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Meet Student TEDx Speaker Neha Reddy!

Name: Neha Reddy

Year: Sophomore

Major: Anticipated Anthropology Major, Global Health Minor

Hometown: Portland, OR

Birthday: May 13, 1994


How did you get involved with TEDx here at Northwestern?

Basically I got involved because Nikita Ramanujam, who brought TEDx to NU, is a good friend of mine so she mentioned it one day. I’ve always loved TED talks, and I had an amazing research experience last summer in Ethiopia that I thought really fit with the theme of crossing paths.

What is your speech topic?

My talk draws on narratives from my research, which centered on the cultural perceptions of the practice of female circumcision in the region of Harare. Using different narratives, my talk expands on the idea of using culture as a tool to aid movements of human rights, and basically how nuanced the discourse really is. We often view culture  in opposition to human rights endeavors, but I think this is a major limitation.

How what the process of being one of the 4 students chosen to speak?

The process of applying was just to create a 1 minute video about my talk and to submit a resume. I honestly was so surprised to be selected; I applied on a whim. But the process has been great. Michele Weldon has been so helpful editing draft after draft and proving advice, and Nikita and the entire exec board has kept everything so organized and simple for us speakers.

What was the most challeging part of the whole process?

The hardest part of the process has I guess been making convective efforts to memorize the talk, and really work on getting down the presentation aspect. It still feels so surreal, which isn’t good because Saturday is fast approaching. Definitely feeling a lot of nerves, but I’m super excited as well!

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Jackie Montalvo


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