x = independently organized TED event

Theme: [insert your idea here]

Athens, GA, United States
March 28th, 2014

About this event

TEDxUGA will showcase the individuality of our presenters and their ideas, and the leadership that makes our campus a great one. [insert your idea here] is guaranteed to be a platform for creativity, and an example of the growing appreciation for amazing ideas right here on the UGA campus.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Barrett Brooks
    Barrett A Brooks is an aspiring world changer, entrepreneurial ruckus maker, and obsessive learner. As founder of Living For Monday, Barrett works with small- to mid-sized businesses to help create and execute strategies and tactics to attract, train, and retain millennial talent. He also works directly with young professionals on career development and coaching, following his working towards a mission of changing the way the world thinks about work. Barrett graduated from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business in 2010 with dual degrees in Accounting and Banking & Finance, as well as a Certificate in Personal and Organizational Leadership through the Institute for Leadership Advancement. During his time at UGA, Barrett was involved in various campus organizations, serving as a student leader for Dawg Camp, Omicron Delta Kappa, the UGA at Oxford study abroad program, Orientation and Greek life. Since graduating, Barrett has served as a management consultant for Fortune 10 clients through Ernst and Young's Performance Improvement Practice, as a Curator of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Atlanta Hub, and as an Intern to Seth Godin, the 14-time a best- selling marketing and business author. You can reach Barrett via social media @barrettallenbrooks or @livingformonday.
  • Roger Hunter
    Roger Hunter is the Project Manager for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Kepler Mission. Kepler is NASA’s first mission to search for habitable worlds in our Milky Way Galaxy, beyond our solar system. Kepler’s science objective is to determine how rare, or common, potentially habitable earths are in our galaxy. More recently, NASA has assigned him the additional responsibility as Chief Architect for the collaborative NASA and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency PHOENIX mission. Prior to joining NASA, Roger was with the Boeing Company as Site Program Manager in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He directed the efforts of over 250 Boeing engineers and technicians in support of several Department of Defense and US Air Force space systems. In this position he led the sustainment, maintenance, and operational performance analysis for the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite constellation and the Air Force’s GPS command and control system, and other satellite communications systems. Before his career led him to the Boeing Company, Roger served as an officer in the US Air Force, and retired after 22 years of service. Colonel Hunter’s assignments included Commander, 2nd Space Operations Squadron, Deputy Operations Group Commander for the 50th Space Wing, and Program Manager for the Clementine II and XSS-10 microsatellite technology demonstration for the Air Force Research Laboratory. He also had assignments in Australia, HQ US Air Force Space Command, and HQ US Air Force, Pentagon. Roger is a graduate of the University of Georgia, with a BS in Mathematics. He also holds degrees from the US Air Force Institute of Technology, and the US Air Force School of Advanced Airpower Studies. He is also a graduate of the US Air Force Air War College, and US Air Force Air Command and Staff College. Roger also retains the Federal Acquisition Certification for Program and Project Managers at NASA.
  • Francys Johnson
    Combining a passion for helping people through education, religious affairs and the law; Johnson is fulfilling his calling to serve this present age. On October 5, 2013, this graduate of Georgia Southern University and the University of Georgia School of Law, was elected as the youngest President of the Georgia NAACP. Fighting to eliminate the burden of inadequate education, poverty, racism, and homophobia through national leadership positions with the NAACP and the American Heart | Stroke Association; Johnson is recognized as seasoned religious community leader. He has served in ordained ministry for over 16 years and is the Senior Minister of the Mount Moriah Baptist Church of Pembroke, Georgia and the Magnolia Baptist Church of Statesboro, Georgia. In addition to the practice of law, Johnson frequently lectures and writes on the concept of race, measuring equity, and understandings of power in public policy. He has served on the political science and criminal justice faculties at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia and Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia. He is married to Dr. Meca Renee Williams, a educational psychologist and Professor at Georgia Southern University. They have two sons, Thurgood Marshall Joshua and the late Frederick Douglass Caleb.
  • Lora Smothers
