x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Next Level

This event occurred on
March 19, 2021
Athens, Georgia
United States

A new decade reveals new opportunities and new obstacles. As we face the future, we have a choice: cling to the familiar or unlock the next level. At the University of Georgia, we embrace bold questions, innovative scholarship, and untold stories as the keys to rising beyond what we think is possible. TEDxUGA 2021 will elevate ideas with the power to launch our world to the next level.

Classic Center Theatre
300 N Thomas St
Athens, Georgia, 30601
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Caroline Ervin + Cristen Conger

Hosts of the Unladylike podcast
Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin are the co-founders of Unladylike Media and the co-hosts of the feminist podcast Unladylike. Both women are alumna of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The two spent years working together at HowStuffWorks as the hosts of Stuff Mom Never Told You, then launched Unladylike to create the equality-focused content they wished had existed when they were growing up. Now, their mini multimedia empire includes their Webby award-winning podcast, various speaking engagements, an enthusiastic online community, and the book "Unladylike: A Field Guide to Smashing the Patriarchy and Claiming Your Space." Throughout their work, Conger and Ervin strive to create groundbreaking conversations and make room for marginalized voices.

John Jardin

Student + LGBT advocate
John Jardin is a third-year undergraduate pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations with minors in Theatre and English. Jardin currently serves as a Student Government Association First Year Forum Peer Leader. In his talk, John will explore how implementing LGBT curriculum in K-12 public schools can combat systemic homophobia and cultivate safe spaces for LGBT youth.

K. Paige Carmichael

Veterinary pathologist
Dr. K. Paige Carmichael is a professor of veterinary pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, having previously served as the college’s dean for academic affairs. Dr. Carmichael received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University, completed a combined pathology residency/PhD at UGA, and then became board certified in veterinary anatomic pathology. Dr. Carmichael’s area of research is animal models of human disease, and she has studied and published on many diseases common to people and animals. She is passionate about diversifying the veterinary profession and mentoring students and early career faculty. Her many honors and achievements include the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the President’s Fulfilling the Dream Award, and numerous teaching awards.

LaKeisha Gantt

Licensed psychologist + professor
Dr. LaKeisha Gantt is a licensed psychologist, assistant professor of psychology at Piedmont College, and member of the Athens-Clarke County Board of Education. Dr. Gantt earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Mercer University and both her Master of Education in Counseling and her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Georgia. In addition to providing counseling services to diverse communities, Dr. Gantt advocates on issues at the intersection of education, psychology, and multiculturalism.

Lisa Renzi-Hammond

Dr. Lisa Renzi Hammond is an assistant professor in the Institute of Gerontology in the College of Public Health. She is also faculty in the interdisciplinary neuroscience program and adjunct faculty in the Department of Psychology. Her expertise is in lifespan sensory and neurological health, and she studies the ways in which making positive lifestyle changes can improve visual function, cognitive function and the risk for neurodegenerative disease. Along with her colleagues in gerontology, Dr. Renzi Hammond is currently working to improve diagnosis rates for age-related neurodegenerative diseases in the state and local communities.

Matt Stevens

VP of Strategic Impact, Creature Comforts
Matt Stevens is the vice president of strategic impact at Creature Comforts Brewing Company. Stevens holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia, as well as a Master of Science in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh. As a longtime resident of Athens, Stevens promotes active citizenship as a means to improve every community. He believes everyone should have a plan to support the city they love and devotes himself to simplifying service in a complex world.

Samantha Spellicy

MD/PhD student + stroke researcher
Sam Spellicy is an MD/PhD candidate at the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center and the Medical College of Georgia. Her current research focuses on stroke rehabilitation and therapeutic development.

Taylor Keller

Taylor ‘Tot’ Keller is a fourth-year undergraduate studying Advertising and pursuing the New Media certificate in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. After years of struggling with her health, she was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a leading cause of hormonal issues in women.

Organizing team


  • Olivia Sprott