TEDxLSU returns to illuminate a variety of unique new topics

Now in its seventh year, TEDxLSU has become a brain-expanding experience with around a dozen speakers giving the talks of their lives in 18 minutes or less. Previous years have seen presentations from a jazz disruptor, a fish translator, a digital sculptor, a mosquito whisperer and a now-Nobel Prize-winning gravitational wave researcher.

We take a look at what to expect from a few of this year’s speakers.

Andrea Eastin

She’s the owner of Fair Fit Studio in Baton Rouge, teaching sewing to locals of all skill levels. But more than that, Eastin raises awareness about the environmental impact of mass-produced clothing and how creating your own clothes can be an empowering experience.

Brandon Ballengée

This visual artist and biologist works at LSU’s Museum of Natural Science, researching how the BP oil spill in 2010 impacted fish in the Gulf of Mexico. His art is—not surprisingly—inspired by nature and how the human impact on the environment can lead to developmental issues in certain animal populations.

Lori Latrice Martin

The LSU professor of sociology and African and African-American studies was once a collegiate athlete, and uses that background to study issues of race and class in sports, particularly related to student athletes. Martin is also a published author and has helped document African-American history in Baton Rouge

Clay Tucker

Looking at how hurricanes and storm surges affect tree growth, this LSU Ph.D. student and Baton Rouge native is using the stories in tree rings to shine a light on the past and help predict the future of environmental concerns along the coast.

Nalo Zidan

Originally from the East Coast, Zidan is an LSU student who has quickly gained attention for her activism, art and writing around the queer black experience. She started the nonprofit Blackgirlmasculine to focus on the works of queer, black masculine-identifying women and nonbinary people. The organization and its online presence has found a global audience while hosting successful local events.

See the talks

The 2019 edition of TEDxLSU takes place March 23, 1-5 p.m., at the LSU Union Theater. The event typically sells out, but organizers usually set up a waitlist. Find out more at tedxlsu.com.

This article was originally published in the March 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.