ICYMI: Terp Talks


By Bria Simmons

Terp Talks is a “Ted Talk” style event the Department of Communication puts on every semester where students are chosen to speak about their fearless ideas. Selected speakers are prepared for weeks by a speech coach. The speakers are not limited to Communication majors, but include various majors and students seeking both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The event features seven students who take the stage to share their unprecedented ideas, and show their peers what makes them a fearless Terp. This semester Terp Talks had the following speakers: Luke Makris, Shimon Horwitz, Matt Marks, Rick Tagne-Teta, My-Asia Chaplin, Vishnu Chandrasenan, and former UMSuccess President Sydney Parker.

Each of our speakers had the opportunity to share topics that had unique perspectives which is what made the event so great. My-Asia Chaplin chose to do a Terp Talk that was centered around her experience with depression.

“I wanted to challenge myself to be vulnerable. This was one of the toughest phases of my life. I wanted to send the message that it’s important to check-in with yourself and assess your mental well-being before it’s too late,” said Chaplin when asked what inspired her to do this Terp Talk,  “Hopefully me opening up about my experience will encourage students to check-in with themselves and to remove unnecessary stressors from their lives.”

Sydney Parker discussed social influencers and how to choose products wisely. After her presentation, she reflected on this invaluable experience and shared, “Terp Talks has been a dream of mine ever since the TED Talk format was brought to collegiate campuses. I am proud I got to talk about a topic I am so passionate about!”

Over one hundred students attended the event along with faculty, friends and family of the speakers to hear the stories of these speakers. As the event came to a close the audience were invited to the reception where food, desserts and beverages were served; this was a great opportunity for audience members to ask the speakers questions as well as take pictures while others simply socialized. We want to extend a thank you to all the speakers that were fearless enough to speak to such a large crowd and make a difference for the community at the University of Maryland.

You can watch Sydney Parker’s Terp Talks here.

Sydney Parker