TEDx Student Challenge Finalists Announced

From the TEDxSwarthmore website:

Adam BortnerADAM BORTNER ’12 – a Sociology & Anthropology major at Swarthmore College, first discovered digital storytelling during a first-year French literature course at Swarthmore. He wrote and recorded a story, adding photographs and music to make it come alive. The creative activity had him hooked. With generous support from the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, he has since worked with several people living with HIV/AIDS in surrounding communities to make digital stories. Through this work, he witnessed the power of storytelling to change a room, to change lives, and most importantly, to change the world.

Mary Jean ChanMARY JEAN CHAN ’12 – A Political Science Honors Major and English Literature minor from Hong Kong, China. Passionate about heterodox economics, the intersection between politics and poetry, and other forms of literary expression. Mary Jean is a campus ambassador for the non-profit organization Teach for China, and also works as the international recruitment intern for the Admissions Office. She is currently collaboratively working on organizing a conference entitled: “The Progress Paradox: Critical Perspectives on Development”, to be held at Swarthmore College from 8-16 April this year.

Jennifer KochJENNIFER KOCH ’13 – a double major in Music and Political Science. As co-President of Chester Youth Court Volunteers, she works with her peers to help high school students in Chester facilitate youth courts and become involved community members. Jenny also serves as President of the Amos J. Peaslee Debate Society, and is a member of the Swarthmore Chorus and Ladies Soirée Society. A two-time recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, Jenny believes that being involved in one’s community is both a duty and an honor – one she is happy to undertake.

Tarit RCTARIT RAO-CHAKRAVORTI ’12 A senior from Boston, MA, with a double major in Economics and Honors Peace and Conflict Studies. With work and research experience on West African civil conflict, he is currently writing a thesis on the role of foreign investment in post-conflict reconstruction, examining cases in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Iraq. Outside the classroom, Tarit is a member of Swarthmore Squash, and enjoys traveling and eating different animals.

Riana ShahRIANA SHAH ’14 – As a high school freshman, Riana Shah moved to the US from Ahmedabad, India attending Bard High School Early College in New York City. Inspired by how education can be different and empowering, she co-founded Independent Thought & Social Action in India (ITSA) an education reform organization that creates socially responsible youth leaders through critical thinking and social action. ITSA empowers youth to start community-based social action projects by providing youth with social action training, funding and mentorship.


Congratulations, everyone! Good luck at the final round of the Student Challenge, to be held on February 24th at 7:00 p.m. in SCI 101.
One final student will be selected during this round to join the 12-speaker line-up for the TEDxSwarthmore Conference on March 31st.

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