    Lora Smothers became director of the Freedom to Grow Unschool in May 2012. She was first drawn to FTGU as an intern while exploring alternative education as part of her graduate study at the University of Georgia. The following year, rather than taking the next socially prescribed step towards an even fancier degree or lucrative career, she decided to unschool herself and came to FTGU as a full-time teacher. She has loved living the unschool life ever since. Her Master's Degree is in Educational Psychology with a focus on gifted education, and she received a Bachelor's Degree in Neuroscience from Emory University in Atlanta (where she also played basketball (for four years). Lora has worked with children all over the South in a variety of roles–as a tutor, nanny, basketball coach, debate coach, summer camp counselor, youth minister, and in gifted ed classrooms in Clarke County. She is passionate about respecting children as dynamic and thoughtful human beings and spends her days sharing "the big secret" with her students–that their ideas matter! Lora credits Teri Cole-Smith and the Freedom to Grow Unschool with opening her eyes to a better way of learning, one that allows children to be who they are and learn in their own way.
  • David Barbe
    David Barbe has developed a multi-faceted music career since graduating from the University of Georgia in 1986. On the academic side, David is the director of UGA's Music Business Certificate Program, a position he has held since 2010. On the creative side, he has worked as an engineer, producer, songwriter, studio owner and artist on hundreds of albums in studios all over the world. He's worked with many notable artists including Drive-By Truckers, Deerhunter, REM, Son Volt, KD Lang, Animal Collective, Sugar, Cracker, Bettye LaVette, Futurebirds, and Booker T. Jones. His own studio, Chase Park Transduction, has been in operation since 1997.
  • Nadia Kellam
    Nadia Kellam is not only an associate professor in the College of Engineering at UGA, but also a freestyle skydiver who will be representing the US at the World Championships in 2014. At UGA, she is co-director of the interdisciplinary engineering education research CLUSTER where she does research to better understand how engineering students develop their professional identity through research projects that focus on the role of emotion in student learning, creativity, and synergistic learning. She designed the environmental engineering synthesis and design studios and is now developing the design spine for the new mechanical engineering program. She is also engaged in mentoring early career faculty and has a research project on uncovering success stories of engineering faculty who transition to learner-centered teaching strategies. As a skydiver, she has won the silver and bronze medals at the US National Championships and was selected to be the Skydive Carolina Skydiver of the Year in 2012. She recently started a blog at, where she writes about her experiences as a professor and skydiver.
  • Bettina Love
    Bettina L. Love is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Theory & Practice at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on the ways in which urban youth negotiate hip-hop music and culture to form social, cultural, and political identities. A continuing thread of her scholarship involves exploring new ways of thinking about urban education and culturally relevant pedagogical approaches for urban learners. More specifically, she is interested in transforming urban classrooms through the use of non-traditional educational curricula (e.g., hip-hop pedagogy, media literacy, hip-hop feminism, and popular culture). Building on that theme, Dr. Love also has a passion for studying the school experiences of queer youth, along with race and equality in education. She is the author of Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South (Peter Lang, 2012). Her work has appeared in numerous books and journals, including the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, Journal of LGBT Youth, Educational Studies, and Race, Gender and Class. For more information regarding Dr. Love's work and studies, check out her personal website.
  • Elizabeth Brantley
    Elizabeth Brantley is a member of UGA's staff as an event planner for the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development. She hosts more than 1000 gifted students and their parents on UGA’s campus for enriching and fun academic programs each year. Her love for program creation began over a decade ago when she was chosen as a leader for one of the largest summer camps in the country. Outside of her work at the University of Georgia, she continues to bring transformational experiences to hundreds of families through her family's company, Resilient Families Institute, Inc. Whether it is leading workshops or weekends in New Orleans, Guam or Athens and more, Elizabeth has taken what she has learned as a trained strategic interventionist into the larger market. It is her personal mission to positively affect every person she meets through strategically designed fun. She writes about these experiences and life reflections on her blog, Life Is In Love With You, at
  • Kai Riedl
    Kai Riedl is a musical collaborationist who seeks new approaches to cultural diplomacy through art, embracing geographic and creative constraints while connecting audiences and performers through electronic media. Riedl's pioneering abstract rock music group Macha gained international acclaim for its stylized multiculturalism, which integrated Indonesian music styles and instruments. Riedl also appears on many recordings by Athens bands. Riedl went on to record and produce Javasounds, a twelve-volume series of traditional Indonesian music, over the course of six years and multiple trips to western and central Java, Indonesia. This monumental work became the basis for "Our New Silence," through which Riedl and a collection of diverse local musicians built upon portions of the multi-track recordings to produce new works. Riedl has received two research grants from the Center for Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia, as well as a Project Development Grant from Ideas for Creative Exploration (ICE), an interdisciplinary initiative for advanced research in the arts. He is currently a PhD student in ethnomusicology and teaches a class on music in Athens, Georgia.
