UCLA Conversations with TEDx Speakers

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Be part of one-hour conversations around big ideas, featuring selected speakers from our TEDxUCLA series. This is a free series, conducted with a host, moderator, and featured speaker(s).

Session Six with Kitty Felde and Host Kenn Heller Starts In:

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There is no event May 28th, The next one is June 4th with our 2019 speaker Chuck McCarthy

Date: June 4th, 12-1 pm PST

A big thing we’re missing during quarantine is small talk

Our next Session speaker is Chuck McCarthy

Thinker, talker, and People Walker, Chuck McCarthy has a small talk with UCLA’s Kenn Heller about the value, function, and importance of small talk. Not only does small talk lay the foundation for deeper connections, but also helps us in validating our reality. Is it really a beautiful day? Are there more dirty dishes because of the virus? Do people really hate small talk, or do they just like to talk about hating it? Join us to find out.

Special Guest Host: Kenn Heller

Watch Chuck’s 2019 TEDxUCLA Talk below:

Chuck McCarthy

People Walker

Date: May 21st, 12-1 pm PST

Our Session Six speaker is Kitty Felde, Award Winning Public Radio Veteran

Creating space for real conversations with your kids and grandkids

Public radio veteran Kitty Felde now talks to kids for a living on her award-winning podcast Book Club for Kids. Kitty joins UCLA’s Kenn Heller in a conversation about conversations. Kitty will share some of her best tips for getting the best out of kids.

Special Guest Host: Kenn Heller

Bio:

Kitty Felde is the host and executive producer of the award-winning Book
Club for Kids podcast. She also writes and produces the episodic Fina Mendoza Mysteries podcast. Kitty is an award-winning public radio veteran, named Journalist of the Year three times by the Society of Professional Journalists and the LA Press Club. Kitty also writes kids books and plays that have been produced around the world. Until the world shut down, her one man show about Quentin Roosevelt was performed every weekend as a tour around the White House.

Kitty Felde

Public Radio Veteran and Podcast Producer

Date: May 14th, 12-1 pm

Our Session Five speaker is Drea Letamendi, Ph.D., Psychologist

The Healing Power of Stories

Sadness. Rage. Grief. Hope. Ever feel intense emotions when you are watching a movie or streaming a show? Pop culture—from Star Wars to Game of Thrones to The Avengers—is brimming with immersive stories that become a part of our psychological fabric. Too often, the focus is placed on the detriments of consuming media—what could be some of its mental health benefits? Examining the strong connections we have with fictional characters, called “parasocial relationships,” can help us understand and even manage our emotional reactions when we face real events. Psychologist Dr. Drea Letamendi will delve into this powerful phenomenon and share how these connections can help us gain insight, emotional growth, and self-discovery. Dr. Letamendi will also talk about how fiction and fandom can create healthy escapism and help us flourish, especially during times of crisis. Psychological resilience that stems from fandom and fiction will be explored as a tool to combat setbacks, restore balance, and inspire us to reach for our dreams.

Andrea Letamendi, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Associate Director of Mental Health Training, Intervention, and Response, Office of Residential Life
Interim Director, Resilience In Your Student Experience (RISE Center)
UCLA

POSTPONED

We cancelled this week’s talk as TEDxUCLA received good news from Travis Flores on May 5th.

Message from Travis:

“Hi UCLA TEDxUCLA Supporters. I was supposed to giving a special TEDx discussion on May 7th. However I am now at the hospital at UCLA, waiting to get my third double lung transplant procedure, which is an incredible gift. I am so very lucky and grateful to the incredible medical staff here at UCLA and for my organ donors to get me to this point. I promise when I am back and healthy, I will be there for you.”

-Travis Flores 5/5/2020

The UCLA Conversations/TEDxUCLA team and all of their supports wish Travis a speedy and healthy recovery!
Sometimes a TEDx wish comes true when we least expect it.

Travis Flores

Writer, Producer, and Activist

Viewing the world through the lens of someone who has social distanced their whole lives due to cystic fibrosis. How do we grapple with the tension between compassion and liberty?

Date: April 30, 12-1 pm

Session Three:

Bats (yes, bats) and other animals as protectors of human viral pandemic outbreaks. How might we reframe our understanding of the role animals play in viral outbreaks, and manage future public health disasters?

Our Session Three speaker is Dr. Olivier Pernet, Virologist

Coronaviruses, Ebola, rabies, … you probably think bats are a biological threat to humans. This conversation invites you to reconsider this common view. Bats are central in protecting us against viruses. Bats are not the source of all the deadly viral outbreak, they actually guard us against them. Because of their range (every continent except Antarctica), their genetic diversity (20% of all the mammal species), and their equally diverse immune system, they act as an ecological jail for the virus. Sometimes, one virus manages to escape: then we see an outbreak. We mistake it for a successful transmission from the bats, while it is really a failure to contain it. And we are the cause of that failure (mostly through ecosystem destabilization). How do we help the bat so no more virus escape? How can we predict when a virus will escape? How do we prepare?

