TEDx hits University, students learn success tips

Success – a word college students hear and think about every day.

So how can students reach the goals that lead to a successful career?

Speakers Phillip Van Hooser, Kayla Barrett and David Gesler visited Murray State Wednesday afternoon to expand on the topic of success and what students can do to attain it. All Murray State alumni, the speakers participated in a global program called TED.

TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design, is a set of conferences with the common slogan “ideas worth spreading.” In the Freed Curd Auditorium, students listened to speakers and watched two video TED talks from across the U.S.

Erika Thomas, senior from Clarksville, Tenn., volunteered to help with the program.

“I think TED talks are fascinating and really bring varying subjects to different regions,” Thomas said. “I’m interested in speech writing so I really wanted to participate.”

Hooser started off the program by explaining the best way for students to make effective choices.

The strategy, which Hooser said he developed in the first six weeks after graduating from Murray State, focused on how students can position themselves in the best way to overcome obstacles to success.

Barrett focused on inner character and the requirement of competence when trying to stand out in the workplace.

“Character is who you are, and who you say you are, without an audience,” she said.

Barrett ended by saying little changes in character and competence can produce big changes for a student’s professional future.

Gesler was the last speaker, bringing in the idea of “hope ninjas” as a way to better the world we live in. He said often, people look up to superheroes because they represent what individuals strive to be. He asked students to become positive influences and be thankful for everything they have.

Patty Parish, director of the Racer Oral Communication Center, said she was talking with Greg Wurth in organizational communications about TED talks and how effective they are in the classroom.

“So we went to the dean, Tim Todd, and asked if we could get TEDx at Murray State,” Parish said.

The “x” next to TED means the event was independently organized, separate from the conference’s national spectrum. The talks will be available online at TED.com.

“I think the information given today can be used across all majors,” Thomas said. “No matter what field you go into, you need to know how to communicate effectively.”


Story by Lexy Gross, Editor-in-Chief