  • Lindsey Cook
    Lindsey Cook is a senior at UGA studying journalism, computer science and new media. She explores the intersection of storytelling and technology and has worked at The Washington Post, Voice of America, Online Athens and The Red & Black. She was selected as one of the six winners of the 2013-2014 $20,000 AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship and is investigating the recruitment and retention of female computer science majors and its application to journalism. She is looking forward to sharing some of her research and what it has taught her about feminism within the UGA community.
  • Narke Norton
    Narke Norton is a transfer student from Tifton, Georgia and a fourth year political science major. Narke is a student assistant in the Office of Diversity Relations, running the Young Scholars Internship Program in the summer. He is also involved in 8 organizations on campus (the Demosthenian Literary Society, UGA Mock Trial, Pi Sigma Alpha, Democracy Matters at UGA, Young Democrats of UGA, the Transfer Student Organization, and UGA Christians). As a member of the UGA Demosthenian Literary Society, he has discovered the wealth of perspectives and ideas in the minds and experiences of his fellow students, and wants all students to share in that validation.
  • Farah Samli
    Farah grew up living between disparate worlds where home spanned across the refugee-filled city of Peshawar in Pakistan to the downtown skyline of Austin, Texas. Her passion for designing better vaccines stems from growing up as a “third culture kid” in Central Asia and experiencing first hand the need to improve basic health care in the developing world. Farah completed her B.S. in applied biological sciences from Arizona State University where she received Howard Hughes Medical Institute funding to advance her undergraduate HIV research. She lived in Ireland for two years where, at the Ryan Institute, she investigated the regeneration and clonal expansion capabilities of a jelly-fish like marine organism. Currently, in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University of Georgia, her doctoral research focuses on improving the efficacy of vaccines by incorporating a new vaccine delivery system. Recently, she was recognized as a “Female Game Changer” by Women@TheFrontier, a global organization focused on highlighting leading female influencers.
  • Sarah Lawrence
    Sarah Lawrence is a graduating graphic design student from the heart of Atlanta, Georgia. During her time at UGA, Sarah was an active member of the college radio community. Starting out as a radio DJ for WUOG 90.5 FM, she moved on to become Promotions Director and eventually General Manager. She received a grant in March 2013 from the Open Web chapter of the Awesome Foundation for her collaborative mapping project. Apart from her schoolwork, part time jobs, and internships, she freelances on the side making illustrated maps for weddings and birthdays. Sarah’s favorite hobbies are making pasta, printmaking, sewing, riding bikes (no hands!), brewing beer, and going on adventures. After graduation, Sarah is moving back to Atlanta to start her post-grad life as the designer for Paste Magazine.
  • Kyshona Armstrong
    Kyshona Armstrong, a music therapist gone rogue, hails from the small town of Irmo, South Carolina (home of Vanna White and the Okra Strut). She grew up listening to her grandfathers singing in the gospel choir, aunts and uncles singing old Sam Cooke tunes around the electric guitar amps, and her father practicing the guitar solo from "Hello" by Lionel Richie on repeat. Kyshona has mixed her love of storytelling with the sound of her musical roots. Soulful, spiritual, at times guttural, Kyshona delivers an open honesty through her voice and lyrics. Her desire when she is performing is to connect with and take the audience on an emotional, soul stirring, musical journey. Her goal is to leave a crowd impressed. For more information about Kyshona's career and passion for music, visit her personal website.
  • Megan Pendleton
    Megan Pendleton was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland with her two younger sisters. Graduating from Lehigh University in 2010, she decided to pursue a career in a field outside of her undergraduate major of study, environmental engineering. In 2012, she enrolled in UGA’s College Student Affairs Administration program with hopes to give back to and support students in the ways her mentors had. For the past five years, she has more fully engaged with the world of spoken word and poetry, and uses her passion for the art form to develop a better sense of self and the world around her.
  • UGA Ballroom Performance Group
    The Ballroom Performance Group is a pre-professional student dance company at the University of Georgia promoting the appreciation of ballroom dance through performances on campus and around the community. More information and upcoming events can be found at or Performing: Jennifer Adams, Colton Houseman, Breanne Noah, Vlad Hriscan, Alex Ferguson, Ana Drobeniuc

