Novo library assistant to make TEDx talk debut Nov. 7

By Ellie Bullen and Aliaksandra Panfilovich

Crishuana Williams, a senior technical assistant at the Jane Bancroft Cook Library, will give a TEDx talk at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Nov. 7, 2019, on “The Power of Unlikely Collaborations.”
Crishuana Williams, a senior technical assistant at the Jane Bancroft Cook Library, will give a TEDx talk at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Nov. 7, 2019, on “The Power of Unlikely Collaborations.”

Crishuana Williams is a common presence in the Jane Bancroft Cook Library. As a Senior Technical Assistant, she is often working at the front desk, greeting students with smiles and offering help when they need it. Beyond being a friendly face at the library, Williams is preparing to give a talk at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s upcoming TEDx conference.

“The Power of Unlikely Collaborations” is a conversation in which Williams discusses the significance of collaboration with people one may not usually work with, as a way to solve problems with creative solutions. The talk will be Thursday, Nov. 7, from 6-9 p.m. in Selby Auditorium on the USFSM campus.

Looking forward to the event, Williams wants to highlight the efforts of the USFSM organizers. “They said we want to make a presence here, we want to pull high knowledge, thought leaders that are right here in this community. I think that’s so powerful and everyone should do it.”

The TEDx talk came out of her research on interaction of the digital and theological components of the library. One particular example that sparked Williams’ interest was Martin Luther King’s digital archive, which was funded by JP Morgan and AT&T, and was made fully accessible to the public.

Her talk is part of USFSM’s TEDx conference, titled “Defining Your Legacy.” It will showcase original ideas focused on the creation of a lasting impact. Williams is one of nine speakers at the event.

In preparation for the conference, speakers have the support of mentors with expertise in speech and communications. This is Williams’ first TEDx conference, and in the process of transforming her extensive research into a TED talk, she welcomes feedback from student members, friends, and colleagues. She says that the key to the process is to get advice from people with different backgrounds, a practice consistent with the theme of her talk.

Williams is currently in the process of receiving a master’s degree in digital libraries. She also studies religion with the interest of discovering the ways in which digital components can work in religious programs or seminaries schools.

The eight speakers will present the “ideas worth spreading” to an audience of 100 community members who applied to attend. The content of the lectures will be available on TEDxUSFSM.com.

— Ellie Bullen and Aliaksandra Panfilovich are interns in the Office of Communications and Marketing at New College of Florida.


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 700 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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