HSU Students, Staff Stoke Intellectual Curiosity at TEDxHumboldtBay - Humboldt State Now

HSU Students, Staff Stoke Intellectual Curiosity at TEDxHumboldtBay

Ponder the power of yoga in prisons, the globalization of gaming, a call to make data democratic, and more in a series of short talks that promise to expand intellectual horizons.

Five HSU students and one staff member are among the presenters fourth annual TEDxHumboldtBay event on Sunday, May 22, at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and the first of 12 speakers takes the stage at 1 p.m. Tickets are available in advance for $20 online. The conference is expected to sell out.

The theme of this year’s event is “Incite ► Insight.” “To incite is to do something: to stimulate some action or other to be taken. An insight is something you have: an understanding of something, a bright idea about something,” says event curator Laura Montagna.

HSU students and staff will present on the following topics:

Tania Mejia, Communication major
“Mindfulness Behind Bars”
After discovering the power of yoga and its abilities to enhance relaxation and encourage healing and recovery, Tania Mejia studied trauma-sensitive yoga. “I want everyone who wants it to have the opportunity for healing that I’ve found in yoga. Today, I advocate for yoga behind bars and continue to learn how to combine my interests for compassion, mindfulness, and social justice,” says Mejia.

Joseph Michael Chatham, Communication major
“A Global Village Complete With Global Gamers”
Joseph Chatham is a fourth-year student at Humboldt State University majoring in Communication and double minoring in Psychology and Social Advocacy. He loves presenting research and spreading knowledge with anybody he can. He specializes in interpersonal communication and would love to add the opportunity of presenting a TedX talk to his experiences.

Elizabeth Phillips, Communication major
“Sharing the World”
Elizabeth Philips is a social advocate who believes education is a fundamental human right. She is working towards a degree in communication that will help people utilize their voices and become empowered. She truly believes we all have a special power within us; it’s our voice.

Matt Cendejas
“Inspiring for a Better Tommorrow”
Matt Cendejas was born in Arcata. He has an associates degree in Fire Science and attends HSU. He is a volunteer Fire Fighter with Arcata Fire and a volunteer Ski Patroller with Mt. Shasta. He runs a non-profit, Inspire One and is a member of Rotaract. “Inspiration is a powerful emotion that motivates individuals to complete their goals and make a difference. An objective of my talk is to share the legacy of inspiration, because inspiration doesn’t end when a conversation is over. Inspiration is a Legacy that continues to motivate people for years. I would like to inspire my peers to care for the world of tomorrow. Research shows that inspired individuals have a stronger drive to make a positive impact in their community.”

Vanessa Pike-Vritiak, Sociology graduate student
“Give me a God”
In the daytime, Vanessa serves low income families as a Home Visitor for Northcoast Children’s Services. At night, she attends graduate school pursuing her M.A. in Sociology. She plans on directing a nonprofit serving people that have suffered from the cycle of incarceration and need support reintegrating back into the community. Vanessa continuously uses her poetry as a tool to promote social activism, but also to remind herself and others how truly precious life. She is currently creating a full length traveling performance that will reach across the country, growing a community garden filled with more love than her two hands can hold, and finishing her sixth chapbook.

Michael Le, Research Analyst at Humboldt State University
“Do More with Data: Digitize to Democratize”
Michael Le is a research analyst at Humboldt State University, research consultant for The RP Group, and business intelligence consultant for World Class Cheerleading. Outside of his work life, Le is a data junkie with a passion for visual analytics and sharing information. Le will discuss the need to develop a data-informed decision culture by making data accessible and understandable for all audiences.

Speaker biographies and topics are available at tedxhumboldtbay.com. Topics include:

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Long Beach, California, along with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs; the annual TEDGlobal conference is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

For more information visit tedxhumboldtbay.com/.