Student-led TEDx aims to bridge curricular gap

Undergraduate students launch TEDx on campus to discuss blending science with art–and why it’s important.

Bentley-coalescence-tedxWith growing pressure for students to focus on STEM, pioneering undergraduate students from one university recently decided to focus not just on science, but on a “coalescence” of science and art–a topic so critical, said the students, that it warranted a self-made TEDx summit.

Bentley University hosted its first TEDx event on Saturday March 28, 2015. Not only was it unique in that it was the first, but it also was organized entirely by undergraduate students.

TEDxBentleyU featured 13 speakers, including the founder of clothing retailer Johnny Cupcakes Johnny Earle, Boston Globe Reporter Bob Ryan, Bentley faculty members and recent alumni.


Inspired after watching TED talks in his New Product Development and Marketing class, Kevin Ma (’15) decided to apply for a license in May 2014 for Bentley to host its own TEDx event. Once the license was approved at the start of the school year, Ma and 15 undergraduate peers, all members of a newly appointed TEDxBentleyU board, came together with the guidance of a faculty advisor, Natural Sciences Professor David Szymanski, to organize the day-long conference.

(Next page: The importance of “coalescence”)