Meet Anna Saab: Contributor to the first TEDxWVU

1. Introduce yourself!

Hi everyone! My name's Anna Saab, and I was born and raised in Morgantown, WV. I have two moms—one named Tracie and one named Lyn—and a little sister named Brooke. My sister and I are two years and nine days apart exactly! We have two dogs. The pup is a Jack Russell and Chihuahua mix named after the character Scout from the classic novel "To Kill a Mockingbird". The other dog is named—hold on tight, it's a long one—Stella Josephina Philomena Collesesano Oliverio DeChristofreitas. It's a long story...but, in a nutshell, we're Italian. Unless she's being bad, we simply call her Stella. She's a black and brown brindle Chihuahua mix.

 

 

 

2. Any fun facts? Tell us more about you! 

I don't believe in fun facts. I know that seems boring or cynical, but I just feel like fun facts are often disingenuous or not a sufficient way to define someone. I'll tell you more about myself though! I love the Yankees, photography, reading, and cooking. I worship coffee. I'm passionate about social change, global human rights, and education. When I graduate with my degree in Journalism, and a minor in Women and Gender Studies, I hope to work in communications and marketing for human rights advocacy. 

 

 

 

3. Tell us a little bit about the TEDxWVU series you've been working on. 

The TEDxWVU series is the first TEDx event to happen here on campus! This year's theme is "Hope in a Changing World". We wanted to host an event that would provide a positive platform for discussion of ideas  surrounding the American Dream. After the most recent election, it was evident to us that the changing landscape of the U.S. is impacting everyone—some more than others. Our speakers will be presenting on a range of topics relating to the concept of the American Dream, and all of our speakers are affiliated with Appalachia or West Virginia. 

 

 

4. What made you want to be a part of this organization? 

I wanted to be a part of this organization because I believe in the power of storytelling as a way to unify. My hope is each of us can try to lay down our biases and personal perspectives to look through the someone else's lens. I think sharing perspectives and ideas is the only way to reach any level of unity and understanding. I love connecting with people through our social media, and working with volunteers to design an unforgettable event. My most memorable moment so far has been meeting Emily Calandrelli. She was so excited to have the opportunity to speak, and it was clear just how important it was to her to affect others through her talk. Seeing her excitement made me feel like all the hard work and time we're putting into building this event will yield a huge reward in the end. 

 

 

5. What went into making the lineup of speakers? 

When picking speakers, like Emily Calandrelli, we wanted to choose individuals with powerful messages that relate locally and internationally. We also wanted the speakers to be tied to West Virginia because we want others to understand that this state is so much more than the stereotypes. 

 

 

 

6. If you could attend or request any TedTalk who/what would it be? 

If I could request any TED Talk, I would choose Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's "The Danger of a Single Story". This talk is one of my absolute favorites. I think it's a powerful message that all of us need to hear.

 

 

7. Anything else you'd like to share about yourself?

I don't know that I have any other fun facts. I want to travel to as many countries as I can before I die, but I don't think that makes me particularly fun or unique. I wanted to be a professional surfer when I was a kid? I guess that's kind of unique. Growing up, I loved Bethany Hamilton and had a poster of her on my wall from the book fair. I had the opportunity to try it last summer at the beach, but I chickened-out.