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September 28, 2016

TEDxSVSU draws engaging speakers

George CorserSaginaw Valley State University students have organized a multifaceted event featuring a diverse group of engaging speakers for the second annual TEDxSVSU Friday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. in SVSU’s Curtiss Hall.

Based on the format of the popular TED talks, TEDx events are intended to be “a suite of short, carefully prepared talks, demonstrations and performances that are idea-focused, and cover a wide range of subjects to foster learning, inspiration and wonder – and provoke conversations that matter.” (

SVSU students take an active role in planning the event, selecting speakers and preparing them.

“We will be working with speakers on their rehearsals, and making sure that they stay within specified time limits,” said Brittany Lentz, a communication major from Applegate and one of the student leaders organizing the event.

Featured speakers include SVSU alumni Ben Champagne, who will present on memes, and Marlin Jenkins, who will address the issue of how flippantly people discuss mental health. Brian Thomas, SVSU associate professor of sociology, who runs ultra-marathons, will discuss how that has helped him persevere following the loss of his late wife.

One of the most popular speakers from last year’s TEDxSVSU, Darnell Jackson, a Saginaw County Circuit Court judge, will return to speak on the topic of the legacies people leave and how their activities have an impact upon others who come in contact with them.

The event is sponsored by Covenant HealthCare.  Tickets are $25 per person, which includes light sandwiches, food and refreshments. Attendees also will have an opportunity to explore the virtual reality system Vive.

A full list of speakers, tickets, and more information are available online at