Ideas: the core of TEDxSDSTATE


Andrea and Beth Mayrose speak about cultural expansion at the first TEDxSDState event last week. TEDxSDState hopes to have a talk every spring to pair with TEDxBrookings events in the fall.

Katherine Clayton Managing Editor

The TEDxSDSTATE club members at South Dakota State University makes it their mission to spread ideas.

TEDxSDSTATE is the SDSU chapter of the nationally-recognized TED. The club hosted their first event in February 2016.

Shanell Peterson, president of the club and journalism major, believes TEDxSDSTATE offers an opportunity for students to share their ideas with other students, faculty, staff and community members.

“Our specific chapter’s mission is to create a platform for pretty much anyone,” Peterson said. “If somebody has a unique and innovative idea that they want to share with the world, then we’d give them a platform to do so.”

The first TEDxSDSTATE consisted of six speakers, which included students, faculty members and professors. About 75 people attended the event.

According to Amber Letcher, an assistant professor and adviser for the club, the road to creating this club was two years in the making. She had a student, who is now graduated, approach her about wanting to create a TEDx club. The student had several meetings but then passed the club to Peterson.

“It was a core group of students who really took on this leadership,” Letcher said. “Because they were involved in a lot of majors on campus, a lot of clubs on campus, they were very well connected.”

Members of the club are responsible for reviewing applications for speakers, seeing applicants’ speeches and assembling the event as a whole.

“They would have a hand in planning our second TEDxSDTATE event and contributing any idea they might have in terms of what the club can do outside of that event,” Peterson said. “We would really like perspectives and new ideas and students that want to learn and engage with other people.”

The group plans to have an event in the Spring of 2017, but the date has not been chosen yet.

“I think this is a really great club to get involved in right away because it does encompass so many different majors,” Letcher said.

This event is not to be confused with TEDxBROOKINGS, Peterson said.

“TEDxBROOKINGS is the community chapter of TED, and we work with each other as opposed to against each other so we’re not like enemies by any means,” she said. “Our sole purpose is to enhance one another.”