TEDxUF Club Meeting: Partnering with Teach For America

In this week's TEDxUF club meeting on Jan. 16, we teamed up with Teach For America to provoke ideas on educational opportunity, student motivation and discrimination in schools. For those who would like to ponder further over the questions and videos, and for those who could not make it to the meeting, here is what we discussed:

Our first talk was Alice Goffman's “How we’re priming some kids for college – and others for prison,” where she discusses from firsthand observation how teenagers of African-American and Latino backgrounds are “funneled” down the path to prison.

Then, we went to discussion:

What role does opportunity and education play into these two paths?

How can we keep students motivated despite the obstacles?

Do you think equal opportunities exist?

In what ways does discrimination exist at UF?


For our next TED Talk, we watched Anindya Kundu’s “The boost students need to overcome obstacles,” which illuminates how students who face personal, social and institutional challenges can defy expectations.

For our discussion, we shared perspectives on the following:

Why is it so hard to ask for help?

What can individuals do to fix these problems?


We hope to see you at our next meeting on Jan. 30 at 6:30, where we will be collaborating with Vox Graphis! Stay connected with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates and inspirational content throughout the day.

If you are interested in applying for Teach For America, the next deadline is on Jan. 26! If you are looking to contact someone to find out more about Teach for America, reach out to Brittany Fining at Brittany.fining@teachforamerica.org or Aaron Bos-Lun at aaron.bos-lun@teachforamerica.org.

A special thanks goes to our curator Mina Robinson for leading the discussion, as well as Teach For America for being a part of this event!

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TEDxUF Club Meeting: The Science of Creativity

This week's meeting, led by Miriam Grant and Royce Abela, dove into the idea of creativity, including the neuroscience behind it and how collaborating with others can enhance creative potential.

Starting off, we watched Charles Limb's TEDx Talk that looks explores what happens in the brain upon improvisation of music:

After, we created improvisational artwork in partners, experiencing firsthand what can happen during the collaborative process of creativity. We even created our very own TEDxUF Club Gallery:


Then, we discussed our experience:

How is creating art by yourself different from creating art with a partner?

How did you find yourself communicating and working with your partner throughout the creation of the piece?

What are the most important components that foster a creative environment? What are the least?


We hope to see you at our next meeting! Stay connected with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for updates on our next meeting date, as well as inspirational content throughout the day.

Meet Our Creative Director: Victoria Gerson

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This year’s TEDxUF creative director is the wonderfully creative Victoria Gerson, a senior from Miami in UF’s graphic design program. Let’s find out more about her!

Q: How did you become the TEDxUF creative director?

A: “I kind of stumbled upon it. In my sophomore year, the TEDxUF curator posted on Facebook that she was looking for a designer. I wanted to get more involved at UF, since I didn’t really do anything my freshman year, so I applied and she chose me. She was the previous year’s designer, which was great because she taught me everything she did the year before. Then, I was a designer again the next year. This year, my third year in TEDxUF, I wanted to advance in my role, so I applied to be creative director.”

Q: What does the creative team do?

A: “We mainly focus on branding and designing for the theme. For the day of the event, that incudes T-shirts, stickers, programs, badges, the slides that appear behind the speakers during their talks – anything you can actually see and touch. That’s something I love about the creative team – that you can see with your eyes the work we do and it’s tangible. We also do a lot of brainstorming and work with the marketing team and other teams to bring ideas to life.”

Q: What kind of experience has TEDxUF given you?

A: “It’s definitely one of the largest events I’ve designed for, so I feel like it’s given me good experience with real life design. School projects are usually for imaginary clients and they don’t go out into the real world, but this is for something that’s actually happening. Also, it’s been a great experience to work with such a big team. Each team within the larger TEDxUF team is focused on something different, and we work within and between all of them. It gets us out of our team bubbles, and it’s given me experience with working with different kinds of people that I don’t typically work alongside, such as those on the logistics team. I’ve gotten to learn more than just what the creative team does.”

Q: How did you become passionate about design?

