We’re back with the second installment of our Summer Series! You might have caught up with a few of our members that were featured in our first post, but if you missed it you can catch up here. To provide more of a background to our organization, here are three updates from TEDxOhioStateU members Therese, Alex, and Liv.

Therese Rajasekera (Community Engagement) is the Director of Community Engagement for TEDxOhioStateUniversity. She has been working hard over the summer to detail the TEDEd club and unite TEDxOhioStateU with local public high schools. Below are a few paragraphs she wrote about her work.

As Ohio State’s branch of TED, TEDxOhioStateUniversity takes our mission of spreading ideas in the Buckeye community seriously. While TED is an extremely powerful tool for disseminating ideas, we also acknowledge that there often seem to be barriers of exclusivity which inhibit certain groups or individuals from having access to this community of knowledge. We believe that TED should exist as a constantly evolving, tangible community of human capital accessible to all curious minds.

It is in this spirit that the Community Engagement committee was established; we aim to help break down this barrier of exclusivity by cultivating ideas from our local community that may not otherwise be heard. The committee’s main endeavor thus far has been TED-Ed Club at East High School. About two years ago we had the opportunity to partner with OSU’s Department of Social Change (also known as Buckeye Civic Engagement Connection) to establish this program.
The program allows high school students to work with OSU mentors in a discussion-based setting: guiding students through the process of writing their own TED-style talk, which they then present at the end of the academic year. Weekly discussion topics range from the impact of implicit biases and adolescent mental health to forming persuasive arguments and how to present. By giving students the opportunity to delve into their passions and share them with peers, we hope to academically and socially empower them.
Here you can read an interview with our program coordinator at East High, Mrs. Ankney. We are making many changes to the program curriculum and expanding to another high school. As such, we are currently in search of OSU mentors with a genuine interest in building mentoring relationships and who are at least sophomores (graduate students, faculty/staff, and alumni are also welcome). If you would like to learn more about being a mentor, please email tedx.osu.edu or apply directly through BCEC.

Alex Cochran (Content) has been working in Columbus and doing research on campus! He writes:

Job-wise I'm in my third year at TrashCab, LLC and I'm also currently working as an undergrad researcher for Dr. Niezgoda in the MSE department. TrashCab is a small local recycling company dedicated to providing (mostly) recycling services to small businesses and apartment complexes (the city doesn't service these places, so we contract with them so they can still make sure their things are recycled at their convenience). Basically I drive a trash truck all over the city throughout the week with some of my roommates, so it's pretty entertaining. My work as an undergrad researcher this summer has involved a lot of computer programming. We're trying to solve a set of problems dealing with how and why a relatively new type of welding is so strong. It's about as boring as it sounds, but the problem solving I've been doing has really sharpened my programming skills. Eventually I hope to be able to write cool Android and iOS apps with my coding experience, so reading all of these scientific papers and lists of equations will hopefully pay off someday.
When I'm not working, I try to keep things interesting. Some of my experiences this summer include a trip to the Outer Banks with my girlfriend and her family and two trips to Maryland (where my girlfriend lives) to see an Orioles game at Camden Yards (of course dressed in full Cleveland Indians gear) and shows at Merriweather Post Pavilion. I've gotten to see bands/artists like Cold War Kids, Joywave, Halsey, and Flume. These trips were possible due to the fact that I also bought my first car this summer! Fortunately, being a Columbus native, there wasn't much need for me to get my own vehicle when using one of my family's cars was always an option, but wanting to travel more and live on campus meant I needed my own set of wheels. I named her (the car) Daisy.

Other fun I've had this summer includes trips down to the farm I used to work at (where one of my best friends/roommates still works) for camping and American fun, as well as trying to get into the gym as much as possible while campus is dead.

Liv Birdsall (Communications) has been driving to other states to see what shapes they use to mark highways on their road signs.

This summer has been my first summer away from home and it has been busier and more exciting than I could’ve hoped for! I’ve been interning for Two Dollar Radio, aka the coolest book people in Ohio. Their blog, Radio Waves, shares great music recommendations and their books are stunning, shimmery, original, and HOT. Check em out here: twodollarradio.com. I’ve also been searching around Columbus, thrifting, and finding new eateries (check out Whole World in Clintonville!!)

This summer I’ve also been fortunate enough to make a few scattered roadtrips with my closest friends. One of these drives was a week long to Louisville, Kentucky for Forecastle Music Festival and then to Topsail Beach with my boyfriend. Most of the performers on the lineup were musicians that we hadn’t seen before, which was refreshing. I got to see bands that I’ve been hoping to see for a while now (I’m looking at you Grouplove and Alabama Shakes) and it was great to check them off my list! Bully, a band that you ought to listen to if you haven’t yet, was my favorite performance of the weekend. Louisville surprised me as a city that had more to offer than I expected and I highly recommend a trip there if you’re a fan of beautiful sunsets and a dope arts district. We left from the festival to meet other friends at the beach. The week included Oreos, body surfing, Pokemon Go, shell collecting, and a shark spotting.