University Communications

SCSU speakers at TEDxStCloud 2021

President Robbyn Wacker to speak at TEDxStCloud 2021

President Robbyn Wacker is one of eight speakers chosen for TEDxStCloud 2021. The lineup includes two former St. Cloud State professors, two alumni and a former student.

Along with President Wacker, former professors Dr. Niloufer Merchant and Dr. John Harlander and alumni and former students Mary Bruno ’97 Charles Eisenreich, ’87 ’93 ’98 and Pastor James Alberts will speak from the Paramount Theatre stage during the event at 5 p.m. Oct. 14.

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At TEDxStCloud events, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. St. Cloud State has been a partner in supporting the event each year with speakers and planning board members.

This year Mass Communications students from UTVS will be doing a production and broadcast of the event and professor Dr. Heidi Everett and her students studying in the Strategic Communications emphasis will do marketing for the event.

Tickets are on sale now through the Paramount Box office.

Speaker Details

President Robbyn Wacker

President Wacker is an academician in Gerontology and Sociology. Her passion is to help create conditions that bring out the best in others and to advance the mission of higher education. She is a first-generation college student whose great-grandparents immigrated to the United States in search of a better life and worked as farm laborers in the beet fields of Colorado.

Dr. John Harlander

Harlander is a professor emeritus of Physics at St. Cloud State. He is a physicist and designer of optical instruments for astronomy and space physics, including for NASA’s recently-launched Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite.

Dr. Niloufer Merchant

Merchant is a professor emeritus of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at St. Cloud State. She is a psychologist and trauma expert who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders related to trauma, PTSD, depression and anxiety.

Mary Bruno

Bruno is an artist and owner of Bruno Press letterpress print shop in St. Joseph and a Studio Arts graduate from St. Cloud State.

Charles Eisenreich

Eisenreich is a lifelong K-12 educator and administrator and a former minor league baseball player. He has taught and coached at several area schools and served as principal at Tech and Apollo high schools. He graduated from St. Cloud State with degrees in Mathematics, Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Administration and Leadership.

James Alberts

Pastor, social justice leader, and board member of ISAIAH MN. Alberts founded Higher Ground Church of God in Christ in 2001 and has been a key leader in forging St. Cloud’s Community Policing Agreement and focuses on ongoing community development. His is also a graduate from St. Cloud State with a degree in Computer Science. 

The remaining TEDxStCloud presenters are Pete Rogers and Annette Atkins. Rogers is an expert in automation and robotic systems integration and is Central McGowan’s vice president and general manager of automation. Atkins is an historian who uses letters, photos, shoes, art, chairs, census records, maps and other artifacts as keys to unlock the past. Atkins is a former professor and teachs that our history and our lives stand in such a close relationship that reflecting on either one helps illuminate the other. 

More on TEDx

  • There are over 3,000 TEDx events each year, in over 170 countries. On average, on any day of the year, across the globe, there are about 100 TEDx events being presented.
  • TED Talks surpassed 3 billion views online in 2016. TED and TEDx talks have a unique format and provide “fuel” for global thinking.
  • Local ideas can really get a lot of exposure from the TEDxStCloud stage. A 2018 TEDxStCloud speaker, Eric Sannerud’s talk “Without farmers you’d be hungry, naked and sober” has more than 2 million views.
  • There is always an incredible range of topics and speakers at TEDx events. Science, business, leadership, health, and social justice are on this year’s program at TEDxStCloud.

Photos by Yuppy Photo, courtesy of TEDxStCloud

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