A: “I’ve been into art my whole life, and when I got to middle school, I got really into photography. For high school, I applied to an art magnet high school in Miami called DASH. Since I was already really digital from my photography experience I knew I wanted to focus on the graphic design major they had. I studied graphic design starting in tenth grade, and then my high school pushed me into going to an art school for college. UF was the only university I applied to, but when I visited the design studio here, I was like, ‘This is it. I’m coming here.’ And I’ve become more excited about design ever since.”

Q: What does TEDxUF mean to you?

A: “Well, during my sophomore and junior year, I was designing for both student government and TEDxUF. And for my senior year, I decided I had to pick one to continue involvement with, and I chose TEDxUF without hesitation. I’m truly passionate about TED and I stand behind its purpose. It’s about spreading knowledge throughout the world, and with TEDx, that involves bringing TED directly to campuses and communities to share great ideas locally. TED is just people wanting to share their ideas with others and it’s very genuine. That’s something I can definitely stand behind.”



Q: Describe yourself in 3 words.

A: “Tenacious, passionate and loud.”

Q: Something a lot of people don’t know about you?

A: “I’m Brazilian and I speak Portuguese.”

Q: Book you’re currently reading?

A: “’Design: The Invention of Desire’ by Jessica Helfand”

Q: Dream job?

A: “If I could be anything in the world, I would be an ‘International Bad Design Fixer.’”

Q: Who’s your role model?

A: “My parents.”

Q: Favorite spot on campus?

A: “The graphic design studio. It’s my second home.”

Stay tuned for more interviews, and keep your ears pealed for the TEDxUF theme reveal, coming soon.

To get more involved with TEDxUF, come to our next TEDxUF Club meeting on Nov. 7 at 6:30 in Stuzin 101.

Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


TEDxUF Club Meeting: Uniting With Gatorship


In this week's meeting, TEDxUF partnered with Gatorship to spark discussions on diversity and social justice. For those who would like to ponder further over the questions and videos, and for those who could not make it to the meeting, here is what we discussed:

What makes it so difficult to speak up?

When is it easier/harder to speak up?

Do you find yourself waiting for others to say something first?

What would your day look like if you gave up speaking?

What could you gain personally from speaking out?

What steps can we take to push ourselves to speak up?

Is it realistic for everyone to come out of their closet?

How may different identities make it easier/harder to come out?

How does it feel to have someone open up to you?

In what ways do we hinder people from opening up?

We hope to see you at our next meeting on Nov. 7 at 6:30! Stay connected with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for updates and inspirational content throughout the day.

A special thanks goes to Vick Baker and the Gatorship team for putting on this thought-provoking discussion!


Meet This Year’s TEDxUF Curator: Mina Robinson


This year, the tenth anniversary of TEDxUF, we’re lucky to have Mina Robinson, a senior advertising major from Orlando, as the TEDxUF curator. Let’s get to know her better!

Q: How did you initially get involved with TEDxUF?

A: “When I came to UF and heard about TEDxUF, I instantly gravitated toward it and wanted to get involved. I had a friend during my freshman year who invited me to a TEDxUF club meeting, and I loved it so much that I stayed later. The team members who were there asked my friend and I if we wanted to be on the finance team, and I said yes, despite having no interest in numbers whatsoever. I loved the idea of TEDxUF and wanted to get my foot in the door.”

Q: How did you become curator?

A: “After being on the finance team for my freshman year, I spoke up about wanting to become marketing director for my sophomore year. And for my junior year, I stepped up as creative director. Ever since my sophomore year, I knew I wanted to be curator one day. It was always my goal. And now, here we are — it’s a dream come true!”

Q: What do you think is the best part of TEDxUF?

A: “I see TEDxUF as a platform for Gainesville community members to share ideas and break out of their bubbles. We all tend to stay pretty limited in our day-to-day activities, and for students, they’re usually pretty focused on the happenings of their respective colleges. But with TEDxUF, we get speakers from all over, whether it’s a talk on fine arts or a talk on medicine. No matter what TEDxUF event you go to, you’re guaranteed to be exposed to something new. I love how you can watch a TED Talk on something you know nothing about, and you can walk away feeling like an expert.”

Q: What’s your favorite TED Talk?

