TEDx speakers share stories of struggle and success

Posted on Mar 7 2019 - 5:50am by Grace Marion

Members of the Ole Miss community spoke about personal struggles and lessons learned at the fourth annual TEDxUniversityofMississippi lecture series.

Senior political science major Jakob Anseman was the only undergraduate student who gave a talk, and he spoke about his experience having Asperger syndrome and the struggles he and his peers face in society today.

Jakob Anseman. Photo by Katherine Butler

“When I was in community college, I hosted a similar forum in which I talked about some of the social and economic struggles,” Anseman said.

Anseman said he is creating an organization called Team of Autistic Campus Organizations (TACO) that he hopes will help autistic adults like himself find sensory friendly environments, match with understanding roommates and receive more support overall.

“I just hope it helps bring awareness and maybe can open up some doors, some opportunities for anybody with autism,” his father Brian Anseman said.

Josie Nicholson, a psychologist specializing in sport performance and member of Ole Miss Athletics’ Health and Sport Performance Staff, told the story of one of her patients who played soccer for the university but found herself battling depression. Using the anecdote, Nicholson encouraged the audience not to base their self-worth on their talents.

Engineering science doctoral student and French national Luc Rébillout spoke about the culture shock he experienced when he first arrived in the U.S., focusing on the difference in measurement systems used here and in his home country.

Luc Rébillout. Photo by Katherine Butler

Rébillout explained the history of the metric and imperial systems to his audience, arguing that the metric system is more effective.

“When you get here, and all of the people use units that you don’t understand (and) that are very hard to translate, you just want to advocate for what’s easier to use,” Rébillout said.

University of Mississippi alumna Jenny Urban spoke about her job as an aviation attorney. Urban described the possible future of biometrics in the airport industry, using iris scanners, fingerprint recognition and facial recognition as examples of things that might make air travel easier for future passengers.

Jenny Urban. Photo by Katherine Butler

Documentary expression graduate student Zaire Love used the stories of African-American women from the South, including Beyoncé, to encourage her audience to do what they believe is right. She used historical references and lines from “Lemonade” in her speech.

Biology professor Glenn Parsons explained possible options for the reduction of shark and fish bycatch, which is when fishermen accidentally catch the wrong species. He introduced the subject by discussing the fear of sharks and its prevalence in Western culture.

The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are independently organized.