Faculty Advisor
Faculty Advisor
Faculty Advisor and License Holder

Ty is a Sophomore Economics major from Seattle, Washington and is one of two Student Organizers for TEDxOccidentalCollege this year. Ty started his work on TEDxOccidentalCollege at the beginning of Fall Semester 2015, excited by the opportunity to connect fellow students with the TED platform to share their stories, ideas and research. Back in Seattle, Ty works with a Needle Exchange to help insure that intravenous drug users are able to live safe, healthy lives by supplying clean needles, sanitary products and opiate overdose prevention medication–as an Economics major with a focus in public policy, he is interested in the efficient manner in which Harm Reduction programs like Needle Exchanges can reduce the spread of diseases and even decrease drug use rates. Following from this passion, Ty’s most intriguing TED Talk is Elizabeth Pisani’s, Sex, drugs and HIV — let’s get rational


Jemma is a Senior American Studies Major from Ojai, California. Jemma is one of the two student organizers for TEDxOccidentalCollege 2016. Jemma thrives on her involvement on and off campus. She served two years on ASOC Senate, is the treasurer and co-fundraising chair of Delta Omicron Tau Sorority, the Event and Logistics Director of Up ’til Dawn at Occidental, worked in the Office of Student Life, and has an internship off campus at CGI Strategies in Real Estate. Jemma chose to join the TEDxOccidental College team because of her passion for coordinating fun and engaging events for the Occidental community. She believes that TEDx will help spread new ideas that will leave a lasting impact on the campus. Jemma is currently working on her senior thesis in American Studies titled “Mrs. Robinson and the Evolution of the Cougar.” Her goal is to make a connection between the evolution of Women’s roles in the family/workplace and how that evolution is tied to growing acceptance of women dating younger men. After graduation Jemma plans to move to Washington DC to work at a Real Estate Investment Firm. 


Adrianna Housman is a Sophomore Diplomacy and World Affairs Major/MAC Minor. Adrianna began working as the TEDx designer in the fall of 2015. Drawn by success of the 2014 event, she found TEDx to be one of Occidental’s unique spaces fueled by ambition and talent. Although primarily a photographer, she has been designing for the past two years and hopes to use her skills in media to work for global campaigns and in documentary journalism.

Co-speaker curator

Aabha Sachar is a freshman Diplomacy and World Affairs major from Dubai, UAE. Aabha joined TEDx because she believes deeply in the power of words and sudden realizations. She hopes that with her tactful and calculative speaker curating methods she will be able to create a tasteful speaker lineup that will forever change the lives of the audience. Aside from being a Speaker Curator for TEDx, Aabha is an active member of Oxypreneurship, and has been involved in many other leadership and entrepreneurial programs on campus including J-term and Emerging Leaders Program. Aabha’s most cherished TED talk is Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with why-how great leaders inspire action’.

Co-speaker curator

Emiko Schwab is a senior biology major from Garden Grove, California. She joined the TEDx team in hopes to curate an event that was diverse in terms of experiences, majors, cultures and beyond- an event that connects both the arts and the sciences. On campus she does genetic research in the Moore Laboratory of Zoology on the New World Jays and has participated in the Summer Research Program at Oxy. Along with this she is a Teaching Assistant in the Biology Department.  Her favorite TED talk is by Adam Savage and is called, How Simple Ideas lead to Scientific Discoveries.  Outside of Oxy Emiko likes to ice skate, eat at Curry House and spend time with her family.  

Co-speaker curator

Gabrielle is a sophomore Critical Theory and Social Justice major, originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and works as a speaker curator for TEDxOccidentalCollege. She joined the team in 2015, excited to help spread new ideas to Occidental College and the Los Angeles community. Gabrielle specifically studies post-colonial theory in combination with feminist and queer studies, and when she is not reading Michel Foucault, Audre Lorde, and Thich Nhat Hanh, she works with Mothers’ Club Family Learning Center in Pasadena, working with preschoolers in two-generation learning classrooms. Her favorite TED talk is Bobby McFerrin’s 2009 talk, From Notes to Neurons: In Search of a Common Chorus.

