BCTalks Lecture Series Returns For Fall Semester

The application submission window for this semester’s installment of BCTalks—an undergraduate lecture series modeled after the internationally acclaimed TEDTalks series—has officially opened and will remain so until Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 11:59 p.m., according to Kara Naccarelli, a member of the BC Talks administrative team and A&S ’15.

“In the spirit of TEDTalks, BCTalks hopes to provide a forum for undergraduates who have done a significant amount of research, have had a special experience, or extensive knowledge in an area that may interest other BC students to share their academic and intellectual interests,” Naccarelli said in an email.

Founded in 2011 by Lisa Piccilrillo and Conor Sullivan, BC ’13, BCTalks seeks to highlight student dialogue that bridges the divide between undergraduates’ academic and social experiences on campus.

The BCTalks program was derived from another student organization called Education for Students by Students (ESS)—a Boston College-based group of undergraduates founded in 2010 to encourage teaching among students, which now oversees three main campus programs: BC Soars, BC Splash, and BCTalks.

“Social justice is a primary goal of Education for Students by Students [ESS], the parent organization of BCTalks,” Naccarelli said. “In this spirit, we hope that students will consider forming their talks around remedying social ills by using their gifts to inform and inspire change. Like TEDTalks, lectures will be recorded and shared with the BC community.”

TED Conferences, LLC (TED)—an acronym for Technology, Education, and Design—is a Silcon Valley-based global network of talks, conferences, and presentations from community leaders, educators, and various industry professionals founded in 1984 and designed as an exchange for ideas, operating under the slogan, “Ideas worth spreading.”

More than 20 years after its inception, in 2009 TED subsequently launched TEDx—a platform for the nationally recognized conference event, which normally occurred annually in Monterrey, Calif., to be opened at the local level. Following the development of TEDx, which now enables towns, institutions such as private universities, and public interest groups to share their educational undertakings, ESS initiated its own, University-specific program for students to discuss the overlap between the classroom and campus life.

According to the BCTalks website, the focus of the BCTalks program primarily aims to close the gap between undergraduates’ academic and social lives for those presenting their work, and it seeks to inspire similar research and presentation efforts for those in attendance.

“BCTalks gives undergraduates in a variety of academic disciplines a platform to share their research, knowledge, and passions, while opening dialogue about those topics in a social setting,” the website reads.

All lectures delivered during the presentation period are also recorded and uploaded for public viewing on YouTube, according to Naccarelli. Previous presentations given through BCTalks have ranged from topics on gender equality issues surrounding the War in Afghanistan to alcoholism in college.

The application for the Fall 2014 Lecture Series, accessible via the BCTalks Facebook page, is open to students of all academic backgrounds and consists of five short-response questions.

The lectures are slated to take place on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. in McGuinn 121, though the date is subject to change. While students are allowed to enter and leave the event at will, ESS encourages students to remain for the entirety of the speakers’ talks.

Featured Image by Emily Sadeghian / Heights Editor

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Connor Farley was a copy editor and news editor for The Heights. You can probably find him at a Phish show.