x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Submerged

This event occurred on
February 10, 2018
Knoxville, Tennessee
United States

TEDxUTK is a program of independently organized TED-format conference events designed to inform and inspire new conversations about our shared future. At TEDxUTK, passionate speakers share their insights, opinions and narratives to invite people everywhere to seek a deeper understanding, consider new possibilities, reimagine existing concepts and act in meaningful ways to improve their lives and the world around them. The conference program will include a combination of screenings of official TED talks and live TEDx talks delivered by speakers from the Knoxville and UT community.

The 2018 conference theme is "Submerged." We invite audience members, speakers, and event partners from all over the University of Tennessee campus and the greater Knoxville area to dive deeper into various topics that shape our world for an immersive conference experience. From memorial design to computer algorithms and everything in between, we seek to spark dialogue and share local ideas with a global impact.

Clarence Brown Lab Theatre
1714 Andy Holt Ave.
Knoxville, Tennessee, 37916
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Adam Cureton

Associate Professor of Philosophy
Adam Cureton is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Tennessee, having done his graduate work at Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar, and at UNC Chapel Hill. Adam is visually impaired, which has led to an interest in philosophical issues of disability, especially ones concerning attitudes of respect and care for people with disabilities. He is also a committed advocate for people with disabilities, serving on various diversity committees and boards as well as the founder and president of the Society for Philosophy and Disability.

Brad Morgan

Director at College of Law
Having personally experienced the incalculable consequences of identifying a driving purpose in his life, Brad Morgan cherishes the opportunities that he has in both his professional and personal life to assist others in identifying their values and goals, recognizing their strengths, and moving forward with intentionality. Currently it is his good fortune to have such conversations with students at the University of Tennessee College of Law where he serves as Director of Career Services and facilitates courses in the college's Institute for Professional Leadership. A frequent speaker and occasional author, Brad looks for moments of shared dialogue and learning, believing that every interaction affords him the occasion to walk away a better person than he was before. Having grown up in New Mexico, Brad believes that the correct answer to the question "green or red [chile]?" is almost always green.

Jim Roberto

Jim Roberto is Associate Laboratory Director, Emeritus, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He joined ORNL in 1974 after receiving a bachelor's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT and doctorate in applied physics from Cornell. A former president of the Materials Research Society, Jim has authored or coauthored over 100 publications, co-chaired numerous national and international conferences, and presented over 200 invited talks. His research interests include condensed matter and materials physics, ion-surface interactions, materials for energy-related systems, and the synthesis and properties of super-heavy nuclei. Jim is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Materials Research Society, and recipient of the 2004 National Materials Advancement Award. In 2017, he shared the Flerov Prize from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia for contributions to the discovery of elements 115 (moscovium) and 117 (tennessine).

Julie Beckman

Julie is the Director of Student Development and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design. Julie has a Bachelor of Arts in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University. In practice, Julie and her partner, Keith Kaseman launched their design firm, KBAS in 2002 following the unanimous selection of their design proposal for the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, VA which opened to the public on the 7th anniversary of the attacks.

Larsen Jay

Founder and CEO of Random Acts of Flowers
Larsen Jay believes the giving of flowers is a powerful, universal gesture that transcends race, religion, income levels, languages and disabilities. After a near-fatal accident a decade ago, Larsen abandoned his successful career in the film & television industry and founded Random Acts of Flowers, a nonprofit organization that improves emotional health and well-being of individuals in healthcare facilities by delivering recycled flowers, encouragement and personal moments of kindness. A two-time graduate of the University of Tennessee, Larsen Jay has had a diverse background in business, philanthropy and civic engagement, while garnering numerous awards and commendations including the Healthcare Heroes Award, National Conservation Medal, Governor's Volunteer Star Award and Sertoma's Service to Mankind Award.

Sofia Tomov

Aspiring Computer Scientist
Sofia Tomov is passionate about solving problems and helping others. She is 14 years old, and currently enrolled as a visiting high school student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. As an aspiring computer scientist, Sofia has pursued projects on algorithms for genomic analysis as well as machine learning. She was recognized by Business Insider as one of "15 Young Prodigies Who Are Already Changing the World," and her work has been featured in US News and World Report and The Telegraph (UK). She has been a finalist for the Discovery Education/3M Young Scientist Challenge and Project CSGirls computer science competition. Community service is also important to Sofia, and she has raised funds for Heifer International and Soles for Souls, as well as volunteered teaching science and engineering to elementary students. Her hobbies include nature photography, fencing, and electric guitar.

Victoria Ramirez-Miller

Neuroscience Student
Victoria C. Ramirez-Miller is a rising senior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville majoring in Neuroscience from Memphis, TN. During her matriculation, Victoria has joined several prestigious student organizations- Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, the Be Well Initiative at UT, and the βTN-1 UT Chapter of the Nu Rho Psi National Honor Society in Neuroscience, to list a few. With hopes of pursuing a career in neurological surgery, she has presented her findings locally and regionally in conferences including the university’s Annual Women’s STEM Conference, Black Issues Conference, and the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Conference in Atlanta, GA. Always a servant leader, she is one of two youngest charter members and the first Membership Chair of the centennial East Knoxville Lion’s Club- a national organization that strives to meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding in local communities.

Organizing team


TN, United States


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