x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Blurring Boundaries

This event occurred on
May 3, 2013
8:30am - 10:00am MST
(UTC -7hrs)
Tucson, AZ
United States

This is the first annual TEDxUniversityofArizona event, curated by Honors Composition students.

This event asks us to blur boundaries: between the rational and non-rational, between the outcast and the accepted, between sleep and waking, between the US and other nations. As a TED community committed to spreading ideas in the Borderlands, may we continue to question boundaries wherever we encounter them.

Integrated Learning Center Room 150
1500 East University Boulevard
Tucson, AZ, 85721
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­University­Of­Arizona events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Dr. Pat Willerton

Russia’s glorious history and rich culture have intrigued Pat Willerton all his life. His Russian odyssey began when his dad gave the ten-year-old a Red Army Chorus record, followed by his mom taking him to see the 8-hour Soviet film of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It was in the 1980’s USSR that Moscow friends helped him begin the search for the “Russian soul,” and his years as a University of Arizona professor have entailed publications and teaching focused on this end. Even if authoritarian, Russia was never an “evil empire” for Pat, whose talk challenges cartoon-character stereotypes and misleading common wisdom as he encourages others to seek the elusive Russian soul.

Daniel Wendler

How can we make sure everyone has a community where they feel accepted ? For many people -- the awkward, the shy, or the simply misunderstood -- life is a lonely experience, and good friends are hard to come by. Daniel Wendler experienced this firsthand. He has Asperger's Syndrome, which is a neurological condition that prevented him from learning social skills naturally. Without the social skills to make friends or defend himself from bullies, Daniel grew up an outcast. However, Daniel did not let his challenges define him. When he realized that his struggles were due to his lack of social skills, he decided to study social interaction like a foreign language. Over time, he manually taught himself the social skills that he was unable to learn automatically. He used his newfound skills to reach out to other "outsiders" and discovered the power of close relationships and genuine community. Today, he works to share what he learned with others. He works as a social skills coach and runs an online resource -- -- that has been read by over 180,000 people. He believes that everyone deserves a place where they belong, and that all of us have something in common with the awkward kid sitting alone in the cafeteria.

Lynn Konrad

Lynn Konrad is a freshman pursuing a double major in Accounting and French with a minor in International Business. Active within the University community, Lynn is involved in both artistic and business activities, and has spoken at the New Directions in Critical Theory Conference. A self-declared agnostic, Lynn is fascinated by different attitudes toward religion, and believes that faith can extend beyond doctrine to personal and artistic realms.

Brian McElroy

Brian is a freshman studying NSCS (Neuroscience & Cognitive Science) and Creative Writing. He has been employed previously at the U of A as a lab intern in the department of neuroscience but is presently a research assistant at the Higgins Sleep Lab, which is also in the department of neuroscience. On the side he is employed at the local theater company Live Theatre Workshop as a stage manager, actor, and teacher. His passions include the brain, fantasy RPGs, classical guitar, politics, and absurdist theatre.

Organizing team


Tucson, AZ, United States
  • Nina Wheeler
    Graphic Designer
  • Lauren Niday
    Development Coordinator
  • Lynn Konrad
    Programming Co-Chair
  • Jack Carlson
    Programming Co-Chair
  • Amy Allen
    Registration Director
  • Theo Jones
    Web Designer
  • Conor Miller
    Social Media Coordinator
  • Sami Wood
    Marketing Specialist
  • Jimmy Dolan
  • Jinny Huh
    Pre-Conference Programming Co-Chair
  • Brian McElroy
    Pre-Conference Programming Co-Chair
  • Dillon Manzanares
    Program Designer