February 5, 2020
Mechanical engineering student Calvin Atieku ’23 was selected as one of the speakers for TEDx 2020: A Seat at the Table. This student organized event will bring together speakers from a variety of backgrounds to discuss their research and innovative ideas to connect with each other and the community.
Atieku is the Freshman Representative for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Vice President of Professional Events in the Marketing Club. Along with his involvement on campus, he is also a mentor for the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) where he works with middle and high school level students to promote their understanding of the STEM field.
Once Atieku found out about Syracuse University’s TEDx event he thought it was interesting and decided to apply and was ultimately selected as one of the speakers for the event.
During his first semester, Atieku founded a start-up company DNA, which is dedicated to pursuing living sustainably on water. For his TEDx talk, Atieku will introduce his idea of designing floating homes to combat climate change.
“My mission is to expand coastal cities on water, because as you know, climate change is happening and population is also increasing. If you think about it, lack of space is going to be a problem in the future, so why don’t we take the space and build affordable housing on water,” said Atieku.
TEDx has become more than just an opportunity to share his ideas, this event has helped Atieku to challenge himself and grow as a person.
Atieku had a fear of public speaking but knew he would need to overcome his fear in the future if he wanted to be able to communicate his ideas.
“When I first started out I wasn’t good and I would get nervous. But with practice, self-motivation, a lot of YouTube videos on motivation, my fear started decreasing and I became a better person in terms of accepting failure and how I as a person can improve every day,” said Atieku.
This experience has changed Atieku’s life and helped him develop the skills necessary to pursue his future aspirations.
The TEDx 2020: A Seat at the Table will be held on Friday, February 7th from 4:00-8:00pm in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium.