TEDxUniversityofMississippi 2018 speaker lineup

Posted on Feb 2 2018 - 7:57am by Lifestyles Desk

The third annual TEDxUniversityofMississippi will be held on Saturday, Feb. 3 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Gertrude C. Ford Center. These are the speakers who will be presenting prepared TED Talks at the event.

josh horton

Photo courtesy: TEDxUniversityofMississippi

Josh Horton

Josh Horton, a recent graduate of the Ole Miss law school, will speak on the flaws in the current policies of the criminal justice system and offer some solutions based on his own personal experience.

Horton spent much of his life in and out of jail due to his struggle with addiction, and he will provide his unique perspective at tomorrow’s talk.

Like Horton, many individuals who struggle with addiction end up behind bars for much of their lives. He will discuss how the current criminal justice system leads to a perpetual cycle of addiction due to the revolving door on prisons, and how it does not help those people reintegrate into society.

“I have spent time behind bars and buried my friends,” Horton said.

The issues that face the criminal justice system hit close to home, which fuels Horton’s passion to share his ideas and possible solutions for future generations.

– Hayden Benge

leena patel

Photo courtesy: TEDxUniversityofMississippi

Leena Patel

Meet Leena Patel, the lady who is asking you to relive your childhood by bringing your “sandbox to the boardroom.”
Mentored by her grandfather, a direct disciple of Gandhi, Patel has grown up to become an internationally recognized leader in empowerment and education. She created the Global Impact Systems framework as a model for leadership, aiming to inspire and innovate people in business.
In her talk, Patel will explain her concept of “Gamulation” as a way to ignite people’s creativity and productivity at work.
According to her website, Patel believes “Games are the breeding ground of fun, creativity, and innovation. Simulations bring realism and relevance to your play. Together, they will change how you learn, and innovate. To innovate successfully, you have to look outside the lens through which you typically view business challenges- so while the problem we solve will be specific to your industry, the way we approach it may not.”

– Georgia Heathcote

brian foster

Photo courtesy: TEDxUniversityofMississippi

Brian Foster

Ole Miss professor Brian Foster has rooted his upcoming TED Talk in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, inspired by a story he believes is untold, which he is finally ready to share.

As an Ole Miss graduate with a degree in African-American studies, along with a master’s and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina, Foster has always had a passion for asking questions, which led to his focus on racial inequality.

Foster incorporates storytelling, scholarship and sociology focused on black community life in the Mississippi Delta in his most recent research. His upcoming TED Talk will be the preview to the book he is currently writing, which tells of his journey to find story that has shaped his scholarly focus.

Foster describes the talk as “part coming of age story, part cautionary tale, part poem, part call to action that challenges our perspectives, privileges and biases.”

– Lindsay Dawson

emily frith

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Emily Frith

Emily Frith, a Ph.D. student here at Ole Miss, will speak on the concept of creative thinking.
Frith received her bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 2015 from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Following that, she attended Eastern Kentucky University and received her master’s degree in 2016 in physical health education. Frith is currently in her first year as a Ph.D. research student in the school of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management.

Though her current field of study as a Ph.D. student involves the impact of social media on physical activities and behavior, Frith explores the idea of creative thinking, an intricate process of “problem-solving” and “problem-finding” by being not just creative but also creating solutions that are either personally or broadly applicable.

– Adam Dunnells

jacy reese

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Jacy Reese

America has been forged by a slow and steady march to civil rights and moral treatment for all, and TEDx speaker Jacy Reese hopes to extend this quest from humanity to the farm animals in America.

“We’re at the precipice of one of the next great social movements,” Reese said. “Huge positive change is coming to our food system as we toss animal farming into the dustbin of history. We can all play a role. This is a time of unparalleled possibilities, whether you’re looking for a career or a volunteer opportunity.”

Reese is the research director of the Sentience Institute, an effective altruism think-tank focused on “researching the most effective strategies to expand humanity’s moral circle,” and is in the process of writing his first book, titled “The End of Animal Farming.”

“I’m excited to give this talk because my research is on how exactly we can solve (the problems in the food industry). I’ll discuss how food science (such as ‘clean meat,’ real meat grown from animal cells without the food safety and ethical costs of animal slaughter) and policy activism (such as campaigning for corporations to adopt more humane food policies) can help us build a truly humane food system,” Reese said.

– Jax Dallas

janet mccarty

Photo courtesy: TEDxUniversityofMississippi

Janet McCarty

Local business owner and Mississippi native Janet McCarty will be the first speaker in the university’s series of upcoming TEDx Talks.

McCarty was born and raised in Mississippi and earned her business degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. McCarty also attended Ole Miss, where she won various business awards including Best Idea for Mississippi, Best Social Entrepreneurship Idea and, lastly, the grand prize winner of the 2014 Gillespie Business Plan Competition that helped turn her entrepreneurial dreams into a successful reality.

McCarty also won the grand prize of $10,000 in the Advocare Business Plan Competition in 2015. After winning these awards, McCarty went on to follow her dream and created Cotton’s Café, a company that makes all-natural dog treats using local honey and produce. Cotton’s Café dog treats can be found in stores all over the country, including Hollywood Feed and Whole Foods.

McCarty’s talk will not focus on her business success but rather on her mysterious mentor who taught her how to find hope through adversity. After McCarty experienced failure herself, she met a mentor who changed her life forever and pushed her into becoming the successful businesswoman that she is today.

“I want to tell the truth about failure and share the importance of letting other people teach you lessons and how to be open to listen to unlikely mentors,” McCarty said. “There’s a lot of people afraid to fail, and that’s how you learn.”

– Lexi Purvis

jandel crutchfield

Photo courtesy: TEDxUniversityofMIssissippi

Jandel Crutchfield

Jandel Crutchfield will take the TEDxUniversityofMississippi stage to talk about a time that she rallied for conversation and equality in the town of Tupelo a few miles away.

Crutchfield is an assistant professor in the department of social work at the University of Mississippi’s Tupelo campus, and her field has led her to some of the work she’s done in the community.

After the summer of 2016 raised tensions between many communities and police departments across the nation, Crutchfield presented a survey to a community group in Tupelo.

“What we tried to do there was get good-willed people to have conversations about difficult topics like police accountability and tensions between community members and police departments,” she said. “How do people begin to have that conversation?”

During her TED Talk, she will describe the tool that she used that day and will advise the audience to use it.

“I’m from Baton Rouge where one of those tragic events of 2016 occurred, so I felt personally attached,” she said. “The vitriol we see in society just runs the same script so if you aren’t a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem. It’s something I try to practice, and I hope everyone will join me.”

– Devna Bose

Elsie Andre

Lafayette Middle School student Elsie Andre wll also be speaking at the event. See a full profile here.