In an effort to bring together world-renowned thinkers and speakers from the Rensselaer campus community, a team of Rensselaer students plans to continue efforts to host the semiannual Rensselaer TALKS lectures, along with a newly created program titled “Tidbits by TALKS,” a Friday morning coffee-and-doughnuts lecture series. Several events are planned for the spring semester.
The “Tidbits by TALKS” programs are scheduled for March 13 and April 3. The event will take place in Mother’s, located in the Rensselaer Union, beginning at 9 a.m. The annual Rensselaer TALKS lecture will take place on Thursday, May 14, in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies.
The concept behind creating Rensselaer TALKS came from a collection of students, who saw a need for an event around campus that would be focused on developing short, biannual, TEDx-style talks given by outstanding members of the campus community. As part of the program, the chosen speakers each contribute their own piece intertwined with their personal narrative and experience.”—Raymond Jacobson ’16
“The motivation behind Rensselaer TALKS was to create an atmosphere of excitement with collaboration, community, and transparency at its core,” said Raymond Jacobson ’16, a junior majoring in computer and systems engineering and computer science, who is also a member of the Rensselaer Greek Life fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha, which is involved with spearheading the program.
Rensselaer TALKS stands on three pillars: exhibition, inspiration, and facilitation. According to Jacobson, the concept behind creating Rensselaer TALKS came from a “collection of students, largely—but not exclusively—from my fraternity, who saw a need for an event around campus that would be focused on developing short, biannual, TEDx-style talks given by outstanding members of the campus community. As part of the program, the chosen speakers each contribute their own piece intertwined with their personal narrative and experience.”
The Rensselaer TALKS program is videotaped and content is released online. The theme for last fall was focused on “The Design and Practice of Learning.”
The 13-member committee comprises students representing the Class of 2016, the Class of 2017, and the Class of 2018. In addition to Jacobson, planning committee members include: Daniel Critz ’16, Julius Alexander ’16, Rebecca Bradley ’16, Brandon Cressi ’16, Kevin Hoelscher ’16, Peter Kang ’16, James Male ’17, Rachel Mannella ’16, Simon McCarthy ’16, Utthara Rameshbabu ’16, Malay Shashank ’17, and John Varvayanis ’18.
A desire to expand offerings led the committee to develop a formal relationship with the Rensselaer Union Speakers Forum, with TALKS being now recognized as a Speakers Forum program. The Rensselaer TALKS program and the “Tidbits by TALKS” are also supported by Phalanx Honor Society and the Rensselaer Alumni Association.