A: “Right now, it’s 'Every piece of art you've ever wanted to see — up close and searchable' by Amit Sood. Google created a software to make museums accessible to people regardless of where they are, which is so cool. I love museums. In 2016, I went to 24 of them!”

Q: What are your aspirations for TEDxUF 2018, the tenth year of TEDxUF?

“I want to improve the attendee experience for the event as a whole. I want the people who attend them to really network with the community and with each other. Right now, we’re working on ways for that to happen and so that it feels organic and natural. We want you to leave with new ideas, new connections and new steps to move forward.”


Q: Favorite spot on campus?

A: “Plaza of the Americas – I love bringing a blanket and sitting on the grass.”

Q: Book you’re currently reading?

A: “’Murder on the Orient Express’ by Agatha Christie.”

Q: Favorite podcast at the moment?

A: “'A Piece of Work,' which explores contemporary art at the MoMA in New York.”

Q: Dream job?

A: “Digital Strategist.”

Q: Role Model?

A: “Sophia Amoruso. I’m all about girl power.”

And that’s a wrap! Stay tuned for more blog posts, and keep your ears pealed for the TEDxUF theme reveal, coming soon.

To get more involved with TEDxUF, come to our next TEDxUF Club meeting on Oct.17 at 6:30 in Stuzin 101.

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


First TEDxUF Club Meeting Recap: Personality

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Thank you to everyone who came out to our first TEDxUF club meeting! We had a great time descending into intellectual, thought-provoking discussions with all of you. For those want to ponder further and for those who could not make it to the meeting, here were our topics of discussion:

Why do you think some people may view either introverts or extroverts more favorably?

How can we change the negative perception of introverted people being viewed as “antisocial?”

How large of a role do you think upbringing plays into your personality?

Why do you think extroverted women engage in the conjugal act so much more than men?

Do you believe it is productive to label people solely as either extroverts or introverts?

How much do you think people can change their personality?

Do you think that if we never changed as humans we would become unstable?

What makes it so difficult to imagine the future?

Do you believe that our personalities predetermine what our future is going to be?

Do you think people are resistant to change? If so, why?

Is time the only thing that shapes our future values?

“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished.” Is there ever a time in our lives where we are finished?


We hope to see you at our next meeting on Oct. 17 at 6:30! Stay connected with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates and inspirational content throughout the day.


The First TEDxUF Club Meeting Is Upon Us


You may be asking, “What exactly does TEDxUF club do?” Well, every other week, we meet to watch and discuss TED Talks that explore a topic, whether it be the role of creativity in schools, the definition of happiness, the implications of artificial intelligence or anything that relates to the technology, entertainment, design, science and global issues.

Come out to this year’s first TEDxUF Club meeting on Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. in Stuzin 101, led by TEDxUF team members Danielle Villar and Jose Camargo. It will be focused on personality and will be featuring “Who Are You Really? The Puzzle of Personality” by Brian Little.

If you’re a curious person who seeks a deeper understanding of the world, finds inspiration in discussing big ideas and believes in the power of knowledge, check us out! All students are welcome.

(P.S. If you’re interested in getting more involved with TEDxUF, this is an excellent place to start.)

We look forward to seeing you all next Tuesday! Meetings thereafter will be every other Tuesday, same room, same time. If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us.

TEDxUF Welcomes Art with Inaugural Exhibition

TEDxUF will be presenting its eighth annual conference at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, April 1st. Showcasing a wide variety of speakers, innovators and artists, TEDxUF 2017 will unpack the elastic concept of transparency.

Though the event has historically communicated through talks and labs, this year’s TEDx production incorporates the dynamic element of art to serve as a new, creative pathway to spread ideas. With a successful fall TEDxUF art exhibit in December that inspired and engaged its audience, the participating artists are eager to showcase their work at the official event this Saturday in the black box theatre.

Kelsi Quicksall, a participating artist discusses the importance of incorporating art at TEDxUF. “The arts are major societal and cultural influencers in our world. Artists, especially those who I’ve met through TEDxUF, are curious beings who have unique ideas to share and channel these ideas and themes through their work,” she explains. “This year’s theme of Transparency begs for visual art representation.”

