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Uncovering the ideas of tomorrow

TEDxNCState 2023 is just around the corner, and we are so excited for you to see what’s in store. We’ve brought together a unique and inspiring group of speakers, with a schedule full of engaging events and performances. Read on for more information about Speakers.

TEDxNCState 2023



Shima Hosseininasab

Shima Hosseininasab is a Ph.D. Candidate in Public History at NC State University. She holds a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Tehran. Her doctoral research focuses on monuments, architecture, and community engagement in shaping historical meaning through preservation and re-use. In her talk, she will discuss the treatment of the controversial built heritage in our urban memoryscapes. Currently, Shima is an instructor of World History at NC State University. When she is not pursuing her passion for history and architecture, Shima loves to travel and play foosball.

The Future of Past Monuments


Jessie Fahay

Jessie is the embodiment of her two passions: theater and business. Having obtained both an MBA and MFA, she makes an impact in the worlds of performing arts and social justice as an author, touring actor, public speaker, world traveler, and theater producer. She is an NYC destination manager and travel guide so listen in as she takes us on a tour of how we can each have our own Ripple Effect.

We're Missing Out! The Arts Are Our Superpower

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Terry Vaughan

Terry Vaughan is a former Royal Marines Commando who educates corporate groups in mindset, strategy, and body language for personal safety. In addition, he delivers presentations across the country on the topics of leadership, teamwork, and emotional intelligence. He was a competitor on the History Channel's "Top Shot," has worked as a television host for the BBC, and is the author of “Not With My Daughter! A Dad's Guide to Screening Dates and Boyfriends.

How to Not Die - Making Identifying Dangerous People Your Superpower

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Dr. Richard J. Spontak is a Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Alumni Distinguished Graduate and Undergraduate Professor at NC State University. In 1992, he accepted a faculty position at NC State, where he supervises the Macromolecular Materials & Morphology Group. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed journal papers and over 35 scholarly works as book chapters and invited monographs, and his work has been featured on 32 journal covers and cited over 15,000 times. His primary research relates to the morphology/property development of nanostructured polymers, polymer nanocomposites and coatings, electron microscopy, and stimuli-responsive soft materials. Spontak is a highly acclaimed educator and academic mentor, having received the Board of Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and has served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist and delegate to the Faculty Senate and Faculty Assembly.

Dr. Richard Spontak

Overcoming Antimicrobial Resistance and Preventing the Next Pandemic


I will talk about why we need to prioritize physical health and mental health to achieve our goals. I’ll focus on sleep and mental health. I am a first year PhD student in statistics. I’m an international student. My research is about using statistical methodologies and models to study how our brain functions in terms of focus, attention, memory, and emotional regulation. I find that a lot of people don’t realize how important health is to their work and life and thus they are doing things that do harm to their health. If they are aware of the role of health in their performance in work and study, goal achieving, and pursuing their dreams, they will pay more attention to their health and even change some of their habits and behavior such as sleep, exercise. My hobby is shooting scenic drone films, skateboarding, and latte art. 

Wei Zhao

Work Less by Working Smart

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With a fierce determination to amplify unheard voices and uplift untold stories, Alandya Simone Warren, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, is a powerful advocate for change and preserving history. She wields her skills in storytelling and research to explore the intersection of media and Black history. Through her experience working at the Smithsonian-affiliated Greensboro History Museum, where she hosted and produced an episode for their podcast "History Notes," Alandya has honed a unique perspective that is both passionate and informative. Her advocacy has also been shaped by her time as a Data and Analytics Intern for Publicis Groupe and as a Content Creation Intern for Lark Skin Co, which has given her a well-rounded perspective and a drive to make an impact. As a junior at NC State University majoring in Communication with a concentration in Media and pursuing minors in Journalism and Political Science, Alandya is determined to make her mark by inspiring, understanding, and communicating with others, particularly in the context of history and media.

Alandya Warren

Say It Right: The Power of Properly Pronouncing Black Names

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Native to Cary, NC, Dr. Marshall Brain II is the Director of the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program here at NCSU. He is best known as the founder of, an award-winning website that offers objective, easy-to-understand explanations of how the world around us works. As a renowned public speaker, he frequently appears on radio and TV programs nationwide, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, GMA, and CNN, among others. He is additionally the author of more than a dozen books on a wide range of topics. His TEDx talk will draw inspiration from his most recent text: “The Doomsday Book: The Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Threats”. From this book, he explains how humanity faces a gigantic threat from the many effects that climate change is having on the planet. In addition to discussing global warming’s drastic impact on our environment and way of life, Brain leaves the audience to ponder: Is there anything we can do?

Marshall Brain

The Paradox of Climate Change


Deja Perkins

Recognized as a North Carolina STEM Leader by Governor Roy Cooper, a graduate of North Carolina State University's Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation Biology Master of Science program, and a second-year doctoral student at North Carolina State University Center for Geospatial Analytics, Deja Perkins uses citizen science to detect environmental data injustice and advocate for people to explore nature in their neighborhoods. She co-created #BlackBirdersWeek to increase awareness about Black birders, who face unique challenges and dangers when engaging in outdoor activities. She uses her platform @Naturallywild__  to showcase nature in urban environments and take the public on neighborhood nature adventures. She will share her knowledge and experience starting a movement and help people understand how to make a place for themselves when they’re told they do not belong.

If You Don't Have a Seat, Make Your Own Table

We are so thankful for our sponsors!
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321 Coffee is a coffee shop and roaster built on inclusion. Based in Raleigh, NC, 321 currently employs over 30 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

CEO Lindsay Wrege spoke at TEDxNCState 2021. Find her talk here or visit 321 Coffee online!
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