Press Release

Notre Dame to Host TEDxUND on February 27
Speaker lineup features South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg

The University of Notre Dame will present TEDxUND 2015, featuring a diverse lineup of speakers which includes a modern-day artisan, a youth poet, the mayor of South Bend and many others, exploring the topic “What if…,” on Feb. 27 (Friday) in the Patricia George Decio Theatre of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

Designed to showcase the ideas and talents of the Notre Dame community in engaging 12-minute presentations, TEDxUND presenters were chosen from a pool of more than 130 applicants, and include current undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students, faculty members, alumni and community members, including South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Elected in 2011 at the age of 29, Buttigieg is America’s youngest mayor of a city with over 100,000 residents. He is president of the Indiana Urban Mayors Caucus and serves on the board of the Truman National Security Project. A lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, he spent most of 2014 leave from the office while deployed to Afghanistan.

Notre Dame alumnus Brian Snyder, executive director of digital for the Americas region at Golin in Chicago, will emcee TEDxUND 2015.

Scheduled speakers and their topics are:

SESSION 1 (Final speaker order in session to be determined):

Benjamin Sunderlin (Lafayette, IN), Graduate student
What If We Remade the Liberty Bell?

Edithstein Cho (Roseville, Minnesota), Alumni and Deandra Cadet (Newark, NJ), Undergraduate student
What if stories do change the world?

Jackson Jhin (Houston, TX), Undergraduate student
Understanding Electronic Sound

Julia McKenna (South Bend, IN), Community member
If hands were just for holding...and other "what ifs" from a teenage poet

Pete Freeman (Culver, IN), Undergraduate student
What if "thank you" were more than two trite words?

Prashan De Visser (Wattala, Sri Lanka), Graduate student
Counter the Radicalization of Youth

Rev. David Link (South Bend, IN), Faculty
An Escape Strategy for the War on Crime: Healing the Criminal

Susan Jackson (Butler, PA), Alumni
Creating Collaboration from Contentiousness - How ISSF is working to improve tuna stock sustainability and transforming adversaries into advocates along the way

SESSION 2 (Final speaker order in session to be determined):

Mark Doerries (Newport News, VA), Post-doctoral student
What If Children Led Our Communities?

Katie Mattie (Ypsilanti, MI), Alumni
What if Iron Man was a Woman?

Dustin Stoltz (Florence, Montana), Graduate student
Can we cooperate without trust?

Grace Agolia (Massapequa Park, NY), Undergraduate student
Deaf Child Area: Reconciling the Worlds of Silence and Sound

Alesha Seroczynski (Dallas, TX), Faculty
What If Juvenile Offenders Met Aristotle?

Brittany Ebeling (Lakeville, MN) and Garrett Blad (North Liberty, IN), Undergraduate students
What If...we got uncomfortable?

Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, IN), Community member
What does it mean to be the next South Bend?

Paul Blaschko, (Mankato, MN), Graduate student
Learning How to Read Minds

TEDxUND will be held in two live sessions. Session one will take place from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and session two will run 4 to 7 p.m.

Admission to TEDxUND 2015 is free, but tickets are required. Applications are being accepted online through February 3 with 300 seats available for the live event. Attendees will be selected by lottery.

More information is available online at

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About TEDx, where x = independently organized event

In the spirit of “ideas worth spreading,” TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. TEDxUND strives to re-create the unique experience found at TED, where the world´s leaders, thinkers and doers congregate to share what they are most passionate about.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading." It started in 1984 as a conference that brought together people from three worlds: technology, entertainment and design. Since then, its scope has become ever broader, including two annual conferences: the TED Conference on the West Coast each spring and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, each summer. TED also now includes the award-winning TED Talks video website. For more information, go to

Contact: Paul Van Ness, event organizer, 574-631-1873,