With over a dozen artists using varied mediums such as interactive sculptures, installations and paintings, each interpretation of transparency is unique.

“[There is such] a diverse range of art involved. These artists have so thoughtfully interpreted the theme of transparency in ways unique to their experiences and inspirations. I can’t wait to see all their work in the same room and open the doors to attendees to experience,” says Brittany Sgaliardich, Creative Director of TEDxUF.

Quicksall’s interactive piece, The Wire People Project, has been an ongoing social and visual experiment over the last 6 months. This ongoing collaboration requires subject to draw his or her face as they look in the mirror without lifting their drawing tool and using a drawing shield to hide their progress.

“The integration of oneself as the subject, the addition of the drawing shield, and the rule of continuous line pose a challenge to any artist… Individual artist self consciousness becomes transparent, inevitably triggered and revealed through this blind exercise,” she explains.

Quicksall, as an art education senior, was even able to bring The Wire People project into the classroom with her students. ”I even had my 4th grade classes bridge the gap between 2D and 3D, turning their own blind contour self portraits into wire sculptures,” she explains.


Rachel Lewis is also experimenting with the concept of transparency using visual art and poetry. Her interactive balancing puzzle will on top of a rug that resembles flesh and includes an accompanying poem that injects the piece with a linguistic element of dynamic interpretation.

“I was thinking about the skin and how it’s so difficult for people to get along even though our differences are only skin deep.. My piece is about seeking balance with each other and nature,” Lewis explains.

Tickets will be available for pick up at The Phillips Center at the University of Florida March 25th- 31st. Please bring a valid form of ID.

Brought to you by GainesvilleScene and GatorRentals

By: Ariana Aragon

Photos in the piece are by:
GainesvilleScene photographer, Serena Carton
Rachel Lewis (participant)

TEDxUF Group Art Exhibition

This December, TEDxUF will present its first art exhibition with the goal of sharing ideas worth spreading through art.

While verbal communication is often the most common way to exchange ideas, it is only one method in which a message is conveyed. Up until now, TEDxUF has solely focused on sharing ideas through spoken word and labs, but this year we go one step further. TEDxUF Art Exhibition will celebrate art as one more creative pathway that leads to the exchange of meaningful ideas.

We have collaborated with passionately curious individuals throughout the Gainesville community to speak through a diverse range of art forms, including visual art, music, dance, performance and film. On Dec. 2, 2016, this collective of artists will present original pieces at the Superfun! Gallery to illustrate art’s capacity for thoughtful communication.

All works represent each artist’s interpretation of this year’s TEDxUF theme, Transparent. Featured art will later be on display throughout the Curtis M. Phillip’s Center during our annual conference on April 1, 2017.

The TEDxUF Art Exhibition invites curiosity and challenges our perceptions as we explore unique interpretations of transparency.

Join us to continue sharing ideas worth spreading – through art.
Selected Artists:

Jennifer Adler
Alexandra Arielle
Donny Barth
Juana V. Diaz
Alyssa Dulay
Charles Ely
Ning Gao
Sofia Stella Hanabergh
Andrew E. Jordan
Kristina Kanaan
Kerol Kaskaviqi
Megan Kean
Erwin Laiho
Helen Lehrer
Rachael Lewis
Clara Lazarre
Ilyusha Mann
Marcela Mulholland
Kelsi Quicksall
Amanda Mishael Ruiz
Saint Tellah
Justin Tompkins
Andrea Ward

Contact for further inquiries:
TEDxUF Creative Director, Brittany Sgaliardich: brittsgal@ufl.edu

TEDxUF Group Art Exhibition:
Dec. 2 at Superfun Gallery
7 pm – 11 pm
2117 NW 6th St, Gainesville FL 32609

TEDxUF Club Presents: Metamorphosis of Self

Do you think you're quiet? Silly? Bold? Will you stay this way throughout your life? Or will your personality change over time? 

Join us November 3rd to explore the transformative concept of who we are as human beings and the continuous evolution of our personalities over time during our first panel event. We will feature perspectives from sexuality, mindfulness and personality psychology... All in the hope of causing you to think a little deeper about why you are the person that you are. 

Ticket registration will be Oct. 17.