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TEDxPSU is Blurring the Line.

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

by Jadzia Santiago

This year, TEDxPSU is Blurring the Line.

As children, we are limitless. Our imaginations are boundless, and our wide eyes see the world both for what it is and what it could be. We have visions of ourselves as innovators, inventors, and creators. But as we progress to adulthood, these visions become blurred while something else becomes more defined: lines. These are lines we draw around ourselves as we grow, fences we shepherd our ideas into. We believe that these lines keep us within the bounds of what is correct, sensible, and proper, and by extension, keep us safe. This is only partially true. While these lines do shield us from the unknown, they also shield our eyes from seeing the vast possibilities that lie outside the bounds of convention, tradition, and comfort. The unknown can be intimidating, but it is also where innovation, invention, and creativity are born. By Blurring the Line, we dare to take risks, to foster new ideas, and to give our childhood imaginations space to blossom.

All of our speakers this year have done work in their own lives to blur the lines between the known and unknown.

Adam Douglas hails from Philadelphia, PA, and is currently studying Business Management at Penn State. He is an author and advocate for his community with many passions and hobbies, such as playing the violin.

Andrew Hoff is a 2+2 student from Penn State’s Brandywine campus. Despite switching campuses and the hurdles that come with it, he has carved out his own path to success.

Claire Chi, a junior at the State College Area High School, is currently serving a two-year term as the Junior Student Representative on the Pennsylvania Board of Education. Claire is also the Founder of Dancing Against Hunger.

Emma Blankstein is a first-year student at Brown University, as well as the Founder and Executive Director of the Last Generation Coalition. The Last Generation Coalition is both nonprofit and nonpartisan, and aims to expand access to genocide education and prevention efforts. She is inspired as the last generation to personally know Holocaust survivors.

Dr. John Park, a research professor at Penn State and a research fellow at the United Nations University, is a co-founder of Pillar Foundation International, an organization that focuses on sustainable development issues in various developing countries.

Dr. Kelley Gunther received her P.h.D in Developmental Psychology at Penn State and is currently a postdoctoral associate at Yale University, researching how children interact with the world may affect their risk for anxiety disorders later in life.

Kimberly Stratton, CEO and Founder of Crown and Cross Publishing Co, LLC., is passionate about helping others and changing the world. Her company offers a variety of services, including resume writing assistance and consulting.

Nyandusi Nyachae is a World Campus Coordinator and Instructor within Penn State’s College of Education. He is also an independently certified professional speaker, coach, and trainer through Maxwell Leadership.

Renee Fronhert, a graduate of the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences Scientist-Astronaut Program, is a business leader, engineer, and entrepreneur. She is currently preparing to launch to the edge of space in 2024.

Shaheen Pasha, assistant teaching professor at Penn State, is co-founder and chief education officer of Prison Journalism Project. This national, independent nonprofit publishes and teaches journalism to incarcerated writers.

Together with our speakers, TEDxPSU is knocking down the barriers of fear and uncertainty, creating room for innovation and growth.


and WE ARE Blurring the Line.

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