• Addy Zugaro

it's almost time to bloom

Updated: Feb 21

Happy Friday and happy February readers!

It is officially the month of our main event! On February 26th, we will have 13 amazing speakers and performers making their mark on the TEDxOhioStateUniversity stage in Mershon Auditorium. If you missed our last blog post, here is a brief recap of what we hope to achieve with this year’s theme, Bloom:

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected us for almost two years now, we wanted to highlight that we are still able to rise above the negativity that has plagued our lives for so long. We wanted to showcase the ways in which we can stay positive in light of all of the challenges we have faced, and we hope to do this through the spreading of ideas. Also, aside from the pandemic, Bloom represents the ways in which we can all grow in our everyday lives. Every day opens us up to endless possibilities, and they allow us to grow and thrive in different ways. We hope that our lineup of speakers will be able to open the door to some of these possibilities, and share their ideas in a way that will inspire all of you to bloom.

And on that note, I would like to formally introduce our speakers!!!

John Low

Dr. Low is a citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, associate professor at the Ohio State University, and Director of the Newark Earthworks Center.

Scott Gaudi

An astronomer by training, Scott works with NASA, industry, the astronomical community, and the public to help develop the next generation of great space observatories designed to answer some of humanity’s most profound questions.

Elena Foulis

Elena Foulis is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She is an oral historian who is committed to amplifying the voices of the Latine Community in Ohio.

Chinese Folk Music Orchestra

Chinese culture has evolved and been passed down for thousands of years, and folk music is one of the most important representations of Chinese culture. Chinese Folk Music Orchestra are using music to express Chinese culture and belief, with traditional Chinese instruments combined with some western instruments.

Bart Elmore

Bart first became passionate about environmental justice while trekking and paddling through the woods and streams of North Georgia. He soon discovered he wanted to be an educator when teaching in Savannah, Georgia, and then went north to study environmental history, which he now teaches with an eye towards finding lessons from the past that can create a more ecologically sustainable future.

Lauren Pond

Lauren Pond is a documentary photographer whose work focuses on religion in the United States. She uses her camera to share the nuanced stories of communities across the country and to illustrate how religion intersects with everyday human experience.

Morgan Podraza

Introducing educator and pop-culture scholar Morgan Podraza. From comics and movies to toys and memes, her work explores how we play with media and how those experiences shape our relationships with ourselves and one another.

Umit Ozkan

Umit Ozkan teaches Chemical Engineering at Ohio State. Her research focuses on catalysis and electrocatalysis, with applications relevant to energy, environment and sustainability.

Iman Ansari

Iman Ansari’s work focuses on the historical and contemporary relationship between architecture and medicine. He is interested in how various things—gases, fluids, particles, humans, and non-humans—move and interact with and within buildings, and how architecture can provide a better framework to rethink and reimagine those interactions.

Richard Giang

The way that Richard best communicates is through a shared meal. Being born of Vietnamese immigrant refugee parents, he seeks to share in his food culture and others in creative and innovative ways with the goal of producing a level of interconnectedness and understanding throughout the community.

Meta Brown

Meta Brown is a member of OSU’s economics department faculty; her previous posts include the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the University of Wisconsin, and Stony Brook University. Meta’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation and has appeared in the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, and OSU’s own Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Carter Philips

Carter Phillips, an OSU alum, has argued more cases in private practice before the US Supreme Court than anyone in history. He clerked for Chief Justice Warren Burger, argued his first Supreme Court case in January 1982 and has argued a total of 88 times before the Court.

Douglas Crews

Dr. Crews is a biological anthropologist specializing in evolutionary biology and human adaptability, as illustrated by senescence, frailty, stressor responses, and allostatic load within and across ecological and sociocultural settings, including Samoa, Japan, Kuwait, Poland, and the United States. His publications include Human Senescence: Evolutionary and Biocultural Perspectives (Cambridge, 2003); Genes, geographic ancestry, and disease susceptibility: applications of evolutionary medicine to clinical settings” (Evolutionary Medicine and Health: New Perspectives, 2008); “Senescence” (Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Sciences, 2019).

You will not want to miss these amazing speakers and our performance group, who will take the stage in just a few weeks. Tickets for the event are on sale now, and can be purchased from the link below! In-person student tickets are $15 and for everyone else they are $20. We will also have a virtual livestream option this year, and tickets are $10 for virtual attendance.


We also have some other exciting news! TEDxOhioStateUniversity recently began a new podcast, ConnecTED, and we already have two episodes out. The Outreach Committee has introduced this as a more accessible way for others to hear the amazing ideas that are present within the Columbus community. Give them a listen on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

Episode 1: Josh and Irene interview Area III Superintendent of Columbus City Schools and published author Dr. Sandy Womack to learn how the history of education shaped the current schools being provided to our nation's youth.

Episode 2: Allie and Lindsay from our Outreach Committee talk with Luke Howard, founder of The Bee Collective. They discuss the role the organization plays in supporting the population of pollinators, and talk about future plans to increase sustainable pollination habitats in our very own Columbus, Ohio.

And with that, we hope you’ll find a way to bloom this year, whether it be through listening to some new podcasts or trying something new, and we hope to see you at Mershon Auditorium on February 26th at 12pm! As always, thanks for reading :)




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