Gain a new perspective at TEDxNSU


NSU’s Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences will host the fourth annual TEDxNSU, featuring engaging lectures, videos, visual art and interactive experiences, on March 28 from noon to 5 p.m. in the Performance Theatre of the Don Taft University Center.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to sharing world-changing ideas derived from the areas of technology, entertainment and design. TED hosts an annual conference where the world’s leading thinkers and doers speak for up to 18 minutes each on various issues such as sustainability, what it takes to be a great leader, architectural innovations and overcoming fears.

TEDx events are independently organized TED events held by groups across the country in which TEDTalk videos are shown, and speakers present on topics that aim to spark deep discussions and connections in small groups.

TEDxNSU supports the college’s aim to encourage intellectual exploration and the sharing of ideas amongst students, faculty, staff and members of the local community. The event expands this reach to a global audience with videos of the lectures available on YouTube.

Organizer of TEDxNSU Leanne Boucher, assistant professor in Farquhar, said she brought this event to the campus because she believes ideas are worth spreading.

“I wanted to provide a stage for these ideas. I think being on a college campus, where the pursuit of knowledge is so fundamental, presents a perfect venue for a TEDx,” she said.

The theme of this year’s TEDxNSU is “Perception,” which explores distinct perspectives that people can use to question the lens through which they view the world and perhaps change their constructions.

Boucher said the theme will provide an interesting way to present ideas.

“Everybody has their own way of viewing the world that influences the way they think and the way they behave,” she said. “This year, we hope that people will learn from our speaker’s perceptions in order to gain a greater understanding of why they think what they think and do what they do.”

Attendees can expect an afternoon full of fun interactive demos, interesting lectures, thought-provoking videos and stimulating conversation, said Boucher.

“Our perception impacts how we color incoming information, and attendees will see that their perceptions of the world will change if they listen to what the speakers are telling them,” she said.

One of this year’s speakers, Brittany Calaluca, senior exercise and sport science major, said TEDxNSU is similar to a giant classroom, where expressing our ideas is one of the most vulnerable situations we come across.

“In my TEDxNSU experience, the audience is my classroom, and I become the student who is not afraid to raise my hand and proclaim my idea,” she said. “TEDxNSU is more than a learning experience; it is a personal experience that will touch each audience member individually.”

Calaluca’s talk, “Where is the real work being done — in the gym or on a computer?” will include personal experience, statistical data and examples of the power and influence of digital photo editing.

Calaluca said she hopes that her story helps to bring a shift in perspective.

“Fitness magazines are idealized for the health and beauty that is not truly a reality, and, as a fitness professional, I want attendees to see it from a different set of eyes,” said Calaluca. “I will give my audience the realistic expectations that are healthy for the mind and body.”

Calaluca said her topic affects not only college students, but all individuals.

“I will be speaking on Photoshop and how it has become so powerful and influencing in the fitness magazine industry,” she said. “Through the years, I have had my ‘dark days’ with body issues; turning those hard times into my passion for change has been one of the most successful decisions I made. I want students to know that I am one of them – just like them, I have struggled with the unrealistic expectations that have been set for us through the images we see.”

Another 2015 TEDxNSU speaker, Matthew Ware, graduate marine biology and marine environmental science student, said this event is a chance for presenters and audience members to discuss new and creative twists on ideas.

“By interacting in a cross-disciplinary setting, innovative solutions can be developed for many of our modern problems; NSU is displaying their commitment to furthering the education of both their students and staff by hosting this event,” Ware said.

Ware will discuss the use of SCUBA as a tool for shark conservation, as one doesn’t need to be a diver to understand the problem and help with the solution.

“Diving simply gives a unique perspective because you get to interact with these animals,” he said. “What you buy at the grocery store, how you dispose of your trash, who and for what policies you vote for and where you travel on vacation all impact the world around you and what state you will leave it in for others.”

Ware said the college students of today will be the leaders of tomorrow.

“It doesn’t matter if that’s in politics, education, the military or the food service industry. People need to understand how our actions and beliefs shape the world around us and the impact that has on others,” he said.

In addition to Calaluca and Ware, the TEDxNSU 2015 speakers include Sarah Bramblette, Robert Kelley, Associate Professor Joshua Loomis, Associate Professor Weylin Sternglanz, Aadil Vora and Professor Kathleen Waites.

All speakers are affiliated with NSU and were selected through an application process that began in the fall. Applicants proposed a presentation idea to a committee and were selected based on the quality of their talk and how well it fits this year’s theme.

Attendance at TEDxNSU is limited to 100 people to encourage interaction between speakers and attendees. To attend, a ticket request form must be filled out by March 9. If selected to attend, a nonrefundable admission fee to secure a seat is $5 for NSU students and $25 for non-NSU students.

For more information, contact Boucher at To learn more about TEDxNSU and to access the ticket request from, visit

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