Honors Program Students Take the Lead at TEDxGeorgiaTech
TED is in organization created in 1984 as a space for people interested in technology, entertainment, and design to come together and share their ideas. It grew into a series of yearly conferences with “TED Talks” on a myriad of different topics from fashion to politics. Independently run TEDx events allow local organizers to share ideas in their community.
Georgia Tech is home to one of the TEDx groups, TEDxGeorgiaTech, run by Executive Director Kaitlyn Crutcher. Kaitlyn is a second-year Computer Science major from the Atlanta area and a member of the Georgia Tech Honors Program (HP). Additional members of the HP also serve on the leadership team, including Austin Coley as the Director of Community, Fisayo Aromolaran as the lead on the Programming Team, and Melody Lee on the Production Team. Their most recent event on November 10, 2023 included another member of the Honors Program, Marie Wibisana, as a featured speaker. The fall salon was focused on the theme “Evolve,” which encouraged speakers to engage with the ideas of continual change, adaptation, and progress.
The event was led by Executive Director Kaitlyn Crutcher. In addition to her leadership of TEDxGeorgiaTech, Kaitlyn serves as a business analyst in the Georgia Tech Consult Your Community (CYC), which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing pro-bono consulting for small businesses. For the national taskforce of CYC, she is the Conference Innovation Lead, where her team is working with Emory to create a March 2024 conference bringing all the CYC chapters together. Kaitlyn is also a Research Assistant within the AI-CARING Institute, which is a multi-university collaboration to create technological solutions for people with Mild Cognitive Impairment. She has been very involved with the HP, including serving as a guide at the new student retreat held in August 2023.
HP member Marie Wibisana addressed this year’s theme—Evolve—with her talk “Dear Freshman: You’re Not Alone. A Love Letter to Those Struggling.” You can see her Powerpoint and a video of the event online. Marie is a first year Computational Media major from Jakarta, Indonesia. She shared this about her presentation:
As an international freshman who has never really been to the U.S, I struggle with adapting to an extremely new environment. My presentation was an open love letter to fellow struggling people that they are not alone, that change and adapting to a new environment will be difficult but will mold them into a better version of themselves. My presentation also highlights that there is no singular definition to ‘THE College Experience.’ I drew digital art on my presentation slides, aiming for a conversational storytelling approach. I also sang a childhood Indonesian song with my ukulele at the end of the presentation.
In addition to her involvement with TEDxGeorgiaTech, Marie is a web designer and front-end developer on GT Web Development Club’s project team. Her team is creating the GT Club Explorer Website, a website that will showcase all 500+ clubs at Georgia Tech. She is also involved in the Georgia Tech International Ambassadors (GTIA), an organization that hosts intercultural events (night markets and seminars) and brings a safe space for current and incoming international students. Marie is also a digital artist, vlogger, and YouTube content creator. While she’s only been on campus for one semester, she’s enjoyed attending HP events, including the pumpkin patch visit to Southern Belle Farms.
It’s no surprise that curious, creative, and innovative students such as Austin, Fisayo, Kaitlyn, Marie, and Melody in the HP would be drawn to TEDx. The HP is proud of its strong representation among the team leading TEDxGeorgiaTech! You can follow TEDxGeorgiaTech on Instagram at @tedxgeorgiatech.
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- Created By:Amy D'Unger
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