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TEDxUWLaCrosse 2013: "Turning Points"

What children need: Melani Fay

Melani Fay shares the societal turning point of technology — from the video games to Internet — and how she sees these devices changing children and families. More children come to school today unable to pay attention, solve problems, get along or actively listen, she says. But, when she asks kids, typically only about a third say they have supper at night with their families with no media turned on. She wonders how kids will learn life skills without any structured family time or personal interaction at home.

"Technology is a gift. You can access information and talk to people, but technology also divides us," she explains. "It has divided the family, I believe. Not long ago, when there was no technology, families were stuck playing with each other - and that was a good thing.";She challenges families to put down the devices they are holding, and hold each other instead. "Look each other in the eye and have meaningful conversations," she advises.

Fay is an Elementary School Counselor.

Digital storytelling -- changing people, perceptions, and lives: Jim Jorstad

In today's society, we have the tools to be connected anywhere at any time. The scene is repeated almost every day. People will stand in line with their cell phones, to make a call to someone just a few feet away. Remarkable. We may believe we are connected with technology, but in many ways we becoming more disconnected socially. This prevents us from finding and telling those deep personal stories, or as Jim Jorstad, says "We don't dive deep to find the emotional stories right in front of us."

Jim Jorstad, an award-winning journalist and filmmaker, researches how people can use social media and digital storytelling to connect with people, and the world. He has been quoted as "documenting history in real time." Through his work, he has found ways to help us break through our societal disconnection by crafting inspirational and emotional digital stories and sharing them worldwide. The digital stories Jorstad has authored through CNN iReporting, have been seen by nearly 1 million viewers. Jim was selected for the CNN iReport Spirit award for his efforts. Jorstad is Director of Academic Technologies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Listening to the body: Bee Lo

Natural Healing Through NAET, A New Concept To Health and Disease Prevention. Dr. Bee Lo, a naturopathic doctor, explains the importance of learning to listen to your body. "I was surprised to learn that so many people come to my office and are out of tune with their own body. They suffer from common illnesses that are so easy to avoid and treat."

Symptoms like back pain, allergies and migraines are the body's way of telling the mind that something is wrong. Yet, people are trained to associate symptoms with drugs. Taking a drug only tells the body to stop the communication of the problem while the issue continues on below the surface. Only when the cause is eliminated, will the symptom go away, explains Lo. Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET), a form of alternative medicine, looks to the cause of the symptom to treat it. He encourages all to pay attention to their body, find the cause of the pain and aim to heal the root of the problem.

Unmasking masculinity - helping boys become connected men: Ryan McKelley

Dr. Ryan McKelley, shared an early experiment from the 13th century where infants were denied social interaction. The nature of the study was to find out what language would naturally develop without influence from a caregiver. However, the study failed because all of the infants died.

Study after study has shown that social isolation is a risk factor for development of disease. It highlights the importance of social connection for mental and physical health, yet the stereotype is that men are less capable of emotional connection than women, notes McKelley. McKelley suggests otherwise. Studies show when men's physiological responses to emotional stimuli are measured, their internal experience is similar to that of women.

McKelley wants men to do away with the mask. Sometimes emotional restriction is necessary, but it doesn't need to be the default mode, he says. He challenges men to eliminate phrases like "man up" or "stop acting like a girl." They should understand that opening up and being vulnerable is courageous. Taking small risks to open up will give them a broader experience of all of their emotions and allow them to make deeper connections.

Lessons from my wolf pack: Dawn Rouse

Dr. Rouse has learned a lot from infants and young children. For one, she learned that adult rules don't always match children's internal rhythms regarding time, space and play. When she began teaching four year olds early in her career, she created rules like keeping hands to oneself, no toys from home, no guns or violent play. But the children regularly piled up playfully on each other like a pack of wolf pups. One child smuggled a toy tiger from home in his underwear. The final epiphany that her rules didn't make sense was when she witnessed a group of boys engaged in building guns in a rich and collaborative way. When she walked up to the boys, they froze and told her they were building snow blowers - not guns - out of the toy blocks to avoid getting in trouble for engaging in the forbidden play.

