TEDx Event Coming to UIS This March

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Photographs courtesy of Antone Evans & Mason Seggebruch

The University of Illinois Springfield will be hosting a TEDx event at 10 a.m. on March 20, 2021. TEDxUofISpringfield, created by a committee of UIS students, will be the first event of its kind and will be held virtually at the Public Affairs Center with a small audience made up of the ten speakers’ guests.

The event is being directed by Antone Evans and Mason Seggebruch, who are both master’s students at UIS. Evans is a second year computer science student from Nassau, the Bahamas. He obtained his bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Central Arkansas in 2019 and now serves as the student government senator for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Seggebruch is a first year public history student from Morton, Ill. She obtained her bachelor’s in political science and history in 2019 from Eureka College. She also serves as the graduate assistant for the Communication Department here at UIS.

When asked why they decided to direct such an event on the UIS campus, the directors stated, “We aimed to do something different with our time here at UIS. We wanted to impact both the UIS and Springfield community by creating an event where both sectors could share thoughts. Moreover, we believed it would be a great platform to bring both of these  communities together.”

The purpose of such an event bridging the gap between the university and the local community was of great importance when finalizing the decision, and they both made it apparent what to expect: “The student body and general public can expect to be inspired. TEDx allows our speakers a stage to talk about a vast variety of topics. So if you are a huge TED fan or someone who is not as familiar with the stage, you can all tune in expecting topics that are worth sharing and being heard.”

The series is a first for UIS, and with it comes a litany of issues with regard to building the event from scratch. “The process of organizing this event from the ground up has been a rollercoaster ride. However, we started with a plan which was to get a committee together made up of passionate individuals. With the help of our committee, we continue to put out small fires as we develop the first ever TEDxUofISpringfield​ event.” The directors wished to make a point about the event becoming more than just a one-time event at UIS, stating,

“​Our hope is simple: that the event lives on beyond TEDxUofISpringfield ’21. This event and this platform is bigger than any one person or group. Therefore, we hope that after the student body sees the talks, they will be energized and inspired to continue the legacy of  TEDxUofISpringfield in the years to come, and will have the opportunity to have in  person events held here on campus.”

Students can expect to hear more about the event from the university in March, according to the directors. The event will be livestreamed for anyone to see free of cost, and more information will be made available regarding the event, its speakers, and how to attend in the weeks to come.