UW Oshkosh connections to TEDxOshkosh 2018 abound - UW Oshkosh Today
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Speakers with significant connections to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will play an integral role in the 2018 TEDxOshkosh event.

The Nov. 10 line-up that takes place at The Grand in Oshkosh, includes 15 thought-provoking topics from diverse and interesting speakers. The speakers were chosen from nearly 100 who submitted ideas. At least a half dozen have ties to UW Oshkosh.

Smiles can change lives

“I’m super excited about TEDxOshkosh…” said Adam BellCorelli, a UWO alum who is on the 2018 roster with his Smile and Give Someone Superpowers.

BellCorelli said he loves storytelling and inspiring people. His talk focuses on our smiles, which he says have emotional, psychological, physiological and spiritual resonance in the world and the power to “change lives.” He intends to relay his experiences as someone who uses a wheelchair.

“I make a choice to put my smile out into the world, and I have experienced wonderful connectedness and joy because of that,” he said. “Life can certainly be rough, and barriers still pop up constantly, so it becomes necessary to connect with others and overcome challenges together.”

BellCorelli, former academic adviser for the UW Oshkosh Honors College and former instructor of UWO’s career classes and free school, was considered a “fixture” around campus. He finished his master’s degree in public administration at UWO and works at Change Management Communications Center in Oshkosh. He continues to be involved in many community boards and committees.

He said after lecturing and running group meetings for years, TEDxOshkosh is a “whole other level of scary and exciting.”

BellCorelli said he has been writing and rewriting his talk since last November and practicing out loud since April. He said records himself reading it and is doing so with fewer and fewer notes.

Rare student speaker

Cassandra Haack, a Wausau native who is a fourth-year student at UW Oshkosh in secondary education-broadfield natural science, is a among the first college students invited to present at a TEDxOshkosh event. Her talk is titled Counteracting Loneliness with Meaningful Mail Art.

“I became part of TEDxOshkosh thanks to an Honors Advanced Composition course taught by Christine Roth here at UW Oshkosh. The whole theme of the course was essentially to learn how writing a TED-style talk is different than other types of writing.”

The class attended the 2017 TEDx event and wrote their own TED-style talks. One of the TEDxOshkosh organizers came to listen to the student talks and he invited Haack to try out for the 2018 event.

“Now here I am, preparing my talk for the real-life red circle!” she said.

Haack will speak about how joining the postal mail art community has helped her—and many others worldwide—to feel less lonely. She said a University of Arizona study suggests that people are three times lonelier than they were 30 years ago.

“If this is the case, how can we work to create meaningful relationships and decrease loneliness?” she said. “Mail is a really cool solution because it allows for people to actually sit down and spend some time writing a personal letter or creating a work of art for someone. When we spend time caring for others, not only do we feel more connected with others, but the recipient feels more connected too.”

Haack, who aspires to be a high school earth science teacher, said swapping mail is catching on with young people. She said besides adults her parent’s age, she is connecting with college students who are searching for ways to feel less lonely.

The 13 additional speakers for the 2018 TEDx event:

  • Sahil Badruddin, Disagreement: An Inescapable Aspect of Pluralism
  • Jerry Benston, Jr., What Difference Does Difference Make?
  • Thom Britton, Science as Spectacle: Bringing Science Back Into the Public Eye
  • Ron (Muqsahkwat) Corn, Jr., Language is the Key to Everything
  • Allen Edge, Weird
  • Misty Gedlinske, The Invisible Letter “B”
  • Gretchen Herrmann ’89, Make it a Beautiful Day: A reflection on living and dying
  • Scott Lesnick, Limited Resources or Unlimited Resourcefulness: Getting More Done
  • Shannon Rawski, #Me Too, #TimesUp, Now What? Rawski teaches in the UW Oshkosh College of Business. She is an assistant professor of management and human resources.
  • Charles Sykes, Navigating a Post-Truth World
  • Jennifer Szydlik, The Cold Hard Truth about School Math. Szydlik teaches in the UW Oshkosh College of Letters and Science (COLS). She is a math professor.
  • Sharon Tehhundfeld, Being a Creativity Detective. Tehhundfeld teaches music business and viola in the UW Oshkosh College of Letters and Science.

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