The boy's lies in order to sustain their play led Rouse to wonder about the validity of her rules. The boys were not asking her to ban guns, but to give them adult help in mediating their understanding of the world. She needed to develop rules that the children needed, not rules that were convenient for her. These children taught her about trust and respect for the group, she says.

"My wolf packs demanded that I make decisions that weren't just convenient for me, or aligned with my adult sense of the world. They each demanded, in their own way, complete commitment to the needs of the individuals within the group," she says. Dr. Rouse is UWL assistant professor of Early Childhood Education.

Checkmate! Dewayne C. Wrencher

UWL student Dewayne Wrencher invited his audience to a mental game of chess. Wrencher's spoken word piece focused on self-realizations he had one day as a college student. On this particular day, Wrencher decided not to speak to gain a heightened awareness of him and how others perceive him.

Wrencher hopes his words inspired others to do a self-check and realize their true intentions or character. Perhaps such a deep and real reflection will inspire them to do something they had never considered, he says. "There are too many ways one can get caught off track and become someone else to please someone else," explains Wrencher.

TEDxUWLaCrosse 2015:What Makes Us Pause

"It Could Have Been Me" by Awareness Through Performance

 

As performed by UWL Students Kalon Bell, Alivia Jackson, Jasmine Tatum, Kierra Cowan, and Ruthann Aitch

In this powerful spoken word piece, the ATP members explore the personal and societal implications of the killing of unarmed black men and women.

"Sunburns and Dieting: Analogies to Help People Understand Oppression and the Work Needed to Fight It" by Ashleigh Williams & Lisa Weston

We need to do more to learn about oppression, diversity, and inclusiveness. Pause. Did you cringe a little?

Is it because you are tired of hearing the same sort of information about these topics without ever really feeling a connection to their importance? When we take a moment to find other things in our daily lives that help us relate to inclusiveness as a priority, it helps us start to grasp the passion that some have for righting the wrongs and fighting injustice. While we may never be able to fully understand what systemic oppression feels like to another, we can still deepen our basic understanding by pulling from emotions we do experience.

""Beyond the 22" by Donleigh Gaunky

Veteran suicides have been in the headlines over the last few years. The full context regarding the issue has not, and in order to effectively alleviate this issue, we must start delving into the complexities. Not doing so will only make solving this issue more difficult, and will take us longer to save lives.

During this TEDx talk, Donleigh will share some of his personal experiences as veteran and provide context for commonly cited statistics about veteran suicide.

"Don't Believe Everything You Think: What the Myth of Learning Styles Teaches Us about the Importance of Critical Self-Reflection" by Dr. Tesia Marshik

The belief in learning styles is so widespread and prominent to the point it is considered to be common sense. Few people ever think to challenge this belief, which has been deeply ingrained in our educational system. Teachers are routinely told that, in order to be effective educators, they must identify and cater to individual students' learning styles, and it is estimate that around 90% of students believe that they have a specific learning style but, research suggests that learning styles don't actually exist!

"Great Blue Heron" by Grayson Bush

In a personal and moving spoken word piece, Grayson relates his own stress, struggle, and love for his family to the beauty of the natural world.

Fatletes, Health, and Our BMI Obsession: A Cultural Discussion of Branding Fat as The Enemy

The TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon Series presented Fatletes, Health, and Our BMI Obsession: A Cultural Discussion of Branding Fat as The Enemy  at the UW-La Crosse Institute for Campus Excellence, Murphy Library, on Thursday, April 21, from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. The event opened with a presentation and group discussion facilitated by Dr. Marie Moeller, Associate Professor - Department of English.

