at 10 a.m. and the event is expected to run until 4 p.m.