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Home | Tag Archives: tedx el paso

Tag Archives: tedx el paso

PLFSOM Medical Student Abhishek Dharan shares his research vision at TEDx El Paso

For Abhishek Dharan, a member of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s class of 2022, research on blindness and visual impairment isn’t just a project. It’s personal.

His grandfather suffered from cataracts, and regaining his vision improved his quality of life.

Dharan touched on his journey through this research and his family’s role in it during his Oct. 12 TEDx El Paso presentation, “The Vision of Our Family is a Vision for Our Community.”

TEDx events feature short talks, demonstrations and performances designed to foster learning and inspiration, and provoke conversations on a variety of topics.

In 2018, Dharan received a $10,000 grant from the TEDx El Paso Innovators Program – the first grant offered through the program – to investigate how many El Pasoans are blind or visually impaired and how their conditions can be treated by modern medicine.

Dharan’s goal is to raise awareness about preventable blindness and motivate community leaders to invest in ways for El Pasoans to recover their sight.

“One of the things I’m going to ask you all to do between now and TEDx next year is to go out and think: What do you appreciate? What is it that you really enjoy when you’re in daily life?” Dharan told the audience. “If you were to lose your vision today, and it were to come back in a year, what would be the first thing you’d want to see?

“What I’m doing for my research project as a medical student here is, I’m asking that question,” he said. “I’m going to these communities in El Paso, working with local doctors, and I’m getting them to have their patients say what they find interesting once they get their vision back from surgery.”

Dharan is the second person from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso to present at a TEDx El Paso event.

Peter Rotwein, M.D., vice president for research at TTUHSC El Paso, spoke at TEDx El Paso in 2018. Dr. Rotwein’s presentation, “Through the Looking Glass: Reading Our Future from Our Genetic Past,” is available on YouTube at this link.

Author:  – TTUHSC El Paso

EPISD Students to Present at TEDxElPaso

Six EPISD students will share the stage with local and national leaders to share their ideas and present their platforms during the 2018 TEDxElPaso conference Saturday at the El Paso Museum of Art.

The six students, who earned their spot on the conference by presenting their ideas before a panel earlier in year, will share the stage with well-known speakers like Congressman Will Hurd, advertising executive Leslie Wingo and muralist Cimi Alvarado.

Representing EPISD at TEDxElPaso are:

  • Abigail Carrasco, Dia Ganjegunte and Lilly Luttrell from Brown Middle School;
  • Alyssa Quesada from Burges High School; and
  • Mia Milliorn and Kiyoshi Ito from Coldwell Elementary School.

The students are part of EPISD’s emerging TED Ed Clubs, which help prepare students to become public speakers and present ideas in the style of the world-famous TED Talks.

“Our objective for TEDxElPaso is not only to contribute to the global clearinghouse of free knowledge, but also to inspire you to make a dent in the universe and leave your own unique footprint,” said curator David Michael Jerome, who called the event a day that is devoted to ideas.

On Saturday, EPISD students will speak on a range of topics that include the role bees play in our environment, the importance of listening to children and happiness in our lives.

“My TED Talk is going to be about how I feel about the disadvantages and advantages about me personally being the middle child,” Coldwell’s Kiyoshi Ito said. “So it’s sort of like I’m interviewing myself and I’m telling it to other people. I learned how to be a more fluent speaker.  Being in TED Ed has also helped me to get over stage fright and be able to talk in front of a big crowd.”

The TED Talk Club also taught his classmate, Mia, how to project her voice and become a better speaker.

“I’m going to be talking about the voice of the young and how politicians or even your mom or dad should be listening to what you have to say because we are part of this world for a reason,” said Mia, also a Connections student at Coldwell.

Her talk required some research and practice to ensure her voice could be heard.

“When I got into it I didn’t really know much about it so I watched the news and I looked at websites,” she said. “I was really shy and I would talk like really whispery. To practice, they had the class stand in the back of the room so I had to be louder and show my voice because my TED Talk is about my voice.”

Mia and Kiyoshi’s teacher Christina Mier has seen how much the students have grown from participating in TED Talks.

“The program provides them a platform. These students have stories to tell and it is amazing how they really do want their voices to be heard,” Mier said. “Programs like TED Talks develop their presentation literacy and gives them that opportunity to just organize themselves, improve their skills and really just put it all on the stage.”

EPISD started the TED Ed Clubs in 2016. In 2017, 13 campuses from elementary through high school participated in the program with the eventual goal of establishing a club at every EPISD campus.

“The TED Ed Club curriculum matches components of the Active Learning Framework and New Tech,” said Esther Hughes, a facilitator for innovation who also coordinates the clubs. “It inspires members to work together to discuss and celebrate creative ideas.”

Last May, the students in the clubs presented their TED-style talk in front of a crowd and were rated on a variety of categories including delivery, idea, enthusiasm and audience awareness by representatives from TEDxElPaso. The top presentations were selected for this week’s talks.

“We are so grateful to TEDxElPaso for this partnership,” Hughes said. “Students who are selected to present are given coaching opportunities on how to present their talks.  They are exposed to influential civic- and business-minded leaders in the community who, in turn, always express what amazing students we have here at EPISD.”

Story by Reneé de Santos  |  Photos by Leonel Monroy – EPISD
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