Tiffany Hamm, a Ph.D. student in science education will represent the School of Education at the 2020 TEDx Syracuse University conference on Feb. 7. This year’s event, titled “A Seat at the Table” and will feature an all-student lineup, each of the eleven presenting undergraduate and graduate students representing one of Syracuse University’s schools and colleges.
Hamm is a member of the prestigious Holmes Scholars program through AACTE (the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education), and receives support for three years to pursue her doctoral studies at Syracuse while participating in mentorship, leadership, research and policy activities on a national scale. In addition to other selection criteria and program qualifications, Holmes Scholars must demonstrate a commitment to a career in the education professoriate, the PK-12 teaching workforce, or a leadership position in the education and education research fields. Holmes Scholars are members of groups historically underrepresented in these fields.
Hamm, a native New Yorker raised in the Bronx, is the only child to a Puerto Rican mother and a Black American father. It was during childhood vacations to Puerto Rico that she developed a passion for the environmental sciences. With dreams of becoming a Marine Biologist, Tiffany graduated from Stony Brook University with a major in marine sciences and a minor in environmental studies. In her program, she says she was 1 of 2 people of color. After graduating, she took a job teaching high school Earth Science in the Bronx.
“Teaching was a chance to share my passion; and through this opportunity I wanted to inspire students of color to take an interest in science,” she says.
Hamm’s talk is titled, The Urban Narratives of Science Education. “I feel honored to speak at TEDx Syracuse and to represent the School of Education,” say says. “Sharing my topic is also sharing my story; which is personal and meaningful to me.”
Over 60 students applied to present at TEDx Syracuse University. The application and casting process spanned two weeks in November 2019, and included a live audition in front of a panel of student judges.
“By incorporating students from different schools, we fulfill the TEDx vision of sharing a multitude of innovative ideas while providing a platform for student voices to be heard,” says Sabreen Noel Ben Salem ’21, creative director of TEDx Syracuse University. “Our goal is an experience that will empower a diverse coalition with the platform to change audience attitudes for the better.”
TEDx Syracuse University is a local, self-organized event —the “x” denotes its independent leadership and planning. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”, and began as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago. The TEDx model was developed to bring communities together to share a TED-like experience, with limited guidance from the TED Conference. This year’s event will be the seventh TEDx Syracuse University conference held since 2014.
The 2020 TEDx Syracuse University conference will be on Friday, Feb. 7, from 4–7 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium in Newhouse 3. The event is sold out, but will be livestreamed through the TEDx Syracuse University Facebook page, and the talks will be made available via the Tedx Talks YouTube channel.