Venue and Details

Tate Grand Hall
Tate Student Center
University of Georgia
Athens, GA, 30602
United States
More about the venue »

Event Type (what is this?) University

This event occurred in the past.
See more TEDxUGA events »

Organizer 180313

Scott Shamp
Athens, GA, United States

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Megan Ward
Organizer & Course Instructor
Jessie Daniels
Curator & Course Instructor
Julie Cheney
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations
T.W. Cauthen
Assistant Vice President, Division of Student Affairs
Meg Amstutz
Associate Provost for Academic Programs
John Weatherford
Production & Photography Director
Ansley Stewart
Music Director
Evan Tighe
Assistant Director of Student Programs, Alumni Association
Jessica Clark
Stage Manager
Chris Gerlach
Director of Online Communication
Derek Hammock
President , Student Alumni Council
Tucker Green
President, Omnicron Delta Kappa
Vivek Davalur
Ideas & Issues Coordinator, University Union
Alex Snipes
Student Council President
Carden Wyckoff
Student Presenter Competition Director
Arpan Banav
Finance Director
Laura Schoop
Attendance Director
Kelsey Brooks
Hospitality Director
Marshall Murphy
Catering & Livestream Director
Jamie Gottlieb
Promotion Director
Carrie Clemens
Promotion Director
Jenna Dotson
Volunteer Director
Olivia Veazey
Communication Director
Jamie Tyberg
Communication Director
Hannah Robbins
Assistant Stage Manager
Cameron Dodge
Donations & Sponsorship Director and Presenter Advisor
Kate Devlin
Salon Director and Presenter Advisor
Marina Carlisle
Salon Director and Presenter Advisor
Aashka Dave
Logistics Director
Meredith Elder
TED Events Director and Presenter Advisor
Adelaide Obsanya
Presenter Advisor
Wenbo Xie
Presenter Advisor
Wenbo Xie
Presenter Advisor
Chan Jong
Presenter Advisor
William Hall
Presenter Advisor
Emily Berry
Presenter Advisor
Madison Ludes
Presenter Advisor
Saureh Askarian
Presenter Advisor
Colson Peacock
Presenter Advisor
Ian Adams
Presenter Advisor
Sarah Atwood
Presenter Advisor
Bree Preuitt
Presenter Advisor
Emma West
Presenter Advisor
Patrick Brown
Presenter Advisor
Ashley Tucker
Presenter Advisor
Abigail Giese
Presenter Advisor
Dev Iyer
Former Student Council President
Joseph Stagnaro
Student Council Advisor
Julia Durham
Student Council Advisor
Lindsey LaBate
Student Council Advisor
Carolyn Reynolds
Student Council Advisor
Carolyn Reynolds
Student Council Advisor
Laura Dunlap
Student Council Advisor
Taylor Tokarz
Student Council Advisor