TEDxUConn 2013 Team

David Ritter
President & Curator

Classics & Philosophy ’13, Electrical & Computer Engineering ’15

I’d like to think I’m making the most of everything UConn has to offer. It seems like I’ve taken just about every course offered, from Classical Greek History to Film, Advanced Microcontrollers to Creative Writing. I’ve also engaged in many extracurricular pursuits, whether running an interfaith discussion group or marketing for a friend’s startup. In my next two years, I am focusing on developing a few of my ideas and launching a business before I graduate.

Rosy Cersonsky
VP Curation

Materials Sciences & Engineering ’14

I’m a junior at the University of Connecticut from Oxford, Connecticut. I grew up with a simple word of advice from my parents: follow your passion. This led to years of theater, math, music, travel, and anything science fiction. It also led to the most diverse dinner table topics; one night we’d be talking magnetic fields, and the next it’d be global social issues. I see TEDxUConn like this dinner table. It’s a place to share open discussion and exchange ideas.

Tom Benneche
VP Design

Mathematics ’14

I’m a lover of the outdoors and an occasional marathon runner, reluctantly sharing the body of an aspiring web developer. An avid culture-consumer—I love reading, talking politics, frequenting coffee shops, digging up new music, taking spontaneous trips, and geeking out about the next big things in tech. With TEDxUConn I hoped to pursue my many interests, meet some amazing people, and foster a community here at UConn devoted to spreading and creating great ideas. I couldn’t be happier with the team that has formed around this event, and cannot wait to watch this community develop.

Dillon Jones
VP Technology

Computer Science & Engineering ’15

I am a junior at UConn studying Computer Science & Engineering. I geek in seven languages across anything from Amazon’s cloud to the adorable Rasberry Pi.

Rebecca D’Angelo
VP Marketing

History & Anthropology ’14

An aspiring internet personality (to my parents), chronic interrupter, Student Government ex-pat, and lover of interdisciplines, I joined TEDxUConn because I strongly believed it would fill a much needed void. I believe the purpose of a university is to produce socially productive people, and socially productive ideas. TEDxUConn provides a much-longed-for forum for sharing these two precious commodities.

Lior Trestman
VP Business
Biomedical Engineering ’15

An engineer with a passion for giving back. The TED Conference is a definitive statement of prestige, so I am very excited to be a part of a group that is bringing it to UConn as part of the University’s climb in repute. Outside of TED, I have had the privilege of participating in many exciting projects and research opportunities, as well as travel abroad, leading UConn Empower and being a part of a number of other great groups on campus.

Katie Hires
English & Political Science ’15

I’m an undergrad at the University of Connecticut from Bethel, Connecticut, a small town you have probably never heard of unless you are a circus history enthusiast, because it is the hometown of PT Barnum. I am involved in many extracurricular organizations, such as Poetic Release, the spoken word group on campus, LAVA, an art activism group, and Idealists United, a not-art activism group. In addition to helping out with TEDxUConn, I enjoy reading books by Kurt Vonnegut, watching movies with explosions, falling asleep in unusual places, and writing quotes on windows with dry erase markers.

Daniel Violette
Event Coordinator
Engineering Physics ’14

A serious science and space fanatic with a habit of enrolling in too many courses, I joined the TEDxUConn Team in order to bring a thought-provoking, creative and fun event to UConn that will hopefully spur discussion and conversation on what the future holds. I take the most pride from being considered a hard-worker, and I engage myself on campus through the Undergraduate Student Government and Engineering Ambassadors. I love the outdoors, and since coming to UConn rock climbing has become my passion. It requires the same problem-solving and strategy I plan to one day apply to my career.

Michael Magnoli
Physiology & Neurobiology ’13

I am both a scientist and engineer majoring in Physiology/Neurobiology as well as Biomedical Engineering. My interest in inventing new prototypes and analytically solving problems has drawn me to working with getting startups off the ground.

Meredith Milligan
Biological Sciences ’14

As an inquisitive scientist, book-lover, avid traveler, and a musician with a talent for baking, I think it is safe to say that only the variety of my interests exceeds my enthusiasm for learning. I am a rising senior biology student with the goal of becoming a physician for exactly this reason; I want to be a caregiver, educator, and lifelong learner. TEDxUConn is an integral part of my quest for knowledge: it is a safe place to share ideas and listen to those of others; it is a space where science and music, technology and art meet and mix.

S’ha Siddiqi
Political Science, Economics, & French ’14

Born in Pakistan, I later immigrated to the US. Now at UConn, I’m focusing on international relations and development. My experiences traveling fostered a love for sociocultural issues. I speak four languages, and am trying to reach proficiency in German. A self-identified political junkie, I believe it’s crucial to attempt to find solutions for today’s problems. TEDxUConn is an opportunity to discuss such novel ideas and challenge current perspectives. Whether through martial arts or mock trial, I keep pushing myself further. To me, TED is the tool we need to grow personally, as a university, and as a broader community.