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The Daily Tar Heel

TedxUNC speakers to talk common threads on diverse topics

The 15 speakers and performers for the upcoming TEDxUNC conference were announced Wednesday — and they are involved in a wide array of fields and topics.

Senior Stirling Little, who pitched the topic of gender harassment in video games, was the winner of the student speaker contest. He said he was excited to hear about being selected.

“As far as personal career development and promoting an issue that I care about, this is kind of the best possible thing that could have happened to me,” he said.

The lineup includes many UNC and local talents, along with more well-known speakers and performers, like folk-singer Abigail Washburn and CEO of Matter Ventures Corey Ford.

Mackenzie Thomas, co-director of TEDxUNC, said the process for selecting speakers involved a lot of collaboration and effort.

“We have our organizing committee of a little over 20 students, and we were constantly throwing out ideas and names,” she said.

“We ended up with this lineup that we couldn’t be happier with.”

Included on the list is Jane Thrailkill, associate professor in the department of English and comparative literature.

“It will be fun giving a speech to a more general population, not just simply scholars or students in a class,” Thrailkill said. “I will relish being able to talk to such a diverse group of people in a new environment.”

“When we invite (the speakers), we give them a booklet of what we were envisioning for the theme,” she said. “We work with them to help shape their talks to mesh nicely together.”

A local band of UNC students, Morning Brigade, will be performing at the event. Sophomore and band member Nathan Spain said he appreciates the opportunity.

“We are excited to be a part of such a well-established event,” he said.

The speakers will also have a dinner on Feb. 9, the day of the actual event, which students can sign up for on a first come, first served basis. Tickets for the dinner will be available Jan. 25 on the TEDxUNC website.

“It will be cool for people to have a small, discussion-based atmosphere after the conference,” Myrick said.

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