Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

TideTalks to showcase students, based on TED Talks

Inspired by the popular TED Talks, a new student organization TideTalks has formed to find and spread important ideas and messages from UA students.

“Over the past few years, TED Talks has become extremely popular among college students. Although interested in bringing a similar project to our campus since last year, I have been waiting for the right time and team,” David Phelps, a junior majoring in civil engineering and president of TideTalks, said. “TideTalks combines the best elements of the TED project with a student-focused structure and unique publicity outreach, providing us the autonomy to create something truly unique.”

For those unfamiliar, TED Talks is produced by TED, a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED holds conferences and uploads videos of lectures to

“There are about a dozen different TED Talks that have made a significant impact on me, but my two favorites are Sir Ken Robinson’s ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ and Simon Sinek’s ‘How great leaders inspire action,’” Phelps said. “I plan to pursue a career teaching middle school math/science, so the video by Robinson solidified the need for a creative curriculum. Mr. Sinek’s awesome words helped build my desire to identify a clear motivation when establishing a team identity.”

Students interested in getting involved with Tide Talks can attend the first public interest meeting Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. in Ferguson Center Room 312.

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Although currently there are no TideTalks lectures in the works, following this public interesting meeting, TideTalks will begin accepting nominations and the selection process. Any student in their junior year or later is eligible to be nominated to give a TideTalks lecture. Each month, TideTalks will host an event consisting of four student speakers presenting their innovative ideas and then upload a video of one lecture per week.

“There are students across the campus that have come up with amazing ideas and acted upon them. Our objective with TideTalks is to celebrate these innovative thinkers and allow them to spread their message to the community,” Koushik Kasanagottu, a junior majoring in biology and co-director of speaker selection and events for TideTalks, said.

Katerina Pena, a junior majoring in advertisement and vice president of TideTalks, described its origins.

“A group of students were talking about how much they love TED Talks and suggested that there should be something along those lines affiliated with campus,” Pena said. “Eventually after a lot of ideas were thrown around, through the chaos the tag of ‘TideTalks’ emerged.”

Phelps said he hopes TideTalks will utilize the Internet and digital interfaces to celebrate student innovation and provoke all UA students to learn more and create new campus tradition.

“Our generation has been blessed and cursed by widespread access to the Internet. Instead of allowing digital interfaces to continuously numb our relationships, we hope to leverage online videos and forums to celebrate our peers’ thought-provoking lectures and cultivate real-world action,” Phelps said. “In addition to our online presence, TideTalks is intentionally planning lecture events that are exciting, energizing and inspiring for our hundreds of in-person attendees. Students should be excited about establishing a new campus tradition, as well as for the countless new discussions that TideTalks can ignite.”

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