Medical students curate TEDxUMKC event

Now in its fourth year, TEDxUMKC has been organized primarily by medical students.
Now in its fourth year, TEDxUMKC has been organized primarily by medical students.

Tickets are on sale for TEDxUMKC. Speakers at the event, to be held Dec. 5 at the National World War I Memorial and Museum, include Mark Hoffman, Ph.D., director of the UMKC Center for Health Insights, and Sly James, the mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.

TEDx events are offshoots of the TED conferences, which started in California 26 years ago.

UMKC medical students Rahul Maheshwari and Ryan Sieli are co-curators of this year’s event, themed “Big Challenges, Small Solutions.” Harika Nalluri, a sixth-year medical student, organized the first TEDxUMKC event in 2012.

In addition to Hoffman and James, speakers at the 2015 TEDxUMKC event include Reza Derakshani, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering at UMKC; Terri Friedline, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas; and Dakota Rosenfelt, a UMKC pharmacy student, hemophilia advocate and entrepreneur.

In a press release, the organizers of the 2015 TEDxUMKC event explained why they chose the “Big Challenges, Small Solutions” theme:

Although our society has made much progress, there are still major challenges facing us today. Some of these challenges are well known, while many are not. However, there are those among us that recognize, react and resolve those problems. These pioneers, acting in the spirit of ingenuity and altruism, have paved a path to help make the world a better place. They bring awareness to unseen obstacles, and offer creative solutions to tackle them. Innovational in nature and quick in thinking, these individuals strive to expand our horizons by breaking the facade for others to follow and demonstrating that one individual can make a difference.

Tickets to TEDxUMKC cost $5 for UMKC students and $10 for the general public and usually sell out. Visit for more information.