At a TEDx salon, attendees watch TED Talks, listen to speakers, and have discussions about the talks they witnessed. Salons re-engage the audience in the presentation model through the critical element of lively discussions, allowing attendees to actively participate in the event and shape the conversation.

Fat is a culturally-loaded word—we reference it in terms of amounts of food, leverage it as an insult, worry about it as a state of being, chastise it as a moral failure, medicalize it under the guise of health, and discuss it in broad strokes as a crisis and a high priority for erasure. Primarily, then, fat is culturally-articulated and understood as synonymous with bad and unhealthy—this understanding, however, encourages humans to collapse understandings of health and wellness with appearance-based body assessment.

Dr. Marie Moeller describes the salon, “This session responds to and challenges the way we understand fat—instead of being a visual marker of health, this talk reframes understandings of the way fat is culturally-treated, medicalized, shamed, hidden, and oppressed by our varying governing institutions—political, educational, medical, legal, juridical, and many others. Let’s understand, in other words, the complexity that is fat.”

About Dr. Marie Moeller MarieMoeller_BW

As a scholar, Dr. Moeller studies connections between technical communication, social justice, NPOs, medical rhetorics, and identity construction.

As an advocate, Dr. Moeller is committed to having all her work make a difference—through being critical of the language institutions employ to shape/ frame/act upon human life, by publishing research that calls on teachers and writers to pay attention to and change the way such institutions use technical language as a tool of power and privilege, and by being an active member of her community by volunteering her time as a writer of grants for area NPOs.

As a teacher, Dr. Moeller is driven to create spaces wherein students can engage with the complexities of writing both academically and non-academically. With a focus on advocacy, much of the work her students do in the classrooms is actually in partnership with NPOs in the greater La Crosse, WI area. Moeller teaches courses such as Grant Writing, Technical Writing, Introduction to Professional Writing, Feminist Rhetorics, Introduction to Rhetoric and Writing, and has mentored over 45 student internships over the past 6 years.

Glutton for Punishment: The Environmental Costs of Western Diets

La Crosse, Wis. — The TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon Series, presented Glutton for Punishment: The Environmental Costs of Western Diets at the UW-La Crosse Institute for Campus Excellence, Murphy Library, on Tuesday, March 8, from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. The event opened with a presentation and group discussion facilitated by Dr. Adam Driscoll, assistant professor - Department of Sociology.

At a TEDx salon, attendees watch TED Talks, listen to speakers, and have discussions about the talks they witnessed. Salons re-engage the audience in the presentation model through the critical element of lively discussions, allowing attendees to actively participate in the event and shape the conversation.

Dr. Driscoll summarizes his presentation, “This salon explores the nature of the global food system and how current agricultural and food industry practices are unsustainable in both an ecological and a distributive sense.” The salon will also include TED videos by Tristram Stuart and Dan Barber. Driscoll continues, “Themes that will be explored include the amount of food being wasted by our current system, the ecological footprint associated with Western diets, issues of food justice, and problems with agricultural illiteracy. We will finish with a discussion of possible alternative models to the current food system that exist at both the local and global levels. We will also explore how we as individuals can help foster environmentally sustainable food systems that provide healthy, affordable food for all”

About Dr. Adam Driscoll-Dr. Adam Driscoll

Dr. Adam Driscoll is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He received his Master’s degree in sociology from East Carolina University and his Ph.D. in sociology at North Carolina State University. His areas of expertise include environmental sociology, the sociology of food and agriculture, and effective online pedagogy. His research focuses on the environmental impacts of industrial agriculture, trying to better understand the social dynamics that drive the industrialization of agriculture and the ecological consequences of those changes. Other research projects have examined the effectiveness of the online learning environment, ways to improve that teaching environment, and gender bias in student evaluations of instruction. The classes he teaches at UWL include Environmental Sociology, Environmental Justice, and Technology in Society. When not teaching or conducting research, Adam can be found rock climbing, playing guitar, or brewing his own beer.

