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UHart Students Speak to Worldwide Audience Via TEDx Talk


Posted 11/13/2015
Posted by Sophia Olsen


Four University of Hartford students and eight professors presented their research topics at the University’s first TEDx talk.

Four University of Hartford students and eight professors presented their research topics at the University’s first TEDx talk.

Imagine giving a presentation that is being recorded and shared on YouTube for millions to view. Despite butterflies in the stomach and lack of sleep, four University of Hartford students successfully presented their research topics at the University’s first TEDx talk on October 17. In the process, they learned more about themselves and their areas of interest.

The four student speakers: Liel Asulin ‘17, Hugo Santana ’16, Elizabeth Schorr ‘15, and Puja Bhardwaj ’15 spent numerous hours together with Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Eoin King fine-tuning their speeches. Liel is an international studies and economics major in the Barney School of Business, Hugo is majoring in mechanical engineering at the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture. Elizabeth is double majoring in vocal performance and music education at The Hartt School and Puja is a health science major in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions. Combining the strengths of their various backgrounds, they were able to help each other and improve their talks. Liel and Elizabeth used their performance backgrounds to give advice on how to speak and memorize the presentations, whereas Hugo and Puja helped with the PowerPoint designs that accompanied the speeches. You can watch their presentations here.

“We learned how to collaborate and used each other’s strengths to make the presentations better. I couldn’t have done it without them,” says Hugo.

The idea to organize the TEDx event originated from a desire by two engineering majors, Jonathan Cochrane ‘17 and Allison Cote ‘16, to create a network for students and faculty to share ideas and combine knowledge. This proved to be very successful, as the student speakers received a lot of feedback with new perspectives on their research ideas. As Puja puts it, “That is what research is all about – get it out there for people to question, so you can do more.”

By taking part in the event, the students also learned more about themselves and what they want to do in the future. With encouragement from Professor King to make their speeches simple and personal, the students learned how to differentiate their talks by looking within and relating stories from their own lives.

“It is all about thinking bigger and having the courage to do what you want,” says King. After pushing themselves to think differently, the students now know that they are capable of more than they thought. “I surprised myself by going out of my comfort zone,” says Puja. They all felt a sense of accomplishment and an eagerness to learn more.

“With the experience, I learned more about what I want to do with my life and with my career. It helped me build a stronger resume,” says Hugo.

At the campus TEDx, eight professors also spoke about their research; Carol Padberg from the Hartford Art School, Susan Coleman from the Barney School of Business, Seth Holmes from the College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture, Laura Pence from the College of Arts and Sciences, Mike Wininger from the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, Michael Robinson and Joyce Ashuntantang from Hillyer College, and Karen Cook from The Hartt School. Their presentations also can be seen here.
Four University of Hartford students and eight professors presented their research topics at the University’s first TEDx talk.

Four University of Hartford students and eight professors presented their research topics at the University’s first TEDx talk.