UMD students present ideas to better society at TEDxUMD: Social Changes


By Jamie Kerner

Sophomore communications major Julie Rosenberg addressed attendees at Wednesday night’s TEDxUMD: Social Changes event about how to break down negative stigmas surrounding anxiety.

In her talk titled “Anxiety: Just as normal as your average cold,” Rosenberg told the audience she believes we can improve as a society if we come to see anxiety like a sneeze: a normal human manifestation.

Julie Rosenberg gives a talk about anxiety.

“This is not a choice,” Rosenberg said about people who have anxiety. “Nobody ever decides they want to have anxiety one day or not another.”

Rosenberg was one of three student speakers to present their ideas and personal takes on important societal issues at the event.

Other presenters included junior Sana Shah and sophomore Jina Park, who offered their perspectives on the topics of design thinking and communal empathy.

“Design thinking is a framework that designers use to try and solve problems,” Shah said in her speech titled “Redesigning Thinking.”

“I personally think it can be applicable to any situation and anyone,” she said.

Shah further explained to the audience that society can improve communication by utilizing the method of design thinking and the five steps within this process that work to reframe problems and make communication more thoughtful.

Sana Shah presents her talk about design thinking.

Park, who is the co-president of the University of Maryland chapter of Unsung Heroes, used her talk as a platform to bring attention to the club and the message it is trying to project.

Through her talk, “What does Empathy Mean to Everyone on Campus,” Park talked about the importance of projecting empathy onto others on campus, especially workers at the University, whom she and the club deem as “Unsung Heroes.”

TEDxUMD: Social Changes was held in the Juan Ramon Jimenez room in the Stamp Student Union and organized by University of Maryland club, TEDxUMD. The club, though independently organized, provides community members with experiences similar to ones provided by TED, a nonprofit

Jina Park talks about empathy in society.

organization centered around spreading ideas throughout society.

This was the first event the club hosted that focused solely on student speakers, according to TEDxUMD president, senior Helen Liu.

Sophomore communications major Maddie Seidman said the talks were worthwhile.

“I really enjoyed all of the speakers and everything that they shared with us,” Seidman said. “I thought the event was really insightful and interesting and I hope to go to another one of these kinds of events in the future.”

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