Inaugural TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon Series’s First discussion “Let's Talk about Anti-Asian Racism -- For Once”

On Tuesday, November 17 from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Join the TEDxUWLaCrosse Community for our Inaugural Salon Series, opening with a presentation and group discussion facilitated by Dr. Roi Kawai, Assistant Professor - Department of Educational Studies, and UW-L student Meng Vang, Student Affairs and Administration, titled 

At a TEDx salon, attendees watch TED Talks, listen to speakers, and have discussions about the talks they witnessed. Salons re-engage the audience in the presentation model through the critical element of lively discussions, allowing attendees to actively participate in the event and shape the conversation.

Dr. Kawai and Vang will begin their salon,“Let's Talk about Anti-Asian Racism -- For Once”, with  the TED talk: “Why I love the Country that Once Betrayed Me” by George Takei. Using the video as a reference, Kawai and Vang will discuss the dangers of and reasons why discussion about racism against Asians is, at best, marginalized, and, at worst, considered non-existent.

Dr. Kawai describes the event,”We will talk about why our public schools and institutions of higher learning often forget or diminish the historical and current struggles of Asian and Asian-American people in America. We will layer these questions particularly in regards to the Hmong population in La Crosse and surrounding areas, illuminating the need for recognition and celebration of diversity amongst Asians and Asian American people. In the process we hope to disrupt notions of the model minority myth, the illusion that Asians and Asian Americans have “made it” in America and how other communities of color should follow suit. We end by discussing how Asians, Asian Americans, and allies can work in solidarity to take collective civic and political action for racial equity.”

About Dr. Roi Kawai

Dr. Roi Kawai

Dr. Roi Kawai is a Japanese-American man born in Madison, WI to immigrant parents. He was raised in a primarily white, middle-class suburb of Chicago, and through his life, has experienced subtle, daily prejudice (being asked, “Are you sorry for Pearl Harbor?” and being told, “Welcome to America!”) and, as a person of color, the consequences of systemic racism against Asians and Asian Americans. For seven years, Dr. Kawai taught American History, language arts, reading, and algebra at a public middle school in Illinois. He also spent three summers teaching classes on political engagement and social change to middle/high school students in Chicago and served as a coach to middle school teachers of diverse students in Boston. He dabbles with writing and performing spoken word poetry, and he spends his weeknights desperately trying to re-create his mother’s Japanese food at home. At UW-L he teaches two education courses, Multicultural Education and School and Society.

About Meng Vang

Meng Vang

Meng Vang earned his B.A. in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Social Justice Studies from the  University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and is currently pursuing his M.S. Ed. in Student Affairs Administration at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.  He is currently working as a graduate assistant for the First Year Research Exposure program in the McNair Scholars Office and as a graduate intern for the Research and Resource Center for Campus Climate.  His areas of interest in research are critical race theory, masculinity and men’s studies, critical Hmong studies, intersectionality, and social theories/movements.

A new season of  TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon Series discussions kicked off with Failure as Feedback: F**king up and Still Sort of Succeeding

If you go —
What: TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon Series: Failure as Feedback: F**king up and Still Sort of Succeeding with Dr. Darci Thoune
Where:  Institute for Campus Excellence, Room 150, Murphy Library, UWL
When:  4-5:30 p.m. Thursday,Oct. 13
Who: All members of the campus and surrounding community are welcome
Admission: Free.

Entering its second season, The TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon Series will kiced off with the presentation of Failure as Feedback: F**king up and Still Sort of Succeeding from 4-5:30 p.m.  Thursday, Oct. 13, at the UW-La Crosse Institute for Campus Excellence, Murphy Library.  The event opened with a presentation and group discussion facilitated by Darci Thoune, associate professor of  English and first-year Writing Program coordinator.