Dr. Olivier Pernet is a virologist with 15 years of research experience in the field of emerging zoonotic viruses, with special attention on bat-related diseases (Nipah Virus, Ebola Virus, SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2,…). Dr. Pernet work focuses on host-virus interactions and how to use them for biomedical applications (drug discovery, gene therapy, high-throughput serology, and outbreak preparedness.)

Olivier Pernet

Virologist

Bats, viruses (including COVID-19), and breaking major misconceptions about their relationships. How can we reframe and manage future public health disasters?

Date: April 23, 12-1 pm (Past Event)

Session Two:

What is the power of an image in Species Conservation. And how can visuals connect us to nature?

Our Session Two speaker is: Alexander Braczkowski Photographer, National Geographic

Alex Braczkowski is a wildlife biologist and filmmaker from Durban, South Africa. His film and science work has a strong focus on threatened big cats. He has filmed African lions for National Geographic and Disney in Uganda, performed doctorate and masters dissertation research at the Universities of Oxford and Queensland on leopards, hyenas and lions and recently documented the illegal jaguar trade in Peru with Steve Winter and National Geographic Magazine. Alex is passionate about using storytelling through photography and film to boost the reach of scientific studies. He believes that with a little help scientists could take the lead in popularising their discoveries.

Alexander Braczkowski

Photographer, National Geographic

Using photography as a means to promote the importance of species conservation and prioritizing nature. What should people do to be informed about the realities of nature?

 

Date: April 15, 12-1 pm (Past Event)

Our Session One speaker is:

Laura Ritchie, PhD, a Professor of Learning and Teaching at the University of Chichester, UK

In life I want to… (insert your goal/ambition/dream here).

A few months ago we were all somewhere on that path before we, and our goals were put in a box. This conversation brings together Dr Laura Ritchie from the UK and Kenn Heller from California to talk about goals, how we pursue them today, and where and how we find meaningful connections as we reach out while we stay in.  You are invited to tune in, sit back, and join in with the conversation - from stories of virtual musical rehearsals to teaching online to current research understanding the psychology of how people across the globe are either changing their plans or finding new ways to have agency.

Laura Ritchie, PhD, is a Professor of Learning and Teaching at the University of Chichester, UK. She is vibrant in her teaching, research, music-making, and in life; she embodies a ‘yes’ attitude. Her enthusiasm is contagious and inspires people to realize their goals through positive achievement and reach beyond their dreams.  As a researcher and educator, Laura has published and presented internationally, in both North and South America and across Europe. Laura’s teaching is heavily influenced by her research on people’s self-beliefs and cognitive processes as they learn and perform (carry out tasks). Her book academic book, Fostering Self-efficacy in Higher Education Students, gives practical tips to enable students to develop self-efficacy beliefs as they learn and accomplish their goals. Laura has devised both undergraduate and postgraduate curricula at Chichester and a distance learning postgraduate course for the European String Teachers Association. Laura originally trained as a classical cellist with Hans Jensen in Chicago before she came to the UK. As a musician, Laura spans genres and has performed both as a classical recitalist and as a member of the band The Mummers on Jools Holland and at Glastonbury.

Laura Ritchie

Professor of Learning and Teaching in Music, University of Chichester

Self-efficacy is your untapped superpower and is key to agency.

 

Watch the zoom session below

Travis Flores

Writer, Producer, and Activist

Viewing the world through the lens of someone who has social distanced their whole lives due to cystic fibrosis. How do we grapple with the tension between compassion and liberty?

Date: May 7th, 12-1 pm

Drea Letamendi

Mental Health

Date: May 14th, 12-1 pm

Kitty Felde

Host, Book Club for Kids

It’s not about the book: the unexpected left turns of conversation that open up through the act of reading while young.

Date: May 21, 12-1 pm

Laura Ritchie

Professor of Learning and Teaching in Music, University of Chichester

Self-efficacy is your untapped superpower and is key to agency.

Date: April 15, 12-1 pm

Alexander Braczkowski

Photographer, National Geographic

Using photography as a means to promote the importance of species conservation and prioritizing nature. What should people do to be informed about the realities of nature?

Date: April 23, 12-1 pm

Olivier Pernet

Virology and Cell & Molecular Biology

Bats, viruses (including COVID-19), and breaking major misconceptions about their relationships. How can we reframe and manage future public health disasters?

Date: April 30, 12-1 pm

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