Theresa Soya: Bringing TEDx to TCNJ

“I think it’s important to take initiative.  I think that’s the theme of my years here.”

Theresa Soya, a junior, communication studies major at The College of New Jersey, has put a tremendous amount of time and energy into taking initiative on campus.  With the help of eight committee chairs, three faculty advisors and over 60 student volunteers, Soya has facilitated a TEDx event at TCNJ.

“They have been absolutely instrumental and so great throughout this whole process, and as an added bonus, we’ve all become good friends because of it,” says Soya when asked about her committee.

TEDx events have become increasingly popular local forums for information sharing.  During TEDx events, people with various professional backgrounds and life experiences can share information on the same platform.  These talks are intended to spark conversation.

On Sunday, May 3 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., TCNJ will host its first ever TEDx event in Mayo Concert Hall with guest speakers from the TCNJ community.

Teachers, students and other guests will come together, share knowledge and foster a unique community of learning while generating conversation.  Speakers include TCNJ alumni and people involved in the Trenton community.  Topics being covered will include mental health, higher education and music.

“It’s going to be something very special,” says Soya.  She believes that the campus’s overall proactive and positive nature makes it the perfect environment for a TEDx event.

Soya originally got the inspiration to bring TEDx to TCNJ after interning with TEDx doing social media and marketing.  “Being at a TED talk was one of the best days of my life,” she says.

Planning the event has been a very intense, on-going project since November 2014.  Soya met with committee chairs each week and constantly kept in contact with guest speakers.

In addition to dedicating most of her time this semester to the planning of the TEDx event, Soya is co-president of women’s club basketball, co-president of TCNJ UNIFY, on the executive board of AΦΩ and is pursuing minors in both psychology and professional writing.

According to Soya, TEDx TCNJ aims to inspire people with a vision of how they can go forth and change the world.  “I want to surprise people.  I want them to come in with an expectation and be blown away.  I want to surprise people with what we can do and what they can do going forward.”