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TEDxLehighU discusses 'Bridging Gaps'

TEDxLehighU, a university TEDx event, was held on Tuesday October 20 in Packard Lab 101. The fourth annual event was organized by students in the Alpha Omega Epsilon engineering sorority and the Delta Upsilon fraternity.

Members of these Greek organizations, most of whom are engineering students, volunteered last semester to organize the event. Eight speakers were cosen through a highly selective application process. The speakers discussed "Bridging Gaps" through an interdisciplinary lens. This theme aimed to prove that all ideas or actions are in some way connected to one another.

The idea for TEDxLehighU occurred in an oversized lawn chair on the University Center front lawn. Hyo Won Park ’16 had completed her final exams that morning and decided to watch a TED talk. This form of entertainment and relaxation had been a favorite of hers since high school.

“I thought, ‘Why not do it here?’” she said.

This year, the student organizers purposely selected speakers with different interests. A mix of doctoral and undergraduate students, professors and entrepreneurs were chosen from interviews.

Joshua Pepper, Lehigh assistant professor of physics, led a discussion on bridging the known and unknown about the stars above us. Lehigh junior Karen Konkoly will discuss lucid dreaming. Other topics included the development of Broughal Middle School as a "community school," emotions in the workplace and micro-aggressions in society.

Park said the talks were designed to first intrigue engineering or natural science students, but messages like expanding collective knowledge, social justice and welfare resonate with anyone. The student organizers also orchestrated each talk to be different from but complementary to the last.

“It’s a two-hour ‘story’ that the audience will follow,” Park said prior to the event.

The event was sponsored by Lehigh’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, the Office of the Dean of Students and the Residence Hall Association.

-Gabby Romano '16 is a student writer with the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science.

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