Campus Life

UCA Downtown Hosts TEDx Salon On Liberal Arts Education

The University of Central Arkansas held its fourth TEDx event at UCA Downtown on Jan. 19. The topic was “Reinventing Liberal Arts Education,” and attendees discussed the importance of liberal arts in today’s society.

“There’s a connection between liberal arts education and a flourishing society, between education and the common good,” Dr. Peter Mehl, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said.

Mehl hosted the event and started off by focusing the small crowd’s attention on questions they should think about while listening to the pre-recorded Ted talk. He informed the crowd of some of the major themes of this talk, including revitalizing, reinventing and reconnecting.

“The accomplishment of civic virtue is tied to the uses of intellect and imagination at their most challenging,” speaker Liz Coleman said.

Coleman’s goal is to push the younger generations to gain a well-rounded education–meaning they should not only spend their time learning about one specific field, but should have a decent general education about the world around them.

“The point is not to treat these topics as topics of study but as frameworks of action,” Coleman continued. “The challenge is to figure out what it will take to actually do something that makes a significant and sustainable difference.”

After the talk ended, Mehl held a 30-minute discussion about education, social and political challenges in which the crowd shared their thoughts and opinions.

The crowd was lively with responses during this discussion. Almost everyone had something to say.

This TEDx talk was the fourth salon in a series of five. There will be a TEDx UCA all-day conference on March 4 in the Ida Waldran Auditorium themed “Ideas Whose Time Have Come.”

Students are encouraged to go online to view submissions for the TEDxUCA student speaker competition and vote on OrgSync for their favorite finalist.

The winner of the student competition will speak at the conference.

For more information about TEDx visit

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