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Alumni Give the Talks of their Lives at TEDxSBU

Burton rocks gives his talk 1
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth McCourt ’11
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth McCourt ’11

Seven alumni came back to the Brook on Friday, November 6, to give the talks of their lives in front of a captive audience of fellow alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends during the third annual TEDxSBU event.

The alumni speakers came from varying academic backgrounds and postgraduate experiences – with talk topics ranging from the power of word choice and labels, to printmaking and education in India, to the discovery of an innovative new way to deliver vaccinations, to the beauty of the world of mathematics.
Many of the talks touched upon overcoming personal struggles and global challenges, reflecting this year’s TEDxSBU theme – “The Master Pieces.”
Here’s just a sample of some of the quotable moments from the talks:
“Life is a boundless, spinning wonder Game Space that grows and evolves with each moment of humanity’s consciousness, ever changing with each shared option and choice within time.” – Marc Anthony Rodriguez ‘05, “Gamification of Life: A Journey from SBU to Silicon Valley and Everything In-Between”
“What if, in the future… your vaccine is delivered to you by a drone?… What if, from now on, all vaccines were going to be band aids? Could it be, that it’s this simple? No biohazardous waste; no refrigeration; you could put it on yourself.” – Katarzyna Sawicka ’14, ’05, ’14, “Immunomatrix: A Novel Vaccine Delivery Paradigm”
“You don’t need to do any math to look at this and say ‘hey, that’s really cool.’ And I think that’s really important, because math – math is important. Math is exciting. Math is a huge, vast universe of its own. And what you see in school is usually just a tiny, tiny fraction of what’s possible… There are so many rich and beautiful things that are possible in the world of mathematics.” – Nicholas Valente ’11, ‘14, “Polytopia – Discovering the Beauty of Higher Dimensions Through 3D Printing” 
“The secret that you hold or the belief that you hold is so personal to you… I encourage you to go out, find someone to connect with – and share part of yourself.” – Elizabeth McCourt ’11, “Why You Should Spill Your Secrets”
“You choose your own labels every day. The label you’re wearing now doesn’t need to be the one you wear tomorrow. You’re here; you’re alive. Control your inner voice and choose your own label.” – Debra Alfarone via @stonybrooku, “How the Labels We Choose to Describe Ourselves Can Directly Impact Our Success” 
“I feel so proud and grateful that I was able to bring wood cut as an expressive medium over to their school, the curriculum and these students. But most important, these students now have meaningful, productive, enriched lives… It’s a lifelong relationship, students and teachers. But what these students have done has been most inspiring and amazing.” – Marcia Neblett ‘98, “Against the Grain: Printmaking in India” 
Burton Rocks Gives his Talk“Each and every one of you has a wonderful story to be told – and I hope that each of you, through the QI sheet, is able to tell your story to the world, to spread those intangibles, to spread the seeds of these intangibles – and one day, to grow a beautiful forest amongst the trees of life.” – Burton Rocks ‘94, “Quantifying Life’s Intangibles: The UPA/UPAt Metric” 
Click here to read the TEDxSBU chatter on Twitter.

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