TEDxMarkhamSt hosted our inaugural Student Speaker Competition this past weekend on February 27th, 2016 at the Bank of America Financial Center in downtown Little Rock! It was a great success and we had a great time judging students. We would also like to thank this year’s sponsor, Webster University Little Rock Area as well as Webster University Little Rock Area Director Dr. Kelly Lyon for the support of this competition and TEDxMarkhamSt. Without their support this competition would have been a possibility!

Competition Photos (Photography Credit: Liz Chrisman, Facebook)

Three judges judged the 2016 competition:

Dr. Tim Atkinson, Assistant Professor for Internal Medicine and Graduate Medical Education at UAMS. Dr. Atkinson most recently served as ADHE Senior Associate Director, and previously was the President of the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority.

Ms. Sarah Clements, Instructor of Business Information Systems at UALR. Ms. Clements previously served as a speech instructor and Chair of the Department of Speech at Pulaski Technical College

Ms. Carmen “Caite” Hall, Assistant Director of Webster University’s Little Rock Area campuses. She is the lead of operations for Webster University at the Air Force Base campus and has been with Webster University for ten years. Currently, Ms. Hall is working on her PhD in Organizational Psychology.


A total of six students participated in this year’s competition:

LaTasha Moore: Master’s of Public Health student from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. LaTasha is concentrating in Health Behavior/Health Education. LaTasha attended Arkansas State University and earned a degree in Communications Studies and Spanish graduating with Cum Laude honors.

Adrianne Owings: Senior at Episcopal Collegiate. Adrianne is an accomplished high school student participating in a variety of activities such as ALA Arkansas Girls State, Central All-Region Chior, Forensics Club/NSDA/NFL, Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society, and the United Nations Foundation Girl Up Campaign to name a few.

Abdullah Alotaibi: Undergraduate student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) studying Business Administration with a concentration in Business Information Systems. Abdullah is an international student from Saudi Arabia. He works in International Student Services and participates in the Intensive English Language Program at UALR.

Munya Nyamanzi: Undergraduate student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) studying Speech Communications with a minor in Business. Munya participates in the Louis Stokes Allians for Minority Participation, is a member of the Burnin Black Gospel Choir, and serves as a mentor in the Big Brother, Big Sister organization here in Little Rock. Munya is also skilled in HTML/Web development.

Rupa Dash: MBA student studying at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Rupa is an entrepreneur and filmmaker and was the first Indian American Managing Director of the World’s Largest Women Entrepreneurship Network. She was recently awarded “Best Managing Director,” 2015 Femator Awards in Dallas for promoting young women entrepreneurs to build series of million dollar businesses in the USA. Rupa previously attended the Anderson School of management at UCLA, Los Angeles and focused on Entrepreneurship.

Michael Watson: Graduate student studying a Master’s in Public Service student from the Clinton School of Public Service. Michael has served as a Legislative Fellow on the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging and graduate tutor at West Virginia University. Michael completed his B.A. from the University of The District of Columbia in Political Science and International Affairs.


Winners will be announced March 2nd, 2016!

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