TEDxFurmanU is one of the largest and longest running TEDx events in the Southeastern United States. This year, after a two-year virtual hiatus, TEDxFurmanU is bringing a diverse set of ideas to campus, highlighting speakers who are passionate in their calling, as if it were “Written in the Stars.” The global TED platform began over 34 years ago in California, and sets aside an international goal of delivering “ideas worth spreading.”
This year’s TEDxFurmanU conference, independently organized by a small group of students on campus, aims to give fellow students, staff, and the Greenville community exposure to ideas in the fields of public health, entrepreneurship, humanities, environmental organizations, personal development, and creativity which may guide audiences to look into the stars and find their passions.
Dusty Folwarczny: Folwarczny earned a BFA in Sculpture from Truman State University and is a well-known sculptor in Chicago; her works can be seen at dustyfolwarczny.com. After half a decade of independent contracting and artwork, she co-founded Ink Factory, a visual arts company that works with dozens of Fortune 100 companies.
Rob Wilder: Rob Wilder has been teaching high school science in Spartanburg, South Carolina for 19 years. He serves as the faculty advisor for his school’s Envirothon team, coaches cross-country and track, and serves as a reader for the College Board AP Environmental Science exam. Mr. Wilder uses a hands-on approach to teaching Environmental Science and has been known to cook meals in his solar oven in the school parking lot. Mr. Wilder enjoys the outdoors, where his hobbies include running and beekeeping.
Nate Johson: Nate Johnson is a Furman University Class of 2023 Economics major with a concentration in Philosophy. Nate has always been interested in the topic of human behavior and in a true liberal arts fashion, has also taken an interest in psychology, specifically social psychology. Throughout his Furman career, Nate has given presentations on growth mindsets, utilizing concepts he has learned throughout his coursework. After school, Nate is looking to synthesize his interests and enter the world of mental health technology.
Dr. Shaniece Criss: Dr. Shaniece Criss is an Associate Professor in the Health Sciences Department and Director of the Master of Arts in Advocacy and Equity Studies at Furman University. Dr. Criss also works as a community-engaged qualitative researcher addressing health equity and health communication. She is a founding member of the Big Data for Health Equity Research Collaborative and partners with various institutes and organizations across Furman’s campus including the Institute for the Advancement of Community Health, Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative, Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, and Shucker Leadership Institute. Within the Greenville community she is an active and recognized member including her election on the Travelers Rest City Council and Board of Directors for Prisma Health and South Carolina Hospital Association and recognized with the “Women Vision SC” Award from ETV, as a “ChangeMaker” by Multiplying Good, inducted into the Greenville County Schools Hall of Fame, and received the UNCF Mayors’ Ball Community Award. Earning her Doctorate from Harvard, Master of Public Health from Emory University and undergraduate degree from Oglethorpe University, Dr. Criss is a well versed and educated health professional within the Furman and Greenville communities.