What's the big idea? Ten speakers to participate in ND Thinks Big

Author: Brittany Collins

ND Thinks Big

ND Thinks Big, a student-organized event modeled after TED talks and Harvard Thinks Big, will take place at 7 p.m. March 22 (Thursday) in the Jordan Auditorium of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

Sponsored by student forum The Hub and the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, the event features 10 speakers from the Notre Dame faculty and administration, who will each deliver a 10-minute talk about their research and current work within their respective fields.

The speakers, nine professors and one administrator, were chosen by the students specifically for their work.

“The editors of The Hub got together and picked the different speakers to invite,” says Paul Baranay, co-chair of ND Thinks Big. “We knew we wanted someone from each of the five colleges and one from the administration; we knew we wanted older and younger people who are experienced and people who are up-and-coming.”

Baranay says faculty members were excited about participating. “Ultimately everyone was very positive about participating in the event. I think that speaks to how accessible and enthusiastic professors are when working with students.

“We are very excited about all of our 10 speakers,” Baranay says. “However, I’m personally looking forward to physics professor Peter Garnavich speaking about his research into dark matter, management professor Corey Angst discussing the use of tablet devices like the iPad in the classroom, biological sciences professor Jessica Hellmann inquiring into how we can adapt to global climate change, and vice president for University Relations Lou Nanni reflecting on how our past can help us define our future.”

A reception will follow the talks for the speakers and attendees to mingle and discuss the ideas presented. The event will be recorded and made available online at The Hub, Baranay says, so students can post their thoughts and reactions and keep the discussion going.

This is the first event of its kind organized by students, and Baranay hopes the interest it generates will keep it going in the future. “That’s going to be up to future students,” he says. “I really hope they’ll continue it next year.”

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Tickets will become available at 9 p.m. March 20 (Tuesday) at the LaFortune Student Center ticket office. Special guest Mike Collins, the voice of Notre Dame stadium, will host the event. For more information, visit thehub.nd.edu.

Speakers and their subjects include:

  • Sebastian Rosato, “A Foreign Policy for America”
  • Prashant Kamat, “Solar Energy Beyond the Hype”
  • Aaron Striegel, “How Gaming Technology will Bring a Renaissance in Rehabilitation”
  • Aimee Buccellato, “Sustainable Design: It’s Everyone’s Business”
  • Jessica Hellmann, “Adapting Nature to Climate Change: What We Can Do and What We Should Do”
  • Lou Nanni, “To Dream Big, Remember Where You Come From”
  • Michael Mogavero, “Planning and Continuous Improvement in Higher Education”
  • James McKenna, “Mother-Infant Cosleeping with Breast-feeding: Biological No-Brainer or Prosecutable Offense?”
  • Peter Garnavich, “The Revolution Continues”
  • Corey Angst, “Tablet Computers in the Classroom”

Launched in 2010, The Hub is a student-run website designed to promote discussion and engagement on major issues around campus and the world. It is sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement.

Contact: Paul Baranay, co-chair, pbaranay@nd.edu