College of Charleston Notables to Speak at TEDxCharleston

A local version of the popular online TED conference, TEDxCharleston, returns on Oct. 18 with a few College of Charleston alums and professor in the mix. Here’s a rundown of who will be speaking with CofC ties.

Edie Cusack ’90, the founder of the CofC’s REACH Program: Cusack is an award-winning nationally board certified teacher who has been advocating for and educating students with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 25 years. Inclusion and self-determination were the philosophies she incorporated into the REACH Program when she created and developed it in 2010.

Phillip Dustan, a CofC marine biology professor: Dustan has studied coral reefs in Florida and across the world for 40 years. He is currently featured in the Netflix documentary Chasing Coral.

Emily Torchiana ’17, a mental-health speaker: Torchiana recently won the prestigious Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service. She was nominated for her work in suicide prevention through her nonprofit organization, The Invisible Illnesses, which hosts workshops to educate students and parents on mental health and suicide prevention.

Quentin Baxter ’98, Kevin Hamilton ’95, Clay Ross ’98: Three out of the four founding members of Gullah band Ranky Tanky are CofC grads.

Tickets for TEDxCharleston go on sale August 22.


Featured photo of Torchiana by Diana Deaver.