Click image to enlarge

Nia Robinson ’19, a sociology major from Chicago, will be the student speaker at this year's TEDxMiddlebury on Nov. 11.

Media Contact

Ray, Sarah C.
(802) 443-5794

TEDxMiddlebury Will Feature Student Nia Robinson and Alumna Rana Abdelhamid

November 6, 2017

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Six speakers, including a Middlebury alumna and current student, will give talks when the College hosts its annual TEDxMiddlebury conference on November 11 in Robison Hall in the Mahaney Center for the Arts. TEDx is a localized version of the famous TED talks, in which speakers offer a short talk about an innovative idea. This year’s TEDx conference, titled “Lost and Found,” is built around the idea of “perpetual discovery and rediscovery that is essential to our existence as human beings.”

Nia Robinson ’19, a junior sociology major from Chicago, will give the student talk this year. Among her many roles at Middlebury, Robinson has served as copresident of the Black Student Union, a member of the Community Judicial Board, and a student intern and fellow at the Anderson Freeman Resource Center.

Rana Abdelhamid ’15, an internationally recognized human rights advocate, returns to Middlebury where she earned her bachelor’s degree in international politics and economics. She continued her education at Harvard’s Kennedy School, earning a master’s in public policy. Currently Abdelhamid works for Google’s central brand team for Google Cloud. While a student, she founded the nonprofit (IM)WISE, which is aimed at supporting women’s empowerment through self-defense, entrepreneurship, and organized trainings. She has personally conducted trainings in the U.S., Spain, Scotland, Ireland, Jordan, Tunisia, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

The conference will also feature talks by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s outreach director Lecia Brooks; Boston University Spanish professor and linguist Daniel Erker; Vermont-based designer and branding expert Michael Jager; and Kentucky state legislator Attica Scott, who defeated a 34-year incumbent to become the first black woman in nearly 20 years to serve in the state legislature.

The Middlebury event will run from 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 11. Food and drinks will be provided. Tickets are $8 for students, $15 for faculty and staff, and $20 for the general public, and may be purchased online.

TEDxMiddlebury was started in 2010 and has grown steadily each year. The 2017 event is currently being planned by a team of 10 students. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. More information is available online.