Co-Director of Budget & Finance
Abel Tiong is a sophomore, a philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) major and a brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Besides being part of Occidental’s TEDxOccidentalCollege 2016 team, he is also the Treasurer for Greek Council.
He was also part of the team that organized Oxy’s inaugural (+)vantage event, discussing subjects on homelessness and the stigma surrounding it. To date, he has interned at two firms: CapitaMall Asia and Titan Capital Asia as an investment and asset management intern, and junior investment analyst intern respectively. Outside of Oxy, Abel enjoys tennis, soccer, drums and traveling
Co-Director of Budget & Finance

Jessalind is a First Year intended DWA major and Economics minor from Honolulu, Hawaii. She joined the TEDx team because she wanted to share the power and inspiration TED talks brought to her with her community. She is a strong supporter of TED’s belief “…in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world”, and owes much of her life changing revelations to Amy Cuddy’s TED talk:Your body language shapes who you are. Outside of TEDx, Jessalind is the Political Advocacy Committee Chair for Oxy’s Planned Parenthood Club, a member in the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, a member of Phi Beta Lambda, the Emergency Preparedness Committee Student Representative for the Associated Students of Occidental College (ASOC), a part of Hawaii Club’s e-board, and a member of OCE’s Staff Appreciation Day Planning Committee.

Creative Director


Sophomore Economics Major
Sam Kowitch is a Sophomore from Portland, Oregon interested in studying economics and other disciplines of human behavior. Sam joined the TEDx team because he enjoys working with intellectually passionate peers and crafting memorable experiences. Sam’s favorite TED talk is Jon Ronson’s “Strange Answers to the Psychopath Test”.
Co-Production Manager

Nikolai Birch is a Sophomore Diplomacy and World Affairs Major from the Mill Valley, California by way of London, England. Nikolai joined the TEDxOccidental College team in the Spring of 2016 as a member of the production team, and is also a member of Occidental’s Programming Board and Peer Health Exchange. Nikolai is inspired by the use of technology and social media as a platform for bridging cultures, and giving voices to underrepresented communities both global and local. Nikolai’s favorite TED Talk is Sir Ken Robinson’s talk about creativity and the education system.

Co-Production Manager

Josie is a sophomore Media Arts and Culture Major/Interdisciplinary Writing Minor. Josie was brought onto the TEDx team as a production manager in February. Josie’s relationship to the TED platform began in her senior year of high school when she first heard Kevin Breel’s talk, “Confessions of a Depressed Comic.” The talk inspired her and a friend to dive into the early developmental stages of producing a documentary about mental illness which they then pitched to the student body on Expo Day, an event built around student and faculty speeches, which is quite reminiscent of TEDx. She is incredibly excited to have been brought on board for the this year’s program and can’t wait for everyone to see what’s in store.

Marketing Chair


First Year Economics and Math Major, Will Sheerin is a First Year from Boulder, CO interested in studying economics and other math. He is also a member of the Occidental Tigers Football Team. In the summer Will loves to travel and go on wilderness adventures and canoe trips. Will joined the TEDx team because he enjoys working with intellectually passionate peers and crafting memorable experiences. Will’s favorite TED talk is Ze Frank’s “Nerdcore comedy”

Nicole is an international student, Mathematics Major and Computer Science Minor from Guangzhou, China. She joined the 2016 TEDxOccidentalCollege Coordination team in hope of expanding her interests in sustainability issues. On campus, she is also the Webmaster and secretary of the Blyth Fund, a six-figure fund at Oxy. She works as a Math grader/ tutor and an accounting assistant in the Business Office. Off Campus, she is a volunteer for Schools on Wheels and tutor homeless children on a weekly basis. Over the summer, she spent a month in Gansu, rural China, working with local educators to establish a library and organize reading programs for primary school students. She is passionate about dancing, traveling, baking and learning new things.

Her favorite TED talk is by a female writer she admires, Elizabeth Gilbert, “Your elusive creative genius.”