At a TEDx salon, attendees watch TED Talks, listen to speakers, and have discussions about the talks they witnessed. Salons re-engage the audience in the presentation model through the critical element of lively discussions, allowing attendees to actively participate in the event and shape the conversation.

About the presentation

Thoune describes the session, “Failure is an inevitable component of learning. While most of us know this, there seems to be little room for failure, especially at the college level. However, what if we encouraged our students, and each other, to fail a bit more often and to make those failures public? How might discussing failure change and shape our understanding of this essential form of feedback? This TEDx Salon will explore how failure — even f**king up — can enhance the learning experience and lead to unexpected success.”

During this presentation, audience members will watch videos that will encourage them to rethink the concepts of failure and success, being right and wrong, and what it takes to learn from mistakes. This will be an interactive component and the audience will have opportunities to contemplate their own failures and to listen and learn from the failures of others.

About Dr. Darci ThouneDr. Darci Thoune

An overachiever, an occasional failure, and a lifelong learner, Dr. Darci Thoune is an Associate Professor of English and the First-Year Writing Program Coordinator. Her research focuses on instructor feedback on student writing, writing assessment, and writing program administration. In addition to administering UWL’s First-Year Writing Program, she also regularly teaches first-year writing and upper-level writing courses in the English Major’s Rhetoric and Writing Emphasis. When she’s not teaching, thinking about teaching, or talking to others about teaching, she’s probably in the kitchen — a space in which failure can also be a form of success.


Living With, Living After:
On Tragedy and the Meaning We Make In Our Lives

Monday, March 20, 2017
4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m
Institute for Campus Excellence, UWL Room 150, Murphy Library

ABOUT THE SALON
How do we carry difficult experiences like grief, loss, and trauma, forward in our lives? What happens when we consciously choose to “live with” those experiences while also “living after” them? When we reject the clichés of closure and silence, how do we think and write about such experiences in meaningful and honest ways? In this TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon, we will talk about the meaning we make in our lives after experiences of profound suffering. We will look at how the worst moments in our lives make us who we are, and also, how writing can give us resources, including courage and strength, to face those moments. We will look at three affirming perspectives on the relationship between loss and meaning, from TED Talks by Nancy Berns, Andrew Solomon, and the presenter. This Salon will include writing activities designed to help you look creatively at the exceptional challenges that life presents. The audience will have the opportunity to share their own perspectives, experiences, memories, and hopes in a discussion format.

ABOUT JOHN W. EVANS
John W. Evans is the author of three books: Should I Still Wish: A Memoir (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), Young Widower: A Memoir (University of Nebraska Press, 2014), and The Consolations: Poems (Trio House Press, 2014). His books have won prizes including the Peace Corps Writers Book Prize, a ForeWord Reviews Book Prize, the River Teeth Book Prize, and the Trio Award. His work appears in The Missouri Review, Poets & Writers, Slate, Boston Review, ZYZZYVA, The Rumpus, and Best American Essays 2011 (Honorable Mention), as well as two chapbooks. John is currently the Draper Lecturer of Creative Nonfiction at Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He lives in Northern California with his wife and three young sons.



TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon Series - Spring 2017

After: Rape Culture, Feminism and the Limits of Representation

If you go —
What: TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon Series: After: Rape Culture, Feminism and the Limits of Representation With Dr. Kate Parker
Where:  Institute for Campus Excellence, Room 150, Murphy Library, UWL
When:  2 - 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Who: All members of the campus and surrounding community are welcome
Admission: Free.

The TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon Series will presentAfter: Rape Culture, Feminism and the Limits of Representation With Dr. Kate Parker from 2-3:30 p.m.  Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at the UW-La Crosse Institute for Campus Excellence, Murphy Library.  The event opens with a presentation and group discussion facilitated by Dr. Kate Parker, UWL Assistant Professor of English.

At a TEDx salon, attendees watch TED Talks, listen to speakers, and have discussions about the talks they witnessed. Salons re-engage the audience in the presentation model through the critical element of lively discussions, allowing attendees to actively participate in the event and shape the conversation.

About the presentation

One of the most insidious and pernicious myths perpetuated by campus rape culture is that women are not thinking, feeling subjects but in fact merely objects of attraction, fascination, and exploitation. This TEDxSalon, held during Social Justice Week, will explore how inclusive feminism has demanded (and continues to demand) dignity and respect for all persons, how feminist scholarship and pedagogy has worked to combat rape culture in higher education, and how theory can engage practice in the classroom and beyond. As a Salon, we will watch several videos that address the impact of rape in a global context, in relationship to masculinity and rape culture, and as an intersectional phenomenon. Participants will then collaborate on developing possible models to compassionately address gender violence at UW-L.

Participants should be aware that the videos, presentation, and conversation all contain potentially triggering elements. Staff from Counseling and Testing will be on-hand. 

About Dr. Kate Parker

Dr. Kate Parker studies eighteenth-century British and French literature and teaches courses in literature, critical theory, feminism and sexuality studies at UWL. She has also been active in the sexual assault awareness movement since she was 19, as a college student, a SART (sexual assault responder) in the City of St. Louis, a campus sexual assault advocate and now as a member of UWL’s Violence Prevention Committee. Dr. Parker also co-advises the Rise Above Rape Coalition on campus.


 

The third season of  TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon Series discussions kicks off with New Role, New Me?: The Challenge of Identity Transitions

If you go —

What: TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon Series: New Role, New Me?: The Challenge of Identity Transitions with Dr. Dawn Norris
Where:  Institute for Campus Excellence, Room 150, Murphy Library, UWL
When: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Who: All members of the campus and surrounding community are welcome
Admission: Free.

Entering its third season, The TEDxUWLaCrosse Salon Series will kick off with the presentation of New Role, New Me?: The Challenge of Identity Transitions from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.  Tuesday, September 19, at the UW-La Crosse Institute for Campus Excellence, Murphy Library.  The event opens with a presentation and group discussion facilitated by Dr. Dawn Norris, associate professor of Sociology and author of Job Loss, Identity, and Mental Health (Rutgers University Press 2016).

At a TEDx salon, attendees watch TED Talks, listen to speakers, and have discussions about the talks they witnessed. Salons re-engage the audience in the presentation model through the critical element of lively discussions, allowing attendees to actively participate in the event and shape the conversation.

About the presentation

Entering and exiting roles can be challenging.  Even when transitions are positive and exciting, they can be hard on our mental health.  Things such as moving from high school to college, college to the full-time workforce, and starting or ending a romantic relationship all put a strain on our identities.  Identity, however, is more than just a personal matter - it is shaped by factors outside of ourselves.  This salon focuses on identifying these factors and concludes with working toward an “action plan” for a successful transition.    

About Dr. Dawn Norris

Dr. Dawn NorrisDawn R. Norris, Ph.D. is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and a veteran of many, many identity transitions.  She takes both quantitative and qualitative approaches to study the intersections of identity, age, mental health, and work/occupations, with a special focus on identity transitions.  Her new book, Job Loss, Identity, and Mental Health (Rutgers University Press 2016) examines what losing a job means for people’s identities and how that understanding affects their mental health.  Norris has also published in journals such as Symbolic Interaction, Research on Aging, and Teaching Sociology.  She lives in La Crosse with her husband and two cats named after sociologists.


 

TEDXUWLaCrosse STUDENT ORGANIZATION

We are recruiting students to assist us with the recruitment of speakers and other planning projects for the 2016-2017 TEDxUWLaCrosse event, the largest event we've ever planned! For more information on this organization, please e-mail tedx@uwlax.edu and/or follow us on Facebook for regular updates.

For more photos of our event and links to some great TED and TEDx videos please see our Facebook page.

Also, check out our TEDxUWLaCrosse Flickr page for more images.

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