University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Campus



USF Sarasota-Manatee campus to host TEDx event, welcome students, faculty and the community

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus will host its second TEDx event on March 3 at 6 p.m. in the campus’ Selby Auditorium. 

The event will feature eight speakers – from a former congressman to a childcare center founder – presenting talks around the theme “Doing Good.” The event follows a widely successful TEDx in November 2019. 

Jonah Durst

 Jonah Durst, co-organizer and senior finance major

Student Government and Kim Mones, director of the Office of Student Engagement, are organizing the event, which is expected to run about two hours and include a 15-minute intermission and catered reception afterward. 

As with other TED talks, the presentation is designed is to encourage positive change. 

“Ultimately, we hope the event is well received and really inspires students, faculty and others in the community to take action, and that some good will come out of this,” co-organizer and senior finance major Jonah Durst said. 

In typical TEDx fashion, the talks will be capped at no longer than 18 minutes each, but they are generally expected to run from nine to 16 minutes. The event will be available for viewing on and YouTube about a month after the event. 

The speakers include: 

  • Tom Becker, PhD – professor of management, USF Sarasota-Manatee campus 
  • Joshua Ghansiam – Covenant Research; USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, Class of ’21 
  • Dr. Payal Jhawar – CEO and founder, Revive MD Direct Primary Care 
  • Hon. Ric Keller – partner, Hill, Rugh, Keller, & Main, Attorneys at Law; member, U.S. House of Representatives (2001-09) 
  • Lissarette Nisnevich – CEO and founder, Pequenines LLC 
  • Helene Robinson, EdD – associate professor, instruction; director, Critical & Creative Design Thinking program, USF Sarasota-Manatee campus 
  • Sean Schrader – senior, Muma College of Business, USF St. Petersburg campus 
  • Christina Unkel – CEO, SPARQ Advocacy; attorney, Maglio, Christopher & Toale; professional soccer referee and CBS Sports contributor 

For more information about the speakers, visit here

Students have been organizing the talk since last fall when they first approached TED about the presentation. Durst said the theme, Doing Good, was selected to offer presenters latitude in defining what that means to them and to elicit a variety of creative responses. 

The event follows a widely praised TEDx presentation in 2019. In the aftermath, organizers promised to hold another TEDx talk the following year but delayed those plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Durst said organizers opted to wait and hold an in-person event, instead of a virtual one, to create an atmosphere typical of a TED talk. 

Like other TED events, the audience will be capped to 100 members, and those seeking to attend must fill out an application. 

“Our whole team has been working diligently to put together a program that supports our speakers, provides them a platform to spread their ideas, and creates an entertaining and thought-provoking experience for audience members,” Mones said. “The student leaders involved in our planning team have learned a lot through the planning process, and I’m excited to watch as they host this event that is the culmination of months of effort.” 

For more about the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, visit

Return to article listing



Explore More Categories

About Sarasota-Manatee Campus News

Campus News, Research, Events, and Student Life from around the Sarasota-Manatee campus.