Meet the Minds of the MomentUM Experience

Some of our speakers have given talk after talk; others have never stood on stage. Some of our speakers are experienced professionals; others are hard-working students. TEDxUniversityofMississippi is excited to showcase their individual ideas worth spreading with the hope that through diversity of thought and inspiration, the human condition can find new ways forward. 


Josh Horton, J.D.

Ten units of energy yields just one unit of results. This is critical to personal momentum in addiction recovery and criminal justice. It’s time to stop addressing addiction as a stigmatized moral failure, and start re-integrating those who have been pushed to the fringes of society.

From inmate to advocate, Horton’s journey from a substance abuser with a criminal rap sheet to a Magna Cum Laude J.D. influences his passion to advocate for restorative communities and legal processes for recovering addicts nationwide.

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Janet McCarty

Being introduced to simple, instinctual behaviors from an unconventional mentor can transform the human perspective and the way we pursue our goals and dreams.

Janet will introduce a few simple behaviors she learned from her mentor and applied to her life. Putting these behaviors into practice gave Janet a unique perspective on life, allowing her to achieve her dream of becoming an entrepreneur.

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Leena Patel

Gamulation is the practice of using games and simulations to improve teaching and learning, specifically in the workplace. Wouldn’t work be a better place for most of us if we were having more fun?

“When you marry traditional learning with gamulation, you revolutionize the way people learn, the way people interact, and the way people lead at work. Employees across the board will be happier for it and businesses have a higher chance of thriving from it. Gamulation sparks engagement, connection, and innovation, while making work seriously fun.”

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Jacy Reese

Clean meat — real meat made from animal cells without animal slaughter — and social solutions informed by breakthroughs and historical successes will eventually allow for an ethical and efficient food system where slaughterhouses are obsolete.

“Many books and articles have documented how animal agriculture devastates public health, the environment, and animal welfare. Experts predict that the future of food is vegan. But readers and listeners are left with one burning question: How do we actually get from here to there?”

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Dr. Jandel Crutchfield

What's your worldview? And what experiences have helped you develop it? Before engaging in a debate of any kind, what if individuals truly understood their answers to these two questions? 

Whether nationality, gender, race, class, religion, occupation, or creed, people find it difficult to understand others who are different than themselves. Using a number as a universal representation of our worldview would allow us to immediately reflect on our own experiences, quickly compare our experiences to another person’s experiences and judge the differences without judging the person. 

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Emily Frith

Creative thinking is a complex process, where the goal is not merely to be creative, but to produce a solution that has value, either on a personal level or on a broad scale. Creative problem solving is used for tasks as simple as using a safety pin to pick a lock, or as complex as making a scientific discovery. A crucial distinction of creative thought is that it is highly personal.

 If we as a society can learn to problem-solve and problem-find using trainable creativity tactics, the implications could be instrumental in this modern age of excellence in education and innovation.

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Dr. Brian Foster

There is an interpretive power of missing stories — the absence of an entire demographic group from certain spaces, the desire of an individual to repress or “move on from” certain memories, the quiet pauses of conversation — that teaches us about ourselves, each other, and how societies change — or don’t.

“I am a writer and scholar of blackness in America. I study what black folks are saying, doing and believing to be true with respect to race in the U.S. My idea worth spreading is the interpretive power of missing storytellers in a society in flux.”

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Elsie Andre

The idea of travel does not have to be confined to physically seeing the world. Rather, traveling can be imagined as simply meeting and understanding someone from a different background. Exposure to different places, communities and ideas can lead to inspirations and creative breakthroughs. These opportunities await us around the planet as well as right down the street. 

As an 8th grader at Lafayette Middle School, Elsie will be the youngest speaker to have taken the stage at TEDxUniversityofMississippi.

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